Singapore marked a big milestone for Adina; back in April we’d set off from a cyclone-scarred Vanuatu and sailed north passing through the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea and then on to Indonesia, our target to make Singapore by November. Without doubt this year has been the highlight of our round the world trip to-date. So many incredible highs and so many treasured memories – we’d wandered off the beaten path and it had paid off in bucket loads.
Tying Adina’s lines on in One Degree Fifteen Marina in Singapore we knew we’d made it, pleased but also a little sad to be leaving behind the adventure of those special places. But bring on the BIG city and all its creature comforts. Cheese burger and chips! Simple things never fail to please. Hands up, we’ve been to Singapore a few times before and were a little sceptical it would hold our attention for long as tourist attractions seem a little thin on the ground. But we’d forgotten about how fabulously efficient Singapore is with all its bright twinkling lights and we were soon sucked in! On top of all that, One Degree Fifteen Marina wins top award for the best marina we’ve ever stayed in – the swimming pool was bliss in the sweltering heat.
Adina has served us so well and it was time to spoil her too. Not having seen rain and not had a bath in a long time we doused her in water, then gave her a good scrub and a nice polish. Let’s just say that meant getting up for numerous days in a row at 6am and working ‘til 9am by which time it became too hot to clean and shine. Joy of joys, the air conditioning is still working on board! Then we started working on all the niggling problems; boat maintenance is an on-going task for any boat owner and we like to keep Adina in mint condition. That means hard work, rolling up the sleeves and spending some money.
Singapore also presented a time to catch up with family, friends and even meet some new friends. Dave, Londa and the ever-so-fun little Ethan Rebetzke – thank you for the catch-ups, thank you for the sore heads we incurred virtually every time we met and we are so glad we will link up with you again for Chinese New Year in Thailand. A real pleasure also to meet the son of one our favourite sailing friend’s, Mike Kefford, and his family who kindly invited us over to dinner and then gave us lots of tips to prove Singapore does have a lot to offer; Will and Annie Kefford and your wonderfully sporty children, thank you. We later also got to see Mike with his wife Carol who had flown in from England to meet him at the end of his season; so, so good to see you as always. Ed Daughtery, a work colleague of Tom’s, was another good catch-up – we enjoyed a lovely evening and also made plans to catch-up on Adina in Thailand.
We’re now within easy flying range of England and our first guests appeared in the form of Susie’s parents. Much to Tom’s surprise, along with the usual array of boat parts, they arrived with birthday cards and presents from friends – thank you everyone, just delighted. So, armed with Will Kefford’s tourist tips we explored Singapore together, Susie and I somehow thrilling in catching the underground train and realising we could still commute in a city. Watch out London when we get home! Enjoying cocktails on the top of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel with the background of city lights was something special.
Richard and Ros very generously treated us to a guided tour of Cambodia. Holiday time! We explored the highlights of Phnom Phen, Battambang and Siem Riep. Our overall highlight funnily enough was a boat trip on the river from Battambang to Siem Riep, watching life along the river banks. Then three of us got struck down with a tummy bug. Sods law. And try getting over a tummy bug in hot and humid weather; we recovered just in time for a good old Singapore Sling at Raffles back in Singapore. Thank you John Calvert back in England for paying for those! As ever, it was sad to see Ros and Richard go, they have been such big supporters and keen contributors to our little adventure. We promise one day to find somewhere cooler for a visit and are already discussing that.
Back to Adina, we’ve got to that stage, we cannot kid ourselves anymore, it’s time for a new main sail (the big sail at the back). It just has not survived the passage of time with UV and chafe damage causing it to rip across multiple panels along the leech (back of the sail). Once we’d got to Indonesia we simply ran out of repair tape, we’d patched her up so much. For the last legs of our journey into Singapore we were left with a sail slowly but surely self-destructing, the dacron material had become so fragile any tension caused it to tear. And Adina likes to perform so it is time for a new main sail. On arrival in Singapore we duly set to work researching new sails – there’s quite a bit of choice out there and we started to email various sailmakers. Top of the pile must be North Sails and, while we had initially excluded them given they are regarded as a premium brand, we were pleasantly surprised when their prices came back being competitive. So very excitingly we are looking at Adina having a quality North Sails main sail tailor made. We’ve had one of North Sails’ people on-board taking measurements and the sail should be with us in the New Year. Impressive.
So, suitably revived and rested, enjoying a last swim, a last play in the bright lights of Singapore, we moved just round the corner to Puerti Harbour in Malaysia. The trip involved dodging big ships left, right and centre. As has become our nature, we focused hard, judging whether we could cross in front of a ship or not. Not for everyone the sight of a large container going full speed and with its large bow bulb ploughing through the water, but we enjoyed it.
Tom’s father is next on our visitors list and we look forward to exploring a little bit of Malaysia with him. After that we fast-track up to Langkawi for Christmas and hope to be in Thailand for New Year.
Singapore was a blast but now it’s time to get back on the adventure track!
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