Sailing in my Sarong Around the World

World circumnavigation on yacht Valiam & Caribbean to Turkey on yacht Lati

The Adventures of Linda and Captain Underpants!

Who: Linda and Bill Anderson. To buy our books 'Sailing in my Sarong' or 'Salvage in my Sarong' for $39.95 +postage, see Paypal/visa button below (or email us: valiam1@hotmail.com)
Port: Mooloolaba, Queensland, Australia
Linda's books "Sailing in my Sarong" or "Salvage in my Sarong" are A$39.95 each + A$10 postage in Australia for up to 4 books. Other countries please email Linda : valiam1@hotmail.com
Number of copies of each book you would like
Salvage in my Sarong

Singapore

25 May 2008
20th - 21st May

One15 Marina

Sentosa Cove

Singapore

31 May 2008
I am still sitting under the fan whilst Bill is working on the boat. During this last week I have created a new website - hope you are enjoying it!! It still needs some fine tuning on my part as well as the website people in the USA. I couldn't get the tracking back to Oz so I created my own little map! If you do go to the website tracking map click on Google Earth . Put in the position or place you want to see where we've been. Our whole track is there! If you put in 'Kawana Waters Marina Buddina Australia' you can see our Goodbye party and getting ready to leave!
Whilst I have been in front of the computer not only doing the website but playing with SKYPE (so good to see family and friends LIVE for FREE!) Bill has been busy installing the autopilot. It is IN! And he says it works!!!! He is now doing some adjustments to the rigging.
Social activities in the past week have included hanging out with Mimi doing tourist stuff and catching up with Aussie Sunshine coast teachers Di and Bruce. Di is our friend and neighbour Jenny's cousin. We try to steer away from'teacher talk' which is difficult as Di also practises Reggio Emilia. They both work for an Australian International school here in Singapore. Last night they visited us on board Valiam for wine and nibbles in the cockpit. A very pleasant evening.
We will have to leave on the 10th June (unless we apply for an extension). We've still got lots of jobs to do so hopefully we'll get them done in a week. We will probably have a small 'bon voyage' gathering on board Valiam next weekend.
We've had thunder and lightning most afternoons with a few showers. (interesting when we've tried to do the wiring) I even got kicked out of the pool by the pool man when there was lightning about!!!
We are well and eating well - we go to the Food court in Vivo shopping mall most days as it's so cheap and delicious. Every so often we hanker after Western food and even succumbed to Burger King the other night!!!
25 May 2008
I am presently sitting with the new big fan blowing on me that I purchased for S$24. (We have shore power this time) Bill will make full use of it in the ensuing days as he wrestles with the wiring and electronic stuff. Already a couple of things he purchased have broken or don't work. In Singapore there is a famous electronic building called Sim Lim square where you can buy just about anything electronic. He's already been out there twice and estimates there will be many more times. We just spoke to another yachtie whose boat was hit by lightning and lost everything apart from the hand held GPS wrapped in foil in the oven. It was in the Bermuda triangle though.... Once we get past Sumatra and the tropical storms we'll be right.



We've just had an exhausting but interesting couple of days in Malaysia. Bi Yuen (Bill's sister in law Yen Ney's brother) invited us to Melaka so we said 'yes'. The Lonely planet guide describes the city as 'sultry' and by the historical account it has had lots of influences from the Netherlands, Portugal, Indonesia, China, Japan, India and the list goes on. It also happened to be a long weekend because it was Buddha's birthday on Monday. It was the day he went from being human to a god. The whole of Malaysia and Singapore was on holiday as was evident in the 2 hour traffic jam at the immigration checkpoint between Singapore and Malaysia. Bi Yuen kindly offered to pick us up in his car from Boon Lay station in Malaysia at 3pm on Saturday. Just as we drove into the checkpoint over 2 hours later and handed over our passports we were already looking forward to the delicious food we always have with Bi Yuen. BUT....The man in the box said "Where is your immigration card?" We explained that we weren't given one and that we had entered Singapore on a yacht. Puzzled face and consternation. Phone calls. "Sorry park over there - you will have to come to the office" We walked with Bi Yuen and his friend Lim to the office. After explaining to the uniformed officer how we entered Singapore he phoned the Seaman's section in Immigration in Singapore. He said he couldn't let us into Malaysia and we had to go back and get the correct paperwork. Bi Yuen and Lim went on to Johor Bahru whilst we were escorted by a female officer with a gun and walkie talkie out on to the road to the bus stop. We didn't feel very good...

5 hours later and 11 train/bus trips we had the right stamp and piece of paper. When we cleared into Singapore we are registered as a ship and her crew, not as a tourist (as in previous countries). We needed to get permission to leave our ship and be crossed off the crew list. The man in the seaman's section of immigration even wished us ' a nice leave'! Now I am going to bore you with the details of how we got the paper work done in several hours in efficient Singapore (rather than several days it would take in many other countries). Here is an account of our transport that afternoon (each carrying a small overnight backpack):

12.45 Sentosa cove. Missed bus to Vivo shopping mall. Sweltered in heat for 35 minutes

1.15pm Bus to Vivo Shopping mall. Walk at least 500m, escalators etc to MRT station

MRT (Underground train) to Outram Park interchange. Walk stairs escalators corridors etc

MRT to Boon Lay Station

3pm Arrive Boon Lay station. Walk around another shopping centre waiting for Bi Yuen

Drive with Bi Yuen and Lim through horrendous traffic jam to Immigration check point.

5-5.30p Detained and sent back. Escorted by armed officer to bus stop.

Bus back to Boon Lay station. Walk to find right place

MRT to Outram Park (45 mins standing up - train packed) Walk walk...

MRT to Vivo Shopping Mall. Walk walk escalators walk walk

Bus to Sentosa Cove. Walk stairs walk

6.45pm Arrive Dock masters office, One15 Marina (we phoned earlier). He typed up a special letter to leave our yacht. Walk 200m to Valiam to retrieve original crew list and ships stamp

7.15 Bus to Vivo shopping mall. Walk walk etc

MRT to Outram Park Interchange. (Standing)Walk walk....

MRT to Lavender station. (Standing) Walk walk to Seaman's section Immigration arriving 8.45pm. Received correct paperwork. Removed from Valiam's crew list. Walk to station

MRT to Bugis Station. Walk 1 km to bus interchange.

9.20 'Express' bus to Malaysia

Traffic jam. Arrive first check point.(Singapore) Get out of bus. Walk walk queue, stairs walk queue

Back on bus. After a while get back out of bus. Walk walk queue next check point (Malaysia) all ok walk walk queue for bus again

Back on bus

11pm Arrive Larkin station Johor Bahru. Walk around. Filthy place. Go to ATM to get ringits. STARVING! Queue in MacDonald's. Bi Yuen arrives. Drives us to Debbie's restaurant instead. Delicious food.......

After midnight - bed at Bi Yuen's house (with aircon)

NB: At each station we did not have to wait more than 5minutes for a train. An exhausting day!!!!

MELAKA :

Before we left for Melaka we went out to breakfast to Bi Yuen's favourite place. It served mostly Chinese food with a man cooking Indian food on a table inside the restaurant. We had a huge breakfast of noodles with beef, pork dumplings and Indian roti.

The drive from Johor Bahru took about 2 hours on a nice smooth highway through palm oil plantations. There were no towns. It felt a bit like the highway up to Gympie! Bi Yuen stopped in the outskirts of Melaka to pick up his friend Jack. So Linda was in the car with 4 blokes driving around Melaka! When we got to the centre of town it reminded us of Europe. In fact one part is called 'Little Holland'. The buildings are very old and small like terrace houses with canals either side. There is also a large building called 'Haus Stadt' (town house) which is now a museum. There are also sections called 'Little India' and Chinatown. After parking Bi Yuen and his mates went their way and we were left to our own devices to explore the centre of town. We could see lots of rickshaws elaborately decorated with flowers, tinsel, lights etc. As Linda foolishly wore her gold heeled shoes rather than her sensible walking shoes it was decided to take a couple of rickshaws around town. I chose the prettiest one and felt like a queen. (See photo) We eventually ended up outside the Indian shops with their irresistible colourful saris and gorgeous Indian clothes. (Irresistible to Linda anyway) Bill went to pay the rickshaw drivers who of course demanded more money than what was agreed on. They wanted 20 ringits per hour when we were told it was 20 ringits for the tour! We of course refused to pay any more as half the time we were stopped having a cool drink while they had one and a smoke anyway! A couple of gorgeous Indian skirts later we decided upon Indian food for lunch. We found a place that was full of locals and no tourists. They were eating with their hands from a banana leaf. Several people came around and plopped different vegetarian curries and rice on our banana leaf. Then someone came with small pots of meat curries. We chose a couple and also asked for spoons and forks as we aren't very expert at eating rice and curry with our hands! The food was delicious and cost less than $10 for the both of us including iced tea.



Later on we met up with Bi Yuen, Lim and Jack and drove further into the old part of town. Her we saw lots of people dressed in white with banners etc. Bi Yuen quickly parked the car and we waited on the side of the road for the festivities to begin. Because it was Buddha's birthday a huge parade was about to pass us by. It was beautiful. Better than anything I've seen (even better than Woodford!) Floats with flowers and golden statues of Buddha lit by lots of lights and music passed us by. Each of these was followed by a generator on wheels! There were marching bands and Chinese dragons. We were given coloured cotton bracelets to wear. The Indian ladies and girls lining the streets looked beautiful in vibrant saris and jewelry.



After the festival we drove through a traffic jam and went for a drive along the coast. We saw the Malacca Strait. It looked flat and hazy with several ships in the distance. Captain Bill is happy that we are not going to do more motoring in the tropical heat! Bi Yuen then drove us to eat in an outdoor food area run by the Portuguese section of town. The food was cooked with lots of tomato chilli and garlic. The lady who served us did look very Portuguese. What a mix of cultures! There were mostly Malaysians in Melaka on holiday and very few Westerners. We always get asked where we are from. Most people know Sydney and Melbourne but not Brisbane. The locals are surprised to learn that Canberra is the capital of Australia as no-one has ever heard of it!



It was now very late and Bi Yuen had to drive back to JB (Johor Bahru). It was a long drive and we really felt for him as we didn't arrive back until 1.30am. We slept wonderfully in an air-conditioned room! The next morning we picked up Debbie and went out for Breakfast. This was a more Western style caf which served bread, eggs as well as Chinese food. We decided on just bread and eggs this time! After breakfast we went to Debbie's mum's (Madame Cha) place to meet the newest member of the family - Je's Chinese bride. Yen Ney's mum was also there as well as Debbie's mum's boyfriend Colin who lives in Perth a lot of the time. Je looked so happy and proud of his beautiful wife. She is dainty, gracious and beautiful. We looked at their suitcase of wedding photos with awe. Many couples here have studio photos taken long before the wedding in many different outfits, hairstyles and jewelry . The photos are perfect and reminiscent of Hollywood glamour photos. We enjoyed a beautifully prepared fruit platter brought in by the Indonesian maid. We spoke with Madam Cha and Colin about our prospective voyage using a small map of the world. Colin is based in Perth and has a son who is a concert pianist. We mentioned Bill's cousin Helen who is a violist there and I am sure they know each other! I think his sons surname is Yung. What a small world! Madam Cha runs a construction company and has run it since her husband died when Debbie was a child. Her house is in a nice neighbourhood not far from the Sultan's palace! They have a view of trees and a park which is unusual in the city.

Bi Yuen and Debbie drove us to the bus station to catch a bus to Singapore. (We invited them to visit us at Sentosa Island before we leave. We will invite Mimi and Donald as well as anyone else who wants to come. ) It only cost 5 ringits (less than $2 for both of us). We held our breath at the check points but got through without any problems. We didn't even need the special letter written by the dock master at the marina! We have to get ourselves back on Valiam's crew list before Monday however!

Bill is now working out step by step how to install the voltage regulator. We pick up the autopilot today which will make a huge hole in our savings. Hopefully it will be worth it.
14th May 2008

One15 Marina

Sentosa Island

Singapore



As I sit here in the midst of this amazing city the rain drips steadily down making Valiam feel like a cosy haven. The temperature is mild and the fan is not needed. Singapore is like a modern well maintained slick machine. Everything works, is efficient and is clean. After being accustomed to messy dilapidated unorganized Southeast Asian towns and cities, Singapore is a refreshing change. It is good to be in such a convenient man made environment with absolutely everything we need before we head for the unknown and huge Indian Ocean.



We are making the most of this great city as it will be several months before we will be in another place that offers all the conveniences and things we enjoy. Yesterday we were ecstatic to find a huge supermarket like home at the Harbourfront shopping centre. For the first time since we left Townsville we have been able to buy nice cheese, yoghurt, smoked salmon, olives, fresh lettuce, rocket etc. Before we leave we will be able to stock up on cheese, olives and other delicacies. We can store quite a bit in our little fridge. Wine is terribly expensive - a $6 bottle in Oz is $22 here. The marina has given us a list of suppliers and there is a wine company that delivers wine tax free 'direct to your vessel'. I wonder what the minimum order is? There are a few mega yachts here.



Yesterday we acquired blisters from walking around for 10 hours! The free shuttle bus from the marina to the closest shopping mall is very nice and of course air-conditioned. The bus dropped us off outside the biggest nicest shopping centre we've ever been to. The first shop was a huge bookshop so we spent several hours in there! The Harbourfront shopping centre looks 'organic' from the outside - all curves which is reflected in the layout inside. It feels good to wander around but it is so easy to get lost. The bookshop is our point of reference! We had lunch in the Food court downstairs. There are 2 sections - one is 'Halal' approved i.e. food is prepared under Muslim rules and no pork. Both sections have Chinese and western food. The Muslim side has Indian as well so that's what we had. We watched the man deftly create naan bread spinning it on his hand. The food was delicious and fresh and only cost about S$8 for 3-4 different dishes. It was interesting watching all the people and the food all looked so good we want to go every day to try something new each time. For some reason it felt much nicer than being in a Food court at home.

After shopping we took the MRT (underground) to Clarke Quay. We enjoy catching the MRT and feel like experts now and even have a card each for several trips to tap on the electric gate. We walked around and finally relaxed at Harry's bar on the waterfront in Boat Quay. A nice hour or 2 was spent watching the colourful scenery. There are authentic Chinese barges going up and down the river as well as a special 'garbage' boat that scooped up rubbish from the water. Along the pedestrian underpasses of the bridges there are big signs saying 'no bicycle riding $1000 fine'. We saw several people dismount and walk their bikes. However just after we took a photo of the sign an older Chinese gentleman came careering around the corner on his bicycle with a big grin on his face. Pity we didn't get him in the photo with the sign! It must be his adrenalin rush for the day! I of course reminded Bill that he shouldn't think of doing a similar thing......



Last night as we walked back to Valiam we could see the marina bar lit up in its alternating pink, purple and blue lights which look great against the high glass walls. We must go and experience it soon! Many yachties, crew and staff ride push bikes around here so we will get ours out soon. It should be fun exploring Sentosa by bicycle. Much of Sentosa Island is a construction site but the cable cars, mono rail and other attractions are still open. The huge stone lion on the hillside has lights in its face at night that makes it look a bit devilish!

As I write this Bill is ordering our new coursemaster autopilot. He says its going to be complicated installing it so I will have to be on hand to hand over the spanner, cold drink or whatever is needed to keep the captain sane as he tries to make the electronic gadgetry work. We have shore power for electric tools, charging up computers and phones and the wireless internet is efficient and fast. This all helps make our preparations easier for the big trip ahead.

12th May 2008
One15 Marina
Singapore
position: 1.14.708N 103.50.471E
(may not be on Google earth as it is very new)
12 May 2008

Dear everyone
It took 6 hours to get here from Sebana Cove, Malaysia. There were plenty of
ships most of which were stationary. However every so often one of these
giants would up anchor and start heading towards us. We tended to go behind
any moving ships but a couple of times we gunned the engine and went in
front. Go Valiam! It was interesting watching the Singapore skyscrapers as
we got closer. We had to go to Sister islands at a specific position given
by Customs and Immigration. We noticed a number of ships waiting in this
area also. We were the only private sailing yacht and after calling Customs
on channel 74 an army grey motor launch pulled up next to us. We were idling
drifting around as is the usual procedure as they handed out forms to fill
in reaching accross the 2 boats. They do this to make sure there's no
stowaways. Bill had to sign a declaration to say he had none. Linda got
writers cramp handwriting 4 crew lists. The captain signed and stamped
everything with our ships stamp. We handed them with our passports in a
plastic folder over to the man in uniform when he asked 'How long are you
staying?' We had heard that 2 weeks is normally granted and then extensions
must be applied for. Bill said we needed 4 weeks to do some work on the
boat. The Customs man nodded and went below to deal with the paperwork.
Minutes later he reappeared and said "I have given you one month".
This is more than we probably need but its good that we dont have to reapply
after 2 weeks. We still have port clearance to do which the marina will do
for us for a small fee.

One15 Marina is very new and quite posh. However the amenities visiting
boaters have to use is shared with marina staff and is around the side down
a corridor - a bit like a servicemans entrance. The showers are wonderfully
clean and dont have the grime and hairballs that Sebana had. (Nor the pool
attendants hanging about smoking outside the loos having loud conversations
with each other) It's nice not to feel like we are in a Malaysian village
but a civilised Western complex. It's a bit like Darling harbour in Sydney.
The best thing is we have a SEA BREEZE!!!!!! There is a big construction
site next door with cranes etc but the noise blends in with the general city
noise which is ok.

The pool looks beautiful - one of those gorgeous wet edge ones you see in
upmarket resorts. We were told by the marina to be discreet and not to use
it if possible on weekends. The private members of this club must have
complained about the yachties! There's a cool bar here with space age seats
and pink down lights. Can't wait to try it one day! We had dinner in the
restaurant tonight which was excellent and worked out slightly cheaper than
a meal at Mooloolaba. There's also a big airconditioned gym which we may
make use of too. There's a shuttle that goes every half hour into town to a
huge shopping mall so that should be very convenient for stocking up. We are
going to see the autopilot man tomorrow to make our final decision.

It looks like a good place to ride bicycles. There are a number of paths
around the place. Bill is very happy that despite all of Singapore's rules
one doesn't have to wear a helmet. It looks like Sentosa island has changed.
I'm not sure if it has all those tourist attractions as the construction
site is a massive area of high rise apartments which are selling for
millions of dollars. There must be more money in those as well as the marina
as a private club.
That's it for now. We'll proabably meet up with some of the relatives again
as well as a couple of Sunshine coast teachers who are working here related
to a good friend of ours.
Time for bed. It's been a long day.













Comments
Vessel Name: Valiam
Vessel Make/Model: Valiam: Lidgard 45 (Single chine plywood) designed by Gary Lidgard. Built by Bill Anderson and Steve Thornalley. Lati: 31ft 1967 Kim Holman built in Barcelona. Original name Latigazo
Hailing Port: Mooloolaba, Queensland, Australia
Crew: Linda and Bill Anderson. To buy our books 'Sailing in my Sarong' or 'Salvage in my Sarong' for $39.95 +postage, see Paypal/visa button below (or email us: valiam1@hotmail.com)
About:
Bill and Linda fufilled a 30 year dream to sail around the world. First they built a boat in a paddock in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, Qld, Australia in 1994 with the help of friend Steve. [...]
Extra:
CIRCUMNAVIGATION ON VALIAM: We left Mooloolaba on the 7th November 2007, sailed to Townsville, leaving Australian waters on 26th November 2007 for PNG, Palau, Philippines, Borneo, Malaysia,Singapore, Cocos Keeling islands. We crossed the Indian Ocean to Rodrigues, Mauritius,Reunion and South [...]
Social:
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My work is of an expressionist nature - I capture what I see from life. I draw and paint on location using mostly pastels, inks and occasionally acrylics. Some works are framed but many arent so are easily packaged for posting. You can pay by PayPal or Direct Deposit. I am located on the Sunshine Coast, QLD< Australia
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The Adventures of Linda and Captain Underpants!

Who: Linda and Bill Anderson. To buy our books 'Sailing in my Sarong' or 'Salvage in my Sarong' for $39.95 +postage, see Paypal/visa button below (or email us: valiam1@hotmail.com)
Port: Mooloolaba, Queensland, Australia
Linda's books "Sailing in my Sarong" or "Salvage in my Sarong" are A$39.95 each + A$10 postage in Australia for up to 4 books. Other countries please email Linda : valiam1@hotmail.com
Number of copies of each book you would like
Salvage in my Sarong
"You just sit on the boat, pull a few strings and you get there." Bill Anderson aka Captain Underpants