It’s been a busy season for yachties around the region with the Raja Muda (page 24) and Kings Regatta in Malaysia and Thailand respectively, whilst down under the Rolex Sydney – Hobart (page 30) provided a little glamour on the water. Here in Villa & Yacht’s Balinese anchorage it’s that time of year again - we’ve been braving the monsoon season as all hell lets loose on the island of the gods. Sting was inspired to write about the fields of Bali, I somehow doubt he was here in the rainy season. Such conditions would be more conducive to a Neil Cave song or for that matter a Meggadeath track. For ‘tis the season of the poisoned seas, as the high rainfalls wash all the islands waste into the rivers and sewers, which churn into the open sea . Whilst walking along the west coast between Seminyak and Canggu, I’ve recently had to drag my curious dog away from numerous freaky bloated fish washed ashore, along with a pig and an infant whale – this poor animal (pictured below) must have become disoriented by the pollution in the sea and got swept ashore by strong currents and high tides. Having witnessed all this devastation in our waters, I didn’t think twice about having lunch in my local chippy and found that one man’s snapper is another man’s poison – my poison- which was so severe it saw me hospitalized – from where my thoughts reverted back to the beached whale and the state of our waters, as also fresh in my mind was this issue’s fashion shoot, where we found ourselves Day Tripping aboard Sea Dancer (Page 32) on the edge of Serangan Harbour, downwind of the not so pleasant aromas coming from the nearby rubbish dump. Why any visiting yachties would be willing to drop anchor in such conditions is a testament to the world class sailing around Indonesia and the jewel in the archipelago that is Bali – probably the best island in the world, with increasingly great property and land investment possibilities – land value here continues to appreciate at healthy rates despite the global economic crisis. A sound investment indeed, but what would really take the island by storm would be a marina development, complete with 5 star hotels, restaurants and retail spaces that would really put the island on the nautical map. Then there’s just the issue of poisoned seas to sort; well it seems that things are improving off the shores of Jakarta as we investigate in our Eco Interests feature (page 58). Here Kate Allen takes us for a close up look on Pulau Macan, a revolutionary eco island a short sail away from Jakarta’s notoriously dirty streets. And speaking of property development, I hear Jakarta will soon have a skyscraper to rival some of the tallest buildings in the world – perhaps from the penthouse suite you’ll be able to see over the haze to the island paradise. Here in Bali our focus must shift to sensible, environmentally conscious and sustainable development as Sting’s rice fields continue to transform into villas and resorts for the visiting rock stars of the future.
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