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Larkabout 2009 The Larkin's World "Tantrum" tour 2008/2009.

En route to Malaysia – Java and South China Seas

MALAYSIA | Sunday, 25 January 2009 | Views [704] | Comments [1]

Well, see opening comments, really.
As I speak (11 30pm ish 1 December), we are anchored about 25 miles south west of Singapore, having a wee breather from the noise and inexorableness of the always efficient Perkins and will leave tomorrow morning to bolt across the Straits of Malacca and head up to Port Kelang, where we hope to haul the boat and paint its bottom .
And I spoke too soon…the gear box failed about 4pm when we were about 6 hours clear of Singapore(yess had successfully sneaked past without spending any money) and were obliged to sail back down the hill at a thumping 2knts or so through the night so that we could pull into Singapore with our tail between our legs and our credit cards in our holsters. The nearest marina that we could drift into was of course the most expensive one and once the boys had removed the gearbox, it was all over bar the whimpering at the end. Still, nice breakfast at the marina – penang fried rice noodles, and mango lassi. Delicious.
Things to recommend about Singapore:
The satay is better
Well, all the food is amazing really
The trains are really efficient and the taxi drivers have a good sense of humour.
There is a Borders there and books are quite a bit cheaper than Australia.
The night of my birthday, we came out of the movie theatre (“Bolt” – do yourself a favour and go to the matinee) onto Orchard Road and Lo! The government had really thoughtfully strung up millions of lights all over the joint for me. I’ve written to thank them.

There were redeeming features at Raffles Marina though – outrageously good pool with slides and water cannons and room to do laps, a gym (and an 8 lane bowling alley, although that wasn’t free) and interesting company. We took advantage of all three.
People we met:
Mad Charlie from Liverpool and his crew Uruguayan Juan
Chas from Tas – legendary Australian Skipper with his own website and drinking problem
Strange Norwegian Tom
Young Arun from Hungary who is circumnavigating on a 16’ boat and no I’m not kidding
South African Morne and his American wife Colleen who were really helpful about stuff and their just too gorgeous 2 year old son
Philippino Mikey who looks about 16 and is actually 37 and who we worked out we had met at the Americas Cup in ’99.
And of course Hyder Nair Singapore local retired Warrant Officer who looked after security there and took such a shine to Jack that he rustled up a full Singapore Army uniform including boots and embroidered name tag for him and took us all out to dinner. Charming man. Had trained the bar manager at the marina, of whom he said “He’s a better bar manager than soldier”. Singapore of course has national service for all men at 18. Not the women though – Lee Kuan Yew decided that their wombs were too precious. Mr Lee is still has an official title – he’s known as the Minister Mentor, and still jets about representing Singapore and giving advice.
Bruce’s friend Glen in China had given us more contacts other than Kim in Bali, so we slightly warily called his mate Alistair who promptly called around to the boat and turned out to be the nicest guy, possibly in the world. Ex-yachtie merchant banker (as you do). He came back the next day with another friend and all their families for lunch. And what a lunch it was. By this time we had been in Singapore for such a long time that Mo and Ian’s itinerary had caught up with us and they flew in to Singapore late on Saturday 13th en route to Phuket then Penang, which is where we were supposed to see them. So Sunday they came to the Marina for lunch as well. Weeee. We had planned to leave early on Monday morning (the gearbox had been refitted on Friday)but were too hungover so we left on Tuesday at 5am for Penang.



Cool Jim-Jams Jack

Marilyn and are have started our world roaming retirement and we are currently with Clare and Andy in Spain. John Slater paid us a visit last weekend!!

We are hoping to spend the winter in Australia. That is unless we meet you at a port on the way!

Love from us both

  Pip Blakemore Feb 3, 2009 11:06 PM

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