Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Sailing among Indonesia’s wild islands

"There's no more evocative way to explore Indonesia's 17,000 islands than by phinisi, a traditional teak sailing boat," says Claire Wrathall in the Financial Times.
These elegant wooden vessels have been plying the waters of the archipelago for centuries, during which time the techniques used in building them have scarcely changed. But today you can sail in one without leaving the comforts of modern civilisation behind. Thirty-four metres long, the Tiger Blue was built in the traditional way on the island of Sulawesi - and then fitted out with latter-day luxuries by its English and Dutch owners. After thorough testing on their own family holidays, it is available for charter by groups of up to ten.

Sailing through Indonesia impresses on you the vastness and wildness of the world's largest archipelago in a way no other form of travel could. Lying on the equator and stretching over three time zones, it is one of the most bio-diverse countries on Earth. The Tiger Blue is based to the east of Bali, near Komodo Island, a tropical paradise where you can dive, kayak and surf to your heart's content - but you should on no account miss the chance to go searching for Komodo dragons, the largest lizards in the world

Rainbow Tours Charters from £2,750 a day. Visit tigerblue.info for more information.

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