On our way to Singapore (ish)

Today the Marina at Port Dickson is having their summer fair, and there will be boating, kayaking, and swimming in the marina, for safety ressons boats like mine aren’t allowed in or out, so I was up early and checked out at 8AM to be away before all that nonsense started.
I’m heading to Singapore, but have been advised by so many people not to take my boat there that we will be in Puteri Harbour, just across from the Island. Apparently, their’s a lot of bureaucracy and cost involved in taking your boat there. For example, you have to hire an agent to look after the formalities of checking in, and you have to hire them again to check out. this is understandable for big ships, of which Singapore has it’s share, but crazy for yachties.

In the above chart of Besar, you can see a little bit of land just NNE of me, in reality, thats an ugly looking cluster of rocks, that seem a lot closer than they really are.
It’s a difficult journey, as there is only one place to anchor safely on the way, that’s where I am now, at the Water Islands, or Pulau Besar to be precise. This is only 6 hours from Port Dixon, the next leg to Pulau Pisang, which is just a few hours off Singapore, is 10-12 hours, and I only get a 12 hour daylight window, so if I’m slow I will arrive in the dark, which won’t be fun as I din’t think it’s an easy spot to anchor in. I’m going to set my alarm for 6:30 so I can leave just before sunrise. That way I get nearly 13 hours. The forecasts are rather unreliable at the moment, not that that’s a big problem, but I can sail faster than I can motor, so if the wind is as good as forecast for the morning, 10-20 knots, I will fly along. otherwise it’s a lot of motoring.
Todays journey here was rubbish, raining for a lot of the way, grey overcast and smelly, the wind was behind, and at one point I was sailing with the headsail only, I didn’t put up the mainsail as thunderstorms are all around and if one comes close, it can create a sudden surge in the wind, but the headsail alone pushed us along at 6 knots, which was nice. But that only lasted for an hour, the rest of the time I motored, and the wind from behind was just strong enough to blow the exhaust fumes into the cockpit every now and then. I stayed between the main shipping routes and the coast. Normally I would have expected to see lots of fishing nets, but not one today. Is it because it’s Friday? I passed scores of big tankers at anchor along the coast, passing¬†through the middle of several anchorages, and there was an awful lot of junk in the sea.
I bought fish last night at the supermarket, it was remarkably easy, I gave them money, and got a fish. I didn’t need a line, lots of reeling in and out, I didn’t get stung and best of all the boat wasn’t trashed.

Very tasty, and at just over ¬£1, very reasonable. I also bought a stack of squid, not so cheap, but they will taste lovely with some garlic and soy sauce. It’s a shame the boats rocking so much now, otherwise I would be cooking them up.

Here are some boat pics, they look more impressive close up, but they are often very smelly when they run their engines.

Finally a picture of me modelling my latest headgear, I like the way the light shows up the pattern, never noticed that before. I’m wearing the lifejacket as the boat was rocking so much with the swell left over from a night of strong thunderstorms.

Paul Collister