Friday, July 20, 2012

Interlude in Singapore

We've been marina hopping in Singapore. Our first choice of posh marinas has always been 115 Marina but at present they are "fully booked". So we arrived at Raffles Marina and checked in there from Malaysia. There's no good reason not to like Raffles but we just didn't care for the place itself. Janet says the 'vibe' is off and I couldn't come up with a better explanation. When you add to that the isolation of the marina, you have to take a twenty minute bus ride to get to the MRT (the Singapore subway) and then ride the MRT for at least half an hour to get anywhere you might want to go, and the fact that there's no store of any kind at the marina, it's pretty inconvenient. There is a nice pool and a gym of sorts and probably the best yacht chandlery in Singapore (still not all that great) but for us it didn't add up.
Raffles Marina
 So when we got an opening at Keppel Bay Marina we switched. Keppel is on the other side of the island and has really excellent access to the city. It's part of a very posh development and includes some of the most spectacular high rise architecture in the world. It's very well organized and the 'vibe' is friendly and efficient. True, there's no pool and no gym but the facilities are excellent and the atmosphere is quiet and easy going, especially by Singapore standards.
The Marina at Keppel Bay
Now we have a reservation for 115 Marina beginning the 30th and that's where all the goodies fall into place. If we've got to spend a fair chunk of change to be in a marina it may as well have it all and 115 does. Nice pool, good gym, great facilities, big 7-11 on the property, excellent access to the city, etc, etc. The only drawback is the very urban atmosphere but the marina itself is quiet and peaceful.

Most of the boat stuff is done and the boat is in good shape. I'm a little amazed at my very short "to do" list. I only hope it holds.

The Marina Bay Sands complex
Singapore is as flashy as ever in the flashy parts of town and Little India and Arab Town are as interesting as ever. The whole city is the most incredibly landscaped and vegetated urban environment. Much of that element is truly beautiful. Of course much of the city is high rise, very high density, public housing which is not appealing in itself but is still very well kept and squeaky clean. My understanding is that everyone who lives in this housing has to purchase their property. The purchase and selling arrangements are very carefully controlled but everyone does own their place and that probably has a lot to do with the success of these housing arrangements.

We went to the Jurong Bird Park on Janet's birthday where a Yellow Napped Amazon Parrot sang happy birthday to her in English. The bird park, along with the Singapore zoo, may be the best in the world.

All in all we've been to Singapore too often over the years of flying and now sailing. It's the perfect example of the "interesting place to visit but I wouldn't want to live there." We're waiting for my nephew Scott to show up on the 1st of August and within a few days after that we'll be outta here. Janet is still hoping some other friend will decide to crew with us and she can avoid doing this passage she dreads. We still have a few guys considering the idea. Anybody interested in a little Indian Ocean crossing?

Janet in her "spot".
Love to all,
Bill & Janet
S/V Airstream

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