Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Singapore Strait

The Singapore and Malacca Straits are the most active waters in the world for piracy.  The good thing is that the pirates have no interest in hostage taking nor anything to do with sailboats.  They are mostly after cargo and fuel tankers.

The Singapore Strait is also the busiest waterway in the world.  It is about 20 miles across, has traffic lanes, and on this day, totally obscured by smoke.

We are about to turn and pass behind this massive tanker.

We departed Nongsa Point early for a 55 mile day with no wind to cross the Singapore Straits and clear in at the Puteri Harbor Marina, Johor Baru, Malaysia.  We had never seen so much shipping in one place.  We ran parallel to huge vessels and turned to cross behind them when they passed us only to have one come from the other direction so we would make a 180 and do the same thing again.  Each time chiseling away at the shipping lane finally to arrive on the Singapore side.  The AIS and Radar were indispensable.

This is a picture from our AIS display of the South tip of Singapore and the Strait.  The green triangles are ships.  The purple lines are the tracks from moving ships over the past 20 minutes.  The ships with black dots are anchored, the rest are moving.  The green line extending from the ship ending in a green circle tells where the ship will be in 20 minutes.  

Oil Drilling platforms being made at the Singapore Shipyard

We cut through anchorages to avoid moving boats and finally made it to the Western Reach.  This river, on the west of Singapore, would take us Puteri Harbor.  After three hours, we pulled in to a beautiful marina built in front of a shopping mall.  There were restaurants, shopping, and after 3 months of only Indonesian Bintang Beer, we now had wine and beer from all over the world available right in the marina complex.  Not only that, every place had Happy Hours that covered most of the day.
Puteri Harbor Marina

Tortuguita is at the end of the left pier.

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