Settling in At One Degree 15

One Degree 15 Marina

Sentosa Island, Singapore

Hi Everyone,

   Randal and I went into Singapore center yesterday.  We walked out of the Marina and caught the bus that takes you off Sentosa Island to Harbour Front  and Vivo City Mall or the MRT. It’s about a 10 minute ride.   Vivo City Mall has a Giant Supermarket with great reasonably priced fruit and veggies and yogurt.  There’s lots of other stuff too like you’d find at your local Kroger store, but when you have to carry it all to a taxi or the bus and then down to the boat, you shop lightly.  We had stocked up on lots of paper products, chicken and pork in Sebana Cove so we don’t need lots of stuff at this point. 

   So we caught the bus from the Marina, took the MRT to the Little India area and went to the Sim Lin Tower and Sim Lin Square which have lots of electronic products.   Randal actually picked up something we’d ordered our last trip.  We got several things we needed though not all because some shops were still closed from Chinese New Year.  After a quick lunch at Burger King (a treat for Randal) we set off for the National Library.   Our walk took us through Chinatown and the rows and rows of stalls set up for Chinese New Year sales.  A Singapore Chinese flea market.  Pretty quickly we decided to continue on to the library and got out our map.  A lovely lady, born in Singapore but for the past 30 years living in Australia, guided us on a shortcut over to the National Library.  She said she’d left for Australia 30 years ago, WHEN SHE WAS VERY YOUNG!  She kept emphasizing that she had gone very young so I wouldn’t think she was old, I guess  But she was very nice and took us the quickest way to the library.  Everyone seems to know where the library is located and that’s quite nice, I think.  Of course everyone seemed to know how to tell us how to get anywhere we needed to go.  The MRT, the book stores… And they were correct too!!  Most people speak English, though some accents can be difficult to understand

Unfortunately, it was NO GO at the library to get a visitor card.  There are requirement, like you have to stay here for 6 months or have a greencard work permit… So we just didn’t qualify.  RATS!!!  We can go in and use all of the National Library resources and any of the branch locations; but we can’t borrow material.  I’m really disappointed.  The Bras Basah Complex is right next to the library and that’s where there’s lots of used book stores and a really good art supply store.   So I guess I’ll have to just read in the library and buy cheap books next door.  I did email the library system and asked if we could PLEASE have a card, but I haven’t heard back.

   That was yesterday.  Today we stayed around the marina and did chores.  Later in the day I went for a walk around Sentosa Cove next door and it will be a great place to walk and bike.


I found this map on the Sentosa Cove website to show you where in the world we are. 

Amazingly I’ve been everywhere they note except Dubai.

clip_image004This is a terrible map of Sentosa Island, but it does show where we are and the great area for walking and biking; all the dark brown area above the line is where we can walk and bike on a bike/walking path around Sentosa Cove. Sentosa Cove is mostly a high end residential area with most condos having lap lane pools.   Maybe below the black line too, but I haven’t gone there yet.  Most of the green area is amusement parks and beaches and places we’ll probably skip.

So we seem to be getting over missing Sebana Cove… though we do wish all of our Sebana Cove friends were here too.

So that’s it.

Ruth Johnson


Arrival in Singapore

Hi Everyone,

Arrived safe and sound (about 1:45 pm) and found out our boat had grown 7 feet upon arrival at the marina in Singapore.    In 2007 we left the Chinese boatyard with a Diesel Duck model 46′ plus 2′ which is a total of 48 feet.   But at the marina in Singapore, measured with a tape measure laid along the pier where we are tied, from our anchor to the far side of our hanging dinghy we are 55 feet so we have to pay for that!  You pay by the foot.  In Sebana Cove, where we were this morning, we paid for less than 50 feet because our registration papers indicate the boat is less than 50 feet.  We can take the dinghy off its hangar and put in onto the boat deck somewhere and get remeasured, but we won’t save much money and the dinghy will be in the way.  So we’ll just pay them the more money since it’s their marina and they get to make the rules.  

Last night was our last in Sebana Cove so we walked around the docks and said good-bye to our cruising friends.  At one point Randal said we’d better stop visiting or our dinner would be really late and he would be really drunk.  Everyone offered drinks and chats and it was all very nice.  But sad too!  In Sebana you have to make your own fun so cruisers have get-togethers at the drop of a hat.  And our van trips to Sungai Rengit were little fun outings where you met new people or got to know others better.  Here, at OneDegree 15 Marina the attraction for us is Singapore and boat supplies and repair more than social gatherings with other cruisers or sitting by the swimming pool.   We are birthed on Delta Dock to avoid the rolling found in other birthing areas and also because we are a visiting boat.  Not sure how many of our neighboring boats have live-aboards. Most seem empty.  But the marina is big and full so don’t think we are stuck off in an abandoned area somewhere.  Lots of security here.

We left Sebana Cove, Malaysia and are now in Sentosa, Singapore.  We had to check out of Malaysia yesterday with their immigrations and customs and into Singapore today.  To check in here you call Immigration on your VHF radio when you near the Marina at a place called Sisters Islands and they come.  You pass them your documents (carefully so they don’t end up in the water.)  They stamp your passport, return your papers, carefully,  and send you along.  They didn’t come onto the boat.  We called about noonish and they came about oneish but were very nice.  Our regular crew list form that we’ve used everywhere else wasn’t acceptable so the immigration man redid them.  Randal had to sign 5 copies of something and the immigration official then had to sign and then they left with 4 copies and we kept one.  There was no charge for that, but there was a fee for customs which we paid through the marina when we arrived.

  The small Immigrations boat.

clip_image002  You can see the grassy area in front of the tall buildings.  That’s Sentosa Island where we are.  The tall buildings are Singapore.  There is a bus on Sentosa Island that takes you to the mainland.  We’ll take the MRT from there into Singapore city. 

clip_image003  The skyline of Singapore just before we got to Sisters Islands and did Immigration.

Tomorrow we’ll start to explore.

Ruth Johnson



Quick Updates

Sebana Cove

   Hi Everyone,

A small change in plans.  We’re going to wait until after Chinese New Year to move to Singapore.  With lots of shops and offices being closed for several days and with lots more crowds in the streets and on the metro and…with me getting over a bout of food poisoning….it just seemed better to wait until the end of January to move.  Monday late afternoon I ate an apple and not long after that I started to get really sick.  I won’t go into details since I’m sure you can guess.  Luckily, a few days before, we got to know the folks on Reeflections II, Robin and Ian.  Robin is a nurse.  So I asked Randal to go get her Monday night.  Just having her come onto the boat made me feel better.  I was huddled under the covers with the chills having no clue that was coming from a fever.  She made me take Panadol and then brought some 1000 Plus which is similar to Gatorade.  We were all out of Gatorade but when we get more, some will be stored with the medical supplies.  I had a few awful bouts of sick during the night but the fever broke. Robin came back the next morning to check too which again made me feel better. Tuesday I felt better if I stayed laying down and took a compazine pill fairly often, though I still couldn’t eat anything.  Today I can walk and talk and had some toast and tea, but I have no desire to do much.  I had needed to lose a few of the pounds that I had gained here, but that wasn’t the way I had in mind.  I have eaten apples here for several months so I don’t know why I had the problem Monday or if it really was the apple.  But today I feel lots better though think rest rather than a bike ride will be the order of the day though the weather is beautiful.

  So that’s it from here.


The Roti Man

Sebana Cove, Johor, Malaysia

Hi Everyone,

The Roti Man of Sungai Rengit

  Hot off the griddle egg and onion  Roti Chani is the best food on earth!  The best roti chanai maker in Sungai Rengit and maybe all of Malaysia is Azaha of Restoran Azaha  # 50 Jalan Baker, 81620 Sungai Rengit, Pengerang, Johor, Malaysia.  He opens early in the morning, so if you aren’t there by 10:30 am, you sadly might hear Azaha say, “Sorry, none left.  You should come early.”  It’s half apology, half admonishment for being late!  One day I got the absolutely very last roti, and it was just plain; the eggs all gone. And twice Randal and I have biked to Sungai Rengit and arrived too late for any at all. So we have learned; be early if you want a roti.

Sebana Cove used to do two Sungai Rengit runs in the morning, 9:30 and 10 am.  We’d take the 9:30 van just to be there early enough to make a beeline to Azaha’s.  Now the van only goes at 10 am.  this past Thursday I took the van to town, got off at the post office, mailed a letter and ran to Azaha’s.  (Randal was on the boat doing boat things.)   Luckily there were a few of the roti dough balls left so I could order 3 egg and onion roti chanai to go. As I was ordering, another cruiser, Cliff, came along and ordered 4 egg and onion to go.  There were enough for Cliff, but I saw only a few more remaining for customers who came later. Azaha says the egg and onion are the most popular.   Azaha prepares about 300 roti for the weekday mornings and between 450 and 500 for the weekend.  He sells out every time.  Along with the roti you are given a dish with a spicy soupy dip made with boiled lentils and lots of hot spices.

Roti means bread and canai means different things to different people.  Azaha says roti means bread and canai means how he pulls and stretches the dough to prepare it for cooking. If you search on the web you’ll find lots of different interpretations, and spellings of roti chaini. For now we only care about the ones Azaha makes.

clip_image002 Here is Azaha starting out the roti. You can’t see the small ball of dough in his hands. He keeps them in a plastic container near the eggs. The dough is made ahead of time and stored in the plastic box. Order a roti and the magic begins.

clip_image004 It tarts out small and then Azaha stretches and spins and stretches and spins and drizzles the ghee and, and, and……. The arrow is pointing to the almost empty box with the waiting roti dough balls. You can see some stretched and folded roti on the grill. And you can also see the restaurant is open to the street like most shops.

clip_image006 Stretching and flipping in progress.

clip_image008 Stretching it thin. The holes don’t matter. Onion pieces are placed on the stretched dough and then an egg is cracked on top. Next the sides are folded over and onto the grill it goes. Yum! The worst part is wait!!!!

clip_image010 Here we go. I think I had actually ordered a plain roti on this particular day. My tea is in front, Randal’s coffee in back and two bowls of sauce.

clip_image012 Randal with his roti chain and sweet, strong local coffee. It’s served with lots of sugar and milk. The same with the tea. We like to sit where we can watch Azaha work but often we sit where we can find any place to sit when the “restoran” is full.

clip_image014 Randal paying the bill. A great value meal and very popular in many countries for breakfast.

Way better than anything McDonalds or Burger King can do!!

clip_image016 Enjoying our “take out” roti. The roti are packed in Styrofoam boxes and the sauce is put in small plastic bags rubberbanded at the top. They are fine warmed up in the microwave. But nothing beats them fresh off the grill at Azaha’s where you can hardly wait to shove that first piece into your mouth. I used some mixed with rice and veggies for dinner and it was great. Sort of a curry flavor, but not exactly. I used some of the left over sauce mixed with rice and veggies for dinner and it was great. Sort of a curry flavor, but not exactly.

There is at least one other roti man in Sungai Rengit. We had some of his one day when we had biked to town and were too late for Azaha and too early for the Chinese place we like. We washed them down with 6 glasses of milky ice tea. Very VERY full after that meal.

clip_image018 We were hot, thirsty, disappointed and tired by the time we ordered. We gulped down our first ice tea and so ordered 2 more. They didn’t come so we asked again….ending up with 4 more. We drank 5 of them! They are very sweet and milky and FILLING! Randal thinks the tea tastes like chocolate milk. I had ordered 2 egg roti but couldn’t finish it all. Miserably full

Looks like we may be moving to Singapore on the 22nd.  If the weather is good, if we’re ready, if….. But that’s the plan.  Mixed feeling for me.  I am really looking forward to the Singapore library system, but I’ll mix our Sebana friends and the great biking here, and our favorite roti man!  Will keep you posted.

What’s happening? Not much!

Sebana Cove

Hi Everyone,

   I haven’t written in a while. We are still just relaxing here at Sebana, though Randal and I have been riding our bikes.  And that has been good for both of us.  There is a wonderful 16 mile back road ride back to Sungai Rengit.  We have ridden it several times.  Sixteen miles, lunch in town, and then 16 miles back.  And when Randal doesn’t feel like riding I just go alone along the back road as far as the one street town of  Penerang and then I ride back;  a nice 14 mile ride.  I often see blue heron, egrets and a monkey or two and sometimes a monitor lizard. This past Monday on our ride, my rear tire blew.  Just gave out and that was that.  We were about 5 miles from the boat on our way back from Sungai Rengit along the main road.  We had ridden the less trafficked back way to town but wanted to check on our cushions (see below) so took the main road back to Sebana Cove.  Randal tried to fix the tire but it was too far gone.  I just had to ride on the ruined tire, slowly bumping along.  There was a strong head wind and I felt unsteady with the traffic, which thank goodness wasn’t so heavy.  When we arrived at the Sebana entrance a mini-truck was just coming in with some Sebana staff and they gave me and my bike a ride the last 3 miles.  Tuesday we took the wheel to the Sungai Rengit bike shop that had fixed my bike cable.  A tire the correct size had to be ordered so I’ll be without my bike for about a week.  I will definitely miss it.  Sebana has rental bikes and I might test one out.  I’ll see.  I was just glad that it happened when Randal was with me. 

   Our interior cushions were all falling apart so we had them all recovered.  The original green ones just hadn’t stood up well.  New cruising friends Lang and Douglas told us about a guy just outside Sungai Rengit who could provide the material and make them for us at a more reasonable cost than if we had it done in Singapore.  Lang is a Singaporean so she knows.  Lang, who still works in the computer chip industry and Douglas live in Singapore during the week and spend weekends working on Doug’s big sail boat and sailing around in Lang’s small sail boat.  During the Christmas holiday week Lang and Douglas drove us to the cushion man’s shop and Lang interpreted for us.  We selected the material from a sample book and it was ordered for us.  In less than a week the cushion man came to get all of our cushions and the helm chair too.  We were glad to see things progress so quickly though living without cushions for as long as it would take was not so fun.  We invited Lang and Douglas to dinner and they had to bring their own pillows to sit on.  Well, the cushions are back and here they are.

clip_image002 The cushion shop. 

Randal and I had ridden our bikes to see how progress was coming.  You can see our old black cloth helm chair in the front and the old green cushion material near it.  The tan cushions at the far left are ours.  The cushion man uses the small sewing machine to do all of the work.

clip_image004  The cushion man hard at work.  Randal would walk around and look and the cushion man would just keep working.  He didn’t speak English so there was no point in trying to chit chat.  And he was working too hard to interrupt him.

clip_image006  It took less than a week from the time cushion man took our green cushions and returned with these tan ones.  Now we need to get some bright colored pillows. The material is kind of a fake stretchy leather/pvc stuff. 

clip_image007 The pilot house cushions. 

clip_image009 I just love our new helm chair. 

I hated the scratchy black cloth that used to cover it.  Night passages will be much more comfortable with a more comfortable helm chair. 

clip_image011  Lang in the striped shirt and Douglas in the blue shirt.  Claude is to Lang’s left and Ruth in the black dress.  This is a photo from our Christmas lunch.  Canadian Ruth, Frenchman Claude , Singaporean Lang and American Douglas.  The cruising world is truly international.