2nd December 2015.
Happy New Year.
That was a big one, crackers for three hours solid, it almost got boring but not quite. Sorry Tommo and Jeff I will wash my mouth out.
We left Koh Adang on Boxing Day at 0500 headed for Phuket. Things started out dodgy with me doing go to curser but placing the curser on Koh Lanta instead of Phuket, so we were heading hard onto the breeze for the first hour, when the sun came up and I found my glasses I saw my mistake and we could bear away 40 degrees so up with the sails and away we went. Bit of a washing machine ride but we sat on 6 knots most of the day, hardly any boats seen, just a couple of fishing boats and one yacht which coincided with one of the fishing boats so a course change had to be made. Once made we could not make the height we were enjoying, don’t know what happened there but it seemed to come on the nose as we all crossed.
Down with the sails and on with the Yanmah’s for a bit, current against us as well. I was starting to rue leaving port on a Friday but we had waited four days for this window so it had to be done.
Later on in the afternoon it went cold and a bloody big storm hit us from no where, all of a sudden 30kns but at 90 degrees, then it pissed down, then you could see nothing, I went forward and removed the shade cloth from the windows so we could at least see 50 metres ahead, drenched through in 10 seconds, just before the storm I noticed a fishing boat to port heading our way but a bit North as well, who knows where it was now, the radar was just a purple haze all round. In the end the rain passed, the fishing boat passed ahead of us and we had 20kns of East wind and up with the sails then doing 8 knots plus. We were never going to make Phuket before sundown but there are a couple of islands just South, one of which is Koh Racha Yai, I think Yai is North and Noi is South, has a pretty protected anchorage so it seemed our best bet, we rounded the bottom of the island as the sun went down and had to find out way into the anchorage in the dark. Not so easy, the place was chockers with three super yachts, a dozen cats, a few mono’s and a few fishing boats chucked in to make up the numbers. We found a space and dropped anchor only to have it drag so a bit further in and try again, 15 metres deep and a pretty shaley bottom by the sound of it, but when the anchor grabbed it grabbed and we let out 50 metres which had us pretty close to a big old wooden restaurant boat but it all ended up cool with no problems during the night albeit a restless one.
We were up and gone by 0800 and had a nice sail to Ao Chalong where the customs and immigration offices are out on the end of a dirty great pier. The Sandy’s told us just to drop anchor out the front of the pier so we did, nice and close to the buildings. The place is pretty shabby at water level with bits of floating concrete just tied together with ropes and the gangway was falling to bits, someone had warned us that you need to walk on the screws as at least there is something under them. Well the screws had all fallen out but you could see where they used to be.
The process of clearing in was pretty harmless, plus we had our two-month extendable for another two months tourist visa already done so we were in and out in no time. They are all really good people to deal with. We just need to be out of Thailand by the 24th February and back in by the 28th to start the second entry on the visa. Quick trip to KL probably, be able to stock up on the meat from KLIA2 grocers.
We have been getting harassed by Fay from Sandy and she reckons if we don’t get our arses up to Nai Yang Bay she’s going to give me a flogging, something to look forward too anyway. She calls me Rodney so I call her Shirl, she even sounds a bit like you mum and that look geez it takes me back to when I was fully in the shit when I was a ratbag kid. “RODNEY WHAT ARE YOU DOING NOW.” lol.
Upped anchor at 1100 and set out for Nai Yang Bay, about 25nm North on the West Coast. It was a beautiful day and with 10 to 15 knots on and off all the way we cruised on up there. Heaps of fishing nets but they weight them at both ends here so only hitting the flags or buoys is a problem.
1630 had us in the bay, anchored up and knocking back a few beers. The talk was that there would be waves tomorrow, unbelievable, so we just had a few with the Sandy’s, didn’t really get my flogging which was a tad disappointing, but great to see these guys again. The Bonnies were also there as was Southerley II from Fremantle Sailing Club. The last time we saw them was in Benoa, Bali, after the Freo to Bali Race, they were the support team for it.
It was a ripper night, slight breeze and nice and cool so a good sleep was had, then up at sparrows for a paddle. Found a little wave and had some fun with it, bit shaky to start with, then got high sided and had to do the starfish into a foot of water, hit the bottom big time, all really hard old coral, not much blood but sore.
Fay paddled over on her new SUP to join me and we had a yack in between waves then back to the boat fairly rooted. Felt good.
Jen and I went for a walk looking for internet sim top up, fruitless effort, but found a really good Thai restaurant, Heng Heng, excellent larb moo and sweet and sour pork.
By the time I got back to the boat Dave was out surfing and it was going off, two to three foot and the waves just go and go, filthy. On the SUP it was so much fun and pretty well surfed until the sun went down. Frothing sick.
Had a quiety to be ready for the next days surf but sadly it was heaps smaller so just got a few on the edge of the reef that broke for a bit.
We all hit the Heng Heng for lunch, larb moo times two and a Thai stuffed omlette, better than yesterday. Got a new dtac sim for the iPhone but no modem sims here, just got to hot spot the phone, it is 4G which I have never even heard of, bloody fast. Got 6GB for as long as I want for 699thb, which is now about $30.00, Tony Abbot and your dickhead mate Hocking thanks for nothing, tossers.
Got onto a couple of battery suppliers as our port engine battery has finally shit the tin, it was installed in 2008 so can’t complain can you? We hit the street markets, unreal, great veges and we even bought some prawns, haven’t seen a good prawn for ages, these were filthy. They seem to have really caught on to cooking things with sticks, we might have started something.
One quote came in at 15000thb, thieving prick, ended up paying 3800thb plus 1000thb in tuk tuk fares, forgot to buy clamps, flogger. All went together well and she’s a beaut now, pain in the arse turning isolators off and on or forgetting they are on and flat starting batteries next day.
We moved on down to Patong Bay just before lunch. Full main and headsail had us sitting on 7 to 8.5 knots all the way with the Sandy’s chasing us down. A couple of gusts of 27kns came through but nothing to get to worried about. A cruise liner was parked out the front of the bay. We found Hubert and Jasmine on Investigator anchored up front and centre to the tallest building on the beach so we did much the same and same with the Sandy’s. Dave and I went ashore for a few beers, funny little sesh, being propositioned by a few hotties, had to reply, “I don’t think my wife will be too happy” to which they replied “ we keep secret,” only in Thailand.
Ended up have some Topman Goong, filthy, and a fair few beers, almost messy with a big night to come. Late arvo nannery then the girls wanted to go get some food so back in we went, it is easy to tie the boat up to the long tail stern lines down near the jetty, getting busy now 2000 with a real buzz about the place.
Got back to the boats and we all hit The Investigator for our NYE partying. It was hooting with the fireworks starting slowly at 2200 then picking up the pace at 2300 then full-blown bombardment from midnight to 0130, it just went off. Once the real ones finished then it was up to everyone to add to the scene till the sun comes up, you could by a four inch rocket which was a two shot for 600thb, about $25.00. Fun for all the family. The whole night long those bloody lanterns landed around us, no direct hits to any of our boats but one landed about ten foot in front of where we were sitting up on the tramps on Investigator.
The wind picked up in the morning to 25 to 30 knots, it may be a bit bumpy but at least the hordes aren’t flying around on jet ski’s. Had to get stuck into a couple who kept buzzing us, reckon fishing rod with a great big squid jig next time. They are like kamikaze pilots, just go flat out until they come off or their poor girlfriend sitting on the back, who is absolutely shitting herself, screams, enough you idiot. One couple went splat right next to Sandy, we all watched it happen, laughed our guts out, the poor girl couldn’t even get back on she was so rooted. How no one gets killed has got me stuffed.
We spent a late arvo with the jet skis, early night and up early to bugger off to Nui Bay, another 10nm south. Hubert rang and give us the thumbs up for space as it is only a three or four boat bay. We left Patong in almost gale conditions, got the headsail up and motorsailed at 8 knots making water down to Nui, which once we arrived is a beautiful bay with no fetch. Bit of swell rolling through which makes for interesting landings and departures on the beach, it is a really steep beach and it makes the waves look quite menacing.
Leo off of Matrix, last seen at Bay of Plenty, met us there so was great catching up with him. He and Larry are chartering Matrix out up here.
We had a few beers, a really nice lunch and then we had to face the shore break back out. Patience is the name of the game and eventually we got a break, Jen went first using the backwash to push her out the back of the dumpers then with the help of the excellent lifeguard boys, I paddled the ski out through to pick Jen up, piece of piss.
Had a dive, not much good, too much movement to see anything but a good workout that’s for sure. Burnt up the bacon and eggs and now there is room for my favourite, BEER, come on midday.
It was sad last night as the last of the Laphroig was quaffed. No real frog episodes this time, that stuff can belt you. 49% proof.
Our new additions to Boomerang are all working well, the new shade cover over the outdoor area is a bargain and the new BBQ plate for the gas burner thingo, that dad made us, works a treat with a couple of feeds off it so far.
Been hammering the books, Lee Childs’s new one, Personal, is ok, Mo Hayder’s: Wolf is excellent, Ian Rankin’s: Fleshmarket Close is really good and Michael Connelley’s: The Burning Room is a ripper. Just started on the new Jo Nesbo book called The Son, which is hard to put down. Only got a couple of new books left, horror, I might have to join the millions and get them online with iBook’s or something, can’t see it being the same, how do you fold the corners on an iPad?