When I began cruising a few life-times ago, the sailing life-style was a fresh concept. A few intrepid sailors like, Joshua Slocum, Eric Hiscock and Bernard Moitessier were cruising and writing about personal sea adventures; I gobbled up their books.
Safe havens like ‘The Lagoon’ in St. Martin had few visitors. Today one can almost walk across that protected harbor stepping from boat to boat.
For me and many other sailors the vision of the ideal unspoiled protected anchorage with crystal waters and pure white sand beach was the ‘holy grail’ of cruising. After years of dropping anchor in stunning bays and swimming with teaming wild life, the pristine anchorage has never lost its luster.
For years, I cruised the islands of the Caribbean, the Med and the Sea of Cortez. After thousands of miles of slogging to windward and several near-mis disasters, I realized that I was really seeking a ‘happy harbor’.
After a few years of cruising, some sailors become complacent about the voyage. One pretty bay looks very much like the next. Safe yacht harbors around the world are filled with cruising sailors who have ‘swallowed the anchor’.
An ‘anchorage’ can become the center of the Universe for the cruising sailor and sometimes his/her yacht can morph from a coveted asset, into a liability. The substantial capital investment and the huge responsibility that comes with taking loved ones to sea never ceases. At best a skipper can venture a few hours away from his vessel. To venture further puts the vessel, the investment and the crew at risk. There could be nothing left upon the skipper’s return.
Most skippers are on perpetual standby. They wait for crew, good weather, parts or funds to ‘hit the account’. Maintenance is the antidote. Skippers drink coffee in the cockpit in the morning, work all day on the boat and drink cocktails at sundown. Some vessels at anchor have no sign of life aboard. Owners and crew have abandoned the cruising life-style, put the vessel on the market and cut their losses.
What if, one could ‘fast forward’ to the ideal pristine cove protected by an untouched coral reef teaming with sea-life without the yacht? One could skip the capital investment, the years of study and preparation, the bumpy sea voyages and the high risk of mis-adventures.
Within a one hour flight from Bali, lies Sumba Island; a perfect atoll. Sumba is a chunk of limestone that drifted off the Australian consentient a few hundred million years ago, it’s not a part of the Indonesian archipelago of volcanic islands. Hence Sumba is surrounded by live coral reefs, white sand beaches and crystal waters teaming with sea-life; an anglers paradise.
For the past few years, our team has trekked the south coast of Sumba Island seeking the most pristine properties featuring white sand beaches, world class surf waves, untouched barrier reefs and unspoiled flora and fauna.
We have identified, surveyed and purchased the ‘crème de la crème’ of absolutely stunning beachfront and sea-view locations. Now visionaries who seek a deserted white sand beach, a crystal bay and a world class surf wave can fly in and drive a rental car to their very own slice of paradise. We call them ‘Sooners’ – one who acts ahead of the crowd.
Owning a slice of paradise on the Indian Ocean can be very affordable. New friends are now joining our community of owner/members.
I am not a sales guy, but I love to tell the Sumba story to our owner/members. One caller this week commented, “this conversation has gone a thousand times better than I expected.” He is a new friend, a lovely guy, soon to be a neighbor in Sumba.