The plan was to check out of Indonesian waters at Tanjung Pinang but as we all know, plans are like rules – made to be broken.
As we had inadvertently put “Nongsa Point” as our point of exit from Indonesia on our paperwork that was where we had to go to do the deed. We knew that – we had just forgotten over the three months of sailing in this beautiful country.
We had really enjoyed Tanjung Pinang having looked beyond the dirt and the accumulated waste that was washed up inbetween the buildings that jut out into the water. So it felt sad to leave.
As always the the service was excellent at Nongsa Point – the staff there always help you in quietly and efficiently and our papers were taken off for processing straight away so we could leave the following day. Having said that, the cost of staying on a nightly basis was very much more expensive than any marina we have stayed in including pricey ones in Australia.
We had an excellent dinner at Harbour Bay Seafood near the ferry terminal. The food was delicious and it was rather special to be able to sit and watch the twinkling lights from across the Singapore Strait as we ate.
The following day we had a leisurely sail for a couple of hours to a bay “round the corner” from Nongsa Point but still on Batam Island, where we anchored ready for an early start to cross the Singapore Strait and make our way to Puteri Marina near Johor Bahru, just over the causeway from Singapore.
The Singapore Strait was surprisingly busy at first light (7am) and we had to do a fair bit of dodging, stopping, and moving in behind the giants plying the shipping lanes. It’s sort of like crossing a motorway with big trucks coming from both directions. Not scary really but you do have to be on the ball and watch carefully as some of those massive cargo vessels move extremely quickly – and they have no brakes so it is entirely up to you to take avoiding action!
We were soon over and beetling along just outside the shipping lane on the Singapore side when Capt’n Birdseye thought he heard the blower (fan) that cools the engine make a strange noise.
Just as he went below and stuck his finger in it to see if it was working (it was and two blades sheared off as a result of hitting the said finger), a large Police Boat loomed alongside and called us up on the radio.
Apparently we were just within the Singapore Port limit and they asked us to move so we were well clear.
This was the first time we had been asked to move out of the jurisdiction of Singapore and wondered if there was a security alert ongoing.
The launch watched us from a distance and as we proceeded up the Strait between Malaysia and Singapore towards Puteri Marina, we noticed another Police Launch that was probably also monitoring our route.
We managed to get to our marina berth without getting arrested or having our boat impounded and settled in quickly to this lovely spot with it’s abundance of good eateries and shops nearby selling all those goodies that are difficult to buy in Indonesia – cheese, ham, bacon and wine to name a few!
It had been a truly wonderful three months in Indonesia with many memories that will last a lifetime but as we sat down to a delightful curry at dinnertime it was a real treat to eat at a restaurant with menus, tablecloths, a bottle of wine and a choice of food that didn’t involve fish, squid or shellfish!