Sailing Indonesia

A wonderful part of photography is living life vicariously through the lens of others. Through these beautiful images shot by Bay Area based Dennis Anderson, we're able to travel on KLM Dunia Baru, a 150' long ironwood vessel just completed in Indonesia, on her madiane voyage, sailing through some of the most pristine and remote areas of the South Pacific.

Below are the words and photos from commercial and residential photographer Dennis Anderson who graciously shared them with us here at Dickerman Prints.

This is the maiden voyage of the KLM Dunia Baru, a 150' long ironwood vessel just completed in Indonesia.  The boat was hand built by a group of 30 Konjo and Bugis tribal members who have a 1000 year maritime history. Wearing flip flops and wielding chain saws and hand made tools, they set up on a riverbank in Kalimatan ready to receive one of the last legal barge loads of ironwood to be cut in Indonesia.  It took them 4 years non stop to build and float the hull.

My friends Frank and Jeni were the project managers for the owner and worked on the boat for 6 years.

Finish work and engines and sail rigging were completed in Bali. I made two trips to photograph the ship for the owner. The first, a work in progress set of shots, and a chance to collect and curate all the snap shots taken of the early construction in Kalimatan. Then in Dec/Jan 014, I was hired back to go on the maiden voyage and make marketing photos for potential upcoming charters. More importantly to me, I took on the title of artist in residence, free to shoot whatever caught my eye.

This truly epic adventure was a 1200 mile, month long exploration of some of the 17,000 islands and varied tribal people of the Indonesia sea. Let me describe one especially meaningful stop. 

Early in the voyage we returned a number of the original builders to their home in Ara, a village in Sulawesi where  boats are still being built on the beach.  The Mullahs and elders performed the final blessing to Dunia Baru by sacrificing a goat on her decks, and hanging the feet from the bow and stern.  

The next day the entire village, maybe 250 people, all came on board with the roasted goat and enough other island food to host a feast and celebration for everyone. The remaining crew felt greatly relieved as all the traditional forms had been competed.

Then free to roam we visited, dove, and snorkeled in Komodo, Ambon, and in Raja Ampat, New Guinea. This marine haven is part of the South Pacific's Coral Triangle.  It is an extremely remote area which retains more diversity and quantity of marine life than anywhere else left on the planet. Its accessible by charter boats from Sorong, which has an airport. 

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And if you are interested and happen to have an extra 80K laying around, you too can charter her for a week relaxing and sailing around in style.

Dennis Anderson is an internationally known commercial and residential photographer whose fine art photography is in the permanent collections of both the New York and S.F. Museums of Modern Art. 

A native of New Jersey Anderson received a B.A. in art from Antioch College and then studied under Imogene Cunningham. As an accomplished master of lighting, Anderson has traveled to Asia, South America and throughout the United States shooting feature assignments for the designers and owners of homes, restaurants, and resorts. His photos have appeared in numerous books and magazines including Architectural Digest, Hospitality Design, Interiors, Maritime Life and Tradition, Vogue Living, Resorts and Great Hotels and Rolling Stone. . He presents a series of photography and lighting seminars around the country as a member of the Distinguished Speakers Series of the American Society of Interior Designers.