It's Party Time!

Trip Start Dec 31, 2011
Trip End Apr 20, 2012

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Flag of Singapore  ,
Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Saturday 4 February 2012 - Straits of Malacca

 The rain is lashing down and has been all afternoon. Visibility is seriously restricted, less than a mile and there seems no let up in sight. We are a smidgen away from the equator but you wouldn’t know from standing outside as the temperature has dropped considerably (to 25). We are due to pass Singapore tomorrow (Sunday) early afternoon so I am hoping I will have telephone contact with home.

The BBQ was a great success yesterday and the weather played its part by providing a dry, warm evening. Much food was eaten and beer consumed to the pumping beat of Filipino & Croatian music – fortunately not at the same time! The tropical storm that lit up the horizon as darkness fell added to the ambience.

I made a new friend even though he informs me he hates the police. This animosity stems from a violent incident in Croatia and has been compounded since by his apparent total disregard for speed limits while riding his high powered motorbike. Whilst not condoning or commenting on the events he recounted, I made the point that for 30 years I frequently came into contact with people who would not invite me to join them for tea, and so I am very familiar with mixing with people who are not necessarily paid up supporters of law enforcers. We still got on well and were the last to leave. Did our final parting have anything to do with the beer running out??

Sunday 5 February 2012 - Straits of Singapore

Today has been a terrific day! There have been several highlights – so in chronological order:

I spent most of the day on the bridge (and so too has the Captain) because the approach to Singapore is certainly one of, if not the busiest waterways in the world. Interspersed with ocean going traffic are many fishing boats, some with cabins and inboard engines and some just skiffs with one man on board. They all have to be avoided and not just the boats themselves, but if possible, their nets. At one point I counted 50 ships (not fishing boats) visible from the bridge but given the haze and 32 heat, there were many more just visible that I could not count.

Speaking to Yvonne and Anne was also a highlight. I didn’t realise how much I am missing them.

I could see in Singapore itself, the roof garden built across the tops of high rise buildings – you may have seen pictures on the internet of the infinity swimming pool that looks totally surreal. The buildings even from a distance also look very unusual.

As Singapore was receding in the afternoon sun, one of the crew saw me on a deck above him and called up, ‘Party started. Cookie’s birthday tomorrow but we are celebrating today’ was the invitation to attend. As I entered the crew’s mess room, a cheer went up. I don’t think I have a problem being accepted here!

The karaoke was good but the guitar strumming and signing by one of the Filipino oilers was of the highest standard and good entertainment.

And the last highlight of the day was standing out on deck in the bright moonlight with the warm equatorial air rushing past. It is no longer hot but still pleasantly warm at 21.30 and as it is windy, no toxic fumes to spoil the ambience!

I am turning in, a passenger very happy with his experiences today.

Sent by email from the ship and posted by the Old Sea Dog's PA
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