|Neil with Tony Spence, David Seaman and Bas Huibers|
We've been delighted to have visitors from home during the last few months. Neil's brother Peter and "a few mates" flew in for a shopping fix and get together. All being members of the Royal Yacht Club Of Victoria, they were keen to see Singapore from the water. Included in the group was Michael McLean, talented Para Olympics sailor.
We stowed Michael's wheel chair in the dock box, cast off the dock lines, and motored out for a barbeque and swim off St John's Island. After lunch the wind picked up and the Royal's crew were getting a bit jittery - so up went the sails, and with Michael at the helm we had great afternoon with 10 to twelve knots of breeze- unusually good for Singapore ! Our good friend Cas Bukor also visited us for a week. Whilst the weather was hot and wet, we all managed to have a good time. Cas learned how to make Crystal Blues bread, and also did some quick graphic design work for Neil from the floating office.
At The Coal FaceNeil has been working with the Space Matrix team for 5 months now. He's hired four new staff to build the team in India and Singapore, and is constantly interviewing for more.
Multimedia projects and business growth in India are taking up most of his time, plus supporting and enhancing the Space Matrix regional IT networks. Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad are his second homes now, and he's in India more than 2 weeks of every month. He's gradually discovering the delights of India, including a vibrant live music scene - lots of rock and blues, but disappointingly little jazz.
His multimedia team are designing projects valued at more than 5 million US dollars, with clients including Wells Fargo, Axis Bank, Gartner Research, Shell and Symantec. Space Matrix is growing rapidly, so on the IT side he's also planning for upgraded IT networks plus new offices in China and Dubai.
Australians love a long weekend and Singapore National Day gave us a great opportunity to escape from the marina and go sailing, exploring up the Johor River in Malaysia. We were invited to join a small group of seven local yachts on sail-away to Teluk Sengat. By sundown on Saturday afternoon all the yachts had cleared-in to Malaysia and were anchored in a beautiful bay at Teluk Sengat. Dinghies ferried the crews into the Blue Dolphin restaurant (highly recommended) for a Chinese seafood banquet. The food and the company was great and the restaurant was re-booked for the following night. Sunday offered a lazy start with roti canai for breakfast and a stroll around Teluk Sengat. Sun-downers were held on Crystal Blues and this gave us a chance to get to know our fellow sailors.
A squall hit the fleet early on Monday morning and canceled our roti breakfast. Sails went up, anchors were retrieved and we sailed down river to clear Malaysian Customs and Immigration. After that we had a fantastic sail almost all the way back to the marina in Singapore. Can't wait for the next long weekend to sail away again.