S.M.Y. Ondina

This has certainly been the most important professional chapter in my life. Supervising the construction of this magnificent 32 m wooden schooner, built entirely by hand from tropical timbers, using only traditional methods employed by the Bugis tribes of South Sulawesi, has proven the biggest challenge of my career.

After 18 months of living in this remote village, Ondina was finally ready to launch. Over a gruelling 10-day period, using only sweat, muscle and pulley blocks, she was launched making use of the high tides that follow a full moon. Once afloat, the real adventure began: find the crew, train them, and commence exploring with groups of guest divers the seemingly countless reefs and islands of Eastern Indonesia…

For more than 10 years I assumed complete charge and was blessed with great moments, absolutely mind-blowing dives and fascinating land tours, surrounded by pristine nature and enchanting interactions with native cultures. Maintenance of the boat, struggling to keep a Western-standard operation running in far-flung places like Komodo, Flores, Papua or the Maluku, is not an easy undertaking, and provided a fair share of stressful times. And as gentle and friendly as Indonesian people are, the cultural challenge of working with an indigenous crew has also proved difficult at times.

But in spite of the many trials and tribulations, it has been a very rewarding journey. Until today this is a successful business, which has granted me an abundance of experience and knowledge of Indonesia, the country I now call home. I continue learning and enjoying every tour on board. Every time we sail to a new area for an exploratory cruise, I still experience the thrill that brought me here on the first place…

Trailer Ondinesia

  • Length overall: 32 metres
  • Beam: 8 m.
  • Draft: 2,70 m.
  • Engine: MAN 400 hp.
  • Cruising speed: 8 knots
  • Diesel tanks: 10 tons (1.500 nautical miles range)
  • Generators: Mitsubishi 30 kW x 2 and Isuzu 20 kW.
  • Crew: 12 + guides
  • Accommodation: 16 guests in 8 A/C double cabins with en-suite bathroom.
  • Water capacity: 10.000 litres + watermaker
  • Compressors: Two Bauer Mariner and Atlas Copco Nitrox compressor with filling station.
  • Chase boats: 2 x 4,80 m rib (rigid inflatable boat) with 40 hp Yamaha off-board engines.
  • Electronics: Radar, GPS-Plotter and Echo-sounder, all by Furuno.
  • Communication system: SSB all band, VHF-GMDSS and hand-held VHF radios, all by Furuno. Thuraya sat-phone.