Oneberry Ambassadors’ Cup (20th Ed)

2019 marks the 20th Anniversary for CSC’s Premier Sailing-Social Event – the Ambassadors’ Cup. We celebrate 2 decades of Bringing the World Together, through sailing. The brainchild of H. E. Tony Siddique, this event gathers all the Ambassadors in Singapore at a beautiful location for a day of sailing and revelry – an event unique to Changi Sailing Club and possibly Asia.

H.E. James Sinclair, Ambassador of Chile once again presides over the event, and together with the Organizing Committee spared no effort to orchestrate a phenomenal celebration of international friendship through the wonderful sport of sailing.

Racing

This year we see a total of 51 boats spread over 4 classes participating, with the largest being new entrants Intrigue of Stornoway, a beautiful Warwick 60 sailing yacht. She hosted the Ambassador of Columbia and his entourage, one of the 36 Embassies and 25 Ambassadors who joined the Skippers and Crew of the Keelboats to make up the Ambassadors (25) & Non-Ambassadors Divisions (11).

A light south-easterly breeze greeted sailors on the start line, together with a strengthening outgoing tide brought all 51 boats on a smooth beat to North Angler. Winds were shifty throughout the afternoon, putting sailors through a stern test of tactics and skills. The Race Committee decided to shorten the course at North Angler, a decision welcomed by most due to the strong tides and unpredictable winds. An added benefit of finishing early for Rugby fans was the live screening of the RWC Finals at the Apres Sail drinks, the perfect commencement of the evening festivities.

In the Ambassadors’ Division, Red Rum clinch Line Honours and overall 3rd on handicap, together with H.E. Patrick Bourne of Ireland. Despite the Archambault 40’s significant lead, it was not enough to beat H.E. Agustin Garcia-Lopez Loaeza of Mexico Invictus on corrected time, whose performance once again awards her with 2nd place, making it 2 runner-up finishes in a row. This year Invictus was paired with the Mexican Ambassador, H.E. Agustin Garcia-Lopez Loaeza and family. Under the new helmsmanship of Thomas Reckefuss, Born in Fire sailed very well to clinch victory in the Ambassadors’ Division. The X99 became the 20th winner of this prestigious event, together with H.E. Jun Yamazaki, Ambassador of Japan.

Despite achieving a good start to lead the fleet initially, Just A J‘s campaign in the Non-Ambassadors Division was short-lived, surviving a dismasting on the way to North Angler. Thankfully no one was hurt, and the skipper and crew from NTU Sailing Club managed to return to the moorings safely. All 13 boats were quite spaced out, with the main body of 5 to 6 boats battling it out in the middle of the fleet. Skybird had a good lead, and eventually took 1st place 9 minutes ahead of the next boat, Rachel 1. When the numbers were crunched, Skybird stayed on top with only 3 minutes separating them. Rachel 1 was hosting delegates from the embassy of Timor Leste, and were excited to share the news of their good performance with their guests. Leslie Fung’s Todak 2 and the delegates from Qatar completed the podium in 3rd, an excellent result for the Hanse 315.

Starting together with the Non-Ambassadors Division were the 2 Cruising Catamarans – Firefly and Katrianne. Katrianne clawed back from a bad start to catch up with 3-time winners Firefly, and managed to keep within sighting distance of the defending champions all the way to North Angler. Their never-give-up attitude and hard work paid off, scoring victory by 1 min & 40secs on corrected time, much to the delight of Skipper Gary Matthews.

The Trimarans showed up in full force, with 27 hulls on the start line. Buay Kaola sailed a fantastic race with Scott McCook at the helm, eventually taking both line honours and victory on corrected time. With only 10 minutes separating the 2nd and 8th boat, it was a close fight for the chasing fleet, as Team Cicak emerged the best of the rest, securing 2nd place 48 seconds ahead of Witblits on handicap. Being the only boat representing the Beach Catamarans did not stop Jeremy Perrier and his 2 kids from having a blast, both on water and on shore. Very Bad Influence was in good spirits throughout the day, and we enjoyed the good vibes from the trio!

Results

Party On!

After the sailors witnessed the tragic game (For the English Fans) that was the Rugby World Cup Finals, it was not long before NationOne began to rock the evening with popular songs and cool beats, getting sailors grooving on the dance floor in no time. This paired with a skillful dance set from the colourful Samba Dancers gave the evening a very South American flair, and brought the energy to the dance floor!

The Prize Giving & Closing Ceremony of the 20th Ambassadors’ Cup was graced by Guest of Honour, Mr Kon Yin Tong, Chairman of Sport Singapore. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the following sponsors:

Title Sponsor: Oneberry Technologies
Gold Sponsor: Chong Lee Leong Seng / Yanmar
Supporting Sponsors:
Cosmosteel
Kaefer Prostar
VCT Wineries (Casillero Del Diablo)
Asia Pacific Breweries (Tiger Beer)
The Luxury Network + Diplomatic Council

Last but not least, BIG thank you to all sailors for celebrating the Ambassadors’ Cup’s 20th Anniversary with us! Special thanks to the visiting yachts for sailing from Clubs and Marinas across the island to participate, we hope you had an enjoyable race and party.

Once again from all of us at CSC, thank you for joining us in Bringing the World Together.

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Pre-Ambassadors’ Cup Fund-Raising Cocktail Reception 2019

This year’s Cocktail Reception was once again held at The Post Bar, The Fullerton Hotel Singapore. Since its introduction 5 years ago, the Fund-Raising Event has grown to become synonymous with the Regatta, bringing the Ambassadors and Sailors together for an evening of drinks and revelry for a good cause.

Donations collected will benefit our Community Outreach Programme, whereby we partner with various organisations and groups to bring sailing to people with disabilities, the underprivileged, youth-at-risk and the elderly. Some of our partners include:

  1. Rainbow Centre
  2. Singapore Association for Mental Health
  3. Villa Francis Home for the Aged
  4. Good Shepherd Nursing Home
  5. Sailability Singapore

Thank you all for joining us yesterday, and for your generous contributions. For the Sailors and Ambassadors who missed out on the event and would like to donate, we will be doing a second drive on the Ambassador’s Cup Event as well!

Looking forward to Bringing the World Together on 2nd November 2019.

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Experiential Sailing with Rainbow Centre (20 Oct 2019)

Just 2 days after a successful outing with the caregivers and residents of Villa Francis, CSC returned to playing host to the wonderful families from Rainbow Centre. Taking place on 20th October with a total of 68 participants, it was our largest Joy Sail to date!

The Rainbow Centre is a social service organisation in Singapore. It operates three special education schools Margaret Drive School, Yishun Park School and a third one at Woodlands, for infants, children and youths with special needs like autism, intellectual disability, developmental delay, and multiple disabilities. For this round, we had the privilege and opportunity to bring 3 wheelchair-bound students out sailing as well, a first for this programme!

The 68 beneficiaries departed for a morning sail along the north-eastern rim of Singapore, under the careful steersmanship of 10 CSC boat owners/skippers who kindly lent their support for the event. We were blessed with good weather and a gentle breeze – the perfect environment for an introduction to sailing! It was great to see Members & Participants interacting while enjoying a leisurely morning cruise together. All smiles upon disembarking, everyone was treated to some food and refreshments to complete a wonderful day out.

Here’s a FB link to a heartwarming write-up from one of the participants!

Changi Sailing Club is always excited to partner with Rainbow Centre to conduct these Experiential Joy Sails, as part of our Community Outreach Programme. We’re looking forward to the next one in 2020!

Big Thank You to the following boats who volunteered their boat and time to support a good cause:

  1. Red Rum
  2. Waka Tere
  3. Birregurra
  4. Olmeto
  5. Genesis
  6. WYSIWYG III
  7. Emmanuel II
  8. Baby Beluga
  9. Firefly
  10. Cicak

#vibrant #inclusive #forwardlooking #communityoutreachprogramme #changisailingclub

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Villa Francis Home for the Aged Visit [18 October 2019]

On 18 October 2019, 22 Care-givers and 7 Residents from Villa Francis Home for the Aged travelled from their Home in Yishun to the best-kept secret that is Changi Sailing Club, for a morning excursion to enjoy the refreshing sea breeze and tranquil scenery. This round, the focus was on thanking the care-givers. With an increasingly aging population in all developed societies, the role of caregiver has been increasingly recognized as an important one, both functionally and economically. In appreciation of their hard work and dedication to the residents, Care-givers were treated to joyrides on our CSC Ferry Boats, exploring our coastline from a different perspective!

We value the work care-givers have put in to ensure the safety and quality of life for the residents. Big thank you to Coachman Inn Restaurant for sharing in these beliefs and once again supporting this event via the catering of a simple lunch for both care-givers and residents.

#inclusive #vibrant #forwardlooking #changisailingclub #communityoutreachprogramme

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CSC Open House 2019

It was a bustling day at the 2019 CSC Open House with many activities lined up to showcase what Changi Sailing Club has to offer.

Joyrides on the Pacers, Platus and Southern Light gave participants a quick glimpse into how sailors work with the wind to sail a boat. It was a fun way for the participants to experience sailing and check out the beautiful surroundings of CSC.

For the adventurous participants who want a more hands-on experience to understand sailing, the sailing taster gave them a crash course on sailing. For an hour and a half, participants learnt some basics on sailing the toppers such as steering the boat, controlling the sail and recovering from a capsize.

Besides sailing, families looking for an activity to do together joined the parent-child boat race. Using the bytes and paddles, it was a tippy and exciting race.

By the end of the day, CSC welcomed 17 new members! It was a team effort that made the open house progress smoothly throughout the day.

Without the members spreading the word to their friends and family, the crowd would not have been as lively. Special thanks to James Sharpe (Social Secretary) and his family for tirelessly bringing guests out on Southern Light for joyrides. We would also like to thank our young sailors from CSC – Anumita, Izumi and Aidan for taking time off of their schedule to bring people out on the Pacer joyrides. Not forgetting Ad Smit (RC H&G) for aiding the registration ladies with his charm & charisma, contributing to the new additions to the CSC Family!

A big shout-out to the NTU Sailing Club for supporting us in managing the Sailing Joyride Registrations, Pacers, Platus and Sailing Lesson Taster as well.

So many people to thank – if we missed out, and you had a part to play in the success of our Open House – Thank You too ❤

Next year’s Open House will be even better and we look forward to welcoming a bigger crowd in 2020!

Article by: Alex / Choy
Photos by: Benjamin

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32nd Annual General Meeting 2019

On 19th July 2019, Changi Sailing Club conducted their 32nd Annual General Meeting, “Moving Forward”.

Helmed by Commodore Jeffrey Leow and his Management Committee, the Meeting elaborated on key topics such as Membership, our Sailing Calendar, the Community Outreach Programme and Mooring+Boat Storage. Highlighting the need to increase our membership numbers, measures/initiatives will be taken over the next half-year to promote our Club Membership to potential youths/young adult members.

Our Sailing Calendar continues to be the most eventful and exciting amongst all the sailing clubs/marinas in Singapore and perhaps South-East Asia (arguably!). Rear-Commodore (Sailing) Paul Kendall went on to share all of our events which took place in 2018/2019, and whats to come for the rest of this year.

Community Service has always been a big part of Changi Sailing Club’s Mission, now made more visible with the establishment of our Community Outreach Programme. The Club will continue to work closely with the various communities and organizations, bringing joy through sailing to the less-privileged and youth-at-risk.

Works on building a completely new Mooring system will commence end of this month. The new moorings are designed to take an approximate total of 120 boats, to accommodate the growing number of boats moored at the Club. We’re excited to see the finished project at the end of September!

The 32nd AGM also sees the election of a new Commodore (Deborah Barker), Rear Commodore (H&G) Ad Smit and Honorary Secretary Mackson Chia. We would like to thank Outgoing Commodore Jeffrey Leow, Rear Commodore (H&G) Mackson Chia and Honorary Secretary Ad Smit for their service and contributions to the Club. It would be worthy to note that Ms Deborah Barker made history by being elected the first ever Female Commodore at Changi Sailing Club and possibly also amongst all Sailing Clubs and Marinas in Singapore.

Thank you all for attending the 32nd Annual General Meeting – see you at the Club!

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Villa Francis Home for the Aged (12 July 2019)

On 12 July 2019, 27 Residents and Care-Givers from Villa Francis Home for the Aged travelled from their Home in Yishun to the best-kept secret that is Changi Sailing Club, for a morning excursion to enjoy the refreshing sea breeze and tranquil scenery. In appreciation of their hard work and dedication to the residents, Care-givers were also treated to a joyride on our CSC Ferry Boats, exploring our coastline from a different perspective!

We interviewed Sam Lim (Executive Community Partnership) and Jacqueline Soe (Enrolled Nurse, Supervisor) to get a better insight of the daily responsibilities of a Care-Giver.

How long have you been working with Villa Francis and what are your responsibilities at the Home?

Sam: I have been working with Villa Francis for 9 years, since May 2010. My major roles and responsibilities at the Home is to work with various communities, organisations and corporate groups to organize events and programmes for the residents.

Jacqueline: 9 years! I am an enrolled nurse, and I am part of a supervisory team for a ward at Villa Francis. Our responsibilities include but are not limited to: scheduling medication, meal preparation, housekeeping, wound dressings, patient reports and many other forms of patient care.

What was your most rewarding experience?

Sam: We recently organized a programme which involved primary 4 students entertaining and interacting with residents from Villa Francis. For residents, it rekindles memories of their childhood and/or their experiences with their own grandchildren. At the same time, students gain a better understanding that there are these groups of Elderly who need our care and support – also raising awareness of the ageing population in Singapore and the importance of adequate support systems in place to accommodate that.

Your saddest experience?

Sam: Every passing of a resident is a sad experience. Think of Villa Francis as one big family. Every resident is a family member, and it is always extremely heart-breaking to see family members go. Of course, over the years we have come to realise that it is part and parcel of life, making the pain more manageable.

Share a typical shift (work routine) in the life of a care-giver.

Jacqueline: The morning shift starts with serving medication at 0615-0620hrs, with breakfast service starting at 0700hrs. This is followed by wound dressings and patient medical reports. At about 0800hrs to 0900hrs, we have to conduct rooming cleaning followed by medication preparation for the afternoon shift. After 0900hrs, we have to bring patients for their morning exercise for about 30mins. At 1030hrs, we will prepare and serve lunch to the residents. This part includes cooking, blending the food and feeding the patients. Laundry and Housekeeping takes place at 1130hrs. At 1200hrs, we will serve the second portion of medication, ending off the morning shift by 1220hrs.

Last question! How can the public support or contribute to Villa Francis and its efforts?*

Sam: One of the easiest and most straight-forward ways is through monetary donations and food donations. It is popular for companies and members of the public to donate food during festive occasions such as Chinese New Year and Mid-Autumn Festival. This, in addition to traditional breakfast fare such as Chee Cheong Fun and Lor Mai Kai – which are crowd favourites and suitable for the residents diet.

With regards to volunteering, we also have some members of the public committing 1 to 2 hours of their time every day to assist with patient care, simple chores and communicating with the residents in their native dialect. This is important as there is a significant language barrier; many of the residents can only speak in dialect/mandarin, and most of our care-givers are foreigners.

*For more details on making a donation or supporting the Home in other ways, please visit www.villafrancis.org.sg

Thank you Sam and Jacqueline for sharing with us intimate details of your experiences as care-givers with Villa Francis! Also big thank you to Stephen and the Coachman Inn Restaurant for once again generously sponsoring a delicious lunch for the residents and care-givers. Looking forward to the next collaboration!

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Experiential Sailing with Rainbow Centre (7 July 2019)

Since 2016, CSC has been organizing Experiential Sailing Programs for our friends from Rainbow Centre. The Rainbow Centre is a social service organisation in Singapore. It operates three special education schools Margaret Drive School, Yishun Park School and a third one at Woodlands, for infants, children and youths with special needs like autism, intellectual disability, developmental delay, and multiple disabilities. Now into its 4th year, we are proud to once again conduct this program, bringing sailing to a wider community.

The 40 beneficiaries departed for a morning sail along the north-eastern rim of Singapore, under the careful steersmanship of 12 CSC boat owners/skippers who kindly lent their support for the event. We were blessed with good weather and a gentle breeze – the perfect environment for an introduction to sailing! It was great to see Members & Participants interacting while enjoying a leisurely morning cruise together. All smiles upon disembarking, everyone was treated to some food and refreshments to complete a wonderful day out.

Changi Sailing Club is always excited to partner with Rainbow Centre to conduct these Experiential Sailing Programs, we’re looking forward to the next one!

Big Thank You to the following boats who volunteered their boat and time to support a good cause:

  1. Southern Light
  2. Waka Tere
  3. SDF
  4. Olmeto
  5. Eriphine
  6. Valor
  7. N’Joy
  8. Boreas
  9. Notus
  10. Cicak
  11. Jaza Too
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Easter Weekend Cruise 19-21 April 2019

The final count was 16 boats, such a big turnout for a Sebana/Telok Sengat cruise…Fantastic!!! Happy to share my short account of the weekend.

By 9.30 am, almost all the boats had left the mooring and headed towards Angler’s for the immigration clearance. The tide was rather slack which made the sail out easier, notably for me as I had a cooling water issue on Skybird. 1200 rpm was about the best I could do, which meant near zero forward movement against the strong tides that took control for the rest of the journey.

The smooth clearance at Angler’s helped make a good start to the trip to Sungei Shanti and onto Sebana. The breeze then was generally light and was coming on the nose which made sailing to Angler difficult, so most decided to motor the way there.

The faster ones made it good up river and arrived nice and dry, unfortunately, the few that were slower, where caught in a heavy downpour and were left drenched to the bones. It has been quite a while since I last stood in a downpour and it was quite cold. As we finally approached the marina, Desmond in Todak, who wasn’t too sure about Sebana, radioed me to ask which berth he should take, my answer to him was to find one that wasn’t raining. Fortunately, the rain cleared as we entered the marina, clear skies took over and the rest of the afternoon went to immigration clearance, hotel check-ins and boat cleaning.

Free and easy was the call for the night, Southern Light played host by opening up their boat for a Dock BBQ. However, some already had plans of their own and it ended with BBQ’s at various boats, some went into town for the annual seafood fix at Sungei Ringgit.

As part of this cruise to Sebana, boats can also choose to sail up the Johor River to Teluk Sengat. From the immigration point at Tanjung Pengelih; Sengat is about 13 nautical miles away, a nice 3-hour sail, if the conditions are right. Kurt and Gill in Waka Tere were the only ones that did it and had themselves a sumptuous seafood dinner. The next day they joined the rest of us at Sebana.

Soon the hours went by and everyone went into their own cozy corner for a well-deserved sleep. The nice thing about Sebana is that you can actually chillout there. No hard and fast rules or programmes to follow, truly, to each his own. I feel that it is this common thought that many of us have that make the trip to Sebana a very relaxed and enjoyable event.

Saturday was no different, we all went about doing our own things, some took advantage of the time and convenience to give a good cleaning to their boat. Others went to town while others just lazed around. Together with the crew from Todak, we went further up river in our tenders in search of an old crab farm. After meandering up the river we finally reach the location, it looked so run down that we thought it was shut. Sections of the zinc roofing were blown off, wooden planked-walls were torn, a small fish holding area that was there which didn’t look functional. Must have been some big winds that had come along and took parts of the structure along.

Even then we motored forward to have a closer look. Then we saw an area to the back that was still intact and out popped a head through a window of sought. We asked if they still sold crabs, then the RM250 answer came back and we were in business. After some talking and bargaining, we walked away with three huge crabs and at that price, we were happy. And that was dinner for the night. May be this could be one of a new attraction for our next visit to Sebana; bring your own tender for a crab cruise.

Another thing which I would like to share with you is our visit to Dr. Raymond Tan and his dear wife Margaret. They owned one of those units opposite of the Marina which has their own berth. Ray and Margaret have been members of CSC for a long time. What I actually want to share is that he brought out an old club T-shirt to show and it was made of towel material. Odd but interesting, photo’s will be shown. Btw, Raymond is retired and in he’s earlier days, he circumnavigated the world together with his wife in their yacht Tien Fei. To my knowledge, that makes them and Richard Howe, in his yacht Rum Bottle, the only members from CSC that had done it. If this is incorrect, sincere apologies to all other circumnavigators of CSC!

Time went by swiftly; we soon devoured the freshly bought Crabs in the evening and by late night we had our usual CSC gathering at the Oyster bar and in the Pirates Creek. It was nice to be able to sit around and chat with like-minded people; sailors!!

On Sunday, it was time to bid our farewell to Sebana Cove Resort as boats made preparations for the return trip to Singapore. By 1130, all boats had departed Sebana and headed for their clearance into Singapore. Then came the journey out the river and towards Anglers, many had already reached the location while I was still awhile away. I could hear the calls to immigration and hearing the reply that we needed to get coastguard clearance before proceeding to immigration. A tone of clear frustration was how I thought of the situation. Immigration was trying to offer queue numbers to the horde of boats but there was a queue. It looked like this is to be the norm when coming back into Singapore waters, so PCG before ICA. It was nice that the police were friendly about it, a nice hello on ch. 16 and we were cleared. Being about the last to arrive, the waiting time wasn’t too long before we were on our way back to the club. After clearing immigration, a 10 to 12 knot breeze came and that made our sail back to the club fun and much quicker then motoring. That was the only moment in the entire event when I could actually shut off the engine and sail Sky Bird.

With that we conclude another fun cruise and we thank all the participants for making this another successful event and for breaking the record for having the greatest number of boat entries; 16.

 

Thank you; Waka Tere, Southern Light, Ikaroa, New Blue Eyes, Midnight Blue, Withywindle, Sui Lynn, Zephyr, Cicak, Miss Visayan, Temptress of Down, Todak, Elessar, Defiance, Firefly and Gary Ng + Family (Cartman) who joined us via land transport!

 

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A Memorable Visit to Changi Sailing Club (Good Shepherd Home 2019)

I am Swee Lim*, one of the few men among the ladies in the nursing home and assisted living facility. You see, ladies generally outlive men. It almost becomes true for me because about 5 years ago, I had a sudden terrible headache when I was at work in the office and I almost passed out. When I was rushed to the hospital, the A&E doctor diagnosed that I had a brain bleed and I underwent an urgent operation. When I recovered, I wasn’t walking normally and I couldn’t find the words I wanted to say. I was just 51 then.

Anyway, here I am in Good Shepherd Loft. I think I am the youngest among the residents.

The daily routine is rather predictable in the Loft which is why I am very excited about today’s visit to Changi Sailing Club. I have heard many songs about sailing the seas but this might be the first time in my life I am going to get up close to a yacht. The chief nurse told me I am going to get to swim in the club pool and she packed my swimming trunks for me.

Early at 6.30am, we begin to go for our shower, one by one. Then we had breakfast in the dinning room and we are ready! I heard from the nurses’ conversation that for the outing there are 11 people on wheelchairs and 10 who can walk on their own and I am one of them; I walk with a walking stick.

Yay! The bus is here. There is a rule in the Loft: those on wheelchairs will board first. The male nurses carried the seniors off their wheelchairs and put them on the bus one at a time. When all 11 are on the bus, the sweaty nurses come over and declare that we can board the bus. Hurray! The rest of us get on with help and soon we are on our way. It is a long way from Newton to Changi. Maikal our social worker leads us through the songs and hymns and we arrive in the blink of an eye.

Look! Turning into the car park, I can see the yachts bobbing in the turquoise blue sea. With the sunny sky and coconut trees swaying, it feels a bit like paradise. I have not been to the beach for a while, let alone seen so many yachts at one go. We are really at Changi Sailing Club!

We disembark as fast as we can with the help of the nurses and the club staff. The ones on wheelchairs go first. “Don’t forget the rules,” I remind myself despite my enthusiasm. The friendly club staff are there to welcome us and help us down the bus.

I am trying to take in the view all at once. Hmm…A well sited club house is right by the beach with the pool in the centre and surrounded by Changi Hall (a large hall), Tekong Cove (the restaurant), the board walk, the beach BBQ pit. Just a few steps from the pool is the jetty on which visitors can walk straight out to sea where the tenders are.

With all facilities in such proximity, I challenge myself to enjoy all of them within the next hour. The male nurse, Melvin seems to have second guessed my thoughts and he guides me to the “Heads” (nautical term for toilet) to change and then into the pool I go. Relaxing in the cool pool water as I gaze out at the sea is the best thing to do on this hot and humid morning! I am surprised to meet another resident, an old auntie in the pool in her purple short sleeved swimsuit. She looks trendy despite her age. I said to her, “Auntie Joy, how old are you? I didn’t know you swim.” Her cheeky reply was,” I am 96 and when I could swim you were not born yet, adik…” (Malay word for “younger brother”)

After I have had enough of the pool, Melvin helps me dress up and I am off to the board walk. Again I run into Joy doing the same walk. She is spritely and together with Melvin, we take a short walk and enjoy the sea breeze. A pair of mata putih birds followed us inquisitively and chirping merrily. They are enjoying the laidback lifestyle and welcoming us.

On the return leg of the walk, Melvin takes us out to the jetty. It is really rustic with a tall attap hut at the far end of it. It is quite a clever design with two separate gangways which leads down to the more than 4 boats that are tied up against the pontoons.

Joy and I put on our life vests and get on the tender for a ride to nowhere. The pontoon is wobbly to step on and I feel excitement as well as a fear of dropping into the sea. Melvin is always there for us so I feel safe. Soon, the friendly boatman Hairul takes us out to sea. To tell you the truth, it is not that scary because the boat is really smooth and the engine quiet. Hairul gives a running commentary as we go along. The famous Pulau Ubin is not far across the Straits with many fish farms nestled off her shore. As we sail past the numerous yachts moored off the club, he shows us the Fairy Beacon which is a huge boulder at sea with a large luminous red beacon built on it.

Hairul takes us by the longer way back to the jetty knowing that we do not want the boat ride to end so soon. We are very grateful! He is so kind.

When we reach back on land it is time for lunch. We walk straight into Tekong Cove where we are treated like VIPs. There is a sumptuous spread of sambal skate, BBQ squid, hot plate deer meat, garlic fried chicken with ice cold fruit punch waiting for us. We enjoyed the hearty meal with gusto.

Now that I recall that beautiful day, when all of us came in from the scourging sun, there was a gust of cool wind and the rain started. The Heavens were watching over us!

This is the best outing I have had in years. Here is a big THANKS to Changi Sailing Club for making it all happen for my friends and me from Good Shepherd Loft and St Bernadette Lifestyle Village.

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