We were scheduled to stop in the Dangka Bay marina for about 3 weeks before the start of the Sail Malaysia rally. This gave us ample time to go and explore as it was a simple jump across the water into Singapore itself.
Myself and Brian went across first for 3 days and did some of the typical tourist things, went on the open top bus tours, used the underground system extensively (which is brilliant), visited Little India, China Town, Raffles Hotel, etc,etc. We returned to the boat as Brian had to pack his bags as he was due to leave the following Saturday. His part of the trip was over, both of us had signed up until Singapore but the owners had already asked us to stay on further, Brian had some things to sort out at home and as Christmas was looming thought he’d better return to see his kids and grandkids.
No sooner had he decided to return he had an offer of crossing the Atllantic, something he had always wanted to do, so it was home for 3 weeks, 3 weeks crossing the atlantic and then back for Christmas, maybe. ( could you return to Blighty for Xmas if you were in Antigua ?!). It was sad to see Brian go, we had been crew mates for 6 months and had got on fine, no problems at all and probably kept each other sane whilst the husband and wife team argued everyday. I have a feeling we will meet up again probably on a boat somewhere cruising around the world, hope so.
I went back into Singapore the following week and ended up staying a whole week there. Theres lots to see and do, the marina bay area is always a nice place to go to kill some time, always seems a bit cooler being near the waters edge.
I went over to the sea aquarium on the nearby Santosa Island, this is basically a tourist island with lots of attractions to keep you busy for a while. I’m a bit of a sucker for aquariums and had heard this was a good one so had to go and visit. I went over to the island by the cable car ride, from here you could see just how massive Singapore is as a port, the amount of cranes, docks and containers everywhere was just amazing.
Aquariums can’t really be that different when you think about it, theres a section for shell fish, a section for jelly fish, a section for coral fish, a section for odd looking fish, etc,etc,etc. So having toured around for a bit i thought it was as good as the others but that was it. Then i turned the corner and walked through this darkened tunnel, i could hear voices at the other end and then walked into this huge stage area. In front of me was the biggest single aquarium i have ever seen !! I can’t remember the dimensions but apparantly its the biggest single aquarium in the world. The species and amount of fish was just amazing, huge, huge stingrays/mantarays, huge sharks, massive Groupers, thousands of other small groups of fish swimming in their shoals. It really was an amazing sight, you could spend hours there simply watching them swim around. When i thought that was it i went towards the exit and then you walk through a tunnel which is under the aquarium., all sorts of different types of sharks were in there, reef sharks, basking sharks, etc. A fabulous place to visit.
The Singapore Flyer is the worlds biggest (they’ve done it again) ferris wheel, bigger than the London Eye. I had bought a ticket and was advised by the hostel i was staying at to go at dusk so you could watch the sunset. Unfortunately it was normally a little cloudy at the end of a day so i just decided to do a night time trip, i think any city at night somehow looks impressive with all its lights and skyscrapers lit up.
My week was coming to an end in Singa’s so i enjoyed the bars and music down in Clarke Quay on the friday and saturday night, the bars were expensive (up to 10 pounds a pint) unless you found the happy hour bars and then you could keep it to around half that. On the saturday night i was sitting in such a bar waiting for the live music to start. A couple were sitting on a table next to me and the guy sat up and asked where i was from, not being able to hear too well he asked me over to his table. He was a South African with a Thai wife, we started chatting and he was a really nice guy. He was working over in the docks in west Singapore, something to do with automated systems on the big boats. He lived in Rayong in Thailand with his wife, did 2/3 weeks work somewhere and then spent 2/3 weeks at home. He was a very funny guy and we had a few laughs over some beers while the blues band played. He gave me his card as i told him i might be seeing my friend who lives close by in Pattaya just before Xmas, he insisted i come to visit them if i was up there. Another friend met along the way i think.