Easter Trip to the Equator

Event: 21st – 25th April 2011

Venue: 00°00.000’S

The latest Premium Nautical adventure took place between the 21st and 25th of April 2011 with a group of 6 vessels ranging from 47 to 90 feet and we were lucky enough to have near perfect weather for the duration of the trip.  The majority of the boats left for Nongsa point on the evening of the 21st to enable immigration and clearance to be carried out over night before heading south the following morning.

IMG_7861-300x199We invited Alex Voss from the newly formed Neptune Cruising Club to come along to provide some navigational advice as these were new cruising grounds for all the boats in our party.  We commenced our first full day with a briefing in Nongsa prior to departure for Karus Besar which was a 35 nautical mile run South between Bintan and Batam to our intended lunch stop.  The We spent a couple of hours here in a sheltered bay while one of the boats repaired a slight fuel leak and then pushed on to Pauau Buaya which would be our anchorage for the next two evenings.

Puala Buaya was a delightful anchorage with plenty of space for us to anchor all the boats in safety and we enjoyed a very pleasant and restful night at anchor.  Much fishing and snorkeling was undertaken by the children while the sun slipped away and we were able to enjoy a magnificent celestial vista in a cloudless sky. We awoke to flat calm waters and after a leisurely breakfast set off for the 18NM journey SE for the equator.  However, with the wind building we decided to find shelter for our crossing the line ceremonies and the group split at this point with 3 boats continuing their exploration of some of the more isolated areas and the others rafting up adjacent to Pulau Talas.

IMG_79571-300x202All boats re grouped at Puala Buaya for another evening at anchor and some more exploration of our surroundings.  Three of the boats commenced their return trip on Sunday morning with the rest of the group heading North East meandering through the islands of Temiang and Sebangka.  We chose to spend the night just South of Pulau Ansunda but were spoilt for choice as there was no shortage of anchorage opportunities amongst the countless islands.

Monday saw us make the trip back to Singapore via Nongsa and all boats were back in their respective marina’s by Sunday evening.

The trip was a great success and it was remarkable how accessible this pristine marine wildernesses is from Singapore.  The waters were clear and there was no other pleasure craft traffic and very few other boats.  Navigating the countless islands was much easier than anticipated with our various charts providing a good and accurate level of detail.  All crews are now looking forward to their next trip South across the line.