Day 1, Year 4: We Made It!
Date: Wednesday, October 23, 2008
Weather: Overcast, Rainy, and High Winds
Latitude: 01 degrees 14.678 minutes N
Longitude: 103 degrees 50.451 minutes E
Location: One 15 Marina,Sentosa Island, Singapore

I say “we made it” as if there were some doubt as to whether we would or not. And actually a few things happened in the last 24 hours that made us think we might not get here today. Around 9 pm last night as low tide was approaching, Windbird swung on her anchor and bumped against a coral bommie. At least that is what we think it was. So we immediately tried to pull up anchor and move, but the chain was wrapped around the obstacle and we couldn’t move. So Mark slept in the cockpit all night just to keep a watch on things. At some point in the night the chain must have unwrapped itself and we were once again free floating, but we just weren’t sure until we tried to pull up anchor this morning whether or not we would be able to. Mark was prepared to dive on the anchor to help free it, but that wasn’t needed. So we took a deep breath and advanced on the next obstacle-a very strong northwest wind blowing across the Singapore Strait and a fairly steady downpour of rain making it a fairly slow and miserable ride. We had as much as 25-30 knots of wind on the nose at times, but again Windbird pushed forward and we made it to the Quarantine Anchorage by 11 am. The seas were choppy and the Immigration boat had to come up beside us to receive our Passports and papers. And then they had to do this again to give the papers back to us and once again to take back signed papers. In choppy seas, the one thing you don’t want to do is get close to another boat and having this one head straight at our side and almost touch before backing off-three times-gave my heart a bit of a flutter. The next hurdle was getting safely into the marine slip, but actually that went off without a hitch. There was absolutely no wind in the marina, so docking was easy for a change.

So we finally had a chance to look around and realize just where we are. I’ll have to describe the marina in another log as it is after midnight and this cruiser needs to get to bed. But let’s just say it is plush. We have use of the pool, parts of which are shallow and tables and chairs sit down in the pool so you can enjoy a cool drink while sitting in the water. Of course, we can’t afford to buy a drink here, but the concept is nice. There’s a steam room in the bathroom and a gym upstairs from there. Very nice. We made a quick trip into Vivo City to get Singapore money and few groceries and had lunch at a Subway. A sub has never tasted so good. After three months of nasi goring, turkey, lettuce, and tomatoes on a wholemeal bun was welcomed. The shuttle bus to town is free and the HUGE shopping city at Vivo is only about ten minutes away. There is a fantastic supermarket and just about every other kind of store you can think of plus more. We had only been home for a few minutes when Jean-Pierre and Collette of Safina arrived. We had invited them to make Windbird there temporary home while visiting Singapore from their marina across the way in Malaysia. They are with us tonight and tomorrow night and was great to see them. But they no sooner got here than we were off again, this time to have dinner in Little India. It is time for the Indian celebration of the Festival of Lights and Little India is dressed to the nines with lights, lights, and more lights.

So it was quite some day. Tomorrow morning we have to make our way fairly early to the One Stop Shop for final clearance into the country and then I know we will continue exploring Singapore. One day soon, however, I am going to plop myself down in this beautiful pool here at One15 Marina and just enjoy the moment.

081023 Day 1 Singapore–Belitung, Indonesia to Singapore