Oct. 2001
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Check out Weeks ending: [7 Oct 01] [14 Oct 01] [21 Oct 01][28 Oct 01]

Week Ending 7 October 2001 (Judi)

Another quiet week for the crew of Long Passages. We started the week by hosting a dinner on board LP to repay a social obligation to our friends Art and Jennifer on M/V "Artswork."  It was a very enjoyable evening with delightful and interesting conversation.  Art is an ex-pat American who has spent many years in Singapore and currently consulting in the hospital services sector.  Jennifer is Singaporean and general manager of a hospital and Nominated Member of Parliament.

On Tuesday we said goodbye to our air conditioner as S/Y  'White Rabbit", another cruiser, bought it and sailed off to Thailand with it.  We are surely missing the cooling the A/C provided, too, but we did not have a place on LP to store it while underway.  The nights here are about 83-85 degrees with about 75% humidity, so it is quite an adjustment to do without.  The rest of the week was taken up with the last round of dentist and doctor appointments before leaving Singapore.

And on Friday we visited Clarke Quay, Singapore - Riveside view.jpg (20831 bytes)a very scenic area along the Singapore River where we went for a "bumboat" ride down the river and had dinner at one of the many nice restaurants along the quay.  Our departure has been delayed by problems getting our INMARSAT C unit installed and working, but we hope to overcome the problems next week so we can leave for Malaysia.  We are currently in the transition season between the SW and NE monsoons and there has been an increase in the frequency of the "Sumatra" winds at night.  These are sudden and violent rain squalls with winds between 30 and 50 knots, sometimes with lightning and thunder.  They usually hit around 2 am and are not a lot of fun in the marina, so we are definitely NOT looking forward to this as we head to Langkawi.  Just hope they miss us.

Week Ending 14 October 2001 (Bob)

Wait -wait - wait!  It has been somewhat of a frustrating week. We are waiting for a simple bureaucratic item, a Mobile Number for our newly acquired Inmarsat C which must come from the USA Federal Communications Commission (FCC).  Without this number (basically the equivalent of a phone number) it cannot talk to the satellite constellation and thus no one could hear us.  And of course, as Murphy decreed, as we applied for the number we found out that our radio license had expired - 4 years ago.  And so we wait.

Not all time was wasted however:

  • Eating out: we tried to make up for lost time by eating out many evenings at the week.  Our conclusion is that Prego's is mediocre and Sebana Cove very nice.
  • Sebana Cove: in our year in Singapore we had not yet visited the nearby marina of Sebana Cove, a short distance across the Johor Strait in Malaysia.  It is on a beautiful river amid mangroves with nice facilities, pool, and golf course - at half the price of Raffles.  If we have to return to this area, we will definitely  spend some time there.
  • Provisioning: Judi prepared her 'big buy' list and we bought several hundred $$ of stuff at Carrefour's and had them deliver it - she even found places to stow most of it!
  • System Integration: we have made inroads at getting our new equipment to work as we want.  We can send and receive email via Iridium from the boat as well as update this web site from it.  Now, if we can just remember how to sail...!

We limit our waiting to this week, and leave next Monday (Oct 22nd), weather permitting.

Week Ending 21 October 2001 (Bob)

It seems like each week promises to be our last one here.  We have given up on getting the Inmarsat C connected to the maritime network since we have to re-apply for a radio license - that will take weeks/months.  So we filled in our last opportunities with a few things we had planned, but never fit in before:

  • Night Safari - Singapore has a section of their zoo set aside for night viewing.  Many of the animals you normally see asleep in a zoo (tigers, lions, jaguars) roam at night in search of their prey.  Of course they find it in well-lit spots where we can see the activity.  It is very well done; not as good as an African game park but still good.
  • Nongsa Point Marina - The last marina in Indonesia is where most cruisers stop before they get to Singapore.  Some stay and never bring their boats into Singapore because of the expense.  We traveled over on a neighbor's power boat, "Hey Babe" to rescue a runabout they had left there.  The marina is quite nice, with a large pool, nearby beach, swaying palms, and reasonable meals. Costs are 1/2 those in Singapore and it is only 1 hour away by ferry.  

Next week we plan to leave for real, we must 'get back on' the crew list for Long Passages, make our final arrangements and check out.  We have met up with friends on their large black schooner "Voyager", last seen in the Marquesas, and plan to buddy-boat with them up the Malacca Straits to Phuket.  Stay tuned to see if we really leave...

Week Ending 28 October 2001 (Bob)

Will we leave or won't we? We spent a good part of the week resolving the minor item of 'getting back on the crew list'.  When we went to Nongsa Point last weekend, we carried a letter to use on re-entry to Singapore that would end our status as 'normal tourists' and return us to being 'crew' on Long Passages.  It worked something like this:

  • Sunday - Present letter when we re-enter with 'Hey Babe' - Immigration says they can't handle it because we are coming back in as passengers on a yacht.
  • Monday - Take bus trip to Johor Bahru and shop for 45 minutes and present our letter when we return.  We are taken to a special processing room, and put back on our crew list as planned.
  • Thursday - Go to Seaman's Immigration and officially join the yacht, and check-out at the same time.

Theoretically we then had 24 hours to get out of Dodge (or Singapore in this case), but we lazed around one day, got ready the next, and then waited for weather.  So, by the end of the week we were officially 'overstayers', but not too worried since the Marina office coordinates with the Port authorities, so they keep them informed about our real whereabouts.



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