Miri to Singapore is 659 nautical miles. It
turned out to be quite a tiring trip as 250 miles from Miri we came across a 38
foot (about) Indonesian boat with a broken engine and 5 guys on board.
They did not speak any English, so we couldn't establish where they were from
and where they were going, but they indicated they wanted to go the same way as
we were going, so we took them in tow and towed them for about 150 nautical
miles. I think they were heading for Batam Island, which is an
Indonesian island about 20 miles south of Singapore.
There is a 1 to 2 knot current in the opposite
direction, so between that and the tow, it took us 5.5 days instead of 4 to
4.5. We also started to run a bit low on fuel so on Saturday at 10
a.m. when we were 100 miles out we contacted the Singapore Port
Authorities on the satellite phone. They were very helpful and contacted
the Indonesian Navy who at 3 p.m. sent a navy boat out to us and we
rendevoused at 10 p.m. on Saturday night 60 miles from Horsburgh Light which is
at the approaches to Singapore.
The Indonesian skipper spoke excellent English and
he and his crew were very professional. They took the tow from us and
headed off towards Batam, and we continued to Singapore.
Hazards of the South China Sea...oil rigs and a
completed palm tree floating head up. The radar amazingly picked up the
palm tree 3 miles out
Another visitor who spent the night
Beginning the tow
Reefed down in 18/22 knots, still doing 7 knots
through the water and giving our tow a bumpy ride
I had my mooring lines in a bridle to their tow
rope. Their rope broke 3 times, so had to circle round and
The Singapore Maritime Port Authority in addition
to be fantastically efficent organising help to take our tow kept excellent
communication and looked after us really well. Here is MPA 5 come to
escort us to Raffles Marina
Captain Kevin Wong delivers a letter from the
Director of the MPA.....
... and a fantastic bouquet of Singapore
... and some very kind words. It's all karma,
could be us next time!