|Eleven yachts set sail from Samal to join the yearly Sail Indonesia|
Last Thursday, September 6, 2012, eleven yachts sailed-off from the Holiday Oceanview Marina in Barangay Ilihan, Babak District of the Island Garden City of Samal (IGaCoS) in Davao del Norte, Philippines to join other yachtsmen from all over the world for this year's Sail Indonesia (Morotai) - a yearly sailing event organized by the government of Indonesia primarily to promote tourism and economic movement not only in their country but in the entire Asia Pacific Region as well.
The island of Morotai is a rugged and forested island of about 1,800 square kilometres (690 square miles), stretching 80 kilometers (50 miles) from north to south and approximately 42 kilometers (26 miles) wide, situated in the northernmost island of Eastern Indonesia in the province of North Maluku. Morotai is widely popular for its stunning natural wonders and rich marine life.
|The Venue Party Boat|
The flag-off event was attended by officials of the Philippine Department of Tourism (DOT), the Davao Tourism Association (DATA), and media men on-board The Venue Party Boat.
For the first time, Samal Island, through Holiday Oceanview Marina, the Philippines' official organizer and registration base for cruisers, has been invited by Sail Indonesia organizer Dr. Aji Sularso to be the first and only flag-off point in the Philippines. Samal Island has attracted 12 official contingent groups from the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Vanuatu and as far as Holland, to participate in the rally to Morotai Island in Indonesia.
|Holiday Oceanview Marina in Samal Island|
|Holiday Oceanview Marina|
|Yachts en route to Sail Indonesia in Morotai|
Entry fees of participants are provided free by the Indonesian government through its Sail Indonesia program where yachts, motorboats and sailboats with a minimum overall length of 10 meters are allowed to sail overseas in International waters for safety reasons. On the other hand, the Marina coordinated all efforts in the gathering of all pertinent documents for the issuance of the Indonesian cruising permit (CAIT), and all entries and visas into the Philippines. The CAIT was used for the application of Indonesian Visa (non ASEAN citizens) through the Indonesian Consulate. The Marina was also tasked to provide its own programs and festivities of Filipino dances, music, food and fireworks, organization of tour packages, rally orientation seminar, free berthing, and parties.
The Philippines’ participation in this year’s Sail Indonesia is seen as a way for next year’s Sail Philippines, which will be timed with Sail Indonesia and Sail Malaysia. The plan will not only promote tourism and economic movement in the Davao Region, but will also put the Davao Gulf in the world map as a major sailing destination and bring-in yachtsmen from Manila and Subic to Davao.
The Sail Indonesia (Morotai) 2012 culminates on September 15.