Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Made Her Bottom Bright Red

X leaves Danga Bay, Malaysia for the boatyard at Raffles Marina in Singapore. With the ship's new Certificate of Documentation in hand we're cleared for international travel. It's only a dozen miles. The documentation was greatly delayed due to some blunders by the previous owner and the agent. There was also the previously unanswerable mystery of whether any duties or taxes might be levied by Malaysian Customs. This has clouded my finances ever since signing the deal back at New Years. But all went smoothly. Customs either doesn't care or didn't notice. I wasn't going to point it out. I've a long official paper trail now so I should be safe from taxes. Happily, I paid the 6 Ringgit, two dollar, port fee. It pays for those helpful buoys and lights. Which, by the way, are all brightly painted and winking their lights quite unlike those I tried to spot off California recently. It's probably simpler here. I pay 6 Ringgit, somebody puts fuel in the boat, goes out and replaces the bulb. Direct, simple. No long forms approved by Washington to buy the ten light bulbs needed for California buoys.</rant>

So we motor toward Singapore. X and I. Very slowly. The route is down a long arm of the sea. The prop is completely encrusted with barnacles. Because we must arrive at the marina at high tide we traveling against the tide's current up the channel. So we hoist sail. Much faster. We arrive at the marina and quickly check-in with the border officials. Chop. Chop. X gets hoisted out and into the boatyard. Ugh, she's a mess from neglect.

So the workers clean. It rains. It continues like this for a week. Sand. Rain. Rain. Grind. Rain. Grind. Rain. Epoxy filler. Rain. Rain. More filler. Rain. Sand. Rain. Paint. Rain. Paint. Rain.

And today she's beautiful. Clean, smooth, red and looks fast. It rains.

That entire week I'm inside cleaning and organizing the lockers. I did this once before a month ago. I did it a week ago on Eupsychia. I don't want to do it again for at least two years. There are about 40 lockers and cubby-holes here.

Some lockers are inside other lockers. All of them have treasure. Some of the treasure might have value to somebody. Out goes a few hundred pounds of rusted, or bent, or unidentifiable treasure. The rest gets stowed where it belongs. All I have left is a small pile of "Do I need this and if I do where does it go?" Cleaned the bilge too. Just like when mom let me clean the fireplace at three. I now have a huge amount of room for food, beer and toys. Here's the beer selection so far: S'pore Tiger, Danish Carlsberg and Chinese Yan Jing. There's other brands available, but the tax is high and these are the smart-shopper ones. Actually some cruisers see these fancy beers and remark "Well over at Giant I got Olde Sheep Dip liters for..." But I just won't drink that stuff unless it's handed to me free and cold.

The manager says I'll sail on Monday. It's Thursday now.

All this time I'm eating curry rice dinners on the street instead of tacos on the street. Same spicy yummy cheap idea. Remarkably different asian flavor! Sometimes I cook for myself. Sometimes it's good. I'm also trying to eat through vast stores of Western food like canned tomato sauce and pasta that is cluttering up the lockers. And of course I can't miss the muelsi breakfast.

Photos: X on the hard/DA; Future bilge cleaning man/Mom; Singapore beer and salami/DA

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