Sunday, February 16, 2014

Squirrely sailing

I now know how a squirrel feels when attempting to cross a Los Angeles freeway in rush hour. After a full week of waiting on Indonesia Customs and Immigration to clear me out of Batam Island, I finally got the green light. So February 16th at 07:00, I headed out into the large channel that separates Indonesia from the island nation of Singapore for a 1-day solo sail to Malaysia (Judy was back home giving support to parents).

This is probably the world's busiest channel with ships of all sizes and types coming and going and from all points of the globe.

B U S Y !

My destination was the Danga Bay Marina (Malaysia) which is across a much smaller channel that creates the border on the north side of Singapore.

For the 1st couple of hours, I sailed west with a nice breeze on the starboard beam and with a 2-knot current. I paralleled the designated shipping lanes which is noted on the charts, a redundancy because all 1 had to do is observe the string of ships going in either direction to know where you shouldn't be. However, I had to cross those lanes at a prescribed place, which I did as I jogged around the hugest mega super tanker that was evidently loaded.

At any 1 time, I could count 50 to 100 ships either in route or anchored or berthed. I would guess that there are at least 1,000 ships in this immediate area at any given time.

1 of the smaller freighters

Once I had passed along the south side of Singapore, I turned and started up the Perkins to motor up the smaller channel on the west side heading north towards Danga Bay Marina. It was later in the afternoon when I turned into the Marina, and as the tide was at its lowest, I had only 1 metre under the keel at 1 point.

I tied up (N01°28.44' E103°43.38'), and just as I made the last snap on the sail cover, the sky opened up for a short but heavy shower. But this squirrel was safe and snug and to boot, Sea Turtle was getting a nice rinse off which is always good after a passage.

No comments: