Saturday 16th October 2010
Thank goodness we made an
early start at 8am. We had a rough idea where to get off the bus to find the
terminal building to cross the border, but on enquiring with a fellow
passenger as we alighted, he told us to follow him as he was going the same
way to meet a friend. This guy (introduced himself as Mani) was a true
present sent from heaven it turned out! We got to the passport control, and
both Ollie and I were given a strange look, and asked where we had come from.
It suddenly dawned on me that we had not checkd into Malaysia yet, as we had
arrived too late the night before, and the immigration department had been
Mani and Valerie waiting for a bus at the fery terminal
were carted off to the immigration office, Mani followed us, realising that
he might be helpful, in fact he spoke better English than the immigration
officers, so it was very kind of him. The officials got their boss to come
and explain to us that we had to get our passports stamped at the ferry
terminal, as they did not have the correct one at their control office, but
first we would have to get the crew list to show them that we had indeed just
arrived from Indonesia on board a yacht! So back to the marina we went, and
Mani came too, so that he could show us where to get our passports stamped.
We couldn’t believe he would give us so much of his time. ‘
Don’t worry’, he said,’ if I help you, somebody else will
help me later. I was only going to see a friend in Singapore to ask him is
he could find me a job there. I can go again tomorrow, to do that, so today
I will stay with you to help you out’.
showed him round the boat whilst I sorted out the papers, and completely
forgot to tell him about the sticky glue rat trap – which he promptly
put his foot straight into! Then put his foot down on the carpet and got
stuck to that! At the same moment, David came back on board with a friend,
having just bought three heavy duty house batteries to replace those which
had given up the ghost in our battery bank. Chaos reigned! I pannicked
looking for some solvent to get the sticky glue off with whilst David was
wondering what the hell was going on, why were we back etc....? it was like
something out of a farce for a short while!
it took us until 1 p.m. finally to get to the ferry terminal, find out where
to get our passports stamped, wait for a bus back to the bus terminal and
back through immigration again. We most definately would not have done all that
without our acquired guide, Many! He was starving by the time we arrived in
Old Singapore, refusing to eat until we arrived, and he hadn’t even had
breakfast poor thing!
opted for an air conditioned Chinese restaurant, which was just great, as so
many Chinese eat out at the week-end with all their family, the place was
buzzing, and the food was simply delicious! Ollie was in heaven being able
to indulge in the most delicious pork dumplings which he’d not had
since Chinatown in London. But we nearly ended up having to do the dishes,
as neither of us had exchanged enough money into Singapore Dollars to pay for
it, and neither of our cards would work in their machines. Mani took Ollie
off to find an ATM whilst I waited, and thank goodness, he managed to get
Portuguese style town houses in Old Singapore
shaded arcades were a delight to walk through during the heat of the day
Deckers get about don’t they?
temple in Little India, Singapore
Aladin’s cave effect in the Indian Festival of Light market, Deepavali
was so exciting being part of the buzz and the noise of the Festival of
Light, Divali, after the quiet backwaters of Indonesia we had been visiting
walked to the nearest Metro station, and found our way to the Raffles Plaza,
buying an’oyster’ type card with a chip in it, which you put back
in the similar machine that you buy it from, at the end of your journey, and
get a dollar refund – great idea. Not only is the metro beautifully
clean and air conditioned, but also has the same ladies voice as we have in
London: ‘Mind the step’, but then a funny little jingle :
‘Enjoy your trip’, and every so often, it says:’ If you
find that someone looks suspicious, please ring the alarm bell’, and
there’s a poster saying the same thing, only the suspicious character
is wearing a bowler hat!
conditioned underground, what luxury!
it was time for sundowners when we got into the beautiful colonial Raffles
building so felt we had to have the famous Singapore Sling to quench our
thirst after delighting in a tour of the building, including the ballroom all
decked out for a wedding reception.
behind Raffles bar
The barman did a great job of offering me
his own concoction with a bit of Rum from Martinique, which was just
delicious, or maybe it was his smile?
but we didn’t dare have more than one
drink each, at 21Sing $ a time! We walked everywhere else to make up for it!
modern Singapore skyline beckoned, and we walked to the Marina Quay area,
where the big Ferris wheel and some most unusual buildings were, to watch the
sun go down and the lights come on, reflecting into the harbour
sat on the steps with Mani and watched, whilst eagles soared above, to catch
their last fish. Ollie took a walk over to the most amazing helix bridge
leading to the Art and Science museum is built within a stainless steel lotus
flower, close to three buildings joined at the top with a long boat, which is
in fact a huge Marina sands sky park, which is longer than the Eifel tower
lying on it’s side with copious amounts of bars and restaurants and
pools, surrounded by gardens giving a bird’s eye view of Singapore.
We’ll have to do that another time.
helix bridge to the Science Museum
Skyline Hotel with the long
boat containing a park and restaurant on top
And Lotus flower Science
show of lights included these Helium inflated jellyfish
tigers lit up to show the modern and old can come together in harmony
‘Merlion’ guarding Singapore waters
dance show in front of the Lotus Flower Science Museum
A walk over the bridge to see
the Merlion and back and watching the Thai dancing show at the podium on the
waters edge, gave us just enough time to enjoy a little snack at the
‘Hawkers’ Food stalls nearby, before heading back so as not to
miss the last bus back to the marina at 11p.m.!
people in the food court eating so many kinds of food, and the whaft of all
those oriental spices and sauces makes one just feel so hungry!
to our friend Mani, we were able to find the metro to the right stop to
catch a bus back to the border terminal again, and thence the bus back to the
marina by 11p.m., safe and sound.
poor David was already in bed. He’d had a very disappointing day, not
being able to get the generator to function any better with the new batteries
he had just bought. He spent all day working on the boat in all that heat
with no A/C whilst Ollie and I had enjoyed a great day out.
day, however, another yachtie neighbour told us about a very good engineer on
our dock, who was about to leave, but had to stay one more day. What a bit
of luck that was! His name was George, and he came on board immediately,
David had not even had time to have a wash and shave! They spent all day
analysing the problems that David had had, and worked out a solution to get
our engine alternator to charge our batteries again, Hurrah!
had not been working since beforwe we’d left our boat in Sydney 4 years
ago, and three other engineers had not been able to solve the problem, but
now we can continue our trip back to Phuket with an easier mind, knowing that
we have a Generator that starts properly (George fixed that too) and an
alternator that’s working! We should be arriving in Langkawi, which is
on the border with Thailand in about 7 days time.
Saturday 16th October 2010
No water or electricity on the dock which
we had hoped for to run the air conditioning, marina in a very unfinished
state, but IT'S FREE!! Spent day changing Fuel filters, watermaker filters, bought
and fitted new starter batteries for the engine & Generator. Gave
everything a check over. Discovered we could not but fuel here! Valerie
& Ollie went to Singapore for the day. Made contact with Puteri Harbour
Marina about 5 miles south from here where we could buy fuel. Discovered that
we had had a rat onboard two locker doors have been chewed. First time in all
the years we have been cruising.
Sunday 17th October 2010
0700 woke up to find that we had another
visit from Mr. Rat!! Generator would not start after buying the new
batteries - feeling a bit low. Meet George a Canadian engineer, we ended up
working all day on the boat and managed to get the engine alternator to work
for the first time since Townsville!!!! It was a combination of about 4
problems. Also the bad starting on the generator - poor connection on the
ground side - I must have cleaned the connections on the positive side about
4 times, just did not think to look at the ground side - how dumb can you
get? Also looked at the A/C driven fridge, George confirmed my fears that
the compressor has failed so will need to install a new one, still we have
the engine driven refrigeration so not too much of a problem. Hopefully with
the engine charging now we will only have to run the generator every 2 or 3
days to make water instead of 2 or 3 times a day. Feeling a lot better about
Monday 18th October 2010
Waved goodbye to George who left early
this morning. Ran engine to pull down the fridges and charge the batteries
and guess what the alternator has stopped charging - what a bugger so we're
back to running the generator again. Went to customs, immigration etc to
check into Malaysia all very painless.