Airstream was last seen in Singapore securely strapped down to the hatches of the M/V Thorco Svendborg bound for Marmaris, Turkey. We're home waiting for one more position update before making our final travel plans to meet the ship and off-load. The ship was scheduled to have departed Phuket, Thailand yesterday, where it picked up sixteen more yachts, and is supposed to arrive in Marmaris the 2nd of April. We'll see!
|M/V Thorco Svendborg at Jurong Port|
Shipping the boat was the last alternative after exhausting other options if we want to go west after two years in SE Asia. We made two attempts at the route to South Africa outlined in previous blog entrees. I explored the alternatives of getting my own weapons to the boat and going across the Arabian Sea with some capable friends. This proved impossible due to an impenetrable international bureaucracy. We talked with several security companies about putting two guys on board with additional weapons for a friend and me. No problem, but at $1000 per day per man, for three weeks, this was even more expensive than shipping, not to mention the other costs of the voyage. So we shipped the boat using Sevenstar Yacht Transport.
|Janet at "Cloud Forest" Singapore|
We flew into Singapore, on the way spent a night at the Radisson Narita in Japan to see old friends, and took ground transport to the boat across the Strait of Johor in Malaysia. The boat was in excellent condition, the guy I had looking after it was very good, and even all the electronics worked.
|Wonders of Japan. Heated, electronically controlled toilet seat at the Radisson. Don't even think about pressing those buttons! Manual reversion only.|
This is not a given after leaving a boat for six months in the tropics. We moved the boat back to Singapore at One15Marina and waited for the ship. One15Marina is not exactly a hardship post, actually its rather posh, so we lazed around the pool, did a little tourist stuff in Singapore, ate some good Indian food and made something of the last time we ever plan on being in that part of the world.
|Marina Bay Sands from Gardens by the Bay|
Low and behold, the ship showed up in Singapore as scheduled. We took on the pilot, required by the port of Singapore, and followed the safety boat, required by the port of Singapore, into the deep inner reaches of Singapore Jurong Port where the ship was at a wharf. Sevenstar's loadmasters proved to be very professional and the ship's crew very capable. The loading was quite a process but all was well and the boat went on board undamaged.
|Positioning the hoist|
|The anxious skipper|
If as the shipping company says, AGW WP, which means "all goes well, weather permitting", the ship will arrive in Marmaris and we'll be there to off-load. We'll fly DL to Amsterdam, KLM to Istanbul, Pegasus Airlines down to Dalaman, Turkey and ground transport to Marmaris. Since neither of us has been to Istanbul we'll plan on a few days there enroute, everybody says its a great city.
|Up she goes|
So, AGW WP, we're looking forward to a great six months in Greek and Turkish waters. Please stay tuned, the next update should be from Marmaris, Turkey and we're excited about the season to come.
Love to all,
Bill & Janet