The legend of Sri Tanjung

The legend of Bali sailing catamaran Sri Tanjung and how Banyuwangi received it’s name

You may notice on this blog that there is an advertisement for sailing tours around Bali’s Island’s on the beautiful Catamaran Sri Tanjung.

Sri Tanjung Sail Bali Islands
Sri Tanjung Sail Bali Islands

You may also notice that it states at the bottom of the page the article is a paid for advertisement.

This statement is true but in the tradition of full disclosure and with the intention of being totally honest.  I want to mention that I have had a little bit of history with this wonderful vessel.

Years ago and back when I had more hair and less of a paunch than I have now. And when the sailing catamaran Sri Tanjung was known by a different name. I was invited to spend a few days aboard on a journey from Semarang in Central Java to Banyuwangi on the Eastern tip of Java.

Cruising on the Sailing Catamaran Sri Tanjung Bali
Somewhere in Indonesia

This short adventure took nine days and although it may sound like the journey of a lifetime it turned out a little harrowing on a couple of occasions.

Cruising on the Sailing Catamaran Sri Tanjung Bali
Sailing along the coast of Java

At one stage of the journey we were nearly boarded by what we thought were Indonesian Pirates. About ten of these guys pulled alongside in a large fishing boat and they demanded to come aboard.

Cruising on the Sailing Catamaran Sri Tanjung Bali
This is a different boat but the guy in the middle is not one to mess with.

Luckily for us our mechanic was a burly guy from New Guinea and after he showed them the size of the Sid-chrome Spanner he was holding in his melon sized fist they had a sudden change of mind.

Cruising on the Sailing Catamaran Sri Tanjung Bali
Storm blowing in somewhere off Java, few hours later I would be too busy to hold a camera.

Then one evening we were hit by a large tropical storm that blew up  around midnight and I remember being very happy that I was on a fifty foot Catamaran that was purpose built for ocean sailing.

Cruising on the Sailing Catamaran Sri Tanjung Bali
Tropical Storm

I will not bore you with the details of how I clung to my bucket and my bunk and I screamed like a little girl with every crash of thunder or any lightening strike that nearly hit the mast.

Cruising on the Sailing Catamaran Sri Tanjung Bali
Off the coast of Java somewhere the morning after.

Suffice to say like a lot of things in South East Asia this story does have a happy ending.

We did make it to Banyuwangi and when we were safely harbored in this small port town right on the tip of Java and just across from Bali. I was lucky enough to hear the mythological story of how Banyuwangi received its unusual name.

Sailing Catamaran Sri Tanjung Bali
Sri Tanjung and her famously seductive wink

The stories differ but one local legend of Banyuwangi is that a young woman was accused of being unfaithful by her husband and she dove into the  river to escape his wrath.

Sail Bali Islands

The story states that moments after she hit the surface she merged with the river and the water became crystal clear and beautifully fragrant.

The young woman was never seen again and the towns people decided she had been wrongly accused by her husband.

The woman became known as Sri Tanjung and the husband was banished from the village for falsely accusing her of adultery.

The story is a mythological one and it is used to explain how Banyuwangi, which means fragrant water in Javanese, received its name. But if Sri Tanjung is christened after the woman in the story then it is a perfect name for such a stunningly beautiful vessel.

Cruising on the Sailing Catamaran Sri Tanjung Bali
Cruising somewhere off the Java coast

When we were not battling storms or pirates Sri Tanjung merged with the sparkling ocean and she cruised effortlessly like some type of mythological water princess. She was a pleasure to sail aboard and I for one could smell the warm tropical fragrance rising up from the crystal clear water as we cruised down the Java Coast.

Read More: Sail Bali Islands

Read more: Catamaran Captain Prevents Catastrophe

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