If sailing from Australia, it is possible to clear into Indonesia at Maumere, Flores. No charges. Anchor off Sea World Resort:
08 38.085 S 122 18.481 E. 9m. Be aware that the bottom shelves up VERY quickly!
Clear out at Nongsa Point Marina, Batam, opposite Singapore:
01 11.79 N 104 05.77 E (VHF Ch 72)
An amazing, bustling town where no-one takes any particular notice of you! There is a new 4 story shopping complex that has just been built which has a fantastic western supermarket inside.
There is a channel marked on the charts which is lit, that takes you across the bar into Sungai Barito. We would not recommend going in at night. Anchorage is available near the channel entrance to wait for tide/light.
There are many barges that are loading large ships anchored off the entrance to the channel (loading copper??). In the channel the traffic was passing green to green, the reason being that as you cross the bar, the channel goes into a dog leg and the deeper draft vessels needed the outside of the bend. Depth in the channel varied from 5 to 7 m. We kept to the edges to stay out of the way.
It is well worth watching where the small ships and barges go as the channel across the bar changes and it is not always well marked. The only vessels going aground on the way in were the local prahu, which obviously had less of an idea than us!
Once in the river, anchorages can be taken anywhere out of the way of traffic. There were fuel barges in the river where we could have purchased fuel, although we ended up taking fuel from the floating shops just around the corner of the Police Post.
Anchorage 1. Near Kaget Is 03 25.6 S 114 30 E. 5m HW
Anchorage 2. Near Police Post 03 20 95 S 114 32.3 E 4m mid tide.
We left the yacht during the day and took a local water taxi to and from town. They will also take you to the floating markets if you can get the message across!! Police helped us organize a taxi. Very cheap!
Anchoring anywhere along the coast is possible, depending on the weather. We anchored at 03 31.00 S 113 48. 739 E overnight. There were a few fishing boats around.
Between here and Sampit there were hundreds of small fishing boats. Not sure if they are out at night.
There is a large bay at the mouth of the Sampit River, west of Banjamarsin. Once again ships are anchored here and loaded by barges. It is possible to get up to Sampit, but we were a little short of time.
Anchorage at T.Sampit 03 06.96 S 113 02.13 E This was a little too close to the sand bar shown on the chart and as a result we were held by the tide. A fishing boat came and anchored next to us until dark just to have a look!
This was an interesting stay. There is a good fresh market in town but not much else. Navy came over to assist us and have a look. They were very friendly and interested in what we were doing. They said that we were the first yacht to visit them and we made it on page 1 of their local newspaper!
Large tugs enter the river at high tide. Follow them! A fisherman showed us the channel over the bar. As a guide, from waypoint 03 26.939 S 112 35.452 E, line up the white tower (light house) on the point and head across to it. Deeper water is on LHS of river.
We visited Kumai in 2003. They have many yachts visiting every year and are very good at looking after you and organizing the tour on their local boats up to Camp Leaky to visit the orangutans.
Anchor around 02 57.078 S 111 40.862 E to wait for tide/light. We watched the track the local traffic took to get into the river. We basically followed the coast to the end of the point (02 54 S 111 42.420 E) then made our way slightly north (02 53 170 S
111 42 066 E) then across to the other side of the river (02 50.660 S 111 43.5 E). From there follow the river until you get to Kumai! Being potential customers, they will find you before you have a chance to find them!
Kumai is a wonderful river town and the people are so helpful and friendly. You will probably be invited to go to the school to do some oral English with the students!
Karamata and Serutu are two large, heavily vegetated islands off the west coast of Kalimantan and a worth while stop on your way to Singapore. Although we did not stop at Serutu (only has an anchorage with protection from the SE winds) due to westerly winds, we did stop at Karimata. There are many reefs to anchor behind. The people were very friendly and welcoming. Although the islands are a flora and fauna park there were not many fish left on the reef! Apparently their reefs are under attack from fisherman who come up from Bangka and Sumatera.
We followed a local boat in and anchored close to shore as our draft is only 1.2m. (01 39.614 S 108 55.474 E) We were anchored in 3.8m at LW. Depth around outside of reef was approximately 7m.
From Karimata there are many anchorages in the Riau Strait before you get to Nongsa Point Marina to check out.