Last weekend, while heading to St. John's dock praying for a space to berth our guests, we miraculously met our old family boat from 20 years ago.
Captain Wong was super excited when he spotted it berthed at St. John's dock, exclaiming "That's our old boat! It's still around!" It was so unbelievable that our second-hand family boat from 1994 could still be alive and kicking that I scrolled through my phone's photos to find that one photo we took 20 years ago, just so we could verify it was the exact same license number. And yes it was, SZ10637Z. It hasn't changed a single bit, except the refurbished interior (according to the new owner whom Captain Wong insisted he had to speak to).
Ever since we started Ximula Sail, many of my friends like to ask, "Why your dad suddenly decide to buy a boat?" The truth is, it wasn't a sudden decision. It was more of a dream he worked towards (like how some guys would dream of owning a Ferrari), a decision that was perhaps made ever since he gave up this SZ10637Z due to the expensive upkeep, but only recently fulfilled.
Since young, Captain Wong had always been into sailing, having achieved his boating license back in 1990s when he was 30+ years old. Back in those days, he would often rent a sailboat with a group of friends to sail out for fishing, or just for fun.
When he bought the boat SZ10637Z, almost all our weekends were either spent hanging out at Keppel Marina where it was berthed (mind you, Keppel Marina used to be so different: the pavements were uneven, there was only a small canteen and a constant fishy smell in the air) or sailing out to Batam together with our relatives and family friends.
I still remember that I would be puking from the back of the boat every single time we sailed out to Batam - I could smell the terrible stench of engine oil all the time. Although I hated the journey on board, I was always ecstatic to finally arrive at Nongsa Point Marina, where all of us little children would be running around the resort, splashing in the swimming pool or playing whatever games we could think of. (:
These are faint memories now, occasionally replayed when we browse through the few photos we took during those days and chucked into the deep recesses of our brains ever since we had to let our boat go.
Who would have known that 20 years later, we would be able to revisit these memories with our new yacht XIMULA?
We have been so excited since it arrived that we've been busy parading it around the Southern Islands, bringing all our relatives and friends out for a ride and parties and catching New Year's Eve's fireworks, and sailing to our neighboring countries like Batam (multiple times), Bintan, Pulau Tioman, Pulau Sibu, and even all the way to Phuket for a good whole month (will save Phuket for another blogpost). (: (:
One of our greatest discoveries (with a little bit of sadness) while spending time here on our yacht is that even though Singapore is essentially surrounded by water, the concept of owning a yacht, or even boating or sailing, is still so foreign to many Singaporeans! A huge majority of our neighbours and people we meet at the marina are non-locals too! WHY?!?!?
Come out here, fellow Singaporeans! Beyond our tall skyscrapers and vibrant city life, Singapore can also offer a cool, breezy, laid-back getaway anytime. And we're determined to share with you just that! (: