Moving on.

13th September 2017.

Well, been in Banyak two and a half months, time to move on I reckon, tell you what it was great to be sailing again and after ten hours we are anchored up two-thirds the way down the east coast of Pulau Nias. Just got there before the sun went down.

Wake up eightish and get going, five miles from the bottom it turns to shit, rang Rahel to suss out the weather in Lagundri, “it’s just a little bit windy”, stuffed if I know what windy is, westerly 25 knots and seas from every direction, I tell you, anyway, took four hours to do 11nm. But we got there and the place is going off.

Just drank beers and entertained our visitors, the Nias kids all arvy. To me Nias has an allure like not many other places, besides Bay of Plenty and Long Island in the Bahamas, I love the people, the towns and the surf. It was pretty small this stay, no barrels but no real hassles either, especially when you’ve got the kids on your side, they drop in on someone and you drop in on them, simple. Everyones happy. Well at least I was.

Had to go get money, Frappa, his real name is Frappuccino, insisted on taking me on the family bike, good fun, bank, pleasant surprise, cheers Davross, veges, supermarket, top up internet and BBQ babi on the way home. Went to the street fish market but only had female muddies, they looked at me like I was queer when I said I didn’t want them because they were roed up.

The guys at the surf school have now started a school and its packed everyday, must be thirty kids at least, every time I go to the beach I am swarmed with kids wanting to help drag the boat up the beach, with the weight of numbers they get the job done, I tricked them the other day and didn’t pull for a bit and the dinghy kept on going. When we are about to start I give them the countdown starting at ten and counting off with my fingers, turn my hands around so they see the backs, when you get to two and one they laugh so much.

Made eighteen boomerangs at Papa Elin’s place, got on the beatlenut with him again, pretty messy affair, all my shirts end up covered in red shit but you do get a warm fuzzy feeling and I think Papa enjoys my company, spend quite a lot of hours with him, Mama Elin and baby Elin their daughter.

Just up the road you have got Ari and Frappers house, they have pigs so they grow food for them and themselves. Hire bike off them too. Pappa Ari loves the nut and has raised a great family, good kids, very polite and good at school.

Walk another hundred metres and your at Rahel’s place. Scene of many a arsehole battle, freezing beer, and excellent bbq’s. Pappa and Mamma are great and going strong, Rahels kids and wife are beauties too, great people. I didn’t even go past his place this trip. Once on the bike, sorry.

We celebrated Rahel’s birthday one night, excellent night, jungle punch, vodka and sprite and plenty of freezing cold beer and bbq babi, it was a hooting night. Arsehole was very noisy and at times confusing but a really hooting session with the most pissed mate of Rahels being dominant at the end. Got me stuffed, he was blind.

Not much happening next day although had a few sundown drinks with Keith and Steve, found two bottles of red, yewww yewww.

Pretty much packed up and went and said our goodbyes to everyone next day after sussing big southerly change coming, left at 1500 and headed for Pulau Telos, really tight to the wind but sat on sixes motor sailing, crossed the equator at 2237 and cracked a bottle of shampoo then motored to Pulau Sipika with a nice bit of moon to show the way.

Found an unreal lala, pipi or klam spot just depending where you are, big suckers so got them in a bucket getting all the grit and jizz out of them ready for a feast.

Hung out for a couple of days, resting and hoping my little toe gets better, its horror infected, got a couple of lumps in my groin but thanks to my excellent sister, we sussed out what pills and crème to use. All the stuff from the medical box is still going strong, most of the stuff is over four years old now. Used Flamazine crème and Cephalexin 500mg and it knocked it on the head in three days, probably five days worth condensed. Got to double up to start with, always. It didn’t feel real flash, throbbing away and lumps in your groin sort of makes you think.

We moved down to the bottom of Pulau Tanabala to a surf spot called Monkeys, from the moment we arrived to the moment we left it was firing, so much fun, surfed for a fair bit of the time by myself, unbelievable, when the charter boys turned up just went and had a kip and left them to it. Ran into the brother of a mate from Margaret River, Scotty Miller, small world we live in. Back on the smaller board now, shoulder, ribs and toe are all good. Got one smaller board to try, but not yet. Still to fat for that one.

We left earlyish and headed for Pulau Siberut, had to sail most of the way as not much fuel left, so long day but got to Tabekat Bay right on dark and anchored up out the front of the little hut, this is such a good possie to anchor, bit deep, eighteen metres, but safe as.

Woke at 0400 and got going, it was as black as and at one stage I got a bit confused where I was, spot light out and got it worked out, but I was heading off into the mangroves for a bit. Coming out of the bay just followed old track but couldn’t see Starboard navigation light which is mounted to a reef, port working though, then all of a sudden two flashes of green then gone again, not to sure what the story is there. Once out is was pretty clear motoring with the horizon lit by squid boats. Got a coffee into me, book out and got comfy, long day coming up, 100nm to Padang.

About ten miles out we came close to a squid boat and a really big buoy about half a mile apart, my course was straight through the guts so stuck to it, still black as, when all of a sudden all shit breaks loose, banging noise, go for neutral but no go so just killed the engines, horror, grab a torch and go check what’s happened, first thing I see is a rope, big bastard and pretty new looking, then the penny drops, these wankers are tied to the buoy, horror. Had to furl the headsail as we were still trying to sail away. Still dark and off with me dacks, on with the flippers and goggles, the crew shining the spot light in from above, swim over to the sail drive and horror, for some reason I thought of Winnie The Pooh’s bee hive that he and piglet found, that’s what this rope looked like, about a metre long and 400mm wide spiralling down to the thickness of the rope, my first rash decision was cut it, did that before in Thailand, still haven’t forgot the fishing boat chasing after us ready to kill me at the very least so change of heart. There was a bit of dawn light now so could see the mess and started moving each coil about a metre along the rope going to the buoy, about fifty I reckon, then it was about five wraps around the blades, wacking it in neutral you could spin the blades and peel off a loop each rotation and then about ten loops behind the props, they were tight as, so had the breathing going hard, one loop one breath, being off the ciggys for a while helped, anyway an hour later and I am joined by a bloke in orange jocks just as it come free. When I got out they were all yelling sorry, It was a shocker but pretty happy too. I was wide-awake after that hour of slog, all sails up and off we went.

A couple of hours later I pressed the remote for the media player and an alarm went off, pure coincidence, had me stuffed for a bit but finally worked out it wasn’t anything electronic but it was the port engine alarm. Now this is the loose bit, last night I dreamt of having to replace the water pump belt and how it was fitter’s shit not electrical, said to the crew, it’ll be the belt and sure enough it was. How’s that? Not only lucky but now psychic. Got it done, sweated my arse off, burnt my arm and got covered in fitter shit but back under way in an hour, took longer to find the new belts I bought for the trip, a place for everything and everything in its place, found them with the spare hose, oh well, they came from the same shop. Lantrac, Nagoya, Langkawi.

We came into Bungus Harbour, Padang at 2100, no further delays just a slow old day, dropped our sails and went and found Huey’s mooring, and got on it, in more ways than one.



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