Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Hangin' out in Danga Bay Oct 2014

Durian Boy and Jason in Singapore.  The stinky durian fruit is spiky green on the outside and creamy yellow on the inside.  Apparently there is a cartoon character who eats, sleeps, and dreams of nothing but eating more durian.  This is a statue in the Singapore Tourist Bureau where we stopped after dropping off our applications for new passports.

 Also in the Tourist Board building was this fish pond with huge koi in it.  Much bigger than my Dad's fish in his pond.  Some were so big they looked deformed.
On the way down to Singapore, this tern decided to be a freeloader for a while.  He didn't mind us walking past him.  He originally landed on the top of the davits but a gust of wind blew him off and he tumbled down to the seat and decided that this perch on our electric winch suited him best.  He'd sit for a while, take off and circle the boat and come back to rest.  He spent some time on the boom, too, but eventually winged away after a free ride for the afternoon.
 As we rounded Singapore we got caught in a viscous squall that created white-out conditions.  The ships slowed down and began using foghorn signals.  Of course, this was right at a choke point where the shipping channels turned.  We had ships on our left and coming out of a channel behind us, with islands to the right of us,so we pulled out of the traffic and hid behind a little island til the weather let up about an hour later.  Luckily, we didn't encounter this huge crane (biggest we've ever seen!) until we got to the other side.  The tug boat is backing up, pulling the barge and two more tugs were pushing it from behind.  You can get an idea of its size as that is a full-size container ship in the background between the tug and the crane.
 Coming up the Johor Strait between Singapore and Malaysia, the Singapore folks want to make sure you don't think you're going to come ashore on their side of the strait.
This is the big sand barge that ran into the end of the dock here in Danga Bay.
 These are the armed guards that watched the ordeal, too.  Why they need guns is beyond me.  There is no longer anything of value here at the marina.  Even the loud disco that just opened last November was closed down (the sultan said it was too loud and closed them down).
 Where we tied up a few months ago is now filled in with sand.  You can see the top of the pilings still sticking up out of the sand.
 The problem barge is working itself off the dock, but you can see how that conveyor off the front might do some damage if it pivoted and whacked the masts of the yacht.  A group of workers scrambled to retrieve their cleaning supplies off the end of the dock and were standing by the yacht, just in case....  The owner of the yacht was gone to Singapore for the day and missed all the excitement.
 As he backed out, another barge full of sand came in just behind him, oblivious to the problem or just didn't care.  That was a near collision, but he somehow got by without being hit.

 A raft of fishing boats as we entered Danga Bay. We had to weave our way around boats like this and the barges and the shallow places to reach the marina.
 No more boats on the jetties.  They began dismantling the dock you see the next day.  Notice all the cranes in the lot beyond here.  There is a building boom going on here and the money being spent to build high rises on the water here is dumbfounding.
 The Chinese owner of all this reclaimed land is a billionaire; he bought the rights to the bottom lands 16 years ago and got it all for a song.  Now that they are reclaiming the land and making it 'buildable (I still wonder how safe it will be) he is getting rich quick.  They set up this huge outdoor tented room, complete with air conditioning for their launch event for the sales of the 800+ condos in a 42-story, four-tower complex to be built just beyond those cranes in the distance.  Half a million ringitts would get you a one-bedroom studio-sized room with less than 570 sq. feet of space.  Tiny!  The owner kept the biggest penthouse for himself, but you could get one for about 2.2 million ringgits (USD$1=3.25 RM).  We watched the fashion show they put on one night inside the tent and we were invited to partake of the dinner and refreshments they offered free of charge.  They sold nearly 70% of the offerings in the first two days!  Chinese from Singapore and Kuala Lumpur make up most of their customers.  It's still cheaper here on this side of the causeway from Singapore and the money just flows continuously across the bridge.

 Spewing sand in the distance to reclaim land for building.  We were tied up to the dock inside of that pick-up just a few months earlier.
 Making waterfront property in Danga Bay.
 Some of the garbage in the yucky waters in this bay, aka Diaper Bay or Dung Bay.
 More garbage in the waters here.
 Our view from our new location outside of Country Garden, where all the cranes are working.  The marine manager wanted us to pay RM20/day to park the dinghy here, so we ended up motoring back around to Danga Bay and parking it tied up to an airboat at the end of the cruise boat dock.
 Eventually, all the boats had to leave Danga Bay.  The marina towed the disabled or derelict boats across the water to a tiny marina in front of the owner's mansion.  Now, no more jetties.  The began pulling out the pilings, too.
 Digging out the sand around the pilings that needed to be pulled after they'd dumped all the sand around them.  Perhaps not the most efficient way to handle the issue....
We went looking for the museum one day but it was closed for rennovation.  The sultan's motorcade drove up the drive and around and then back out; just checking on his peeps and properties, I guess.  While in Johor Bahru, we spotted this banner on a mosque.
 One day we noticed hundreds of dead fish floating in the bay.  They seemed to lead to the fish farms that line the entrance to Danga Bay.  They were bigger than most of the fish we see fishermen catching in nets.  We don't know what killed them, but someone just dumped them out into the bay and they began to stink as they floated and bloated.  Jason wondered why they didn't grind them up for fertilizer.  Even the birds wouldn't eat them.  I spotted a couple of otters on the dock where we left our dinghy and wondered if they'd eat the dead fish.  River eels poked their heads up out of the water here, too.  Hard to believe that anything could live in this dirty water.  Or that people would pay up to 2 million ringgits for a condo overlooking this water.
This is one of the fish farms along the entry to Danga Bay.  Empty blue jugs form the floating barriers that hold their pens.

1 comment:

s/v Libertad said...

Wow - that is amazing to see the marina disappear. We were all just there!