This is the way home.

5th September 2014.

I blew it with this post, hit publish instead of draft, dickhead Rod, now we have some photos, sorry about that.

Happy birthday Christopher.

Left Lugu Bay and headed North for Pulau Simeulue Cut, pronounced choot, I remember the harbormaster making a point of it. Not much happening, the breeze is in the SW so a bit rolly but a few beers fixed that. Had an awesome feast on bug tails with salad for lunch and bug tails and cheese toasted sangers for tea, pretty bloody good.

Up early and heading for Pulau Lekon, calm to balmy conditions had us motoring all the way and then it was decision time, pull in at Pulau Lekon or keep going to Pulau Tepi, another 15nm.

Skipped the entry through the channel at the south end and went around the outside of the island to give me more time to decide on our couple of night anchorage as tomorrow is Friday and we are not leaving anywhere on a Friday. The sky all around was black as and there was lightning out to sea, all looked pretty horror. The boys from Beachhouse were a bit vague on where to anchor at Tepi and we knew the anchorage at Lekon so in we went and anchored up out the front of the same bay as our last visit, about three months ago.IMG_1088

Got the anchor down and set, we could see it from the bow, crystal clear water, just in time for the heavens to open up, then 20knots from the west which swung to the NW at 25knots but we were safe as houses. 80 metres of chain out in sand with a few boondys chucked in, we ain’t going nowhere.

Had our last rubbish bom fire on the beach, set up a box, and three bags of rubbish and piled anything I could find on the beach TeePee style, doused it in diesel and left it to soak in. Went back to the boat, it pissed down, so got an excellent snooze and a couple of chapters of Tim Winton’s Eyrie, christ he describes every last detail of everything that’s for sure, pretty good so far. He used one of Ted Baker’s sayings, “About as useful as a hip pocket in a singlet”. Absolute pearler, cracked me up, parts of the book kind of reminds me of Willagee in the bad old days. The next suburb to ours.P1030302

With the cooler bag loaded with beers and camera we headed in and set all the rubbish and sticks alight, it went off, bloody hot and a bit dodgy as three empty gas cans for the portable cooker had been shoved in the bags, as I was stoking it one went off big time, scared the shit out of me then the next which went ting first, so I bolted in time, reckoned that was it and started back at stoking little bits and baaaang, Jesus wept, it just about shifted the fire off the rubbish. Not a single burn so shouldn’t winge too much. Quite a success story really, especially in bare feet.

We went back to the boat and cracked the bottle of Moet, no equator crossings this time so may as well knock it on the head, it went down a treat, probably the slowest drunk bottle of Moet ever, sipped it to the last drop in the good old cabernet glasses, still in tact from our Port Geographe marina days.

Watched a couple of movies, Last stand and Dead in Tombstone, a couple beauts. Arnie at his best and some eltroppo looking Mexican dude going hard. Also a few Black Books episodes, always good.

It blew its arse off all night out of the west so not to rolly, just up and down which makes for a broken sleep but it was comfortable enough.

It has been blowing hard since we got up, had a few jobs I wanted to do but stuff that, drank shandy’s and watched movies instead, all pretty crap not even worth talking about.

There are quite a lot of fishermen cruising around now it is night but have pretty good moon so can keep an eye on them, haven’t been a problem so far but who knows. The wind has buggered off and what there is is from the SSW which is a pain as we are rolling with the swells coming round the point, glad we are on a cat it would be horror on a mono. Our end of the anchor chain must have also shifted a bit as it is rubbing on a boondy down below, pretty haunting noise, Jen reckons it is all a bit spooky. Off early tomorrow, perhaps straight to Banda Aceh or we might go looking for Pulau Tepi, good fun surf and the swell arrives tomorrow, that would be the best option, for me anyway, still cant get a bottle of red and a pie out of me head even though we had shepherds pie for tea with the last of the mince from Sailors Meat Supply in Langkawi. Went the big pig and still couldn’t finish it all.

Woke to a bumpy sea and very little wind, upped anchor and on our way by 0800 and heading around the top of Simeulue, seas from all directions but very little actual swell so the decision is easy, lets go home, Langkawi it is.P1030335

Got the lines off the back with a pretty quick result, a wahoo took the small lure and gave me a good bit of action getting it aboard, bled it and filleted it up straight away, looks like fish is on the menu for this passage. Beautiful looking fish, the blue down its back was so vibrant, a bit like a maui maui but much darker, good looking flesh and I love filleting them, start at the top and follow the bone, to easy. Already our decision is looking good.Jen had it served up as fish larb on one of her  pawpaw and long bean salads in less than an hour, bloody beautiful.P1030341

We tried just sailing with the heady then out came the big guns, the main even had a musty smell to it as we raised her, we had 11kns from the SE and now sitting on 6 to 7 still with the starboard engine tonking along at 2000RPM. Good to see the mainsail up again, we have only thought about it twice in almost 4 months, but our joy was short lived as the breeze just sat around 8 to 11kns and with the lumpy seas it becomes a pain in the arse, banging and carrying on. Before we dropped it I shut down the engine and went for a burn up into the breeze, 7.6kns in a 13knot gust, had me hooting, old Boomerang still gets up and boogies. So next the spinnaker, Jens favourite, not, set perfectly, Jen trimmed it perfectly and away we go, straight up to 7kns consistently with no motors for pretty much the rest of the day.IMG_1097

We dropped it at around 1700 and back to jib and starboard engine for the night, Jen jumped as she heard the reel go off but it stopped so we just kicked back, then the reel went again and stopped once more, bummer, but we had enough fish anyway. Had a BBQ with Wahoo Kebabs, not to shabby, then I hit the sack and Jen took over. When I woke up I was coming into the saloon and Jen was on the phone texting and completely oblivious to me being there so I slid under the table and grabbed her foot, horror, don’t think I will do that again, poor Jen, just about gave her a heart attack, must have thought it was pirates or something.IMG_1099

She had a great sail, then I took over for the wee hours, consistently doing 7kns with a very consistent 12 knot south easterly, tried no engine but with the current against us lost too much speed so back on and sit back. Reading a pretty good book, White Tiger by Aravind Adiga, has kept me awake for ages, its about a little Indian bloke, pretty good. The Tim Winton book Eyrie was good but I didn’t understand the end, read it over and over but buggered if I get it.P1030344

By 0500 I was getting pretty rooted so was doing the 15 minute snooze then up for a look then back for another 15, works for me, nothing around anyway.

Next thing the suns up and so is Jen, got a good hour unbroken sleep in, then back to the same old thing, sitting here looking at things that don’t really change that much, occasionally hit the +1 on the autopilot to go a bees dick to starboard or a -1 to go to port, that’s about it.IMG_1132

Just as I was going for another nap I looked out the back and what do you know, we have caught a fish, it is bouncing along the top of the water so scull dragged it in, it was stuffed in fact it’s last couple of breaths were pretty much its last then it just died, we looked at each other, couldn’t be or could it, same rod that made the noise yesterday arvo and this Narrow Barred Spanish Mackerel is exhausted, reckon we just dragged it for about a 150nm’s, probably nice and tender. Bled and filleted it and in the freezer, geez we are going home with more stuff in the freezer than we had when we left. I would prefer a Sailors pie though and a bottle of red.IMG_1160

Made really good time heading up to the top of the Sumatran West coast, bit to good in fact, made it to the pass 2 hours early, calculated our speed over the distance to get to the Aroih Cut at low tide so it was either wait around or give it a shot, hang on a ship is bearing down on us, catastrophe averted now where were we, so we thought may as well give it a go and it worked out just fine. At one stage we had 3 knots of current against us but gave the old Yanmah’s a bit of stick and we crawled through at just on 4 knots. Fishermen everywhere, all in the HR Puffinstuff boats of the Acehnese, up this end anyway. All smiling, all waving to us, great people up here.IMG_1111

Came through the cut and made our way around to the anchorage at Lampageue and anchored up. Met by a boat full of kids wanting beers, told him yes please we have none left, but he was a quick little bugger pointing at the can on the table, gave them the tail end of the fillets and went ashore to see Rizal who was waiting for us.

Little Camellia, a Boomerang T-Shirt recipient, and her mother were there, Rizal and a few of his mates but unfortunately B1 was working somewhere else so we didn’t get to see him.P1030394

Went for a walk to Linda’s place and had a look around, met all the team that are protecting the reef, making platforms for the reef and squid hatching contraptions. Great lot of young people, they all came to say goodbye. It was a short and sharp visit, gave Rizal a bag full of the best fillets from the Spanish mackerel, walked back out to the dinghy and off.IMG_1250

Oh yeah almost forgot, we topped up with the last of the fuel we got from Ranu from Lugu Bay, it would have to be the worst quality diesel, sola as it is known here, we have ever purchased, bloody expensive too, need to get your act together Ranu. Just lucky we have a good filter funnel and left a couple of litres in the bottom of the jerry cans. I was going to change our fuel filters on the engines but might just wait and see how they go as we are down to only 4 left, by the look of this muck we will more than likely be needing them.

Upped anchor and got underway at 1700 headed for home, once round the corner and into the Andaman Sea Jen took over and was sitting there pushing those two buttons when I got up at 0100, bargain sleep. She hit the sack, I set about cooking up the Cauliflower in white sauce, coli boong, that we bought off the guys on Elwin and Bailey’s floating surf camp, used half the last of the parmesan cheese we have left then shoved it in the oven. About an hour later the smells coming out of the boat were deluxe, it smelt like it tasted, even said to Jen it was almost as good as hers when she got up for a look around.

The ships have been coming and going, only one that we had to slow down and let past, should have just kept going in the end as we waited a few minutes for it to pass us by 212 feet, big bugger so you wouldn’t want to muck with it.IMG_2538

Suns up, finished White Tiger, excellent, cloud everywhere, swell with us but starting to think that the current in the Melaka Strait only goes one way, not much relief going west to east, not yet anyway.

Now we are cranking we now have about a knot of current with us, patience Rodney, wonder who used to say that, no wind but that is coming tonight big time, Buoyweather says 17kns WNW, which is pretty well up our arse, so add a bit as you have to and we could be in Langkawi in the morning,

Pies and red wine for lunch, yeah bring it on.

Once again to optimistic, back to 5.5 to 5.7kns, time for a nap. Jens in charge, gave her a run down on the AIS, if a boat comes within 10 minutes of a collision it sets the icon with an outline of red. After three hours we got one, a bloody tuna boat, they seemed to follow us and all of a sudden there were people coming up to the bow, looked dodgy, tried calling them on the VHF, no response, checked them out again and they are on a course to come along side so checked out the closest ship, Callotta, gave them a call and just let them know we were being approached, the guy checked us out and came back to me, right at that moment the fishing boat changed course and passed astern of us. Bit of a spin out but most likely no real menace at all. Thanked the guy on Callotta for staying with us and we moved on.P1030420

Well last blog I mentioned the Adams Family, we just finished watching Malaveta, Jen fell asleep, I reckon they are the modern day Adams’s, good show, the last couple of movies have been crap so excellent to get a good one, Larry off Matrix gave us a pile to watch, I like your style mate. Dead in Tombstone was a ripper.

We are now over halfway with estimated arrival 1300 tomorrow, we are once again struggling against a current, should get Jen back in charge but she is in bed, she gets us up to 6+kns every time. Nothing out here but salt water, heaps of ships and flying fish. Oh the serenity of it all.

The sun is shining, no wind to speak of, a bit of swell, shit I hope it is not the calm before the storm. This has just been the dream trip back, it took us nearly two weeks to do what we have in hopefully three and a half days, got to take the weather windows when there is only two of us, much too much like work otherwise. Stuffed if I know how you would do it on your own, 15 minutes on 15 minutes off I guess. I forgot to ask Quentin off Bonnie how he does it, you just would not want to go to sleep for too long in the Melaka Strait, sure as eggs eventually one of them will get you.

We had the last of the coli boong and cheese, a bowl of cucumber each and it is bedtime for me. Conditions have actually got better and we are cruising along at 7kns with the wind 9kns at 90 degrees with the port engine running at 2100RPM.

Jen had a good run of 5 hours and I find myself with some time on my hands. We are surrounded by little storms, at present more rain than wind, what wind we have is out of the WNW, bummer as we have slowed down to 5.5kns, but if what is expected to hit us comes, we will be back in the 7’s in no time. Off Passage weather it should now be 13 to 18kns, buoyweather has it up to 19kns which is a worry going from their predictions in the Banyaks we should be looking at 25 to 30kns. Very conservative is Buoyweather.IMG_1269

This has been the best holiday I have ever had, an absolute ripper, right from the beginning we planned well, the boat was spot on, needs some major tender loving care now, we provisioned well, although more wine and spirits next year, would you believe we ate the last of the Sailors mince, Blue Costello cheese and parmesan cheese in the last couple of days, all bought from Langkawi before we left.

We have come across people who have just had a bad run and others that I reckon are a bad run, but you try to help anyone out out there if you can. Some of the local people you meet open your eyes and mind up once you see the adversity they have gone through and how they exist.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

You have the Beachhouse boys, great fellas, always good for some fun and a laugh, still piss myself when I think of them sinking the dinghy at Treasures, then Jimmy free dives 20 metres to save the day, Jai who showed me where to sit to pick of all the waves everyone was missing, he has also changed the way I cook fish. Aaron who is a typical Aaron, the pleasure has been ours, they even befriended a kook like me, thanks guys we had a ball, I wish I was 23 again and doing exactly what you are doing, can’t really say that about anyone else, I suppose the Matrix mob sorta when I am 50ish. Nah, four blokes I am much better off with Jen, who would clean up? I didn’t get down to the six four or for that matter the six six, next year, can’t believe I am riding a six eight anyway. Bloody good six eight by Nathan Rose Surfboards in Margaret River, the colour of the fruit on a tomato bush I grew last year at home.

One night Jonny appeared out of the dark in Sibolga, it ended up being another big one with the Beachhouse boys. We had the pleasure of sitting out at the right in the Bay of Plenty by ourselves taking it in turns day after day, as Jonny reckoned not to many places left you can do that. It was a bit of a shame that the swell dropped while he was aboard but that only kept the charter boats at Treasures. He has got me hooked on killing things that swim, I am in the market for a new spear gun, a nice big wood one. Thanks for everything mate.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Matrix mob, older version of the Beachhouse boys, god when they get going you can’t get a word in, they have got it sussed, don’t know about two wives thing though Brett. Crazy man. Larry’s onto it. Good blokes to surf with, no hassling and fun in the water. That bloody genet kept me awake at night thinking how to fix it and Leo was almost right at the beginning, if you see a burnt wire replace it, I felt like a doctor not an electrician. Mick, thanks for the fish and the fun.

The Sandy’s, likeminded people on a mission to get the best fun out of life and as many waves, Fay knocked the socks off Jen with her G&T’s, something that doesn’t happen that often and I surfed some of the best waves of my life with Dave.

Kevin, Johans, Jens, Jans off a fishing boat set up with mossie nets and board bags for beds were also good value, good surfing partners, good blokes out in the water and taking it in turns always helps.You would out the water onto their boat, have a cofi and a ciggy for smoko and back out you go, closest thing like going to work in the Banyaks.IMG_2453

The Bonnies, always good to see these guys, they have just started another three months, Lou Lou and Shaun off Black Billy, who have made it to the other side of the Indian Ocean, inspirational, might have a couple of years surfing before we make that passage, but we will. The Surfmachine guys, interested in what you have to say and vice versa, wish I had the parasail right now Keith, we would be doing nines not sevens. Onya Matty, living the life.IMG_2452

By the way we have just had a front go over 22kns right up our arse, have got the heady barber hauled and it is doing a good job.IMG_1367

You have Dave, Matt and Tai from Simeulue who we had a ball with both in and out of the water, a big thanks for the best pineapples possibly in the world from the guys who live next to the power station on Simeulue.P1020984

Bailey and Elwin at the floating surf camp, great fun and so energised out in the surf just helps you get to another level. Mick, Coco, Raja and Suzuki off Seriti, it was great to meet you, Matt was right about you Mick, you love a beer.

Des off of Pulse, now here is a good bloke, always good to yack and surf with. Met the other owners of Pulse, Marcus and Miles, they seem like good blokes as well. These charter boat and surf camp lot have got the best jobs in the world.

Last but nowhere the least, we have the guys off Lara Pinta, I had met Rosie on Rebak at the marina, she talked about Freddy and the new yacht with me one day waiting for the ferry. Once I met Frederick it was like I already knew him. They are both hard at it, well prepared and lots of fun, good value all round. Rick has a job for life working on the old mans boat, putting up fences in Langkawi, you have got a pretty hard task master mate, reminds me a bit of me and my dad and more than likely Mo and I. You are a bargain. Thanks for the rum and cokes guys and the fun we had.P1030293

The locals, where do you start? Riza and his boys, Hadi from Quarantine, Rudi the harbor master all looked after us on Pulau Weh, thanks for everything. Rudi taught me, nongneenong, which is girl in Acehnese, I have found this word or phrase to be a brilliant starting point when things are looking a bit dodgy or stuck, just point at Jen and go nongneenong and everyone laughs, shakes your hand and it is all cool. You also had Jeffri at Pulau Rubiah, very reliable person.IMG_0064

Rizal from Banda Aceh, you are a beauty, cheers mate. Linda also thanks for the car and the driver, we now know Banda Aceh, joking of course, it is too big to know.

Iboh and her crew at Lugu Bay at Daves surf camp it has been a pleasure, should be more like you, Ranu from RAS Surf Camp also for all your help with fuel and provisioning and the car on Simeulue, cheers mate.P1030149

Captain Rrs, Captain to us and his crew Ekon, goes to show some pretty funny things can happen even when you can barely understand anything either party is saying, cheers mate.DCIM100GOPRO

Pappa, Chen and Fungi from restaurant 88 as we know it, hope to see you in Penang for Chinese New Year, thanks for the free goodies they were tasty as, Just next door at the farmasi we had Libra, keep on smiling mate and we will do seafood next year, Eddy for driving us around Sibolga showing us the sights and where to buy this and that, cheers mate. Also not forgetting Mamma for the use of her jetty and house as a pick up and delivery point, cheers mate. Then you have Being Beng who will do your running around for you with anything to do with the authorities, cheers mate.

It is 0300 and we are right in the middle of a 25 knot squall, hope there isn’t anyone out here because we cant see anything, it is pissing down and we have fifty miles to go, down to ¾ jib and doing anything from 5 to 7kns, should shake out the rest of the jib but I will get drenched. This bloody storm is getting bigger, horror.IMG_1274

0400, Just got hit with 35kns+ and broached, got to the wheel a sec to late she was already on her way, poor old autopilot is working its arse off, the noise through the rigging was unbelievable, drenched now, thank god for the electric winch to furl the jib in as it and the sheets were going off the ricta. I had only suggested a few lines above that it might be a good time to shake it out, bugger that, engines going now and so are we. Don’t know if I have mentioned that it is pissing down, you can’t see the ocean from the steps, Time for a beer and some popcorn, horror.

Thirty four miles to go at 0700, still blowing its tits off but now doesn’t feel so on the edge, doing 6 to 8kns, the rain has almost stopped, checked the dinghy, chockers, so just been leaning from the step bailing it out, the drain hole was blocked with all sorts of shit, the peg bag and detergent tried in vain to be free and now that it is light I found the good torch. The radar screen shows this crap all the way to Langkawi and about another 20 miles back from where we just came, told you it was going to be a beauty, the last time I heard that much noise through the rigging was at Dirk Hartog in the Freo Bali race last year. We were anchored then and hiding behind a nice big rock.

0800, twenty five to go, the wind has moderated and sitting around 20kns right up the clacker, should put the jib out but cant see Jen jumping out of bed with glee to help me, probably be more pain than gain, I can almost see my pie and bottle of red, Jen wants white, it bloody better not be a holiday today.

1000, it is still crap outside but not as bad as before, sitting around inside dreaming of pies.

1230, we are back, safe and sound, we have arrived in Langkawi, at Telaga Harbour Marina, channel 69,  right on the end of the storm, the breeze is not wind anymore and the rain has pissed off as well. It’s a bit like someone is up there going you can’t have it good all the time, have a bit of this crap to finish off, you lucky buggers.IMG_1296

I tried to undo this jib sheet disaster and just got confused, Jen sussed it in the end.

Things we broke or lost, my reading glasses fell in at Sibolga, the cowl on the dinghy got squashed under Matrix, the ugly stick tip snapped, so many lures I can’t remember, my brand new rashy, lasted one surf before going somewhere else, the outside shower hose but it was not long for this world anyway, couple of Tupperware containers, two towels, the lining of my bowel and half my pot belly during and after the Sibolga squirts and Jonny fed me bananas and things turned to shit for a bit.IMG_2438

Things that matter, I learned to surf again, I surfed Treasure Island, not very well it might be said, but it was one of my dreams put to bed, Mo lived without the internet for over a week and actually enjoyed herself, I told her she would. Jen drove the dinghy, she even started it, using the choke and everything, horror.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We travelled a total of 1596 nautical miles, stood at the top of Indonesia 0 kilometre, we caught one mangrove jack, three Spanish Mackerel, one Wahoo, two Coral Trout keepers, five Estuarine Cods and two Golden Trevally all with lures. Jonny shot heaps of stuff, the big Parrot Fish was the best, we also found 2 conch and tried it, good, we never left port on a Friday and no bananas made it onto the boat, some people just don’t understand. Tohatsu outboard motors are siiick.

What a place to go to, the West Coast of Sumatra is certainly the wilderness that Mark from Glava told me too expect.         If there is just one crocodile left in Indonesia, I reckon it lives in the Banyak group. I hope it isn’t as big as legend has it but it wouldn’t surprise me.IMG_1293

Seeya, until the next adventure. Coming soon Thailand.

 

 

Homeward Bound

29th August 2014.

The last day of our CAIT, farewells to Lara Pinta and hello to Keith, Rebbeca and Matt on Surfmachine.

Went over and said gidday today as we haven’t seen these guys since Mo was with us, they are the same, happy with their lot and why wouldn’t you be, it is a pretty hard life this floating around, drinking beer, eating coral trout and lobster, surfing three or more hours a day, um what else, well that is all that comes too mind but I am sure we do other stuff, oh yeah read books and sleep.IMG_0796

One of my favourite things now that time is pretty irrelevant is to wake up at 0200, we rarely make it past 2200 at night, and read for three hours then go back to sleep before the sun comes up. From 0500 to 0900 the boat is nice and cool and quiet.

The ribs are becoming a pain in the arse, no surfing today but I found some painkillers in the medical chest that probably need using as they are more than likely out of date, hence the mention of arse. Strange way to take medicine, how are you meant to chew it up? Another important question is how do you wash it down with a beer? Pretty bloody strong though, cant feel my ribs anymore, come to think of it I cant feel very much at all. Might just hang out on the boat today and do nothing.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Dragged my sorry arse out of bed and went for a fish, one hooting, for up here anyway, long nose emperor and three coral trout which were all small so chucked them back, good fun though, the little 3 inch Rapalas are definitely the go. Only got one left so taking pretty good care of it. We have five or six chumi chumi hanging out around the boat, Reggie the remora is over a foot long and loving life. I was scraping the barnacles off the bottom of the keels today and she was darting around in and out of my arms, almost like a pet now, she loves the crushed up barnacles.

Speaking of barnacles there aren’t any on the hull only on the keels where the boat was sitting on blocks at Rebak, Hempel antifoul is doing a pretty good job, scored it pretty cheap as well from Klang.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

No surf today, still sore but hopefully tomorrow, Matt and Keith had a good mornings surf, Jen and I visited Rebecca for coffee and a book exchange, now reading one of theirs called Boomerang, about 2008 GFC, hope it lives up to its name, The Goldfinch was very good.

Made a horror discovery today, cockroaches in the second to last carton of beer, mass bombing of both boots and removal of all cardboard from them as well. Not good but hopefully we got onto it early enough, will be scrutinizing all areas fully for the next few days.

The two of them tried to escape but the spray zapped them good and proper, the female laid it eggs on the step as it was dying, dirty bitch. The spray is called Hit and must be pretty strong as they both died pretty quick, especially for cockroaches.

Woke up, no one around so lets get out of here to, 68 miles and 10 hours later we are back in Lugu Bay with the Lara Pinta mob and also Micah, another cat. Spoke with Dave from the camp, he left this morning, bummer, Ranu was next, and fuel is a bit of a problem, but sorted.IMG_1049

Jen, Rosie, Rick, Sharon and the young fella went to town in Ranu’s car, Freddy and I worked on our boats, what a glorious day, all jobs complete including, scrubbing both hulls at water level on Boomerang, scrubbing both props, refuelling, should be enough to get us home, better be some wind as well, setting up Freddys anchor alarm, setting up the Mastervolt regulator for their new solar panels and fault finding a wiring fault which cost Freddy a carton, he seemed a bit unsure of what a carton meant, mustn’t have that saying in Fiji or possibly a some Kiwi coming out.

We should have gone for a surf but beers were had instead, plus a bit of shopping, the lobster man came by with a bloody big sack full, I scored the bugs, six for 60000idr what a bargain. Freddy got a thumping lobster and an assortment of ikan, fish.

When I went in to get the fuel there were three young girls mucking around on the jetty so I asked Ranu to tell them to hang around and I would find them a prissy each, off to the boat, by the time I got back there were six, so back to the boat, last Boomerang T-shirt and three jigsaws, one of the mums really wanted a shirt so I bowed under the pressure, when I got back only two girls, the womens husband and a new boy, he loved Thomas the Tank Engine and the girls were pretty wrapped with the others. All the parents were wrapped and we did the usual hand shake and touch the heart, a great gesture if you ask me and one I will continue to use. A bit like in Malaysia no one really points with the finger, it is done with the thumb resting on the first finger and pointed at whatever it is you are not pointing at, very cool, I wish I had have known about it when playing one of our old sculling games. Would have kicked arse.

We have just got back from Lara Pinta, chock a block, fish curry and rice and some cucumber and chilli, bloody hot, sore guts coming but you just couldn’t stop, an awesome meal. Bloody hot chilli’s.

It has been decided a surf in the morning and not much else, we should get going but now we are ready I don’t really want to. This was the first place I really enjoyed when we arrived and if there is no rush, what the hell, it looks like some good wind coming on Thursday so might even get the main out, it has been so long since we used it it is probably moldy.IMG_1045

Just had the lobster man come by, woke me up with yelling, Helo Boomerang, I got up to check out the racket, saw who it was and went back to bed, they sat there for 10 minutes with the engine tonking away, got up again and found them waiting for me to come back, their tactic worked, they got another 100000idr out of me, but we got 10 bugs. Not sure if no one eats them but they only cost a dollar each, would have to be the cheapest seafood you can buy, 10 bugs peeled is probably the equivalent of 4 lobster which will cost you 500000idr and the bugs are sweeter, got me buggered.

Last night Ricky organized a meal up at Ranu’s surf camp, great feast of noodles, pizza and to finish off icecreams. All the young kids hanging around, I think they remember me from last time as they were pretty keen on a ice-cream each, which I had promised Jen would not happen again, but in the end it did, the cooks and driver also lucked in. I was a bit dodgy when Mr Lobster came past.

We also got to say goodbye to Iboh, the boss lady at Daves camp, the first person she asked about was Mo, wheres Mollie? There were some photos of the night but stuffed if I know where they have gone. Perhaps, nah can’t remember.

We had the Bonnie crew, now Quentin, Kosha and Scarlet the dog come by this morning, great to see these guys again, long time since we have seen Kosha. The dog got the shits with our boat and went and slept on the surf ski, spewing I didn’t get a photo.IMG_1056

Boomerang was ready to go we said our farewells to the Lara Pinta guys and upped anchor at 1000 headed for Simeulue Cut Island, about 28nm away. Beautiful morning, ended up with the jib up and one engine doing 7 plus knots, boiled the bugs as we went, so you can imagine pretty flat water. Now here we sit in a very nice little bay that we visited on our way south months ago. I am not sure the last time there were 4 yachts parked up in Lugu Bay, Ranu was rubbing his hands together don’t you worry about that, he does do it well though, his shop now has chocolates, surf gear and T-shirts.IMG_1055

Changed primary fuel filters and found 3 dead cockroaches in the starboard boot, I bombed it pretty hard a few days ago so hope they aren’t just kicking back somewhere readying themselves for a root fest.                                                               The filters were pretty well rooted so good move, only got a couple of those ones left so we better make it home. Will change the ones on the engines tomorrow as a beer is calling.

Storms brewing around us everywhere but they are staying at bay, bit like an inverted Adams Family house, be good if that stays the case all the way home but who knows. One thing for sure, Jen knows the way home.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Might get a chance for internet in Banda Aceh so catch you then.The internet here on Simeulue Cut Island is the best it has been and we are in the middle of nowhere, wonder how that works, the 4 guys that seem to live here don’t even have a light but excellent internet.

Bak at Banyak.

22nd August 2014.

The guys on Lara Pinta got an absolute flogging on their trip from Sibolga to the Bay, ours was completely different, we set the jib and flew it to about half way when it finally got to be a pain in the arse, so motored with just over a knot of current in our favour the rest of the passage. Jen put in another sterling effort of 4 hours. The lighthouse at Lizards guided us in from 20nms out and after following one of my saved routes we motored through the little island chain and anchored up at 0500, just in time to watch a full on storm pass by us just to the West and then probably follow the course we had just travelled. I had spent the last hour watching it brewing away as we were down to 2kns dodging around reefs and small islands with no moon whatsoever, almost praying that it would hold off for us until we got the anchor down. It did, unbelievable.

Sat back and had a beer to watch the dawn happen around me, safe and sound and pretty relaxed.

Went down to the bay to say gidday to everyone, Bailey and the boogers still at the camp, Lara Pinta also still in the bay. Ended up having a couple of beers and some rum and cokes with them, bit blurry by the time it was getting dark but got home ok. Was meant to test VHF and set off some crackers, completely forgot and just passed out.

The surf is small and the wind is too much NW for the Bay to be cranking so not much frothing going on, no luck fishing up the creek either although, Fancypants, our real live natural pet is back where she lives, we thought that the aquarium fishermen might have got her, she lives alone near a stick in the middle of a channel in about 2 foot of water, it is amazing they haven’t spotted her. We followed one of the boats through the other day and they are to busy with sticks pushing their boats through the shallows to look down, Fancypants is either real smart or just lucky. This is the best photo we could get of her.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Not like Nemo and mini Nemo who used to live on a coral bombie in about a metre of water right near our bank and afternoon dip spot.   I was snorkeling over there with Jonny and went to show him where they lived but they and the Aenemes they lived in are gone. I only hope Mo got a photo of them the day we found them. The mini Nemo was about half the size of your little fingernail, they are probably swimming around in some aquarium in Singapore by now.

Went for the smallest surf today, we have a swell coming but the wind is all wrong now, I have asked whether this is normal for this time of the year, getting mixed messages though, seems to me earlier is better for the Banyak’s, Bay of Plenty anyway, May to beginning of August. The weather when we arrived and just up to two weeks ago was just beautiful, hot but clear skies, not much rain but a bit sticky.

Geez speaking of sticky, when we got to Sibolga all three of us just started sweating like you wouldn’t believe, it was horror, all my shirts have white lines, where I guess the salt leached out of me, around the neck and back.IMG_1041

As we went past some fishermen this morning we asked the usual, chumi chumi, no mister, never mind but as they were heading back to Balai they pulled in and sold me two good size lobster and a couple of bugs, like Moreton Bay Bugs back home. We had crayfish salad and the last bottle of Savvy Blanc for tea. Both were consumed with passion and love. Down to a bottle of Moet and six cartons of Bintang’s.

Sorry about the lame attempt with our theme song, anyone that knows me would realize I have no music ability whatsoever, wow same word twice in one blog that I don’t think I have used in years.

Hit by storms, mainly rain, all night, so up and down checking but have now started a new book, The Goldfinch, by some woman by the name of Donna Tartt, it is thicker than the usual books I read but it has got me, so spent most of the night reading anyway, my bum is testament to that from sitting up in bed, feels like I have been in a hospital bed for a few nights.

I think the surf is average today so a sit around and do bugger all day seems fine, Jen not really to enthusiastic either. Bummer the Dockers weren’t on yesterday, bloody rugby league today, the reception was really clear yesterday as well. Gellong trounced again, yeah, C’mon Dockers. And they did.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Sunday morning the swell came up a bit but still onshore so left it to the arvo to go and check. Read heaps of The Goldfinch, good book, about half way through so about a normal book to go, then went down to the Bay, 6 foot plus and the wind is from the west south west at 10 to 12kns, bugger, the inside left would be cranking if there was no wind. Back at the boat, Calm Bay is filling up with fishermen, they all come over wanting something but they are ok, Jonny’s huge box of noodles is being greatly appreciated by them, couple of packets here and a couple there.

They make you laugh though, they come up to the steps on our boat, tie off and just climb aboard, then looking looking at everything, then touching whatever it is they are looking at, then turning to me with sad looking eyes and with a little finger gesture to their chest, for me. Tida, is now my stock standard answer and Jen grab a packet of noodles each for them is now the gesture of friendship.

Tida is no and can be put at the front of words like, tida bagus – no good, tida apa – no worries, I like tida dingen, but they just look at me like der, then say panas, which is hot but to my way of thinking is the same as not cold.

Have managed to work out the mass inundation of local and not so local fishermen into our lives, along with the swell big winds are expected over the next few days, happy to be anchored up here in 14 metres with 80 metres of chain out, we ain’t going nowhere. It is working out a good move clearing out at Sibolga as we more than likely would not have made it to Sabang before the CAIT ran out the way the weather is looking. Like I said before, I have got a good book and it is pretty bloody fat.

The boys from Lara Pinta have gone and come back searching for waves, bloody shalla, Rosie came over for a cup of tea and a recipe swap with Jen, pretty social little locale out here in the boonies.

We might just wait for the tide and go for a fish, don’t want to get bored or anything like that.

No fish and lost 2 lures, one to a rock and one to a fish, spewing.P1170217

Got hold of Frederick and Rick and went for a surf at the inside left, Dindos, bit onshore when we got there but got the classic Lago for the last hour, great waves up to 4 foot and high tide so pretty good conditions, heaps of people out but got my fair share of waves and got out pretty happy and pretty well rooted.

Had a few beers, the last pack of shuimai and some chocolate with Jen and watched Saving Private Ryan, not a bad show, bit like at the movies only needed some popcorn, oh well next time.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Woke to perfect conditions, even in pretty good nick and frothing for a surf. The right-hander was going off, 4 to 6 foot, mid tide although falling and just myself and Kevin, French bloke whom I spent a bit of time in July surfing with, he and his mates. The point was packed with a bit of agro, Kevin and I just took it in turns, wave after wave, one of the best sessions I have had, but as the hours rolled on to three my arms were a bit heavy and I copped a couple of pearlers on the head pulling in but with nowhere to go then got well and truly smashed, flew from up on the lip to the bottom and splattered so fast it took my breath away, it felt like my whole body had been slapped, wore the next two in eight inches of water and coral then finally starfishes off the reef to safety, bluuuurrr, BLOODY SHALLA, horror and now I have done something to my ribs, bit like moto-cross this surfing lark.IMG_0871

Paddled back out and waited a couple of turns to try and get my breath back and heart rate down, then scored a beauty all the way to the dinghy, climbed in and just about carked it.

Went and sat on Ishwan’s boat, Kevins charter boat at 500000idr a day, food, beer and coffee included. I got to know Ishwan quite well and really enjoyed my time drinking coffee and smoking his ciggys with him. I had him in stiches more than a few times, especially when I would bring up the sleeping arrangements with him and Kevin all alone in a violently rocking boat, “no no captain Rod, he sleep there, me here”. Sure no cuddling as I moved close to him to give him a hug, no no Captain Rod. By this time we would just about be in tears.IMG_0938

Kevin would come back and have no idea, funny as.

I have declared a back to school activity for myself, when I get back here next year I am going to be fluent in Malaysian/Indonesian no matter how hard or what it costs. To be able to talk with these guys, instead of charades, is something I must do as we now have quite a few old mates out here.IMG_0980

Jen and I went fishing, two coral trout, two cods and one of the favourite eating fish, no idea of its name, what an excellent time we had, it was the last bit of coast in the area that we has left to try and it went off, only lost one lure to a rock so all in all a bit better than break even fishing trip. Just lately they have all been hand in pocket jobs.

Got back to the boat, Frederick and Rosie had also done well with an assorted pile of fish. BBQ on Boomerang. The Lara Pinta crew came over with fish and a big bottle of Captain Morgan Spiced rum, oh dear. Jen made a couple of salads, Rick was frothing over the bean one, Frederick cooked packets of fish on the BBQ and Rosie did the traditional shallow fry fish down on the bottom step, What a pig out and excellent fun too. Good mob that Lara Pinta crew.IMG_0842

Next day down to the bay for a look, only observer as ribs giving me jip so Jen came too, we ended up sitting on the stern of Ishwan’s boat drinking coffee and taking photos. Once again fun times, Kevin comes in, has a coffee and a smoke then back out for more, Frederick got a couple of rippers and Rick got one but got smashed.We said our goodbyes to these guys but will see them in about nine months.IMG_0971

Hows this, we left the bay the same way we arrived, 4 foot plus and looking perfect, there was a couple of weeks the wind changed and the swell was a bit small but realistically we surfed most days, mostly just two out, barrels were frothing, I reckon this place is siiick.IMG_0713

We upped anchor with Lara Pinta and headed for Treasure Island as we head for home. Got to treasures it is 10 foot and way to scary for me, while we were just bobbing around looking, Keith from Surfmachine got onto a monster and rode it all the way through and even around the corner into the bay, not a usual occurrence believe me.

Early goodbyes this morning to Lara Pinta, will miss those guys, good value travelling partners. They are headed in the same direction as us and with a bit of luck we will catch them on their way back down as we leave the Banyaks.

 

 

We Love Sibolga

15th August 2014,

Beer stocks are up, so are the storms but the swell has buggered off. Still surfing by ourselves most of the time, usually until some boat rolls up and we get out.P1030249

Had a change of things to do today with the rubbish burn off, got to light a big fire to burn two pissy bags of rubbish, what more could you ask for on a Saturday arvo, took a bit to get it going, everything is damp now but we succeeded and drank a couple of beers each wallowing in the shallows.

Tried for a fish up the creek but it has gone a bit quiet on that front. Jonny came back to the boat with two trevally, so Jen whipped up a hooting Indian fish curry this time. Tried some chili for the first time since the Sibolga squirts episode, not good, gave me the Banyak blurter, not quite ready for it yet.P1030271

Swell was the smallest it has been so we headed to Lizards, an island about 5nm SE, and anchored up out the front of the lighthouse and associated buildings. The water is crystal clear so Jonny and I went hunting, he shot a good trevally and a thumping big parrotty and then we started the mission of swimming back to the boat, hard yards every one of them. Quick fillet up, fanged on Jens Fratiila, round Quiche looking thing, with potato this time, then back to the bay. Jonny tried to surf Lizards but it was all over the place.P1030256

Got back to the Bay and Pulse is here and so is the swell, unbelievable it is back, Jonny went out, I sat and watched, had a yack and a couple of coldies with Des, the dive was heaps of exercise for me today.

Hopefully all limbered up for the morning, although waking up with all sorts of aches and pains, one thing though is that the ribs don’t hurt anymore.

Jonny now has the squirts, dehydration I reckon, had good waves then face and shoulder planted the reef, arm is sore and head is puffy feeling on the inside. No bark off though.P1170223

We missed a party at Treasures on the Pulse due to me not really feeling to flash and Brufenned up, the boys on board said it was loud and late.

We hit treasures next day and it was pretty good, I kooked the takeoff on about the best wave to come through while we were out there, dickhead, straight to the back of the line for me, then a yappy yank come along and didn’t believe in the taking of turns and pretty well stuffed it for everyone, wanker.

Back at the boat after a bit of thoughtful thinking I came up with the idea to get going to Sibolga right now, Jonny was cool, Jen sitting on the fence but it was declared a winner and off we went. Had the farewells to get done, Mick and Coco and Suzuki on Seriti, Des on Pulse and before long we had the spinnaker out of its bag and hoisted. The wind went from 10 to 12kns straight up to 18 to 20 and off we go, a rather large fishing boat upped anchor and got well and truly out of our way, they were standing on the sides just mesmerized by the sight of a spinnaker, it was cool but as with most good things something stuffs it up eventually, this time it was down to the sock retrieval rope being jammed, spewing, tried a few things but then just set the jib, got Jen to let out the sheet and halyard, the halyard came down pretty quick and luckily Jonny came racing up to help me bundle the sail up on the trampoline, phew. It was as though, right you have had your fun now lets stop fucking around and get going. Certainly gave me a thirst, which reminds me of the new theme song we have come up with after hearing the Beachhouse boys, You can get it rooting and you can get it shooting, you can can get it surfing and you can get it turfing, you can get scothing and you can get it frothing, as a matter of fact I got it now, and the only cold beer is Biny, Bintang Pilsner, guaranteed plus or minus 4.75%ALC/VOL.P1030279

We had an excellent motor all the way to Sibolga, arriving at 0900 next day, no boats, no nets and only one big storm which was only rain anyway, gave the boat a nice clean down, even pulled a sheet on.

Jen did 2100 to 0100, Jonny and I sussed where to turn and he woke me at 0600, best passage I have had for a while, 8 hours solid sleep, unheard of. Got on the blower to Beng Beng, he will meet us at Mammas and get the paperwork happening, he will also book Jonny’s bus ticket to Padang and it will leave us all arvo and the next morning for supplies.

All great plans sometimes actually work out, it is now 1300 and we are on our way, Jonny is in some minibus heading for Padang, only 12 hours, poor bugger. It was great having him here as he really gets into his surfing and it is quite addictive once you get the itch again. Welcome any time mate.20140821_080253

We all bought a I Love Sibolga T-Shirt each and today we wore them to town, what a classic, hello mister, hello miss you love sibolga, non stop, everyone wanted photos, classic. We stopped into say goodbye to Libra, the best farmasi in town, he is a doctor and the most cheerful person you will ever find, he was so disappointed that we could not go out for tea, but next year we promised him we will. Said our goodbyes to Papa and Chen, Fungi is in Batam, Papa made us his specialty dumpling dish to take with us, bit like yumcha.

Also goodbyes to Mamma and Eddy, two excellent people who just look out for you all the time, thanks guys, see you next year.

Well we are now officially cleared out with Immigrasi thanks to Being Being, it cost 500000idr, so it is home time, we can stop along the way but can’t go ashore, bit like what we have been doing on and off the last 3 months so I can’t see it being that much of a hardship, but who knows what we might get up to out on the deep blue or tucked up in some bay in the middle of nowhere. Stay Tuned.

Back to paradise.

9th August 2014

Heading out the harbor Jen says there is a boat coming after us, turn to see who it is, Marine Polisi, what now?

We just want to get out of here. They pull up alongside, throw us a rope with the intention of boarding, the youngest one in bare feet leaps aboard, they then bang into the side of Boomerang, I have had enough and just say we are headed for Pulau Banyak, now.IMG_0621

OK captain but Hati Hati storm was the reply. We look at each other, lets just get the hell out of here, with a bit of luck if we get far enough North we will be able to use the expected Northerly to sail most of the night.

We motored along, there is a group of reefs, islands and stuff which litters the area in which we are entering and endeavoring to avoid, Just on dusk we can set the heady and head for home.

Storm watching became the name of the game with big dirty black clouds blocking out the moon, no lightning so not to scary and we are down to 50nm to Calm Bay left to go. A few fishing boats out which is a good sign, as they all know when danger is imminent.

So if it gets to 15kns come and wake me up Jonny, “yeah cool”. Half an hour later, hey Rocket its 15kns, well make it 20kns then, hey Rocket its 20kns now, I could hear the noise on the hull so dragged my sorry arse out of bed, get out to the saloon and it is now 25kns and up to 30 in the gusts, we are doing 7.6kns hard on the breeze with just the jib once we drop the engine off, beautiful. Back to bed.

We shared the driving, with Jen putting in a monster four-hour stint and by morning we have engines going and headed for the bay some 15nm off in nearly calm conditions.

Pulled into Calm Bay, anchored up and crashed out for a few hours, then off to show Jonny the Bay of Plenty, ended up gone a while saying hello to everyone, real social scene, The Sandy’s, The Matrix mob, Bailey and the crew, Mick on Sereti and Frederick, Rosie, Rick and jane aboard their new boat, who have just arrived from Langkawi. So by the time we get back to Boomerang I am in the shit big time. Tida apa.

We all head back down, drop Jen off with Faye on Sandy and we hit the inside left, great 2 to 4 foot glassy waves for the rest of the afternoon, Jonny’s frothing, I am surprised at how light I am, paddling onto just about anything with Dave, Larry and Leo making up the crowd. My guts ache has gone and life is grand.

Watched Fat Tony and struggled to crawl to bed, absolutely rooted.P1170153

Went for surf next morning on the right hander but can hardly paddle and get cleaned up over and over, just so weak, slow and old. Got a goody in, Jonny getting heaps and straight into the swing of things so he’s grinning.

We said our goodbyes to the Sandy’s, hopefully catch them again, great likeminded crew, then back to our boat exhausted.

Went spearfishing for the first time next day, said to Jonny, I’ll just follow you with the bag but he talked me into taking my gun too, there are a few fish with chunks off them wishing he had of listened to me, it was carnage, shot the first one in the tail, long shot, surprised I even hit it, then peppered away at a few others, hit the reef lots, got my finger just about ripped off with the string on the spear, actually hit one near the head but it took off and ripped the spear out, geez they bloody go off when you do hit them, spinning round and round, I spun out, doesn’t look like much fun.P1170218

It has now been a couple of stormy days, Jonny and I surfed the right by ourselves, once again I kooked the first couple of waves, although an excellent extended one footer gave Brett on Matrix something to laugh about. Jonny got wave of the day with a beauty, barreled the whole way, couldn’t believe it when he came out the end, I got my best barrel so far but tired out real quick. Still suffering from the Sibolga squirts, my energy levels have dropped big time.P1170197

While I waited for Jonny on the dinghy a waterspout formed just out to sea from us, it then proceeded to pick up it’s intensity and crossed land and evaporated in front of our eyes, pretty awesome thing to see. The photos are pretty amazing.

Caught up with Des on Pulse and gave him Yans’s info if he is chasing a good crew member, dropped in on Coco and Raja on Sereti as well, always a nice chat to be had some where.

It was party night at the floating camp and fireworks were dragged out of the box, one tube, about 40mm in diameter, had eight shots in it, hooting fun and gave everyone something to smile about.

Another slow day today Jonny surfed the right, Leo and I worked out how to open a conch shell, smash it with a sledge hammer on something hard, the meat is like abalone but not much of it so don’t think I will bother with them again. We are yet to try it. Finally got Matrix’s genset going for them, repaired some dodgy wiring and away she went, Leo had the classic “I told you so”, with the problem originating back to a burnt wire on the alternator he had seen previously.

Jen got smashed, by another mangrove jack, as we came through the channel but this one got away, bummer as it was a beauty. Still it got the heart going that’s for certain. She was using one of our new lures called Big Mouth, as you go along its mouth opens and pushes water out so it looks like it has just gobbled something itself. It works apparently.P1170223

We are now watching Rake each night with the genset on, three episodes last night, pretty good show.

The surf is getting slow, Jonny and I have had it the last 2 mornings to ourselves, Jonny reckons not to many places you can get perfect barrels with just two out in the world these days, even though we had to wait five minutes or so for the sets. I caught so many waves it felt like my arms might drop off. The Dream rolled up and straight away a couple of blokes paddled out and sat inside of us, wankers with no manners, have got no idea about taking it in turns.

Took Boomerang for a spin over to Treasures, got a handful of small waves, Jonny was rewarded for getting the lures out with a nice metre long Spanish Mackeral which he skull dragged aboard, good eating, cant believe we used to chuck them back, I suppose if you have a choice of 2 minute noodles of BBQ fish it is a no brainer.P1170213

I thought I would be eating heaps more noodles but Jen keeps on coming up with all sorts of stuff to keep us going, Jonny can bloody eat.

On the way back from Treasures we got hit by a storm, Jonny caught a tuna and we got hit by another storm, this one was all rain and it poured for hours, it seems like we have had a bit of a change in the seasons, lots of storms and heaps of rain now, almost daily, a month ago it wasn’t raining at all, rarely anyway.

We cooked up the conch in XO sauce, tender as and pretty bloody good. Sliced it up into slivers, blanched for 20 seconds, dusted them with corn flour and then stir fried the bits in oil and the sauce, bloody beautiful, it should be with all the stuffing around to get them out of the shell then slice it up, wish we had Mario’s slicer with us.

Have read heaps of books with the number 1 best read for a while being, Roseanna, a Swedish murder story, great book. It was written in 1962 and still foots the bill after all those years, another good 62er, good year that.

End of another week, Bailey from the camp gets back today with our beer, rum and ciggy’s, we have been supplying everyone with beers so it is payback today, the Matrix mob are out again, they have such a huge boat they could stock up for everyone.

Surfs gone a bit quiet, The dream hovers around and Bailey has bought four of his mates from Hawaii back, all boogers, happy bunch though, just like having the Beachhouse boys back, with all the weird noises the young mob make today.

 

Sibolga

1st August 2014.

Well in one way we couldn’t have timed it worse but on the flip side it is nice to be back in civilization. The Government Services are shut down for Ramadan, by the way I am now adopting this way of spelling Ramadan as there is so many derivitives to the way it is spelt here, then you have a weekend and this finally makes the 4th August back to work day. So six days but it isn’t that bad.

We are still anchored up out the front of the Wisata Hotel in Sibolga, getting to know the place pretty well by now, we have our favourite restaurant, 88’s, where we are treated like family, Papa made us shark fin soup to try last night, sweet and sour pork and chicken and chumi chumi, heaps of fruits for gratis and they have cold beer.

We took Boomerang to the wharf to fuel up, 250 litres, was quick and efficient with good clean fuel, came in a couple of big eskys with plastic liners made of tarps, the liners were disposed of in the usual way, just chucked in the drink, no idea.

We have met the guys off Matrix, a big cat that is also parked up here waiting for Imigrassi. They are pretty good fun, 3 mates that just bounce off each other non stop, you cant get a word in when they are pissed, but as Jonny quizzed Brett after he repeated one of his tales, you don’t have many stories really, do you? Funny.

They came for dinner last night, late, took over and ended up getting their stuff first, tried to score all the cold beer, put my foot down there, and they just told more stories. They are good value and have made the stay just that bit more entertaining.

While were having beers by the pool at the Wisata yesterday, our table was propositioned by a chick and her pimp, I went in to the bar for a coke as my guts has been playing up ever since the chilli episode with the Beachhouse boys, ended up getting dragged into photos at a hens party, they then wanted me up on stage dancing, you should have seen this woman’s eyes, she would a put me in a trance if I hadn’t bolted, the girls were frothing, horror.

I escaped back to the stories, possibly should have stayed.

We have been a bit stuck on the boat today, me especially, I am not going to far from a dunny but have now stacked up on Imodium, seems to be working.

Had a pretty good storm this afternoon, out of the SW so the swell is rolling straight into the harbor, bit uncomfortable but we are not dragging anchors like Matrix.

Jonny just got back from Matrix, trying to fix their genset, the cowl on the new outboard is smashed, looks like it is going to cost me for helping someone.

I tell you what, yesterday Jonny and I were at the markets and he bought some bananas of which I had two, we arrived back to the boat and one of the solar panels wiring had caught on fire, now the dinghy, the lights in the saloon have stopped working and our genset played up although that was not a biggy. If I even hear the word banana again it will be to soon.

Off to Imigrasi this morning, have all the paperwork but we will be hit with overstay due to not being able to get to Imigrasi as they were on holidays for Ramadan, bit of a bugger as we have sat here for a week, just smile and nod, no point getting to bothered.

Sat in Imigrasi for two and a half hours, then was informed that we wont be able to leave until tomorrow after an interview where I get to state my case as to why we are three days late at extending our visa, don’t know how to make it any clearer, I’d be happy with the fine and get out of here, we have only spent around 25000000idr while we have been here stocking for the next month which is getting shorter by the day.

Still got a crook guts so getting a bit pissed off, smile and wave. We tried to fix the Matrix boys genset again. Failure.

Went to Imigrasi again, no go, bad communications between Sibolga and Jakarta, starting to wonder what we have done wrong. Come back tomorrow, afternoon. Sat around on boat, still got the crookest guts.

We actually got the anchor up again today and went to water world, a couple of jetty’s with pipes and hoses hooked up to a river somewhere with the most excellent H2O. Scrubbed the boat down, now squeaky clean all over, cost 200000idr for as much as you wanted, the best thing about Sibolga so far.

Back at anchor and ring Imigrasi, now problem with paperwork done in Sabang, two months ago. Smile and wave. We might be clearing out. Have now got in touch with Beng Beng for some help with Imigrasi tomorrow, anything just get us out of here.

Watched Captain Ron again last night, really corny 2nd time round, but still good fun.

Even gave Riza from Sabang a call this morning and he rang Iwan as I was just heading into get some new long pants, as my arse is hanging out of the only pair on board, the phone rang and visa is now ok and being processed, onya Riza, we jumped in Eddy’s tuktuk and bolted to get to Imigrasi, led into the big office, sat down, my jeans split at both knees as I did so, paid our fine and then Iwan drops the bombshell, you come back tomorrow to finish visa, Fark.

Bought some engine oil on the way back to boat, big tall yellow building with Dunlop painted across the front, on the road back to town. The restaurant 88 road T’s it. Went out to 88’s for tea, first food outing for me for 4 days, vege soup no chilli was my order, they all had a laugh at my expense. Chen has been awarded a Boomerang T-Shirt for just being nice, if we had enough of them left the whole family would be decked out.

Woke up to a phone call from Iwan, sorry come at 1400, arrgh, so read and slept all morning then headed there at 1300, straight in and done, halalouyah, quick stop at the markets and 88 for some nasi goreng takeaways and to say jumpa lagi, see you later, then we are out of here.

Anchor up 1530 and heading to Pulau Banyak, 10 knots on the nose, at least its not dried fish on the nose. Had a guts full of that.

Once again have the confidence to fart, although only just, cant remember the last time I had the shits that bad.

Have to thank Riza and Iwan for their help, Eddie and Mama also require thankyous for all their help around town.

We will be back in range in about 3 weeks and Ill fill you in on the god then.

Jumpa Lagi.

 

 

 

A Frothing Siiick Pulse.

25th July 2014

Wow another week down, days just fly past, most of the time it is hot and sweaty but today we had a storm that cooled the place down, bit short lived and no real wind but nice just the same. Calm Bay is living up to its name that’s for sure.IMG_0420

We watched a hooting storm last night off to the east, it went for hours, full on lightning across the whole sky. We thought of the Beachhouse boys but hopefully they were in front of it on their way to Sibolga.

Found a new fuel filter element for the genset today, in the spare parts kit, guess I should have looked there before, Rods a wanker, so replaced that, when the the tank gets to 2/3 full it has been starving for fuel so hope that fixes it. Shock horror it did.

Today is the smallest I have seen the waves here, 2 foot steady but no pulses with the 4 footers, pulse is a frothing sick term that gets bandied around up here by just about everyone. I had no idea what it meant and could only reckon it had something to do with Marcus and Des’s filthy charter boat, Pulse. Then one day up on the bridge deck I witnessed the start of a pulse, at first it is just a bit of a change in regularity of the swells and then it builds to a point that you can see the swell lines heading towards you, it is a siiick thing, seen a pulse twice now.IMG_3320

We have tried fishing this morning and nothing so had a tiger each for prelunch, a bloody mary for lunch, another Tiger for the trip to the bay and back and now the boss has requested sav blanc, so I said, I’ll see what I can do, sure enough that’s what we is quaffing right now, a crisp Chilean little number, not to fruity but with a nice acid finish, possibly a bit to cold but really who gives a shit, we are insured and we are getting away with it all messed up. I could be hit for plagurism there, what songs?

Had a text from the boys, they made it to Sibolga, got caught up in a fishing net at 0300 and Jimmy, another marine boy, have only met two of them in my life, the other is much younger and rides dolphins if he wants, sorry I digress, has dived in and cut them free, his talents are many which is a good thing I reckon. He even climbs coconut trees. Have a close look at this photo.P1030154

We have a bit of a dilemma, we have run out of fresh chilli’s, the bottom of the bag is mould but picked out the best and second best ones for Jens fish larb which is tea tonight. No peanuts coz I have got shankers, one anyway but the Zivorax is doing its job on that prick of a thing.

David and Faye off Sandy are back and Daves hanging for a surf, plus they have bought a bit of swell with them, had great waves in the morning, back to the boat for a sweaty nanna nap and then back down the bay for another surf, six hours all up for the day, bit like a walking zombie after a few Tigers but watched the second to last Murder in paradise, good show we reckon, then slept like a log.

Woke up aching all over especially my right side knee, hip and shoulder blade, getting old I think but definitely not bored. Even got to light a fire to burn our rubbish, Helga it was a beaut, we cleaned the whole beach up while we were at it and with a bit of woof woof wood off she went. We sat in about a foot of water sipping on beers until it was all over.P1030196

After two more days of the same I finished it off yesterday arvo with the biggest wave of the day, late takeoff, just beat the lip and made the next section by a bees dick and then played with it to the end, good way to get out, Tai you would be proud, I was frothing siiick.

Watched a movie last night called Mitty, what a ripper, took a bit to work it out as we had no idea who Walter Mitty is but we really enjoyed it and the wines.

Down to 6 bottles of Sav Blanc and 1 carton of Carlsberg and I found the bottle of Moet that I hid. Pretty sure I have searched every nook and cranny for the elusive bottle of anything, we now have what we have and then Jen becomes a beer drinker, bugger.P1030200

We witnessed the end of Ramadan last night with no moon to be seen only the milky way which was so bright it lit the sky, stunning you’d have to say. So the fasting is over for another year, big parties now. Being in the Banyak group, a place with no internet, very little phone coverage, no pubs, no shops just fishermen living in shacks on small deserted islands and a few surf camps, we didn’t really get into it much this year. What without the wailing from mosques and not to many abiders it has made a change from Simeulue, not saying it was bad at all, once you get used to it it just becomes background sound and a pretty good reminder of where you are.P1030143

Left Bay of Plenty headed for Sibolga, which depending on who you talk to is either good or bad, so we get to make our own minds up. Can’t believe it though, the wind is coming out of the East and right on the nose at 12kns which is a pain in the arse, stuffed my calculations up by an hour and a half and gets us making Pulau Karang on dark tonight. There are some rainy looking storms coming from the North so they might help us out, it would be great to get the sails up, even just the heady. It has all of a sudden gone cool so probably get some effect soon.

Over and done with, not even worth setting a sail.IMG_0593

We can now see Sumatra again, the water is oily, not a breath of wind and it is bloody hot, just sitting here sweating, only real good thing is the tide has changed and we have gained half a knot, oh yeah and the beers are really cold.

We have anchored up on the eastern side of Pulau Karang, about 35 miles NW of Sibolga, beautiful little island surrounded by fishing platforms. Just got here as the sun went down so hard to see what we anchored in, it grabbed straight away, there was a bit of rock on chain noise and then we pulled tight and here we bob.

Jen mashed some spuds and I cooked the mutton cutlets from Sailors on the Barbie, excellent, don’t think I have ever nibbled around every piece of bone like that before, not much was wasted that’s for sure.

We sat around waiting for the usual 1900 bug invasion but not to be so a pleasant sleep with the windows open coming up. We have run the AC for a few hours every night for the last 3 weeks out on the islands and the port fuel tank is proof of that, its down to about a third whilst the starboard tank is still full.

Woke 0400 calm conditions but the wind steadily growing, boat hasn’t shifted but keen to see the sun come up, get the anchor up and back on our way.IMG_0587

It may be all in vain as Jimmy reckons Immigration are on holidays for the last week of Ramadhan, you must also wear shoes, long pants and a shirt with a collar to their office, last time I looked at my only pair of shoes they were covered in mould, but at least I know where they are.

Finally the sun came up, so did the anchor so alls good, Sibolga here we come only 26 miles to go.

We anchored up in front of the Wisata Hotel with another cat by the name of Matrix, the water is a bit pea soupy with all sorts of stuff floating around, we dragged the dinghy up on the beach at Mama’s and went for a feed. The boys were meant to meet us but shopping has got in the way, didn’t matter as within an hour we were sitting down to sweet and sour pork, asam nannis babi, followed by mie goring babi and a nasi goring babi to wash it down, filthy. Restaurant 88 is a winner that is for sure, add to that a couple of orange juices it all came to 108000idr, better value than Teo’s in Kuah.IMG_2761

The town is neat and tidy, you notice that the girls aren’t wearing head scarves only some of the older women do, it is a pretty relaxed looking joint. We have done a reccy around town on a tuktuk and now can find all the things we need over the next couple of days. Immigration is shut down to the 4th so plenty of time to stock up, fuel up and fill up if lunch is a sample of things to come.

Had the beachhouse boys over last night for takeaway tucker, pretty mighty feast, the chilli was so hot my lips were burning for hours, my guts the same and that Johnny Cash song was playing all morning, in my head anyway. We had a bit of a goodbye party and out of the blue, or black, pops up Jonny, he had run into Aaron at Sumbawa, heard the stories and has made his way north to join in the fun. Dropped the boys off at the jetty at 0300, woke everyone up for the third time, lucky it was the end of Ramadan  and parties were happening all over the place. Jen and I checked out a party yesterday, they get into it big time, dancing and drinking the orange juice, it was like big day out with the bands, they went all day long and at 2200 it all just stopped, all over for another year.