How the Real Gili Islands were discovered as a the hottest Tourism destination in Indonesia
Ten years ago after sailing yachts around the world as a professional Captain ” I decided to leave Australia and sail to Asia on my personnel yacht Basilea in search of the illusive wave, “Desert Point” Lombok. Unfortunately I was badly injured on its reef and was forced to take refuge in Gili Gede Bay… this is where my story starts…
During my recovery I explored these incredible 13 southern islands of Lombok and its south coast and realized it was the only year round protected bay in all of Lombok and Bali its here that started my journey. Owning and operating yacht in Indonesia is dangerous and difficult, although the 17400 islands of Indonesia are beautiful, they are isolated, poorly charted and dangerous. Having experienced rudder damage during a storm 250 nautical miles from the West coast of Sumatra in 2011 in which I nearly lost my yacht, I was barely able to list into Batavia Marina in Jakarta. As what should have been a routine repair proved to be extremely difficult and expensive I made a commitment to build a Marina facility in Indonesia. My goal is to offer yacht owners and their families, captains and crew, operators and clients a safe harbor
with professional maintenance facilities and this required a secure all year round location... There was only one place “Gilli Gede”. Ironically at the same time I became aware of the Indonesian Government’s intention to amend the laws relating to foreign yachts staying in Indonesian waters therefore finally opening up Indonesia to the yachting world. I wanted a place that was close enough to a major Tourism market but far enough away to remain idyllic and pristine a place where all types of boats could enjoy a comfortable and safe environment in which to stay and enjoy “12” month sailing close by and live on their yachts yet be hours away from both Denpasar and Lombok and international flights back home to Asia, Europe, Australasia and the Middle East. The location had to have all the facilities and become a haven for boat owners who can enjoy and care for their investments in a relaxed place and enjoy the fun of sailing, surfing, fishing, diving and the many other great attractions Gili Gede and its surrounding Archipelago has to offer.