The Island of Pulau Sepa, in Indonesia


(The Island of Pulau Sepa)

On a two-week cruise around South East Asia, our venerable “Ocean Pearl” anchored offshore Pulau Sepa, a small oval-shaped coral cay of 4-1/2 hectares, with tropical vegetation. My husband Lloyd and I took their tenders to Pearl Cruise Line’s private tropical island, which has nothing but sun, sand and sea. We couldn’t find Pulau Sepa in any guidebooks, as it’s one of several hundred, that make up a national park,

This island gem has a crystal-clear lagoon, surrounded by an encircling coral reef.

The locals know that the big fish swim in the depths, outside of the coral reef, and have developed an exceptional way of casting their lines. It seems that they build a simple kite from a dried leaf and a couple of sticks, attach their baited hooks and fly them up, far out to sea. From the tranquil lagoon, they watch the ascending kite, and when it dips, they reel in their dinner.

We were warned of poisonous and deadly sea snakes, which are approximately three feet long, and have checkered patterns. The black and yellow snake is the exceedingly venomous banded Krait. The sea around here also has sea urchins, with long sharp spines, three to twelve inches long, which can pierce through rubber flippers, and snap off upon making body contact.

Upon stepping ashore, we were welcomed with a freshly picked coconut, to drink the refreshing milk. We noticed footholds on the coconut trees, which makes it easier to climb up and get the coconuts.

In this idyllic setting, we had excellent views of other islands, local sailboats, and crystal-clear waters lapping gently on beautiful shell-strewn beaches, in an emerald sea in a peaceful atmosphere. Pulau Sepa has outstanding white sandy beaches, and Lloyd and I swam in the warm turquoise water, while keeping a careful eye out for the poisonous sea snakes. We noticed a profusion of coral reef formation, tropical fish, multi-colored fauna, and the unspoiled and varied marine life of the Java Sea.

Our chefs and crew served us passengers a marvelous buffet and barbeque on the beach, while we were pleasantly entertained by local musicians and cultural dancing, some dancers being from Sumatra. The band played some Western music for us, and sang in their own language, and in our language. Palau Sepa also had an interesting Gift Shop on the beach.

Lloyd and I enjoyed a pleasant day of swimming, snorkeling, and pure relaxation, on this island far from civilization. For overnight stays, there are about fourteen traditional-style woven bamboo bungalows on stilts, of various types, that are furnished with ample holiday comforts.

Pulau Sepa is about forty-five miles north of Jakarta and is reached in one-and-a-half to two hours by speedboat, or by a four-hour ferry ride. Our ship’s tenders transported us back to our comfortable “Ocean Pearl,” which is waiting for us on the horizon.

No other vessel covers the Far East like our “Ocean Pearl,” and we continued our extraordinary voyage around South East Asia, cruising the Malacca Strait, watching out for the pirates that inhabit these waters. From Pulau Sepa to Port Kelang, we sailed 675 miles, and from Port Kelang to Bangkok, we sailed 1,03l miles, making a total voyage of 3,527 miles from the start of our voyage in Singapore to the completion of this voyage at Bangkok in Thailand.

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