In a move to boost the economy of the outlying islands, the President of Indonesia is spearheading the development of North Maluku, in particular, the island of Morotai. It is his vision to put Morotai on the map for the world to see that Morotai is the gateway into Indonesia from the Pacific Ocean. And being close to East Asia, Morotai can be a part of the economic movement in the Asia Pacific Region. A Master plan from Marine Affairs and Fisheries Minister is now in place to develop the island as a fishery, tourist, trade and services center. As part of this plan, Sail Morotai 2012 is organized and will be the main maritime event for this year's Sail Indonesia rally.
Morotai is the northernmost island of Eastern Indonesia, in the province of North Maluku. The rugged and forested island has an area of some 1,800 square kilometres (690 sq mi), stetching 80 kilometres (50 mi) north-south and no more than 42 kilometres (26 mi) wide.
It is famous for its natural and marine beauty, with various coral reefs, colourful fish and marine life.
In addition, it is also known for its history in World War II, in particular, the Battle of Morotai. In July of 1944, General Douglas MacArthur had selected Morotai as the location for air bases and naval facilities which was needed to support the liberation of Mindanao. The battle began on September 14, 1944 when the United States and Australian forces landed on the south-west corner of Morotai. With only about 500 Japanese soldiers stationed on the island, the Allied force assigned to Morotai outnumbered the island's defenders by more than one hundred to one. The ensuing rapid development of Morotai into a major military base took place. Base facilities, Naval installation, road network, 1,000-bed hospital and 2 airstrips were quickly constructed. Morotai became the staging point for Allied forces and played a major role in the liberation of the Philippines.
In light of its history, Morotai is a haven for wartime artifacts.
SAIL MOROTAI 2012
Holiday Oceanview Marina, in conjunction with the organizers of the Sail Indonesia 2012, is proud to announce that it will be the official Philippine organizer and the registration base for cruisers who are interested in joining the Sail Morotai 2012 rally. The festivities due to take place in Morotai on September 8th will coincide nicely with festivities happening in Davao City the whole month of August - the Kadayawan Festival. The highlight of this festival is the parade where different tribes and organizations compete for the best costumes and presentation. This parade normally occurs the 3rd weekend of August and the timing is just perfect for cruisers to attend the festivities in Davao before they set sail with the rally bound for Morotai.
As this will be the first year for Sail Morotai 2012, entry fee will be free and Indonesia will sponsor and cover the costs through its Sail Indonesia program. All yachts, motor and sail, are welcome to join but minimum size of 10 meters LOA is required to ensure safety to sail overseas in International waters. The Marina will coordinate and collect all required documents for the issuance of the Indonesian cruising permit (CAIT), as well for all entry and visa into the Philippines. The CAIT will be used to apply for the Indonesian Visa (non ASEAN citizens) through the Indonesian Consulate. In addition, the Marina will be offering its own programs and festivities, organization of tour packages, rally orientation seminar, free berthing, parties and get-togethers.
Route of the Sail Morotai 2012:
This is made part of the Sail Indonesia Rally and the whole map can be viewed in their website - http://www.sailindonesia.net/home/home.php
and about Sail Morotai 2012 - http://www.sailindonesia.net/news/sailmorotai.php. Further news about Sail Indonesia can be found here - Sail Indonesia and Rally schedules .
All interested cruisers are urged to email me through the contact page, or through the comments sections, as it is also important for us to get an idea of how many interested participants there will be. This is an exciting rally to attend specially because of our historical ties with Morotai and also because it is the first maritime event ever for Davao to be a part of. It is our wish and the wishes of the government of Indonesia to develop stronger ties between our 2 countries and to establish an attractive route from Davao to Morotai and beyond, to other parts of Indonesia and Philippines.
More information and updates to come, so feel free to check in occasionally.