I had the pleasure of meeting Rob Rama Rambini in Bali on a delivery with Jon Sanders to Fremantle. He is the first Indonesian to sail solo across the pacific, leaving from Oakland California and hopes to be the first Indonesian to sail solo around the world, he is using the voyage around Indonesia to get more people interested in their history as a sea fearing nation and drum up support for his trip.
Before his departure a temple priest presents an elaborate offering to the god of the sea, imploring a safe passage for Rob. Another temple priest pours holy water over the adventures head. The water was fetched from an offshore location, where an underwater temple is believed to be located. Then ritual decorative coconut leaves are attached to the bow of Kona.
A Voyage of Homage- Agnes Winarti- Bali Daily/Benoa
In tribute to the archipelagos long forgotten daring sailors, Indonesian Rob Rama Rambini set sail on Sunday on a five month long voyage along ancestral maritime routes across the country’s eastern region.
Aboard his 30 foot sloop, Kona, Rama will traverse 3,866 nautical miles to complete the voyage, which has been aptly named Kembara Bahari: Lintasan Timur JangkarLeluhur (Oceanic Adventure: Sailing the Ancestral Eastern Line.)
The 54- year old adventurer is the first Indonesian to have sailed 10,000 nautical miles, taking 10 months 27 days, from Oakland California to Bali, in April 2010.
“We are a seafaring nation, as always sung about in our traditional folksong. This voyage is to remind Indonesians of their original cultural roots” said Natalia Soebagjo, founder of the Indonesian Pluralism Foundation and the main supporter of Rama’s voyage.
Throughout his voyage, which is estimated to finish in November 2012, in Benoa Bali, Rama will have 28 stops as he sails the country’s vast seas surrounding Flores, Banda and Maluku.
“We have chosen these 28 spots carefully based on the trails of the ancient spice trade, as well as the spread of our traditional garment heritage” said anthropology expert Toha Masyhur who is involved in the stop over selection for Rama.