A bumboat trip

15 Feb. Today I am taking a bumboat ferry ride back to SG. “Bumboats” have been plying this SG – Pengerang route since my grandfathers’ days. I dont know much about the history, but those bumboats looks like they were handed down from that era, and the operators of this business now maintains it that way…

bumboat loading at Pengerang

bumboat loading at Pengerang

So here I am today, making my way back to SG, after another great weekend at Sebana. Doug decided it was probably best for him to stay for the week, and since I am not allowed to drive myself back, this bumboat trip is the cheapest way home for me. This is also a 1st experience on how to do it.
On our way, leaving Pengerang BB terminal

On our way, leaving Pengerang BB terminal

When we got to the “ticket counter”, we werent sure what we should do. There were no instructions and no counter staff to help you. I guess the culture here is to follow the lead by someone who has done this before. Soon, other passengers came along and dropped their passports into a slot, and so I followed. Then, the bumboat captain comes along, collect the passports, make a passenger list, puts the passports on the desk, then the passengers go forward to grab their passports and walk after the captain. Clear immigration, hop onto the boats and viola, here we go. Only 30mins, from the captains arriving at the desk to departing again. They usually will wait for the bumboats to fill up to 12 persons, but today was a busy day for them..
Well, I am pretty sad, leaving Doug and ending my weekend getaway earlier than usual, but I move on. The ride was surprisingly stable, the interior was clean, things were put away. Cost of ride was RM$16, a bargain I think. Takes about 40 mins.
Red buoy and channel marker

Red buoy and channel marker

For those of you who are non-seafarers, heres a little marinetime information for you. Did you ever wonder how captains drives boats around other boats? Which is the right of way? Unlike road traffic, there is no “lane markings” on the water. So how do we navigate?
Introducing to yer landlubbers, the  Red Buoy. Just like drivers obey traffic lights, captains use the various buoys for navigation aid.
Green buoy marking the entrance to Changi Point Ferry terminal

Green buoy marking the entrance to Changi Point Ferry terminal

And heres the Green Buoy, and remember to keep the Red on your left and Green on your right when entering a port or a channel.
Bumboat captains are excellent at boat handling in tight quarters. Check out the picture on bumboat parking at Changi Village terminal. It is tight getting in and out!
So, my 1st ride on a cross border bumboat wasnt not bad at all. Will be doing it again going back to Sebana on Friday.
Thats us arriving at SG
Thats us arriving at SG
Bumboats waiting for next load of passengers.

Bumboats waiting for next load of passengers.

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Sailing 2015: Port Townsend(WA, US) -> Costes Island (BC, Canada)

Sailing 2013: Singapore -> Okinawa -> Kobe

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