Thursday, November 06, 2008

November 5, 2008 - Singapore!

[I've added pictures to our passage posts. Scroll down to see them.]

We made it! After a few hours motoring along the southern edge of the Singapore Strait, the busiest shipping lanes in the world, we came to a narrow spot and made our move. Aiming directly at a huge container ship, Sten dropped the throttle. Hauling through the water at 8 knots, we wove our way around the stern of the ship, ducked in front of a monstrous tanker, dipped in front of another container ship, dodged a fishing trawler . . . and we were clear! It was exactly like a game of Frogger, but instead of dodging logs and alligators, we had to navigate our way among the biggest ships we've ever seen. Sten did a great job making sure that we didn't get squashed and scored mad bonus points for escorting me across.

On the Singapore side of the Strait, we pulled into the Western Quarantine Anchorage. Before we could even get the anchor down, an Immigration boat came up to us, grabbed our passports, passed over a paper for us to sign, returned the passports in exchange for the signed papers (all in the middle of a torrential downpour), and waved us on our way. It took all of 5 minutes - a refreshing change from the 4 days it took to clear into and out of Indonesia.

After clearing, we made our way into a slip in the seriously luxe ONE┬║15 Marina, another 1,000 mile passage in the bag. As soon as we were secure, we tuned in BBC to hear that Obama had won the election. We celebrated with hoots and hollers, and both got a little choked up. We were surprised how emotional we got. I can't imagine how amazing it must have been to be in the crowds celebrating in Washington D.C., Chicago, and Hawaii.

Late this afternoon, we showed in the fabulous locker rooms in the marina. While I cleaned the wax out of my ears with a complementary q-tip, I watched McCain's gracious and patriotic concession speech on a giant flat screen TV (this place is a far cry from the dump that is Bali Marina), and teared up all over again.

For the past several months as we traveled through Indonesia, nearly every time we answered the question "where are you from?", the follow-up question was "do you think Obama will win?" Or, if they had limited English, they would give us a smile, a thumbs up, and say his name. Because of his childhood in Indonesia, the people there think of him as a brother. I'm sure that they were celebrating today too. Everyone we've spoken to today - Aussies, Kiwis, Poms, Swedes, Singaporeans - is excited about the outcome of this election. We're so proud of our countrymen for seeing the need for a change, for seeing beyond race, and for giving us all a reason to hope. We might even have to start flying the flag.

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