Singapore – Raffles Marina

 

November 26th: Didn’t sleep very well at all, strange because you would think after 4 months on anchor, once you are in a marina and are so safe and secure, that you would sleep like a baby, but not so. It’s also really, really hot.

Anyway we got up and I spent the whole day cleaning (inside, only) and doing jobs, Robbie took the opportunity while we are in a single berth, this means there is walkways on both sides of the boat (usually the berths are double, 2 boats in a space and you only have a walkway on one side) to remove the storm windows on the Port side. He had a lot of trouble and ended up having to remove the screws into the windows which caused some damage to the aluminium paint work so he spent a lot of time removing the storm covers (thick Perspex which protects the large glass windows in the saloon) and then fixing the paint. He also prepared the stabilisers for when the new parts arrive.

Have finalised the shipping to the med now. Looks like 6 boats will participate so that’s good – we get a discount. We will be on a ship to Turkey in April. That’s exciting – albeit very painful financially but the alternatives are a very long and rough voyage around Africa or going through the Red Sea, Suez Canal where there is pirates, a war going on and the insurance companies won’t cover you.

November 27th: Heidi and I had a girl’s day, we caught the 8:15am free marina bus into town, and we got off at the second stop and then discovered the shops don’t open until 10:30am! So we had a coffee in Starbucks – we are still excited that we have made civilisation again. Our first “real coffee” in a long time! We strolled around the 5 storey shopping centre until the shops opened and then managed haircuts, manicure and pedicures. Heidi also had a colour so I had a really good wander through a lot of shops. You would need days to get through them all. Not many shops that I recognised but they have Cotton On (which I don’t like anyway) none others I knew but Heidi was excited about H & M – never heard of them! Had a quick look in the kids section and got Ethan and Charlotte a couple of things. Then it was around 2:00pm and the boys rang and said they like to join us for lunch. Hmmmm bit early for us we still hadn’t done enough shopping but they were keen so they caught a cab down which only took 10 minutes and costs $12 really cheap taxi fares here. Quick trip into the supermarket, wow – electronic price tags! That’s pretty smart really, quick price increase with just a tap on the computer….

Peter and Heidi grabbed a cake and a carton of beer in a holder bag for Bryan that we went halves in and we caught a cab over to the One degree, Fifteen Marina on Santosa Island where Gypsea Rover, and some of the other rally participants were staying. Very nice indeed. The marinas all have swimming pools, resorts, restaurants, Gyms and other facilities which is really nice.

 We had a really nice night, Sue and Bryan and their crew Margie, Karen and Andrew went to a lot of effort and the food and drinks didn’t stop coming, I only had one beer and a small glass of champagne for the birthday toast. (Not like someone else…..) We caught a cab home around midnight. It was about half an hour and cost $22 so cheap. I guess not as cheap as Indonesia where on a couple of islands we could hire a car and a driver for a day for 500, 00 rupiah ($50) but for a city taxi this is really cheap.

Singapore is soooooooo clean, lots of beautiful trees and gardens and no rubbish! Very pleasant change indeed.

November 28th: Still didn’t sleep real well, annoying. Got up and as the freezer parts had arrived yesterday Robbie started fixing the freezer, I did a few chores and then went with Heidi back to the shops. This time we went to the closest shopping centre called Jurong Point. We caught a later bus. Not as huge as the other shopping centre, but huge for what we are used to. Had a wander round, another coffee, this still seems like a luxury!

 

We found the supermarket. Wow, blueberries and NZ strawberries!!! 2 of my favourite foods! Didn’t get too much stuff but a trolley full. Then it was a mission to find how to get out to a taxi stand, managed that and then, Oh my goodness the queue for the taxis was huge! It took us about 30 minutes to our turn. So glad I didn’t get any frozen stuff, it would have been melted in this heat. There were a couple of business men in the queue maybe Australian or NZ, not sure, but their business shirts were absolutely wet through. The locals don’t seem to sweat but the tourist’s sure do!

Taxi ride was $10 and then we got the marina golf cart to come and pick up the groceries and deliver to the boat so that was great. Normally in a marina it’s a battle to find a trolley and then fight with it (just like the testy supermarket ones) down the docks to your boat.

After putting away and cleaning up we went for a swim in the pool with Peter and Heidi and then sat up there and played a game of 500 with a few beers and ended up having dinner, not much a few spring rolls, and 2 chicken wings each and I had a prawn and mango salad and Robbie didn’t have a main as he had had fish and chips there for lunch. Heidi and I had missed lunch. We are going to miss Peter and Heidi when they leave, this also means no more 500 games! Once they leave and our repairs are complete we will be heading up the Malacca Straights to Malaysia, we will be in Langkawi for the 16th December when Kristie and Jessie arrive, very, very excited about that! Brad also arrives on Christmas Day which is cool, and Tracey and Paul on the 29th. Robbie’s Mum and sister Gill arrive on the 12th Jan, its super exciting for us!! Travelling full time is great and I love it but I really miss our family and friends!

One of the biggest super yachts we have ever seen arrived today. It’s called Titan and it’s absolutely huge, about 6 levels and very, very beautiful. We Went for a stroll around and took a few photos. It had its own hydraulic retractable walkway that hides away inside the hull. Wow is all you can say. It is owned by a Russian Billionaire, and he has another, even bigger boat!

November 29th: to December 5th: We spent most of these days working on the boat cleaning, doing maintenance including rebuilding the stabilisers, installed the new fan and new door seals in the fridge and freezer. Robbie pulled the saloon air conditioning apart and repaired the ducting. He also pulled apart and repaired the guest bedroom air conditioning, the drain hose had been knocked out of the outlet. This involved major contortionist moves, see the photo! Also a lot of little maintenance issues like light bulbs in the wardrobes, re-grouted the granite joins in the kitchen and a few other minor chores. We cleaned the boat inside and out from top to bottom and then had her polished and waxed by the local lads. This is a huge job and they did really well, it cost $1,200 dollars which is really reasonable. They had 4-5 people working on it for a day and a half. Robbie also gave the duck a really good clean. The trouble with being in Indonesia was no marinas apart from a few days in Lombok when we gave her a good clean, but when you are not doing it every week it takes twice as long. In this case it took us 12 hours for both of us just to wash and clean the exterior. It takes about 1000 litres of water to wash her, hence the need to be in a marina, that’s a lot of hours of water-making for us to make that water. Also spent half a day doing paperwork for the accountant – Yuk.

 

We also met a really lovely NZ couple Bob and Linda. They live here in the marina on one of their two boats. Bob is a marine consultant and they strolled past and got talking about boats and one thing led to another and then they invited us to go into the city for dinner and to see the air and water show. This was amazing, a lot of laser projectors onto a massive spray of water. At the end we watched the water recede in a huge glass bowl structure with water jets pushing the water around which made a huge swirl pool action. We had a great night and walked through the bay gardens and through the Casino building, we got great shots of the infamous Casino Hotel which is a boat shape on top of 3 humongous high rises. Amazing gardens including “Avatar” tall mushroom like structures that are blue lights with live plants that are about 40 metres high. The Christmas lights and decorations in the streets were incredible, I have never seen anything like it. Singapore sure goes all out to impress, and it did!

Bob and Linda came and had a drink and a tour of the boat, the night before we left. Eric and Michelle, another couple living in the marina also came and had a look through the boat. They own a Mason, which was built by the same company as Nordhavn, prior to Nordhavns. They were all very suitability impressed with the Nordhavn features on Southern Star. 

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