Aaron reserved an hotel room inside the airport for his final night of vacation. All 5 of us took the MRT (subway) out there, and Bill and I waited inside the airport while Aaron checked into the hotel. We all enjoyed a Hong Kong style dinner and then all 5 of us (with attendant luggage) trudged up to the hotel room, luckily not past the front desk clerks. Some of us rested or slept off and on during the night. Shortly after midnight Bill took Zachary to the Singapore Airlines counter. Unlike in Houston, here in Singapore no family member is allowed to go with the unaccompanied minor to the gate; so Zachary had to say goodbye at the check-in counter for his 02:25 flight. He would arrive in Houston after 23 hours flight time, stopping briefly only in Moscow. Aaron and Elisabeth slept until the 04:40 check-in for their flight. They had a more difficult flight schedule of Singapore to Hong Kong to Chicago to Houston, taking a total of 26 hours flight time. I think the Moscow route is the best way to go -- unless you are flying free on earned points. Oh, how I miss those days of Bill having almost a million plus reward miles on 2 airlines! I miss those free flights!
Bill and I enjoyed a leisurely morning in the nice hotel room with king-sized bed and lovely large bathroom before taking the MRT back into the city to begin major provisioning for the upcoming Indian Ocean and Red Sea passages. We won't begin the Indian Ocean crossing until January, but Singapore is the last place to find western products. Cruiser lore says that good provisioning can be found in Langkawi and Phuket, but we have American cruising friends in Langkawi now who have scouted the local stores for us. Based on their findings (or lack thereof) we know that cruiser lore is yet again wrong. Most of the products we want are not available in Langkawi. As for Phuket shopping, I cannot believe we will find things in the little town of Phuket that were not sold in the big city of Bangkok. Western food items are specialty items in this part of the world. Singapore has a number of stores that stock typical western foods.
After a bit of difficulty we located the Cold Storage supermarket near the Bugis MRT station. There is another Cold Storage location in Vivo City at Harbourfront near our marina, but the Bugis location is a larger store with a better selection. We had chanced upon the larger store when we took a wrong exit from the subway when Lynn was with us in June. Otherwise, we would never have found this store. (When exiting the turnstiles from the Bugis MRT, turn right to the end of the hallway and then turn right again. Then take the first escalator up on the left. At the top of the escalator, turn left again and you will find the larger Cold Storage supermarket.)
Before the kids left, everyone got to do their final favorite activity for the summer.
|Aaron enjoying his last Tiger beer|
|BeBe finally got yellow cheese|
|Zachary lazing on his last day|
|BeBe aboard S/V BeBe on 9th birthday in Singapore|
The only thing we needed that apparently is not available in all of Singapore is a USCG approved horseshoe buoy that hangs on the life rail. Ours is expired and the yellow vinyl cover is deteriorated by UV damage. We see no point in buying one that will not meet USCG regs when we return to USVI or Puerto Rico. I think the silly thing is a waste of time anyway. If one of us falls overboard at sea, then he or she is toast. Recovering someone at sea is not as simple as it might sound. Why have a false sense of security just because there is a life buoy hanging on the rail. We do also have a life sling, and that is more likely to help effect an at-sea recovery than a simple horseshoe.
Bill kitted up and dove on the hull again. At least the water in this marina is clearer (and cleaner!) than that in Puteri Harbour in Malaysia and the visibility was much better. He wanted to use underwater adhesive to securely attach the rubber cover for the B & G sonic speed sensor that he broke off when he tried to remove a barnacle a few weeks ago. However, as luck would have it, when he removed the rubber cover he dropped it. No way was the water clear enough for him to see a 3/4-inch circle of black rubber on a brown muddy bottom. So we are attempting to source a replacement cover -- either in Phuket to be shipped to the marina in Langkawi or in Florida to be shipped to Houston and we can pick it up during our trip home in November. Maxsea provides us with speed-over-ground data, but it is nice to also have the speed-through-the-water data so we can determine when we are sailing in current streams. Until that black rubber cover is replaced we will not have the speed-through-the-water data.
We also had a seat cushion reupholstered this week. I had gotten a bit too aggressive when cleaning a spot with a brush and had ruined a small section of a seat cushion in the main saloon. Unfortunately, this ruined section was in a most visible area and it really bothered Bill to see it daily. Amel provides a removable cover for the bed in the owner's stateroom, which is never used............well...........because it is a bed. The only time one might want that cover in place is to take a photo of the room. Otherwise, the cover is removed so you can make up the bed and sleep on it. This bed cover is the same upholstery that is in the main saloon, so we had plenty of fabric to recover a seat cushion. The newly recovered cushion was delivered Thursday evening.
Friday evening 2 very nice ladies delivered a few bottles of the new product RejeX. Bill loves Corrosion X and uses it on everything electronic or anything that needs corrosion removed. It is a wonderful product and indispensable on a boat. The same company now makes RejeX and we plan to apply it as a substitute for wax on the hull during our next haul-out in Turkey. Since Corrosion X is such a great product, we are hoping that they have gotten the chemicals right on this new RejeX product. So nice of the ladies to go out of their way and deliver it personally to the marina.
Friday afternoon we asked the marina office to estimate our electricity through early Sunday morning and we paid the tab for the past 12 days. Today we were cleared out with Customs for 07:00 departure tomorrow morning. The plan is to depart Singapore at first light tomorrow morning and begin working our way up the Malacca Strait. The advice we have received from several friends who have already made this trip this year is to NOT sail at night because of all the fishing stakes and fishing nets and unlit small fishing boats outside the designated shipping channel. Pleasure yachts are not supposed to sail inside a designated shipping channel. And there is all the fishing junk to avoid outside the shipping channel. So it is strongly advised to navigate through this area during daylight. We hope to find places to stop nightly as we head the 450 miles up to Langkawi, with longer slightly longer stays in Port Dickson and Penang.
Singapore has been one of the stars of SE Asia to us. We like this city very much and will miss it. We will be posting updates via radio email as we progress up the western coast of Malaysia. Won't have internet access again for awhile, but email always works to contact us. Just be patient waiting for a response.