Over the last few days we did some last souvenir shopping, found some foods that are hard to find in Malaysia, prepared the boat, cleared out of customs, paid the marina, and finally left Singapore yesterday morning. We had a mostly uneventful motoring trip for about 6 hours from Singapore back to Malaysia. Boats are not allowed to sail in the Singapore channel. This is a reasonable requirement since there is so much shipping traffic and sailing boats cause different rules for navigation that would complicate things.
There were certainly a lot of boats out there. The chart above shows a sample of moving boats for just one section of the Singapore channel – with Singapore at the top and Indonesia below. The little triangles are the boat/ships and show the direction. And the lines show the possible paths and indicate the speed. On the chart we can click on each triangle and get more details about the speed, direction, size, name, and how close they will approach our boat. We can set up automatic alarms if there is a possible collision. There were far more ships at anchor to the west of here, where the shipping port is located, and just as many targets moving in that area.
There had been monsoons for the past several days, but we were very fortunate and no storms appeared on our trip yesterday. The day before, when I went to Singapore customs, there was a really scary flash-bang lightning storm in the downtown area of Singapore. I just barely made it to the office before a very strong monsoon rain storm arrived. But, we were lucky on the passage over. It was very hot though, so I fired up the generator and we used the boat’s A/C to keep the cabin cool while we motored over.
We successfully dodged all the boats and ships, and continued motoring our way up the river to the marina where we stayed before at Puteri Harbour. Because we know the marina so well, and they had the same slip available for us, we were soon tied up, got our power hooked up, and signed up for the marina. They took Karen and I in a van to the immigration office in the port about 15 km away and got us cleared in. Then the driver dropped us off at a phone store so we could top up our phones and get them working again. We were basically all settled within 2 hours. Nice!
It was good to be on the move a bit again even if we weren’t able to sail. We have some unknowns facing us with regards to our travel plans and the boat work we need to arrange. We need to find a boatyard, preferably in Malaysia, that can handle lifting our wide catamaran. I have one candidate up the coast in Pangkor that our friends on s/v LeuCat just used. The new sails for Tahina are supposedly done already in South Africa. We need to arrange for shipment for the sails and I’m waiting on quotes.