Ekas Bay in East Lombok was one of our stops on the Hati Murnih itinerary. Our first trip there, in the 80s, the admiralty charts had us in a state of excited dither, because the potential of that reef bend into the bay looked so frickin’ fine. Remember, all we had then were charts — no Google Earth or satellite imagery of any kind. Flat swell, so we played around in the outside reefs, wave bumps of no consequence, then motored into the bay to anchor up inside. Our Balinese skipper, Pak Ngasti, an old turtle-fisherman, knew all these waters like his backyard. Our radar and depth sounder was in his head.
Next morning at dawn when we woke up, the good ship was surrounded by local fishermen in their outriggers, staring at us like we were either aliens, or zoo specimens, or fine dining. Back then, no roads into the area, and no white folks either. We were probably the first they’d seen. They weren’t particularly friendly. They could hardly speak Indonesian. Pak Ngasti told me to get my snapshot and take their photographs. That scared them off.
The swell came up the next day. We found that outside Ekas did not live up to its potential, big and offshore for sure, and with some lined-up walls, but pretty much all over the place (remember, we were spoiled by perfection). Below is a photo from a later year (1990). I’m not sure any photo exists of earlier years, so this probably is of some historical value.
However, we did discover that the swell marched into the bay and broke on in inside reef, offering the most fun and playful right. The photo below was taken from our anchorage spot. I haven’t been there in a long, long time so I’m sure it gets its regular crew these days. But gosh, after the outside beatings, what fun we had.