Police warning for Bali Hai

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. 

Our last sunset in Tanjung Penang

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.

An Indonesian Navy gun boat saw us out!

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. 

Thank you we felt very welcomed

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. 

A lone fisherman we passed as we made for Nongsa Point Marina

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. 

One of the many ferries we saw on the way
View from the restaurant

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. 

Lovely leisurely sail with Singapore in the distance
An unusually clear view of Singapore
Our anchorage amongst the hulks!
Dawn breaks

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!

Over we go!
Going in behind this one!
Lovely clear shot of Singapore
Better change direction
The Indonesian flag comes down

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. 

Oh no! The Police draw up alongside at the worst possible moment!

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. 

The Capt’n’s quick fix to hold up the fan until we got into the marina!
Apparently we were just within the Singapore Port limit and they asked us to move so we were well clear. 

Yes believe it not this monster was moving

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. 

Think we’d better give way!
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. 

Saw this old beauty going past Singapore Straits Marina

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!

I just had to sit on this beautiful chair at our favourite Indian restaurant!

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!

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Salty tales from Bali Hai

In 2015, after a break from cruising of almost 30 years, my husband and I sailed off into the sunset - this time to the wonderful Islands of Indonesia and beyond. Three years passed and we swapped sails for wheels driving through Scandinavia and Europe in a motor home. Now we are on the brink of another adventure - buying a Lagoon 420 Catamaran in Athens. This is our story.

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