Stolen Kiss

Stolen Kiss

May 15, 2008

Singapore Superlatives

Salubrious – the new Keppel Bay Marina

Sumptuous – the food, especially in Little India

Scintillating – the assault on your senses; the noise, the people, neon lights

Spotless – can sit anywhere without dirt or chewing gum!

Suave – Raffles Place

There were a few reasons which shaped our decision to go for the zig zag route from Kota Kinabalu, Sabah via Singapore to Indonesia then on to Darwin. A chance to catch up with a friend, a dose of western culture, much needed boat parts, shopping and a chance to just escape from all that was Malaysia.

With the news of the new marina at Keppel Bay, there were a few choices. Although in many respects Raffles Marina would have been more ideal, the new Keppel Bay Marina was located a mere 8 minute walk from the MRT and more importantly for Peter, the new mega shopping complex of Vivo City with fantastic supermarkets to boot! Although the marina was originally built for the residents of the new surrounding high rise development (with more to come) it sees the prospect of visiting yachties to add to the charm of the place!!! Keppel Bay also own Nongsa Point Marina (Indonesia) across the channel which facilitates checking in and out of both countries. Having no laundry facilities proved a little challenging, but we were assured that this would be soon rectified. Immigration is done via Western Immigration near Sentosa Island a few miles away (via boat that comes up to your stern and documents exchanges) and the marina clears you in and our for $10. So easy.

There is never enough time to spend with company whom you enjoy! That’s the downside of cruising. We only had a few weeks in Singapore as we needed to get down to Darwin before the onset of the SE monsoon. Necessary engine parts needed to be sorted as most of our journey south will be motoring and any sailing done would be an absolute bonus. Singapore service is second to none as most of what we needed was purchased over the phone and delivered to the marina, free of charge or at little expense. Peter eventually found himself a birthday present – a moisture meter!

We visited our favourite boat shops like Suneast in the bottom of Sim Lim Tower which house ICOM, JRC, Raytheon and other electronics. One can never have enough toys! A wander down Orchard Road to remind us of the finer things in life unearthed some great shops that we have stored away for future reference!

Little India has a wonderful fruit/veg and wet market (not that we needed the latter!) similar to what we were familiar with throughout SE Asia. A wonderful, economical place to provision for our journey south. We also became familiar with the many fantastic restaurants around there. Strange (to us) the Annalakshmi Restaurant was actually in China Town. We enjoyed the usual fantastic food that these restaurants provide wherever they are (there is one in Perth) and went back for a traditional singing concert presented by the local Indian Performing Arts School. It was all that you would expect – colourful, loud and full of life. A visit to Changi Sailing Club was well worth the trek (albeit easy via public transport) to enjoy a lazy lunch in a much more quiet and laid back part of Singapore.

The weather being a little out of character was a tads wet at times with some very colourful thunderstorms. We waited for a break in the weather for our departure so that we could at least get to Nongsa Point Marina before the afternoon deluge. A little confusion with the Marina and our clearance papers (them saying we did not need the stamped crew list to for check out and the immigration officer on the boat at Sister Island saying we did) delayed our passage across the shipping lane by almost two hours. Seeing the massive thunderstorm developing behind us, we wondered if in fact we could keep in front of it. With possible zero visibility in the thunderstorm in the shipping lanes could have been a real test for our newly acquired AIS! However, having tide with us we were tied up on THE only pontoon in Nongsa Point before the tail end of the storm hit us. It was very short lived at that stage! Another pucker factor moment!

So we departed (somewhat sadly) with all those little extras we like to eat and thanks to the unsurpassed generosity of he who shall remain anonymous; we also depart with 10 bottles of rum! That makes for a lot of rum balls!

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