I write from my desk while ‘parked’ at the Harbour Front cruise terminal. We have been here since late on Sunday 13th, having berthed at 6 p.m that evening. Unusually, because of the later arrival, we passed through the Eastern section of the Malacca Straits, probably the busiest of the world’s shipping lanes, during daylight. The Navigational watch-keepers had their work cut-out for them and although the team was supplemented by either myself or the Staff Captain, they were left to their own decision-making processes; with the occasional word of advice from us.
East & Central section
Our entrance. The massive green ‘blob’ are hundreds of AIS from ships
Now radar, with an electronic chart overlay, of the eastern approaches to the Straits as we make to enter the lane. The blue is shallow water,, the yellow ‘dots’ are shipping. Malaysia is north, Indonesia to the south. The triangles, at 1 and 2 o’clock are AIS of ships at anchor and other vessels in the lanes are showing their AIS.
A lower range. The Traffic Separation scheme, solid purple being the area which separates east/west bound ships and plots of ships in the lanes. We are top right, The solid purple is the ‘median’ or ‘central reservation’. It’s a ‘drive on the right’ system.
Now, the actual view out of the Bridge window.
We continue down the lane, overtaking most vessels. Although our speed averages around 15 knots, many of the ships are slower.
Due to the confines of the lanes one has to pass close to other vessels……..
………….Because there eastbound ships in the (close) other lane
We pass a cable-layer, I don’t envy them, slap bang in the middle, she has 2 ‘guard ships’ standing by her, ready to scream if anyone gets too close.
Continuing westwards, hundreds of ships lie at anchor, waiting for a berth or cargo and eventually to skyline of Singapore comes into view.
Foreground, anchored ships and the skyline behind. The unmistakable silhouette of the Marina Bay Sands hotel and resort centre.
Near Singapore, heavy rain is the ‘blob’ at 9 o’clock. To the north, ships at anchor or entering one of the many entrances to the port. and the lanes still full of ships.
Having swung in Cruise Bay, we back in during heavy rain
It soon clears and a beautiful sunset behind Portainer cranes on the distant Pasir Panjang terminal
Our berth as the sun sets. The Tanjong Pagar container terminal in the distance. This will be shut-down in the not too distant future and guess what? Yup, luxury apartments instead.
To starboard, an award-winning blocks of apartments. Yes, they are bent, more akin to banana..
The 14th takes me ashore at midday, I jump on the MRT, (Underground, Metro,) and make for Arab Street, where the ladies are waiting. My stay there is short-lived, they want to jump on a hop on-hop off bus and go to Chinatown, (aagh, shopping), so on the way, from the top deck of the bus, on a very hot and sticky day……
Arab Town and the Mosque
The ladies at the bus-stop. L-R, K2, K1, Hazel and Ivana.
Passing the Marina Bay Sands hotel. For those of you who aren’t aware, from a distance it resembles a cruise ship in the sky
Thence to China Town and the markets…I took these photos and then left them to it, back on the MRT to Harbour Front and the ship; they, of course continued their pillaging…….
A colourful temple
With intricate figurines
Just part of the market
Closing in for the kill…..
And a pose for the camera
We sail at 10 p.m. tonight, out into the Straits once more and on our way to Phuket, Thailand forthe 17th, more later………………