The Captain’s Log
It is amazing how these little newsletters have caught on. We have people from all over the world signing up for them and many log on to read the old ones. What started as a way of sharing our sometimes hard earned or expensive experiences has grown quite a bit. The one constant is our dedication to sharing our adventures, successes, and sometimes failures in the hopes they will help you to avoid making the same mistakes or help you when visiting some of the remote places where we work.
In September we did all our maintenance getting Vega ready for the up coming season in Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand when she will be on display and often have important visitors not to mention the press casting a critical eye on her. Maintaining Vega in top condition is not only a point of pride, but also a responsibility to posterity. We want her to live another 100 years and the best way to insure that is by keeping her in top condition now. It is not an easy task. We do it through hard work, dedication, and the help of our friends. Without their help we simply could not keep her in first class condition or do our humanitarian work.
October was a busy month that started out in Serangan Bay, saw a long stop-over in Jakarta, and ended up in Singapore back at Raffles Marina, one of our favorites. We were fortunate to have Andy Woodward on board helping out for the whole trip. Andy originally volunteered to sail a "few days" with us from Bali to Singapore and wound up being "Shanghaied" for almost a month. Since he was not complaining - too loudly - he must have been having fun and for sure helped out quite a bit.
Normally we would never dream of stopping over in Jakarta. That is one port that gives whole new meaning to the terms dirty and complicated. I think it was either there or Benoa in Bali where the phrase "Land of the outstretched palm" came from. But this year we had another more important incentive...helping the children in the main hospital's children's ward.
To learn more and how you also can help »
Thanks to a lot of volunteer leg work by Hendra Dunas of Jotun and the kindness of Pak Jusli who is the owner of the Jet Ski cafe and the head of the local Harley Davidson club we were able to tie up at one of Jakarta's most impressive water front locations... right beside the Jet Ski Cafe, on Pantai Mutiara. Jusli is an amazing character who has done some fantastic adventures. Try riding a jet ski from Jakarta to Singapore in 36 hours or riding a Harley chopper over 6,000 kms in true "Easy Rider" fashion around The U.S. If you go to Jakarta for any reason and want to escape the madness his place is well well worth a visit. Good food, cold ones, and a great atmosphere to relax from the insanity of the big, noisy, dirty city.
Jotun Crew sails Vega
While in Jakarta we managed to get the Jotun marine team on board for a sail. We had a great time pulling sails and sailing along at 5-6 knots on light winds. Rumor has it some were even seen climbing the rat lines.
See some pictures from that fun day »
No sooner had we arrived in Singapore than we discovered Raffles was supporting the Ladies Helm Race to raise funds for the Singapore Breast Cancer Foundation. True to form we instantly volunteered Vega to help out in any way possible. So, on the 16th we had the honor of being the committee boat for that race and of coarse enjoying the party later that evening. The event raised over S$ 5,000 for the foundation.
For years we have been splicing our old spars again and again to keep them in service "just a little longer" now at last it looks like we may just have serious replacements on the way. For more »
Selecting a marina for a short stop over in Singapore is not an easy task. Every marina offers luxury facilities and a whole song and dance about how they are the latest and the greatest, but what they do not talk about are the currents and whorl pools, how far out of your way is the marina, difficulties getting in and out, wakes from passing tankers, long drudges to check in and out again (doing it offshore can take all day- trust me, I know), and of coarse what services do you really get. We have spent a lot of time in Singapore and would like to save you from making many of the mistakes we made before discovering Raffles Marina.
Raffles is without a doubt the easiest to get in and out of and the safest marina in Singapore. The entire channel is well buoyed and lit all the way up to the docks. There are no tricky currents to deal with, the tide state is not a factor, and you can even make the entry in perfect confidence at night. Once you arrive customs and immigration is taken care of by the marina staff saving you the complicated time consuming job of doing it yourself. The facilities are spotless and the staff really is friendly and very helpful. Oh, and Meggi says not to forget the free newspaper delivered to the boat every morning... or the designer pool. Raffles is simply one of the most comfortable marinas we have found in the whole region. The other advantage is that if a boat needs it you can find it at Raffles so no need to spend days exploring Singapore looking for some spare part or service.
For more information visit their website at www.rafflesmarina.com.sg or contact them via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Just to make life easier here are the best waypoints to use from Nongsa Point Marina to Raffles.