Satonda: kayak on a crater lake

Satonda island in Indonesia has a freshwater crater lake

Off the north coast of Sumbawa and in the Flores Sea, there is an island called Satonda. When you look at it on a map, it’s not very big (it measures just three by two kilometers), yet it rises more than 1000 meters from the sea bed.

Satonda is an island created by a volcano, something that’s very obvious when you see it on a map: there, just off-center, is a large crater lake and what’s interesting here is that the water in the lake is salty.

Scientists say that initially it would have been a freshwater lake, but that it became salty after a nearby volcano, Mounta Tambora, erupted in 1815. According to this website the Tambora eruption, which is 30km away from Satonda, left the atmosphere polluted with dust for many years. It caused eight weeks of rainfall in the UK, which triggered a typhus epidemic that killed 65,000 people, and resulted in crop failure in China, Europe and Ireland. It’s likely that the Tambora erupted created a tsunami, which filled the 70-meter-deep lake with salt water.

Satonda is relatively close to the Komodo archipelago, and Dunia Baru often stops here with guests when we have a charter. Our crew takes some of the yacht’s water toys – standup paddle boards and kayaks – across to the lake, and it’s a favorite place for guests to explore.



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