Thursday 17th January

At lunchtime we embarked upon the Holland America Line ship Westerdam at Singapore’s Marina Bay Cruise Terminal which is very close to the city centre and affords great views of the city and port. Commercial ships were in line at anchor awaiting a space to load or unload in the dock complex.

Twice during the afternoon we experienced sub-equatorial storms which produced large amounts of rainfall in a very short time, lightning and towering cumulonimbus clouds with very ragged bottoms – a sign of intense convection, which is not surprising as it is 30C outside the cabin.

Before 5:00 p.m. and without knowing, it we started the journey to Hong Kong.

We passed Sentosa Island which was the venue in 2018 of the conference between the USA and North Korea. Soon we were in the narrow Malacca Straits, one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world and, in the past, one of the most dangerous as pirates waited to seize the precious cargoes of silk and spices from the nearby islands. Here we are at approximately 1N and 104E but as we travel overnight north and west alongside the Malay Peninsula to our destination on the island of Nathon in Thailand we will put our clocks back one hour. We reach this island in two days time. As we write from our balcony window we are overtaking bulk carriers as we make good progress.

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