Moving “foreign yachts” around Singapore waters

Truthfully, I had a hard time deciding on the subject of this post… which would be better? “Moving foreign yachts around Singapore waters” or “Sailing Calliste in busy Singapore waters” or “Navigating a small vessel amongst the giants in busy Singapore waters”?  

I hope this info is helpful to foreign visiting yachts to Singapore and maybe of some use to the local sailors and at the same time, be a fun blog to read… afterall, I did have a fun day out.

26/06/2010, 0700hrs: We arrive at SAFYC Changi with food and water for a day sailing trip, eager and in good spirits. Calliste has been sitting in SAFYC for a little over 2 months now, Doug expect prop to be fouled. A dive, to clean the prop is top on our list. There is still a sheen of oil on the water, so my job is to try to clear the area around Doug as best as I can with Simple Green and water hose. Despite my best efforts, Doug is still abit oily.

Like I mention in the last post, Calliste has something similar to “milky lips”, except that its really “oily lips”… just from sitting 2 days in water with the oily sheen water.

1130hrs: It took me longer than I expected to sort out the money matters with the YC. I would like to leave at 1000hrs… but it takes what it takes… BTW, in Singapore waters, I am the captain of foreign registered yacht Calliste. I have the PPCDL (MPA license for boating in Singapore), therefore was able to purchase the MPA required 3rd party insurance for Calliste, on the condition that on any trip, I must captain the boat with at least 1 competant crew (vessel owner Doug).

This is a escape pod? So cute!

1145hrs: Calliste left her berth nice and slowly without any drama…

1200hrs: We were underway, just outside the walls of SAFYC. I, as captain of the vessel and as required of me, made a phone call to the Marine Safety Department of MPA to inform them of Callistes’ intended passage and route. I was shocked, but had to turn back. Permit to make this trip was not granted! Because we hadnot followed the proper procedures to get the cruising permit 3 days in advance! :O . Totally shocked that we may not make this passage when the weather and conditions were fabulous, but simply due to the technicality.

Ohhh... I want 1 of these... ... can I can I can I?

1230hrs: Calliste back at SAFYC, tied to fuel dock. Captain Lang sat for the test for master of foreign vessels in order to obtain the permit… Fortunately I had enuf local knowledge and common sense enuf to pass. Trust me, the test wasnt that simple.. and that was just the 1st hoop.

1330hrs: Captain Lang took the public transport, rushed over to Keppel Marina to rent 1 a Harts transponder …(because the one at SAFYC was not working!).

1600hrs: Captain Lang back at SAFYC, and promptly got underway again. Fortunately for us, the great boating weather stayed with us for the whole trip… but the current was not so good for us… we missed the “free ride” … sigh… and it was all seriously choppy all the way until we make the turn past the Southern Islands..

Eerie looking ship.. and its BIG!

Although we were pretty shaken up by last minute “bureaucratic” events, and the violent tossing, I still am in pretty good spirits to enjoy the trip… and the sights… I dunno about you guys, but I always did enjoy moving small vessels around the super giants… 🙂 It dont scare me… … and did I hear on the VHF ” little boat little boat, this is MV something… are you crossing my path?”… VHF comms are sometimes very muffled and I have no idea if we are the little boat that should respond to that call…. well, but I did slow down and alter course 10deg port to allow the container ship to pass ahead of me… hmm… did it really think I didnt see him coming…? Or did the captain think that I am going to insist on my right of way and cut infront of him… hmm…? Oh come on, get real…

Hey look, this is an interesting one. See the cute escape pod?

And look, lighting make this ship look huge, dark and forebodding. Like something out of a nightmare…

Riptides. See the water going 1 way and another?

1800hrs: We made the starboard turn into the channel between the southern islands and sister’s islands. At this point, the currents changed and now in our favour. The chops ceased immediately, but then we got into the rip tides. This is an area of very fast cross currents. Sometimes we make 7ks(mostly), sometimes 4kns.

The helicopter flypast. National Day Parade review from the sea.

On hindsight… maybe God altered my trip in his strange, but kindly meant ways… being there between those islands at the time we were was simply a treat! We had a fabulous sunset, a learning experience of boat handling in  riptides, beautiful view of the islands and plus the display of helicopters flying in formation for the National Day Parade rehearsal.

Flypast over the Sisters.

Oh, did I mention the moonrise? 1 minute it was sunset, then turning my face about, there was the moonrise! This is just spectacular!

Sun setting over Jurong. Ships anchored near Jurong Island

1900hrs: Passing Sentosa. Its getting a little dark. Time to turn on the lights..

Called Keppel on the VHF channel 77. They will assist us in finding the way into our new berth… BTW, it was quite difficult navigating thru the unknown waters leading into the marina. We almost ran aground at Labrador Park. Definately advise all helmsman to go very slowly around the area at night. The many lights around that area are definately a great distraction for boaters. The red/green leading lights into the marina were small and difficult to find among the numerous lights all over the place. 

It was just getting dark, enuf to see the rising moon.

2000hrs: We are in. Slowly we crawl into our slip. The dock staff were great. They knew how to tie up a boat and receive new visitors, well prepared and well educated on our needs… we got a goodie bag and were hook up to the utilities in no time. Aaaarrrrr, time for a hot shower at their very fancy new facilities… and then back to the aircon cabin for the night… The pleasures of what money can buy…


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

Sailing 2013: Singapore -> Okinawa -> Kobe

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