Safety . El Aleph is of traditional hull design but she is equipped with the full suite of modern navigational tools, including radar, GPS, plotters, C-Map, and several independent satellite communications systems. Our very experienced crew has been sailing the waters of the Indonesian Archipelago literally for generations, and we charter during the calm season in all of our destinations.
Pirates and Sharks – (or, what NOT to worry about…) We are constantly being asked about the risk of piracy in our cruising grounds – I am happy to say that there is none whatsoever – you are at far greater risk of kidnap by a flying saucer or planetary destruction by a rogue asteroid than from a pirate attack in Indonesia or Thailand! Of course, piracy-for-ransom is a serious problem – IF, that is, one happens to be cruising off the Horn of Africa, some 3000 miles from our areas of operation. The fierce Somali pirates are far closer to Nice, Portofino, or even to London, than to Bali or Raja Ampat. There are hundreds of passenger vessels – from small saiboats, to dive boats, surf charters and tourist vessels operating amongst the 17,000 islands of the Indonesian Archipelago – and literally thousands in Malaysia and Thailand. After many years of operation, we have never heard of anyone seeing a pirate! As regards the sharks, alas, they have largely been wiped out due to Chinese culinary traditions – please don’t eat shark-fin soup! The global shark hunt has tragically disrupted the balance of the oceans by removing the top predator. Fortunately, thanks to the vigorous conservation measures undertaken by the Indonesian authorities, we find reef shark in some of our best diving destinations within Komodo and Raja Ampat marine preserves – these shy, graceful creatures are the highpoint of many dives. These species pose absolutely no danger to man – there has not been a known shark attack in Indonesian/Thai waters in the past decades. As for the much larger shark species – whites and blues – which can be dangerous to man, the nearest you’ll find them is on the Great Barrier Reef of Australia, a thousand miles away. It is the sharks misfortune to suffer from bad press – there is a tropical vegetable which each year kills hundreds of times as many people as the shark…the coconut palm! To be hit by a 3-kilogram coconut falling from 40 meters will greatly decrease life expectancy – rest assured, there are no coconut palms aboard El Aleph!