how much money do we make from youtube

Life In an Idyllic Anchorage: Gili Asahan

In this week’s episode, we give you a glimpse into our life at anchor in idyllic Asahan. And we talk about how much money we make from YouTube.

Our favourite anchorage?

Every once in a while we stumble upon an anchorage that’s so comfortable, so beautiful and so protected it becomes our second home. With its wildlife, white beach and flat water, it’s difficult to leave Asahan.

We ended up staying here through circumstance, specifically to see out an unfavourable season of north westerly squalls.

The island isn’t on the path to anywhere, you have to seek it out; it’s for those of us who need a place to rest, or a safe haven in any wind. Cruisers in the area know its location, and yet it remains far enough off the beaten track for few of them to spend much time here. For those that come, it means tranquil days and an unhurried lifestyle.

Unusually for us, we took a mooring laid by the island’s village council. We tend to avoid moorings as a rule, but these are maintained by local man Ardi and we were able to take a known secure spot close in to shore. In fact, we felt so safe here, we left the boat for a few days under Ardi’s watchful eye while we went off to Kuala Lumpur for a long weekend.

The one mosque on the island isn’t used for the morning call to prayer, so instead we enjoyed being woken up by a chorus of birds and insects ashore, just 100m away.

Morning Routine

Early morning is the best time of day to appreciate this spot in the south west of Lombok, and we quickly got into a routine, something else we rarely manage when moving about and cruising.

I’d get up before first light to take the short trip ashore in one of our kayaks. Knowing that Jamie would be following later, I’d leave the kayak with its nose pointing in the direction I’d be walking, so Jamie knew where I’d gone that day.

Those walks, once or sometimes twice a day depending on the tide, were times for introspection; I guess they call it mindfulness these days.

Terebra subulata (Linnaeus, 1767) Vernacular: sundial


It was during our time in Asahan that beach-combing became my obsession.

Shells in particular were a fascination, and I began to collect them with purpose. Once I was told to “leave the shells on the beach” by a tourist, a sentiment I agree with by the way. But what he didn’t know was that I measure, identify and photograph my shells, then put them BACK in the water.

Lambis scorpius (Linnaeus, 1758) Vernacular: scorpion conch

With Jamie’s supervision, I set up a work station on SY Esper to use the ‘focus stacking’ feature on his Panasonic GM5. It allows me to achieve a clear image with a deep depth of field. Apart from keeping a record of what I found, I’m hoping to use these images in a few art projects I have planned for the future…

Terebra subulata (Linnaeus, 1767) Vernacular: chocolate spotted auger

But I didn’t just find shells; there are sponges, coral, seeds, sea-worn roots or branches and all sorts of nick-nacks in the intertidal zone. I was privileged to save a washed-up baby octopus who squirted me with ink when I released him into deeper water; and I had a hand in saving any number of animals stranded in the dry, hot sand, including a struggling sea hare and all kinds of sea snails.

Maretia planulata (Lamarck, 1816) Vernacular: sea biscuit

Once, a sea-krait slithered across my path out of the waves and into the shadows of the rocks, a much less intimidating experience than Jamie’s when he found one brushing against his leg in Esper’s cockpit one night!

But our morning routine really revolved around kayaking to one of the few resorts for jugs of Lombok coffee and sometimes fresh teh jahe (ginger tea). The pleasure here was spending time with a few other cruisers, caught in the same situation as us.

Under the dappled light of tropical trees in the Amahelia Resort garden, we’d chew the fat and discuss other boats as they came and went across the bay. We’d arrange provisioning trips into town with local man, Sapi, who drove us on a two hour journey each way to Mataram, Lombok’s capital. This required Aris, brother-in-law of Ardi, to ferry us across the bay in his spider boat, affectionately known as the Batmobile because of the transfer stickers on its wooden dodger.

We were well looked after by the local people of Asahan, in particular the staff at Amahelia like Hendra, Tony and Habibi. Most of the villagers are Javanese settlers who moved to lesser populated islands across the country during Indonesia’s transmigration programme, an initiative to move landless or poor people from densely populated areas to less populous islands.


Having all this spare time allowed Jamie to play more with his photography too, pushing his creative skills to find subjects to photograph on an island only half a mile wide.

Check out his photography website, Jamie Furlong Photography, for examples of his work.

With more than a handful of cameras on board, not to mention some lenses that rarely see the light of day, it was an opportunity to experiment without the pressure of passage planning, boat maintenance and video editing.

Those early morning walks and the late afternoon strolls provided great light, albeit with scant human presence. For the nerds among you, the cameras used in the video (linked below) are the Sony full-frame A7C, the aps-c censored Fujifilm XE2s, as well as one of his micro-four third Panasonic cameras, the GM5.

It was a wrench to leave our own private hideaway, but the real world wanted us back, and we left with happy memories of having made friends forever.

There’s a middle section in our latest episode, below, which shows you more of the idyllic island of Gili Asahan.

And we spill the beans on how much we actually get paid by YouTube…

If you like our content and would like to support us, we will give you ad-free access to our videos before they go live to the public, discounts in our shop, access to Jamie’s iconic full-res photographs, and supporter-only blog posts. Click our ugly mugs for more info!

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