The Great Southern Route : 2013 - 2014
CAPTAIN'S LOG SINGAPORE 226 | GSR s t a y q around the marina over the past few years. Now almost completed, there are a large range of high-class shops, restaurants and hotels opening. The Marina boasts excellent pool and gym facilities and maintains very high standards of food and service in its hotel and restaurants. I'm not going to try to deceive you, but compared to other countries in Asia, Singapore is expensive, not so much concerning marina fees but eating out and drinking can hurt, however, you don't need to spend too much as there are hawker centres dotted all over Singapore, great local food and so cheap, while other areas for a good meal and cheap drinks would be Chinatown or little India. I have to say, I love the black peppered crab at one of the many restaurants situated along Boat Quay, but remember you have to barter well before you sit down to eat! -- Believe me, the taste is second to none! Of course, Singapore is renowned for its shops, which are in some of the best shopping centres in the world, along with a large range of International Five-Star Hotels, very popular with the yachting fraternity. The Island of Sentosa has its own attractions, with Resort World, beaches and wave pool for surfing; all good fun. Singapore is one of those places that's really worth reading up on before entering as there are some restricted and prohibited areas -- good pilot guides will have all the information you need and it's worth looking on the MPA website at www.mpa.gov.sg for all details on protocols and procedures for entering and leaving harbour and for foreign yachts in Singapore. A couple of things to note: on all the major fairways, if crossing, you must give way to any traffic in the that fairway. When entering Singapore for the first time, if you are staying in Keppel Marina or Oneº15 Marina, make sure you first anchor at the western anchorage area to clear immigration; a work boat will come alongside so make sure you have fenders ready just in case. For visiting yachts, once in Singapore it can be difficult to cruise the area due to the amount of commercial shipping in and around the port and within the straits themselves, not to mention all the regulations that go with it. You will need to obtain a local cruising permit that is acquired via an online test, submitting a cruising plan to the MPA and renting a HARTs system (if you don't have an AIS). Once obtained this can only be used during daylight hours, so this does restrict you to basically moving between marinas. Also, you must remember that if you leave Singapore port waters it is considered an international trip and you must clear immigration if re-entering. Singapore is only a stone's throw from some great locations, with Indonesia right on the doorstep. Battam's Nongsa point marina always seems to be a favourite with local yachts, as well as cruising around the Island of Bintan. If you fancy going farther afield then a Trip to Pulau Tioman, about 120NM on the East cost of Malaysia, is a cracking trip, great for diving, white sandy beaches and some really nice resorts. Despite the local regulations and procedures you must adhere to, the benefits of cruising in Singapore waters far outweigh these regulatory requirements, and having sailed around a large part of South East Asia, I can vouch that there really is nowhere quite like it.
2010 - 2011