Friday, January 02, 2009

January 2, 2009 - Singapore

We woke up the morning of our departure from Ohio to discover that it had snowed overnight. There were several inches on the ground and the local news was reporting road closures. The highways were down to one lane of travel, but my dad did a great job of driving us up to the airport, in plenty of time to make our flight.

Checking in was a little interesting. The ticketing agent was concerned about our lack of return tickets back to the States. She explained that the airline could get fined if we arrive in Singapore without the proper visas. So we pulled out the sheaf of papers that document the fact that we will be departing from Singapore on a sailboat, including our US Coast Guard registration papers, the invoice from the marina, our original immigration papers showing that we arrived on a boat, and the letter from the marina that we were to present to Singapore customs to get the right stamps in our passports upon arrival in Singapore to allow us to depart by boat. It was the original Singapore immigration document with the pretty red stamp that seemed to do the trick. Officials everywhere love colorful stamps.

Before we could take off, the de-icing crew came out to hose down the plane. During the delay we chatted with the guy sitting between us. We discovered that he was a Brit, living in Bangkok, who also happened to have a minor vat of Hellmann's mayonnaise tucked away in his luggage. Between the three of us we had 12 lbs of Hellmann's in the hold of the airplane. It really is better than any mayonnaise one can buy anywhere else. That stuff they make in Australia and New Zealand just doesn't cut it.

We arrived in Chicago to discover that our plane to Hong Kong was oversold. As soon as the gate agents offered up rewards for taking another flight, I boogied up to the counter. Unfortunately, I couldn't get us upgraded, but we did score $800 of United ticket credit in exchange for flying back through Tokyo rather than Hong Kong and arriving in Singapore one hour later than originally scheduled. Not a bad day's work.

That's us.

About 30 hours after leaving Hudson, by 2am we were back onboard Mata'irea. We were pleased to find that the boat was still floating, and that everything seemed to be in order. Surprisingly, she wasn't too musty after being closed up for six weeks in the tropics. Knowing that it would be much hotter in the morning, we did most of our unpacking right away. Other than one broken jar of salsa, our luggage was in pretty good shape.

A few stats about this trip home:
  • Miles flown - 19,800
  • Miles driven - 1,800 (click to see route)
  • Pounds gained - 24 (that's a collective number)

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