| 4:40 PM local time, Wednesday, January 2 (0940 Jan. 2 UTC) 07 49 S 098 21 E.
Temp. 85, Humidity 61%, Cloud Cover 0%. At anchor, Chalong Bay, Phuket
Warm greetings from the crew of Maverick.
Well with this missive we've pretty much got you up to date now. In this
missive there'll be a brief description of our visit to Batam, Indonesia,
Singapore, and the passage through the Strait of Malacca to Phuket.
The Nongsa Point Marina, across from Singapore and still in Indonesia, is
really a resort. It's not much of a boat place. No one there knows anything
about boats and there are no shops or repair facilities. They have fuel,
water and ice, and that's it. It's also the most viciously rolly marina we've
ever been to, and shredded a couple of our dock lines. Other than that,
there's really nothing to say about it.
For about $13 US, you can take a half hour ferry ride from Nongsa to
Singapore. You're leaving a country and entering another, so each passage
requires documents and there are security checkpoints. But this inconvenience
is worth it for the vast difference in price between Nongsa and Raffles
Marina in Singapore, one of the most luxurious marinas you'll ever see. There
are other choices around Singapore, but they are really no more convenient to
the city than Nongsa, and for that matter, neither is Raffles.
Singapore is by far the biggest city on our itinerary and, with apologies
to those who have visited there and have fond memories, I found it among the
least interesting places we've seen. There's nothing really wrong with it as
far as big cities go. But I found it telling that every cab driver informed
us that you could easily see everything of note in two days. You'd never hear
that in San Francisco or New York. I don't know if it's true, but we spent
three days there, mostly dealing with repairs and boat parts, and didn't
really feel as though there were a lot of things we missed. Maybe the big
hotels are the attraction, but we didn't see them.
The passage from Singapore to Phuket, up the Strait of Malacca and along
the west coast of Malaysia, was completely free, as we've mentioned, of its
advertised horrors. We saw some impressive lightning but hazards from humans
were not to be found. Most of the sail was a close reach with some current
help. We made the trip, a little less than 600 miles, in exactly four days,
and this includes dodging the shipping traffic around Singapore.
Chalong Bay, where we are now anchored on the southeast coast of Phuket,
is shallow and a bit rolly. There are about twenty-five cruisers here, but
many of these are going no further west or are local cruising boats. In the
next couple of weeks we will be trying to find out who's going to Sri Lanka
and talk about our strategy for piracy, corruption, etc. There's a real
horror story, actually a series of horror stories, on the web about these
subjects by a cruiser who went through last year at
www.tallships.ca/voyage/archive2.html. See the postings for March 25 and on.
We'll be trying to determine to what extent his experience is typical.
(1) Saw CNN's depiction of the attacks by the Dayak on the Madurans on
their round up of the year's biggest news stories. The Dayak were indeed
carrying blowpipes and swords, and it looked pretty grim.
(2) On a lighter note, I think the folks in Borneo play VCDs, not
(3) In answer to your queries, earlier in the voyage Ship's Lensman
Terry Shrode contributed some of the photographs, but since Fiji, the Captain
has been solely responsible for those out of focus and poorly lit images.
They don't teach photography at Captain's School. I use an Olympus D-460 Zoom
1.3 megapixel camera. Today of course I could get twice the camera for half
the cost of what I paid a year ago.
(4) Audio sample of gamelan band is now available for downloading on
our website, www.ussmaverick.net.
PS to my brother and sister, Anne, Elizabeth, Bill, Bob, Barry,
Michael and Terry, Peter, McEntee, Mac, Dr. Frank, Steve, Emmy and Eric, Jim
T., and the many others who've written very, very kind and supportive holiday
greetings: thanks very much and back at ya. I say others because there's been
some confusion surrounding the loss of the computer and using internet cafes
instead. I'm pretty positive we got all your messages, as Theresa is very
diligent about forwarding them, but I don't have them all on the boat to
refer to. Keep those cards and letters coming, email style, to
PS to Sally: We asked a couple of people about the "wet market" but
they didn't know about it, so whatever it is, we didn't see it
PS to Tom and Sharon: couldn't locate Camelot to tender your apologies
and goodwill purchase. Chalong Bay is shallow as I mentioned, and you'd
remember the very prominent "Jimmy's Lighthouse" as a landmark.
PS to Hank: Couldn't locate Beau Jour.
Next report from this location:
What Terry Missed