26th June 2014.
This last week has had it all and quite often a bit more too.
Before we left Banda Aceh I had my first opportunity to have a swim around the boat and see the reef that Linda and Adi are protecting at Lampageue close up, it is excellent, there are more fish there than in Sabang, all types as well. Good coral too and well worth a look.
Next morning the Aiorah Cut looked calm compared to the other times we had looked at it, tide was running out, wind although up to 25knots, mainly caused by the topography of the place and we are going for it. Once committed it was to late anyway as there is no way back against the current, we shot throught the entry all smooth as, then the first standing waves start happening, there was a 3 metre swell running but we passed through them quite easily, then you just have the lumpy swells and side swells coming from all directions and up ahead you have dark sinister looking water and just to port it is lighter green, at first we stayed in the middle following our course but it was like a washing machine so I edged us over to the edge and out we go. It is still rough, still blowing but the uncomfortable feeling in my guts has gone. You ripper, well done Boomerang.
As we motored further south the wind just continued to drop and once under 10kns it was plain sailing, with motors, every now an again a big swell would come through but by this stage all crew were quite happy. Still had the questions thrown at me, How long to the next stop? Where are we stopping? This was until I dropped the bombshell, we are going all the way to Pulau Simeulue, this was met with looks of disgust, “what an overnighter”, I just smiled and said yep an overnighter.
By sundown we were progressing nicely, 1 knot of current with us, pushing into a 6 knot Southerley and looking pretty good doing 6kns and the engines just purring away at 2200 RPM. We had a shift change, Captain Rod 12 hours, one of my crew 3 hours and guess who is back driving. The Boomerang crew have gone soft and if you ask me, very demanding.
Coming on midnight and all of a sudden, CRASH, I slammed the boat into neutral then a quick shot of reverse then run forward where there is a couple of fisherman climbing aboard in panic, I helped them up checked they were ok then checked their boat and other crewmember, as well as possible in the light, their motor was running and they had a pissy little light on a stick, we were lit up like the Taj Mahall with nav lights and a really bright new steaming light. One of the blokes just jumped from our deck and landed back on his boat in a method that blew me away, he leapt up, over our safety wires and flew through the air and landed two feet together on the deck of his boat, I helped the other one back on and asked if all ok and I think they were, they were nodding but also one was yelling at me, it only then dawned upon me that he was getting pretty aggressive so I hit forward and moved away from them, he was going off and tell the truth I was shitting myself, after a few minutes I settled down a bit, went up and checked our boat, paint and a few scratches but nothing to bad so I told Mo we were turning around and going to make sure they were ok.
When we turned their light was so hard to see but I just followed our track back and at about a quarter of a mile away from them their light became visible again, I think they saw us as off they went, they didn’t want a bar of us, which at the time was good as there were 2 other boats a few miles to the east which was where they headed. I said to Mo and Jen their boat seems fine and we won’t be able to catch them, lets get out of here. This decision has been playing on my mind for days now, I just really wish I knew if their boat was ok.
How is it though, that in the middle of absolutely nowhere, you can possibly hit another boat bow to just about bow, unbelievable. Thank god they were not a metre east or we would have run them over. I also hope it was an accident, the looks on their faces weren’t menacing, just frightened probably just like mine. HORROR.
We had fishing boat madness a couple of times during the morning but managed to avoid all of them, big boats with lots of lights but they always crank it up and head your way, just checking us out I guess. Mo did a shift then I made it to sunrise and then we just motored on.
Had a big fish take a lure and by the time I got to the rod there was bugger all line left so did it up hard, Mo stopped the boat and we slowed whatever it was up for about 3 seconds and then off it went with our brand new Indo lure for lunch. Set up again but nothing, it would have been the first fish we have caught for a long time. Should have done this, should have done that, spewing.
Decided to go down the west coast of Pulau Simeulue to Pulau Lekon, the boys from Beachhouse suggested it, we rolled up and dropped the anchor in a nice little bay at approximately 02 42.863N, 95 43.609E in 10 metres on sand, after 33 hours at sea it was a nice place to be, the water was cool and it didn’t take long for us all to be swimming. We went ashore in the bay, excellent beach, no rubbish and no bugs. Mo and Jen walked to both ends of the beach, I just wallowed in the shallows, bargain, we have finally got here and about bloody time too. We carked it pretty early and slept through a pretty good storm but very good holding and no worries.
Next day on to Pulau Simeulue Cut, had to navigate the channel between Lekon and the mainland, our Navionics on the Raymarine is about 100 metres out East so we were sitting pretty close to the edge of land and sea, on the screen anyway. The iPad version is a bit more accurate so have both running in tight spots. A bit of swell running and looking good for P.SCut might get a surf. We just tonked along, light SW and about a 2 metre swell with the current with us again for 4 hours and anchored up in another stunning little bay, 02 32.347N 95 56.591E in 11 metres with a sand bottom, the anchor grabbed big time and we put 80 metres of chain out to. Then once again in for a swim and a cool down, it is bloody hot, sweating like you know what. There were a couple of fishermen in the bay so I dropped the dinghy in and went over to see them, asked if it is ok to stay, mimed it anyway, but got the thumbs up and then they wanted to come out and check out Boomerang, so what else could you do and out we went. Their eyes lit up when they saw fishing rods, lures squid jigs, but my sunglasses really got them going, so down stairs and out with a couple of pairs of Ray Ban’s and they think they are pretty cool. Had a water with them and dropped them back to their boat where they traded me half a dozen dried fish. It was nice of them and I took them but they were pretty pongy. Sad to say they ended up as food for another fish. We had a nice dive with the coral at the western tip quite good especially the ones that look like yuppy lettuce. The fishermen left and waved as they went by both wearing their new sunnys, good to see. Had an uneventful night and up in the morning heading for Lugu Bay about 25 miles south, easy little day sail and very relaxing. Few beers along the way and straight into the bay, dropped anchor on the coordinates the boys gave us but a fishing boat came over and pointed in further so up with the anchor, it was 13 metres deep, and in closer to 8 metres, sand bottom and once again really good holding, 02 23.255N 95 19.885E. This location is about half a mile out on the iPad and on the Raymarine we are on land so there you go, trust nothing. Can get a bit rock and rolly but if there is a bit of breeze to keep the boat straight it is fine, not to sure about a monhull though. There are squid, chumi chumi, off the boat and hooting waves here. I went out to check them and a boat rolled up with three Australians aboard, Dave, Tai which is not a good name in Indonesia and Matt who would you believe it comes from Margaret River and ends up being mates with heaps of crew we know well. The people you meet. The surf looked pretty good, bit intimidating to me, first surf since this time last year, but the boys were just what I needed to get me into action. Back to the boat, new board out, where are the fins, where are the fins, oh here they are, dickhead, bit of wax and Mo dropped me off.
I went in in a pair of boardies, new rashy and my new FCS hat, looked like a dick, but got a wave quite quickly, although I felt like a granddad getting to my feet, very slow and so heavy, next one was just the same but a better wave and a couple more and I was rooted. The boys were all getting the big ones and charging, Tai is a paddling machine which just doesn’t stop, Dave picked up a beauty and Matt got his fair share, what a great way to get back into it. They invited us to join them for Bintangs later in the arvo, sounded pretty good to me.
We got in touch with Ranu, who runs Ranu Surf Camp, firstname.lastname@example.org, which is right on the point, the boys from Beachouse reckon he is the man and they were right, nice fellow. He came and picked us up from the little wharf just tucked in behind a island near us, it is safe to leave your dinghy there although I think my fuel was probably used to fill up a couple of motorbikes during one of our expeditions. He took us out to his camp and we watched a bit of a crowd surfing the point, the boys were there and bintangs were flowing. We had excellent Nasi Goreng, in fact really excellent. Can also get chilli chop and salty soy sauce which is now a must with just about anything I eat. Ranu happily dropped us back off to the wharf and we were sitting back watching Breaking Bad by 2100. Good Arvo.
I got to surf first thing, got one really good one and a few not so flash, my ribs are killing me, paddling is almost not an option. After the surf we went for a tour in Ranu’s hire car, 350000IDR, for the day, we found our way into Sinabang which is the main town, good fruit and vege market, long beans, eggplant, tomatoes and onions in good supply and very fresh.
I had to find the Harbour Master to clear in and finally I did, just past the bank and down to the end of the road, through the steel gate and go left until you see an official looking building which means you are there. Harbourmaster is Syahbandar and sounds like Sub/an/dah. On arrival I introduced and shook hands with everyone, Syumsul then went through my paperwork, offered me kofi and a ciggy whilst we waited for a photo copy of our CAIT, I paid 100000IDR, and walked out the door in under half an hour. Good people and very friendly even though I forgot my stamp, of all the things to forget.
We then did a bit more shopping, new internet card and out of there. We missed our turn off on the way back but ended up past the airport so we kept on going for a look, nice tidy little houses and villages and friendly as. On our way back we stopped for a coconut, ended up getting four young ones off the tree, over the road we got some nice pineapples as well. This ended up being a great little sojourn as the daughter spoke a little English and took us on a tour of her farm, pineapple plantation, fish ponds and tropical fruit trees it was awesome. They are right next to the powerhouse, noisy joint but it was one of those unexpected bonuses.
Back at the boat the fuel had arrived so another mission syphoning the 30 litre containers into both tanks, chockers again now.
We went back to shore for dinner at Ranu’s camp and we had filthy mie goring, these guys are onto the cooking, then off down to Daves place, which is another camp down the road for a few bintangs, blurr.
The boys came past in the morning and gave me a shout so off we went, good waves, got a couple of ok ones then got a ripper then got drilled big time, snapped my legrope and had to swim back out through the break, not to bad though as you get pushed down the reef into nice deep water, the bottom is hard but flat, glad I had the wetty on. Dave got smashed as well and had ear problems, back to Boomerang and out with the drops and he’s ok. The afternoon session was pretty good as well, another flogging but with the new legrope all was good, to slow kook, that’s me. Tai wouldn’t let me go in on a flogging so back out I go and scored a pearler but went to far and got another flogging, by the time I got back to the dinghy I was stuffed.
We all headed back to Boomerang for a few beers, turned into a bottle of Jacks then off to Daves, http://www.simeulue.com, for an unreal BBQ for tea, the fish still had chewy skin and was cooked to perfection, Jen made a papaya salad, which was pigged on, and we got on it, again. To come across these guy’s has been so good, they make you want to go do something and having someone to surf with has made a huge difference. My ribs are only sore now so I can’t wait to get out again. The swell has picked up to 4 metres but the wind has stuffed it up, very rolly in the bay but safe I reckon, our anchor alarm has not gone off once. Well we were going for an AFM but it has just been blown out of the water, not sure if 1530 even equates to an AFD. Nice wine though, some Chilean sav blanc, 18 ringotts a bottle in Langkawi.
Tomorrow we leave for Treasure Island, about 50 mile away, I have got a bit of fitness happening and am looking forward to getting into some of the best waves in the world, bring it on.
We didn’t go, there was a 4 metre swell running, blowing its arse off and its Friday, I have told you about Friday’s before. So more fun at Daves. This post has been quite difficult to get together as the internet here is not so flash, hence lack of photos and I had a few links to throw in but sadly, it aint gunna happen, sorry about that.