Getting ready to leave Singapore
10 June 2008
Bill with Mimi and Donald
11 June 2008
We are rather glad we have delayed our departure from Singapore after a tropical storm hit us last night. Local tropical storms around here are called 'sumatras' and last night our instruments recorded gusts of up to 46 knots. One 15 Marina, Sentosa island is not particularly protected and we often bounce around when ships go past. However last night Valiam strained, creaked and groaned against the pontoon with the wind screeching through the rigging. The captain said 'Im glad we're not out there tonight'. However the probability of more 'sumatras' between here and Sunda Strait is high. The good thing is they don't last long. It will be challenging if we experience one close to ships. They always come at night. Yesterday was extremely hot - more than usual for Singapore which could have been a contributing factor to last night's 'sumatra'.
It always seems so tiring and stressful just before we depart from a port particularly after a long time and just before a long trip. There are always so many jobs to do. We now have 3 trolley loads of shopping stowed away. It was all delivered to Valiam by the local supermarket 'Giant' which was great. Fresh food had to be brought back by Linda on the bus. Mimi (Yen Ney's cousin) was lucky enough to spend the day with Linda whilst all the last minute shopping and banking jobs were done. It felt strange to get Australian $ from the money changer in preparation for our visit to Cocos Keeling. We are so used to looking at Singapore$. After carrying the shopping back in the heat Linda and Mimi lay in the Jacuzzi at the pool for an hour. Captain Bill had almost completed lots of jobs on Valiam that had been nagging him for months.(and nearly got sun stroke in the process) Mimi's husband Donald came past after work as he had just finished a meeting at Sentosa. We enjoyed cool drinks amongst the chaos of Valiam's preparations. Today we will make one last visit to the chandlery for items such as spare ropes, shackles, spray on waterproofing for the dodger and we'll purchase another fire extinguisher from a marine safety shop. Linda also needs to winch Bill up the mast to check the light bulbs. The chandlery shop is near Little India so we might just fit in a last visit to an Indian restaurant.
We are quite exhausted and hopefully if the weather is suitable we'll be off on Saturday. We still need to tidy and stow things away after living in marinas for 6 weeks. We also need to get our clearance papers, pay the marina (ouch!) and contact customs as we are about to head off to meet them at Sister islands. (you can see them from here) We are not looking forward to dodging the ships just outside here as well as all the way past Sumatra, Indonesia. We don't have a cruising permit for Indonesia so we are not allowed to stop. This means we have to stay near the shipping lanes until we get through the Sunda Strait. (between Java and Sumatra) It will take about a week to get there. It's cooler today so it will make life on board Valiam more comfortable. Visions of beautiful white sand beaches, clear aquamarine water and swaying palms keep dancing before our eyes when we think of Cocos which keeps us motivated to get through these last jobs.