Sunday, 19 October 2008

Captain's Blog - Langkawi - Singapore - Langkawi - Phuket

As in previous blog it ended when we arrived to the drydock in Langkawi, which lasted 14th Aug to 18th Sept and was a very tiring affair for the whole crew.

Kalizma got a fresh coat of paint on the bottom, new zinc anodes, overhauled overboard valves, some new shell plating, additional echosounder and a muffler on the centre engine. Now when we’re idling one can barely hear the engines any more, I need to look at the rpm meters to verify I have propulsion. It is so silent.

Well, for crew matters we received a new Stewardess from the Niladri household, Ms. Martula Walling, her profile is posted in the crew section. Richard came back full of energy after his long odyssey into the Indian bureaucracy and Jessica went for a well deserved vacation.

Finally on the 18th we we’re on the way to Singapore and major washing up took place to remove all the drydock dust and dirt. We arrived 1deg15’ marina on the 20th Sept and was met by ships agent Angie Ng. After clearance was done it was time to coordinate all efforts for Bosses visit. Flowers had to be ordered, carpets cleaned, food ordered, dayworkers arranged etc., we had 5 days on us.

Finally the weekend arrived and the F1 qualifications took place, on Saturday the time races and finally on Sunday the actual F1 race. The race was in fact very exciting with Force India team briefly at 3rd place but unfortunately was dropped down due to safety car was brought out. Then Sutil crashed his car avoiding another car and Fisichella finished 2nd to last, I suspect due to filling fuel too much.

When the weekend was over it was time again to pack everything away and feast on leftovers.

Next two weeks was spent repairing our radars that suddenly gave up on our arrival Singapore. During this time we had a Beer Festival at Fort Canning, delicious Pepper crabs up in People’s Park, Teochew dinner in Mong Hin restaurant, Mediterranean cuisine at Esmirada on Orchard, Kilkenny’s beer in Muddy Murphy’s and of course shopping at Funan, Sim Lim Square and Orchard Towers.

Eventually we left on 14th Oct for Langkawi and arrived there on the 16th, weather was excellent.

In Langkawi we picked up some chemicals and re-fuelled, our agent John took great care of us once again.

Vivek & Juergen Zimmerer

Crew went for a jungle canopy excursion. The operation was run by a German, Mr. Juergen Zimmerer, who had been on the Island for 16yrs. We started with easy rope walking and principles of abseiling as well as we “trollied” over a short expanse on a wire until we got to the highlight of the trek: A wire ~100m long suspended up to a rainforest tree 60m tall. The ride up there was adrenaline inducing and when all was up in the tree we got to abseil down to the ground 30m. The whole trek gave a very good insight of what mountain climbing is about.

In the evening agent John treated undersigned for dinner at Teo’s where we had squid, steamed snapper and wild boar washed down with Tiger.

On the 17th we bid Langkawi goodbye and headed for Thailand, in the afternoon we did a dive at the Butang’s at Hin Takon Chet, hopping in straight from the swimming ladder. We found 2 big shell’s that we ate for dinner the same evening. For the night we anchored at Phi Phi Island and next morning at 9am we continued towards Yacht haven where we arrived at 3pm.

Next day Monday was full with activities meeting old acquaintances, getting technicians onboard to sort out some electronic problems still pending, hiring storage space and making up shopping lists for provisions and interior stores. As of writing this we have settled in Phuket again for the next 3mths or more waiting for the Boss or guests…

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Saturday, 11 October 2008

Singapore Beer Festival

On last Sunday I went with a colleague Captain out to the Singapore beer festival held at Fort Canning, one of the oldest areas in Singapore. The park was covered in a huge air conditioned tent and of course there was beer, lots of beer and more beer. From all over the world and in all shapes and colours of bottles and taps. I met with Captain Nick on his boat before heading off to Fort Canning and we had some refreshments before, beer naturally. Eventually we arrived Fort Canning at 3pm and people was starting to pour in. We got our tickets and entered the tents and started drinking beer, lots of it. I can't really say anything about the beers as I'm just a consumer, I like beer almost all sorts. I'm not a too keen friend of stouts though, too heavy stuff for my palate. But wheat beers, lagers, ales, amber ales - all goes down the windpipe. Anyway, I had my share of beer and about 9 pm I headed back home with a slight list. All in all it was a nice event, but unfortunately my mobile was pinched there. I was such a bastard that I did a police report on it so next time somebody switches it on the men in blue can jump the user. If I'm here next year I will definitely join it again. What happened next day I'm not gonna tell you.


Below is an article that I found of the event:

SINGAPORE: Singapore now has its very own Oktoberfest, and the inaugural Singapore Beer Festival is being held at Fort Canning Park.

Beer enthusiasts can get to taste nearly 300 beers, including a hundred which are appearing in Asia for the very first time.

The Asia Beer Awards was held on Thursday at the festival, and the award for Asia’s top tipple — picked by a panel of international judges — went to Brewerkz’s Steam Beer.

Adding to the merriment were comedy acts as well as local and international bands.

"Putting on a beer festival, that's just like throwing a big party" or so people keep telling my friend Tom. Yeah, much like to make great beer you just gotta boil some grain, beer festivals are that easy. Well, not really. But there is a grain of truth in that thought - to be able to put on a good beer festival you have to know how to throw a good party - and in that sense the Singapore Beer Festival (SBF) has got it right. The three guys most responsible for this upcoming event (Irvin, Matt and his brother Tom) have a good party sense. They know the essentials; Good entertainment (music, dancing, a guy to crack a few jokes), nice food and most importantly a whole lotta interesting things to quench the thirst. The beer line-up for SBF promises to pique the interest of even the most discerning beer connoisseurs. Matt and Irvin went all over the world to procure the beers for this event. There will be over 300 beer from over 50 countries across six continents (what, no more beers from Antarctica ?) . It's a pretty amazing list, especially for their first year out.

So - the bottom line; even if they make a few minor mistakes and forget a few of the small, small beer fest details (note: next year order more portable toilets, don't hire the biker gang for back stage security, and #@*! sake - ban the Durian beer!) they will definitely have the key elements covered.

Go see for yourself October 2 through 5 at Fort Canning Park. Over 300 beers from around the world, packed with great entertainment from a cast of international and local artists, (live music, DJs and stand-up comedians some more) and plenty of good Makan.

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