Guys, naked, sailing on a traditional wooden vessel through the Flores Sea. Free, and honest, and fun. True camaraderie. A once-in-a-lifetime experience, this is. A dream that can be fulfilled. Or maybe just something that’ll make great memories...
Sailing amongst islands that change at any given point of the year, you’ll see nature in progress. From April and May and June, the islands are a lush green. July and September see a more dry and barren – yet equally stunning – savannah-covered vista, contrasting nicely with the water. Later in October the green returns in striking patches, and from then until March, nature works hard creating new life again. Meanwhile, with year-round temperatures in the 80s, and turquoise-blue water that never feels cold, you’re in a perfect climate to shed your clothes.
The mood’s relaxed. Some guys are in shorts or sarongs or speedos; some are nude. And the crew’s adept but mellow, in an island-fashion typical in this part of the world – replete with an overlay of Southeast Asian politeness. This isn’t just the way to travel. This is the way to be.
Don't miss the orange globe go down, and the sky miraculously change, literally second by second. Everything happens slower here in the islands… even the sky colors last long after the sun’s dropped over the horizon. These are, you realize, the sunsets of your life. And this is the time to let loose.
Later, it’s nighttime. Post-dinner. Really night. Really dark. A man’s night. The deck’s got a few men doing what men do when the stars are out and the water’s calm and they’re naked together. The cabins have their own energy: this one is quiet, one of the guys is reading in it. That one’s got a little party of its own kind. My buddy on the trip has chosen to sleep in ours. And without judgement or too much analysis, the vibe’s free and relaxed in a way we just can’t seem to get on land.
Amongst literally thousands of islands – Indonesia’s archipelago boasts nearly 17,000 pieces of land surrounded by water – many are uninhabited, and many are small. Glancing around, you can see craggy rocks, sensuous hills, and mountains – all surrounded by a mix of seas. The sparkling sun reflects off them, and wildlife appears at the strangest times (think flying fish, flying foxes, and bright blue kingfishers flying fast from the trees). As striking as it is wild, the land and the sea and the air and the light all combine to create a spectacular landscape. And the all-male environment turns it into a man’s landscape. You’re in a place where a man can escape.
And there’s many ways to do so:
• Reading – our books or yours
• Nature viewing
• Chatting with others
• Learning the local language
• Getting massaged
• Getting your body hair shaved
• Learning Sailing Knots
• Sharing meals with new friends
Our exact itineraries vary on length of trip. For our 4 day trips, you can expect to see:
Other-worldly Komodo Dragons
Oversized monitor lizards, these carnivorous, other-worldly beings are truly amazing. And they’re endemic to the island of Komodo, which was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO about thirty years ago. Easily the largest lizard on earth, Komodo Dragons can grow up to 10 feet, yet no one knows exactly why. Some theorize it’s due to the biological effect known as Island Gigantism: no other carnivorous animals fill the niche on the islands where they live. Others say they’re a relict of prehistoric lizards from Australia, most of which died out after the Pleistocene era, due to human activity. Yet almost everyone agrees: there’s nothing on the planet like them.
Beaches – stunning, private, and quiet
Indonesian islands form an intricate coastline that’s the fourth longest in the world. Being so extensive, it’s characterized by coral reefs, deposits from volcanoes, and rich marine biodiversity. The islands we visit make up the driest climate in the country. The combination of effects create a rare form of beach: relatively dry, surrounded with endemic plants and cliffs that create visual privacy. Coral reefs form simple white or yellow sand beaches. Wave action in the waters is largely generated by local winds, which are gentle in the equatorial zone - perfect for swimming and snorkeling.
Thermo-regulating Flying Foxes
With a habitat ranging from Africa to Southeast Asia and Australia, these bats - with faces that look like foxes - are the largest bats on earth. Think: Six foot wingspans... yet that’s not all that keeps them from being your average bats. Living in large colonies, these “megabats” use sight, rather than echo-location, to navigate. And, they have an excellent sense of smell. It’s phenomenal to see them head out at night, searching for fruit - their dietary staple. They’ve evolved to thermo-regulate, as the trees get really hot at times. Sometimes you can even see them during the day, roosting in large numbers, flapping their wings.
The Coral Triangle – greatest diversity on earth
Although it makes up less than 2% of Earth’s oceans, the Coral Triangle encapsulates 75% of all known coral species in the world. There’s seven species of marine turtles on our planet - and six of them are found in the Coral Triangle. Imagine a place with a staggering biodiversity that includes peacefully-gliding manta rays, the world’s largest extent of mangroves, over 3,000 different species of reef fish, and 500 species of reef-building corals. Nothing short of spectacular.
The breathtaking, picturesque Padar Island
Green mountains surrounded by three turquoise bays? Sure, it sounds lovely. But Padar Island has a surreal quality, due to the different colored sand in each one of its bays - one’s white, one’s black, and one’s pink. To see ‘em, we’ll go early, while the sun’s still low. A thirty minute hike up, and you’re in one of the most picturesque places on the planet. Yep - guaranteed.
Namo Island, with its rare red beach
Get this: there’s less than ten beaches on the entire planet that have red beaches. The pink-red color comes from foraminifera, single-celled organisms. Funny that most people don’t know them; they’ve been on earth for the last 540 million years. It’s the shells of these guys, that churn up on only a few select beaches in the world. And it’s a very small number of guys on the planet who can actually see them. Join the club.
Rangko Cave – literally, a tropical wonderland
Enter a swimming hole inside a cavern. Crystal clear water, that seems to light up electric turquoise when the sunlight enters through the mouth of the cave. Play with our voices as they echo off the walls. Swim, cliff jump, or just hang out in a stalagmite-filled tropical wonderland.
We sail on a “Pinisi” boat – a large wooden sailing ship, made completely without nails, in the traditional Bugis style. Pinisi have been made this way for at least 1,500 years, by craftsmen on the southern part of the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. In 2017, UNESCO designated these ships as an art of “Intangible Cultural Heritage.” They last forever, because they’re made so well. Neglected, they suffer, like any sailing vessel. But take care of one, and it’s a gem...
Our actual craft was built in 2015. The ship has preserved its traditional ambience, but offers modern, clean and safe spaces. Take a private room, or share with other guys: it’s up to you. With plenty of space for naked and non-naked times, the ship’s an ideal spot for men to enjoy each other – mind, body and soul. Expect five to eight other men who are guests, plus Max and Dave, and our four man crew. At a minimum there will be 12 men on the vessel; at a maximum there will be 15 men on board.
• Four air conditioned sleeping cabins
• Three bathrooms with hot and cold fresh water showers
• Quality bedsheets, blankets, and large thirsty towels
• Four expansive decks equipped with sun loungers, beanbags, and wooden chairs
• Two dining areas – one indoors, one outdoors
• A fully functioning galley kitchen
The crew on our Phinisi are ideal. They are friendly, low-key, accepting, and most important, good at what they do. We’ve got a captain, a cook, a room boy, and an engineer. All four of them go with us on each excursion. Friendly, open-minded, and all local inhabitants from the island of Flores, these guys work well together, as one efficient team.
Cabin One: Below deck. One double bed that can be split into two separate beds, plus one twin bed. In-room access to private toilet, sink, and hot water shower. Safe in room. Two side windows that open. 3 people in this room; can be purchased for 2 people at additional charge.
Cabin Two: Below deck. One double bed that can be split into two separate beds. Separate private toilet, sink, and hot water shower outside room. Safe in room, one porthole that opens. 2 people in this room; can be purchased for 1 person at additional charge.
Cabin Three: Below deck. One twin bed that can be split into two separate beds. Separate private toilet, sink, and hot water shower outside room. No safe in room, but there is one to use outside of room in hallway. Has two portholes – one on either side of the ship that open. 2 people in this room; can be purchased for 1 person at additional charge.
Cabin Four: Above deck. Two berths, one above the other. Separate private toilet, sink, and hot water shower outside room. No safe in room. Windows do not open, but door is sliding. 2 people in this room; can be purchased for 1 person at additional charge.
• Three meals per day on boat
• Free flow soft drinks, mineral water, Juice-of-the-Day, coffee, tea
• Free flow beer, wine, arak, vodka, gin, whisky, and rum
• Fruits – any time of day or night
• All linens, including towels
• Services of a Western Group Leader on boat
• Services of Captain and Crew
• National Park access fees
• Wifi access
• Body shaving services
• Snorkeling gear and instruction
• Life jackets
• Transfer from your hotel to boat marina on first day.
• Dinner in town on night 6
• Tips, if you choose to give gratuity to the crew.
• There are many ways to fly in to the country of Indonesia, for example through islands like Java, Sumatra, Sulawesi, or Bali. We recommend Bali for several reasons: it’s very proficient in handling travelers arriving from all over the world, it’s got great proximity to the island of Flores, and it has several daily flight departures between the two islands. Moreover, a lot of guys like to spend some time in Bali, too. A roundtrip flight from Bali to Flores is fairly cheap.
• Once you land in Flores, we’ll meet you at the airport and transfer you directly to your hotel, one day before the ship sails.
• The next day, you can either go to the dock in Labuan Bajo and meet us there, at the boat. Or, let us pick you up from your hotel – your choice.
We request that all travelers come in the day before our departure, and stay in a Labuan Bajo hotel. Recommendations for hotels are sent in our pre-departure materials.
Not much. We’ve aimed to make things all-inclusive on the boat, so that while you’re free of clothes, you’re also free of costs.
• The only other thing to anticipate as a cost is tips – but only if you desire to give any to the crew. Suggested range of tips for the whole crew – US$60 – $120.
• We offer a mix of local dishes and Western meals. Local dishes are mostly noodle and rice-based, with vegetables and meat or fish. It’s a good opportunity to try new foods and new flavors – think coconut milk, tofu and tempe, peanut sauces, and even hot chilis, if you desire. Western foods are European or American-based. We provide three meals a day, and there’s always enough food for everyone. Plus, you can expect fresh Juice-of -the-Day, and island fruits available, all the time. Also coffee, tea, and water. Forget about junk food: imagine eating healthy, delicious, fresh food, for the entire time you’re on the boat!
• Note, while alcohol is fine to drink on the ship, we ask that you bring your own adult beverages of choice.
• While we can’t cater to specific diets, should you have certain food preferences or needs, we’re happy to try and accommodate such.
• The boat is equipped with Wifi. Although internet access can occasionally go down in this part of the world, it usually comes back up rather quickly.
• Cell reception varies like on any body of water. Having said that, the country has a very strong telecommunications network. You may want to arrange an international calling plan that best suits your needs, with your cell phone provider before you leave. Alternatively, you can buy a SIM card in Indonesia (they’re cheap and easy to obtain), and use a local number for calls.
• You will get your own bed, unless of course you are coming on the trip with someone else and want to share a bed. In some cases, larger beds will have a foam divider, giving each guy his own space. There are a limited number of smaller single beds on the boat, so if that’s important to you, please enquire about space availability before booking.
• Three of the four bedrooms on ship are planned to be shared by 2 men, whether a couple, or “friends-who-just-haven’t-met-yet.” If that’s absolutely not your speed, you can get a single room, but there will be a surcharge for that. Please enquire for that rate, as it will vary based on room availability with any given departure.
• The fourth bedroom on the ship has two beds, one larger than the other, and is designed for three men.
We have three separate bathrooms. They’re modern, they’re private – and all are equipped with sinks and spacious hot freshwater showers. Well-appointed, cleaned daily, and replete with fresh towels and soap.
Definitely. We can suggest a few add-on experiences that are our guests favorites:
• Spend time in Bali, either before or after the sailing trip. Length and activities can be tailored to your desire. People commonly spend anywhere from a few days to three weeks on the Island of the Gods. Activities can include yoga, surfing, visiting the LGBT neighborhood known as Seminyak, learning about the arts and culture, or delving into the spiritual elements offered on the island.
• Scuba diving excursions are available from the islands of Flores, Lombok, or Bali. We can arrange various lengths and locales, so please talk to us about these.
• We can arrange a local guide and/or driver for you.
For most people, the answer to this is simple: just a valid passport and a valid return airline ticket. But read these details, please:
• Your passport must have an expiration date that’s at least six months AFTER the first day you enter Indonesia. Your airline ticket will need to be for onward travel, showing that you’ll be leaving Indonesia in the future.
• Although unlikely, you may also be asked to show that you have adequate funds in a bank account.
• Most travelers are eligible for a “Visa on Arrival” – meaning that when coming into the country, Immigration will grant you a free visa, good for a 30-day stay. Although this option exists for nearly 90% of the countries in the world, there are a few countries with which Indonesia restricts travel, and so a visa arranged beforehand would then be necessary. Because of that, you’ll want to confirm your specific situation with a visa agent or embassy in your home country, beforehand.
• When on the plane, a flight attendant will give you a customs form to fill out, which you’ll turn in as you exit the airport on arrival. It will ask you to list an address for where you’ll be staying, and you should list the hotel you’ll be in on your first night.
Men. We welcome men of all orientations: gay, straight, bisexual, questioning… men of all ages… men of all shapes and sizes… and men of all nationalities. Our average age is around 45, but we’ve had participants from 21-75 years old, and from every background imaginable. This is an experience of men coming together in camaraderie, to sail around islands in the buff (and at times, clothed, too) – to experience a greater sense of freedom than what they normally encounter in everyday life. We know that guys from every decade have something to contribute, to form an amazing voyage. From beauty and muscles and flesh and eye candy, to experience and depth and knowledge and humor, it’s our firm belief that every man is interesting on some level. Indeed, different backgrounds and life experiences are what makes each of our trips unique, and we hope that everyone – from recent college graduates to grandfathers – will join us for these memorable experiences.
No. These are Clothing-Optional trips. We know that no matter how “free” they are, most men can experience an even greater sense of freedom – in mind, body, and yes, with their clothes. If that means, for you, just having an extra button opened on your shirt, then do that – it’s a valid step. Or perhaps for you, it’s about going shirtless. Or showing off that speedo. Certainly, others will be completely naked, and feel comfortable in that way. We’re all about personal freedom, without any pressure to do what others are doing.
Actually, we don’t expect you to do anything. If you want to recline in the sun, or chat with the other guys, or keep your eyes peeled for Komodo dragons or flying fish or other wildlife – that’s totally up to you. It’s your own unique adventure, so we want you to choose whatever you want to do. However, if you’re interested in sailing, our crew will be happy to integrate you in the ways of anchoring, tightening a knot, hoisting the sails, or anything else nautical.
While we can’t give you a 100% “no” on this, it’s quite rare for a person to get seasick in this part of the world, on this sort of vessel. Partly due to the size and structure of the boat, and mostly due to the calm waters. We sail around a collection of scattered islands. They create a natural barrier that breaks down the rough waters from the Indian Ocean in the south and the Flores Sea in the north. The result is that we’re moving in relatively tranquil waters.
Having said that, it’s been theorized that seasickness can even come from… worrying about seasickness. So if it’s a concern of yours now, it might be wise to bring some motion sickness medicine with you. It’s small enough to carry along, and you’ll have peace of mind. You’ll probably end up bringing it home with you – which would actually be a good thing, right?
Bring comfortable shoes for walking or trekking, if you’d like to explore any of the islands on foot. Waterproof sunscreen. And a swimsuit for when we’re near others – although we’ll have baskets on the ship with sarongs to grab, for a quick cover-up, should another boat pass by. Payment on the islands is mostly on a cash basis – so make sure you bring enough cash in Rupiah (the local currency). Overall, pack lightly – you won’t be needing many changes of clothes! Soft or hard luggage is fine; we have storage space under most beds for such.