Belitung to Singapore Day 3 - Up to the north of Pulau Batam
Position 01:08.88 N 103:57.66 E
Date 1715 (UTC+8) Wednesday 25 November 2015
Distance run In 10hrs 35mins 65 nm over the ground, 66nm though the water
Trip total 334nm over the ground, 343nm through the water
Our approach to Singapore Island which is at the top of the chart. All of the islands to the south are part of Indonesia
There were a number of options for the day. As we had cleared out of Indonesia officially in Belitung which avoided the problems of the Nongsa Marina which is rather expensive and prone to delay, so we understand, ‘all’ we had to do was to position ourselves for the next morning’s dash across the very busy Singapore Straits.
We had two options. Option 11 was to follow Flomaida’s route to the west through a slightly complicated passage to a known anchorage – this is the blue line. The alternative was to take the deep water channel north and find an anchorage somewhere on the north of Pulau Batam.
The decision was made for us when we got tour first waypoint, marked Benan NE, when the wind kicked in from the North West at 15 knots plus that put the westerly route dead into the wind and building sea. The east route is was and we had a few hours brisk sailing before the wind dropped and headed us to put us back into motor boat mode.
All of the shipping that comes from our part of the South China Sea seems to use this approach to Singapore and the busy refineries and shipyards that line the coast of the Indonesia Islands. We had not expected so much industry.
We eventually found an anchorage off Patam Mentaram, shown on the chart, amongst what appeared to be abandoned, or deeply resting, merchant ships within view of Singapore 9nm across the Straits.
In addition to merchant ships and towed barges the scenery was livened up by local Indonesian trading boats.
Singapore in the mist across the Straits from Patam Mentaram