December 6th: Departed Singapore at 10:30am after we had cleared customs. As it was raining and blowing we got a call to say can we go up the marina office and meet the customs guy – he didn’t want to get wet! It took less than a minute for him to stamp our passports and the paperwork. Back to the boat and we departed with no fuss or hassle apart from the wind, rain and waves – which weren’t too bad, I was more worried about the visibility but it was actually OK and after a couple of hours the wind dropped and the sea gradually calmed down and we had a perfect passage. So good in fact that we decided to continue on to Port Dickson and do an “overnighter”. The first night is always the worst, and this was the case. I could not sleep at all so did most of the watch. I did try for a couple of hours but gave up. Bonus of a night passage is of course – the sunsets!
The Malacca Straights are one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world and we saw lots and lots of ships, and all sorts from cruise ships to barges carrying cranes. They have separation zones and it is mandatory to use the North bound or South Bound lanes which is great. We stuck to the very edge of the North bound lane and had no issues at all. There was also a huge moon which definitely helps – I hate night passages where it is pitch black. Tonight was great you could see everything. We passed a couple of the huge barges with their tugs, doing only 1.9 knots. There was a lot of current at one stage up to 3 knots, we were down to 3.9 knots. We left the rpm at 1500, we were in no hurry and didn’t see the point in using extra fuel to arrive any earlier in the morning. It was so calm I cooked a “Singapore Chicken Curry” which was really nice, we ate early but then…..had a bowl of the New Zealand Hokey Pokey Ice Cream that we had found in Singapore!!!! Oh well you win some, you lose some. Monday is always a good day to start a diet!