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09 December 2009

Nongsa (Batam) to Singapore

Hello One And All

We left Nongas Point Marina in Indonesia on the 25th November, a beautiful Marina come Resort with all the modern facilities one could wish for at a fraction of the price we would pay back home or for that matter in any so called western country. It was like arriving at a luxurious Resort on the French Rivera where “Mr Average” just could not afford to stay. From there we negotiated our way across the Singapore strait either crossing in front of or behind ships, with only one humongous, giant, enormous, super super size tanker bearing down on us with a slight threat to run us down, and that was one of the few times I am found yelling at Alex to step on the gas, which of course he was doing, before we ended up as a statistic of the Straits Shipping.
Once safely across you are now passing between so many moored ships[hundreds sit out here on Singapore’s short coastline] which are waiting for something, or being refuelled before carrying on their journey. Next came the requirement of clearing in through customs. This one is a little out of the ordinary. You are given long and latitude coordinates and once you arrive at those you then call customs up on you VHF radio then sit and wait for them to come alongside. We were out in the middle of a big bay just outside the shipping lanes! Then you wait for the Customs/Immigration launch. You then place your passports and other documents into a fish net which they are holding out and collect forms from the net which you fill in and are passed back in this net. This all takes about 20 minutes or so and that is your customs part done. A little different. Once in Singapore we still had to visit the Port Authorities to finish proceedings and pay port fees. Just a few dollars. Our visa for Singapore was two weeks and we anchored off the Changi Yacht Club for that period while waiting for parts to arrive, doing jobs which took us to every corner of Singapore and waiting for Ken and Bridget – our crew for the run up to Thailand – to arrive. We had met Ken and Bridget at one of the Auckland Boat Shows and then visited them in their beautiful Lockwood holiday home up on the Island of Aore just opposite Luganville – Vanuatu. They also own a catamaran.

Singapore was fun. It is clean and very efficiently run. People were great and really went out of their way to help us. We caught up with Wendy Baker who is living in Singapore and was marvellous at heading us off in the right direction and giving us tips on the running of things. We also had a lovely meal out with her. Many thanks Wendy for your help and time. Their transport system is fabulous and we used their rapid rail to get around everywhere. Also taxis were wonderfully cheap. When Bridget and Ken arrived Bridget and I were able to explore the shopping centres so I got my ‘shopping fix’. We also stocked up on supplies. Near the Changi Yacht Club is the Changi Museum . Well worth a visit - dedicated to all who were in Singapore during World War II. This was a very moving experienc.

As I said Singapore was fun but it is time to move on again and visit other places.  So will sign out for this post.

Lots of love from            

The Admiral and The Captain
 
And our New Crew

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