It is truly a milestone getting one first boat tour going for The Dorsal Effect indeed. Feeling like we have been in the woods most parts of this year, to be able to take my first group of tourists out on the proposed boat trip really felt like a mixture of a dream come true a la Christopher Columbus discovering new lands.
So the weeks leading up to the actualization of the one day boat excursion with my dear first trippers Victor Chan, Victor Toh, Aidan Kelly and Elisha Hickey, saw me a nervous wreck and all worried about whether it would go well and if they would enjoy it at all. I know these dear ones signed up for it in good faith with no expectations and yet were still willing to pay for the trip so I had to make it a good one for them.
We set off for Tanjung Luar bright and early at 6am on a Wednesday morning on 4th September 2013 with Agus, armed with our beach wear and snorkel gear if any. Packing lunch of mixed rice with vegetables along the way at Praya, the pleasant company on the road made for a less jittery me.
Walking around the fish market for a while before departing on the small boat, we noticed there wasn’t any sharks in the abattoir area that morning but instead it was filled with many species of rays. I did wonder if indeed they have depleted all the sharks in the waters around Lombok already, or we were a bit late and had missed the sharks. But one of the fishermen who recognized me came up and told me there wasn’t any “ikan hiu” (sharks) that morning. Honestly, I didn’t know what to feel about that information.
The moment we boarded and set off on the boat, everything started feeling magical though, as we passed Gili Merangke and some pearl farms (Segui beach) as well as Squid Beach and to have a dip for our first snorkelling experience at the reefs of Gili Petelu (Tree Island). Gosh were we enthralled the moment we jumped into the clear waters, at how pristine and untouched the corals were! There was such a wide variety and colour of corals and marine life that we could not stop being in awe of it all.
Next stop was pink beach off Tanjung Ringgit where the sand IS really pink and we could climb up a beautiful cliff for dramatic views of the beach on one side and a calm cove on the other. There was even a cave left behind from the Japanese Occupation times that we could explore right at pink beach.
After savouring our packed lunch on the boat, we were ready for our second snorkel site at Teluk Semangkok which proved even more breathtaking, with its richer array of corals and fishes that we spent nearly an hour in the water taking it all in!
The last stop was a sunken sand island that we boated over on our way out in the morning, due to the high tides, Pulau Pasir. It was a most interesting sand island teeming with starfishes, slugs and other life forms that enthralled us happy explorers indeed!
It was a great virgin trip for us all indeed and we do feel a little sad that most of you did not get a chance to be our first trippers to experience all this firsthand but we definitely need to you come with us and make a one day boat trip booking if you are in Lombok, so that we can do our part for responsible tourism and do our part for shark conservation by providing this alternative livelihood of ecotourism to the shark fishermen while enjoying pristine beaches and coral reefs! (Thank you, Victor Toh, for sharing your photos with us here too!)
Book with us:
or email us:
This fantastic bunch thinks you should join us too!:
Some information that might be good for subsequent trips if one intends to make your own way to Lombok to join us next time:
1) direct flights to Lombok from Singapore via SilkAir can go a cheap as $315 but when prices rise to about $476 and you choose to fly budget (Air Asia or Jetstar) to Bali and then take a domestic flight (Lion Air, Merpati Nusantara, Wing Air or Garuda) to Lombok and back the same way, cost of airport taxes need to be factored in as well:
Rp40,000 at Bali domestic airport
Rp25,000 at Lombok airport for domestic flight on return
Rp150,000 at Bali International airport on return
2) Transport tariffs have gone up in Lombok recently so a shared transport to Tanjung Luar from Kuta would cost Rp500,000 divided by the number of people.
3) A night’s stay in a homestay accommodation in Kuta region at Yuli’s Homestay, for example, would cost rp350,000 per room and would be better if shared between 2 or 3.
4) Airport pick up to Kuta area takes around 20 minutes and costs anywhere between Rp125,000-150,000.
5) It is possible to get very good and affordable packed lunch of rice and mixed ingredients of french beans, mashed chicken, tempeh and friend potato from Praya along the way to Tanjung Luar (gotta remember to ask Agus for the location and possible contact).