Tue 12 Apr 2011 09:25
Tuesday, 12 April
Current Location: Raffles Marina, Singapore 01:20.576N 103:38.025
You worry about storms, shipwreck, falling overboard, and what finally trips you up is a slippery step on the shore. Arrived here from Malaysia last Friday, having no wish to pass further time in the Marina in Johor Bahru, and despite discovering that the facility there is actually free. But the marina itself was hot and airless, and the shoreside facilities non existant. The Marina Office was a real hole in the wall, with no windows, clutter and dirt everywhere. There were some loos: one WC and originally two urinal stalls. In response to complaints about lack of showers they had uprooted one of the urinals, and connected the water supply to a shower head: a new meaning to the term 'installation'!! So there you are standing showering in the alltogether, and a bloke comes in, starts peeing half a metre away, and you chat about the weather. No, not my scene. I have to say that the staff were excelIent, Veronica, a local Malay, and huge Ron, an Australain, living in the Marina on his boat. But it reminded me, yet again, of the NHS: its free, so what do you expect? I was also a bit miffed to discover that Johor's main tourist attraction, the Sultans Palace, now a museum, was closed for twelve months renovation.
So a trouble free day trip accross to Singapore, and the luxury of Raffles Marina: now up to 16 GBP per day, but air con WiFi lounge, and super everything else to match.
Several boat tasks to complete: still concerned about my leaky chainplate fixings, and made a good start on this on Sunday. Sunday night I walked out of the Marina building carrying my computer and washbag; it had rained, and my crocs slipped on the top of a flight of wet marble steps. Both feet seemed to fly forwards, then the descent began, and I Ianded with my right lower ribs striking the edge of the top step. I think I could feel rather than hear the crack of bone, and for sometime it was so painful that all I could do was cry out. Faces gathered overhead, it was time to get up: I do remember standing and then the pain had gone and I was in quite a pleasant dream: I can never remember my dreams, but this was one which I was reluctant to leave for the harsh reality of the wet stone floor outside the marina, and a now growing circle of faces. I sat up, and was back in dreamland, and a third time. Then, I managed to think about it a bit. Pulse 60, so fainting rather than exsanguinating? Head doesn't hurt so not brain damaged? We get ambulance! No! Finally I got them to help me onto the golf carts that they use to ferry people around and take me back to the boat. They (the night security staff) were so very kind and helpful: I had caught both elbows as I reflexed my fall, and they were bleeding and swollen: these are the things that attract attention, and the contents of their first aid kit was laid at my disposal. Some crepe bandages were good for the swelling.
Initially I seemed to recover well, It was painful, but I was hungry, and I cooked some vegetables. I even thought about a beer, but then decided against it. It wasn't until I tried to lower myself into my bunk that I realised that this was going to be a significant problem. Wedged in finally, but woke frequently, and pleased to get up. Passed a lovely claret first thing, very disconcerting, but why shouldn't my kidney be a bit bruised, everything else was? Anyway plenty of paracetamol, plenty to drink, deep breathing exercises (cheated) and we survived the day. Slept a bit better last night, haematuria settled, and I've just been to the shops on the bus. Sore as we bounced up and down, and I limp along as I walk. Getting over the boats guardrail is not as difficult as getting into bed. Getting out of bed is the worst, but best if you roll off, onto all fours on the floor. Probably deosn't look too elegant to passers by, but as we are are no longer installed in Johor Bahru, I don't think that there are any!
So, I anticipate that it will be a couple of weeks before I get my Indonesian cruising permit, and hopefully I will be able to sail the boat by then. Incidentally the computer landed on top of the washbag, and escaped unharmed!