Sailing up the Johor Straits to Danga Bay Johor
Sailing up the western arm of the Johor Straits to Danga Bay Johor was an education in the stark contrasts between Malaysia to our port and Singapore to starboard.
Wonky stilt houses and untidy fish farms on one side, manicured parks and gardens on the other.
At one stage I remarked to the other captain it seemed they were blowing up the golf course on the Singapore side. Until I saw the sign identifying the Singapore armed forces site, warning us to stay clear as they practice using explosives there.
Steering clear of the invisible line
I made sure to steer well over the imaginary line delineating the border because we hadn’t cleared into Singapore and a Singapore customs boat plus two Sing police boats stalked us and kept a very very close eye on our progress.
Danga Bay Marina
The marina at Danga Bay Johor is now closed. It was built as a photo opportunity for the potential buyers of the condos planned for the site.
An almighty thud
There were huge barges constantly filling in the Strait in readiness for construction. One evening I heard some shouting from my boat. Then an almighty thud. A barge had bashed into our jetty. No people were hurt but the damage was extensive.
A snake in the sink
Another of my more memorable experiences in the marina at Danga Bay Johor was when I discovered a snake in my galley sink.
I was on my own as the other captain had gone back to Australia to work. One morning I lifted the lid on my sink cover and saw a snake slithering round. I immediately dropped the lid back down. I’m pretty sure it was as surprised to see me as I was to see it.
And honestly I think it shat itself with the shock because it stunk seriously in there. I peeked in one more time to check I wasn’t hallucinating before deciding to do the girlie thing and ask for help to get rid of it.
Asking for help
I asked some of the staff who were hanging out on one of the boats on my jetty, but they couldn’t help because they told me “We’re scared of snakes too”.
The Sultan of Johor
I have absolutely fallen in love with Johor Bahru. After more than three years of resort islands its grittiness and purely unpretentious localness is incredibly refreshing. But I couldn’t stay in Danga Bay Johor because the marina was closing down…