On our way again.

9th June 2016.

Rest In Peace Barbra Calabrese.

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Had an awesome experience this morning, took the dinghy over to the right hander and just sat and watched a bunch of ballsy surfers take it on at twelve foot plus. Being in the dinghy up close was a hoot, in the end I got a few photos but it was much better just watching it, unreal. The bloke who got the biggest wave was cooking, so much style, yeww yeww.

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After not being in contact with the world for a month we got some and the news wasn’t good, poor Barbra Calabrese has passed away, Cala, Maria and kids I am devastated for you guys, I can’t possibly think of another word, you know how much I enjoyed your parents and grand parents company. Sorry for not getting down there mate.

We finished all our bits and pieces in Sibolga, said our goodbyes around town, Libra took us out for lunch up near where we stayed with the boat last year, it was really good food, crabs cooked right, prawns and fish to.

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There is a bit of buzz around the town with Rahmadan starting tomorrow, lots of kids out on bikes and the streets are busy, it was a good day to be there, the place is a good example of how all the different groups just get on with it.

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Beng Beng was up to his usual helpfulness, we had a car for four days, did a bit of exploring, found a carpenter to repair the door frame in the dunny, it cost fifteen bucks and doesn’t quite fit, you get that.

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We upped anchor at sparrows and headed out with twelve knots SE and were flying along for four hours but then as is the case up here it disappeared to nothing, engines on and arrived at Nias at 1600, in a bay we have now used a few times, pretty spooky though as the swells roll in, they look like they may break but they never do.

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Next day we moved around into Lagundri Bay, anchored up and got on it, no point hitting town, all the way into the bay I could hear this kid yelling, Papa Papa and within ten minutes we had three of the gang on board. Great kids, so polite and in one year they have grown so much, their English is really good and they use it constantly with us. Cost us a few cokes as usual.

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Next day we hit town, dragged the dinghy up the sand bar at the rivermouth and got to meet the surf school dude, Anton, not sure what or if he gets paid for his lessons but good bloke. I gave him my old mal, Roozen it has gone to a better place, so now we and the dinghy are treasured items, he keeps an eye out for us.

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On the way into town I took the sort of repaired door frame and a boomerang to see if we can get some made for gifts to people. The first place we came to was a carpenter, there you go, showed him what I wanted and he gave me a price of thirty bucks for ten boomerangs and to fix the door. He has now painted them and coated in a clear gloss varnish, I gave him five hungy and he was wrapped. Sat there one day and they showed me the art of beatle nut chewing, doesn’t really do anything but had to give it a go.

Hired a bike from a bloke who I don’t think likes to hire bikes, they are a bit to precious to him but in the end we used it for the best part of a day, went to Teluk Delam and had pork at the Elenshdove restaurant then my coup for the day I went to the fish market along the road, same place as last year, and asked for kepeting and the guy goes “yeah we have”, and off we go, a bucket is produced with three filthy muddies in it, how much, thirty bucks, done, but need a bag, they are big buggers and with nippers as big as my fist. So off they go in search of a bag, one found and the crabs are put in it and handed over, yeww yeww. Does this guy look dodgy or what?

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We went on a tour up from Lagundri and found some nice villages, nice people, where you from? Australia, Ohh, where are you from? Nias, Ohh.

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Up at Rahel’s we got to meet the family once again, Papa and Mama exactly the same, the kids are a bit bigger and its all go. Upstairs though the tenants are a surprise, Luke and Danika are here, last time we saw them was the birthday bash, it didn’t take long and dingen bintangs were organized, not always that easy as power is turned off during the day most days, but Johnny sussed it and a good arvo was had playing of course, arsehole, which I am now shit at.

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We had a 2000 curfew on the dinghy watch so had to go, coming off the bridge pretty fast I forgot about the drop and the piece of reed that the fish mongerers tied the bag up with broke and the crabs went splat, spew but they seemed alive still. Luke and Johnny helped us get the dinghy in and with a bit of luck, we made it out the rivermouth, through the waves in pitch black darkness to Boomerang.

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We were starving so I went to cook the crabs, opened the bag and guess what? There is one big big one, one big one and two pissy little dead ones, pissed myself, bloody fishermen, you cant trust them. The last muddie I bought in Langkawi was thirty bucks for one so still got a bargain.

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Next day we went to the Kings House which is in a village up the top of a hill or mountain, what an eye opener, these villages were built for protection against other villages, in one way and out the same, Johnny was saying the last village war was in 2008 and it was ridgydidge war. Unreal. Spear chucking, wall jumping the whole thing.

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I checked on the Boomerangs, still drying so alls good, had a tour around town, checked the resort that never opened, it is huge and just falling down, Luke said it was like twenty years old.

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Been getting our daily fill of donuts and banana bread from Lucy, have seen most of the gang around town they have all got broken boards due to the swell over the last few weeks, poor buggers but can’t do much to help out. It is classic though, they have all been going out when it is big, they are indestuctible.

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Then we had big Thursday, couldn’t get to the beach and pretty glad we shifted the boat last night. The boys on the charter boat pulled anchor around 1700 so we followed suite.

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I hit town next day to get my shoulder looked at, pick up the Boomerangs and say goodbye to everyone. I got a pretty amazing massage which consisted of a lot of reflexology, hows my kidneys are a bit flogged but my brain, ears and heart are doing ok. Geez it hurt when he was doing the kidney part of my foot.

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The boomerangs are done, I took old mate to a paddock next door and we tried one out and it came back to within twenty foot, he was amazed. He made one for himself as well so he has a template.

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Said goodbye to Rahel’s family, and got a lift back to the beach, such a ripper afternoon we sat at a restaurant and had a beer or two then the boys from the surf school gave me a hand with the dinghy and back out I went. Just out from the channel I grabbed a red boomerang out and chucked it, it landed back in the boat, the boys, the guys and girls surfing and myself just stared in disbelief, it was on then the boys wanted one, so chucked them one, I wonder if they still have it.

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Have now caught up on all the Tales from the Tinny episodes we have missed, pretty good internet on Nias, read a couple of books, one of them is by a new author to me, Elmore Leonard and the book is called, Get Shorty and it is a ripper. One of those ones where you cant put it down even to go to sleep. Another one called You are Dead by Peter James was pretty good too. One by Chris Ryan was ok but the other one, in his Extreme Series, was the worst book I have read in years. On the television series’s into Indian Summers and Poldark now as we finished Vinyl pretty quickly, that is a good series.

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Got to go, good wind coming and so is Pulau Telos.

 

Banyak Bruising.

11th May 2016.

Good luck Davros, just survive the bux party and you should be right remember mate, you get three goes to get it right.

We had a change of skipper, Davros stepped up after I got us out of the bay and we headed for Pulau Banyak, fair few beers and even a frog or two, had me asleep for the first good one for a couple of days, woke up to sunshine and only a few miles to go to The Bay of Plenty and a splattered little toe.

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It was pretty much a party type atmosphere aboard Boomerang, heaps going on and just as much going off, the surf was small so we did a bit of exploring up to The Bahamas, cracked my wrist on a mangrove branch, after Dave had hit it with his back and giving it just a bit more recoil, another injury, hurt like shit. Speaking of shit, poor Ty had one go at the dunny and filled it to the top, too much paper mate, then the switch shit itself and this is what I had to do to replace it, horror. Perry Catamarans are certainly built to not fall apart.

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On the day we took the crew out in Phang Gna Bay I kicked my little toe on my right foot, between Sabang and Similue I did it again and then the night we picked the boys up I give it a horror kick, almost sooked it, so I have been watching it since and it is finally coming good, the nail is rooted and the toe looks munted but at last it has stopped stinging every time you put it in water. Matt, who we first met on Surfmachine, has been giving me some stuff called medical honey, it is amazing and it has healed in like four days.

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Dave and Ty have been surfing each day, they didn’t have many days and it was a bummer it was not real big, geez we ate some lobster kipus as and drank some piss though, you guys are welcome back anytime, Erwin organised there ferry ride back and Davros was there for his bux party, spewing I couldn’t go, Jen wasn’t real keen on staying on the boat alone until I dragged my sorry arse back from Medan, at some stage.

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There has been some fun to be had on the Floating Surf House, they have taught me a game of cards called arsehole, I am really good at it. It is a pearler of a game.

The surf has arrived, surfed the right at a couple of foot, pretty spaz to start with but got it together after three waves, even got a nice little barrel in the end.

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Next day had a couple of surfs at the inside left, great fun and absolutely rooted at the end of my second surf, some good waves and had a ball. In the end two out and just divvying it up, classic. The right was going off all day, there are a few people here that are really good surfers, Rahaul from Nias is a charger, great to watch so is Daniel from Hawaii. Matty got a great barrel for his last wave, he was pretty stoked, yew yew. Dicko also doing it easy and of course Bailey, he’s got the place sussed.

Anaran and Nabahan, our fishermen mates, were floating next to us as I came out this morning, made a coffee for them, they had been diving during the night for lobster for us, it is pretty bloody big, crazy buggers, ended up giving them a tin of biscuits, a couple of pairs of goggles, T-shirt and a pair of thongs as a trade for five lobster, good deal I reckon, they are coming back on the eighteenth so hopefully a good feed of lobster kipus coming up.

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Today was as big as I have seen it and so many people on the left, the old everyone gets a wave was abandoned, took half an hour to get one, pretty good one though, but the sky went black, so back to the boat to get ready for a storm, got to admit it was too much of a hassle out there, just getting old I guess.

Got back to the boat and it pissed down, the wind swung to South and it was evacuate for all the charter boats to another place a bit more protected.

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We had five days of big waves, the creek copped it, and a fair bit of rain which led to my downfall, spewing. One night I went to haul the dinghy up but it was full of rain water so instead of baling it out I reckoned it would be easier to pull it up a bit abit and pull the bung out, it came up all pissed so I jumped down from above and the whole thing swung over, my scrawny arms copped the whole weight including a nicely maintained turtle and I pulled a muscle or something in my shoulder, horror, it has done me in, you can paddle but pushing up to your feet is just that fraction to slow, so surfing the right I have been copping it on the head badly since. Doesn’t look like this year is going to be as much fun as I thought. I’ve been relegated to the left but the right is going off, don’t know what I did wrong but I hope my Karma comes good soon.

Lots of storms coming through, heaps of rain and NW’ers and a few big southerly blows as well. We are parked in a pretty good spot so alls good.

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The Sandy’s have arrived finally with a tale of woe, but they are here and that’s all that matters, it is great to see them. Wish my arm was better.

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All the boys from FBH and Dave had one of the best sessions I have seen here the other day. I shot back to the boat and got the camera and amazingly got some excellent photos and footage, Matty and Bailey and Dicko were the highlights.

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May seventeenth came along, my fifty fourth, got some nice lefts in the morning and got a bit spun out in the arvo in really big, for me anyway, Gunters. Anyway it was a party on Boomerang, it was a beauty, I was crowned King of The Bay for the night, a very good night.

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In the end everyone was a DJ and the drinks ran out around 0200 and everyone went home, thank god for that, blurrrr.

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Thanks everyone it was unreal, yeww yeww.

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They were on the roof, it was standing room only.

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Tried to surf yesterday, got smashed and hurt me shoulder again, not happy, reckon its time to bugger off. Had a filthy feast over on Sandy last night, Fazey excelled, and then Bailey and his cohort Jules rolled up, horror, frogged. He managed to get home dry, that’s a first.

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The swells back again, it has been so consistent for the last three weeks, tried out the inside left, got half a dozen and called it quits, buggered if I know whats wrong with the shoulder, hurts more now than it did before. When I got back to the boat I took the fins out in disgust. Some bad beatings happened on that day with amazingly the inside left doing the most damage, heaps of people wont be surfing for a while I reckon. We went in to say goodbye to the crew on the Surf House, to find Bailey lying on the ground in agony, he got badly smashed up on and around his hip, poor bugger, we sussed out his blood pressure and vital signs, then got him comfortable, he’s going home in a few days. Hope you are coming good Bailey.

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We said our goodbyes to Erwin, Goddy, Jules and Uncle, reckon next time I see them I will be a paying customer, good luck you guys. Also to all the other crew in the Bay, it was hard to leave but our visa is just about run out. By the way the tree of knowledge has lost it’s knowledge. It not work no more.

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Had a great sail to our overnight anchorage, chucked the anchor out and arced up the Genset and watched three episodes of True Detective, good show. The first series was superb and the second not far behind. Good call Christy and Paul.

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Next morning up and at it, but for the second time ever the chain is stuck, horror, it is actually horror stuck. We anchored in a bay full of fishing boats and where the water isn’t really inviting but what can you do. Jumped in and swam down nine metres to the bottom holding the chain, all I could see was that it was around a lump of rock but had no breath left to suss it out, then went for the surface but it was all black around me, shit myself a bit, but managed to find the chain and up I went, pretty much rooted by the time I got to the top. Out with the hookah, in I go but it is only pumping out a poofteenth of what it used too, can’t remember when I last used it, spewing and, I wasn’t real keen on diving down again. So we let out twenty metres of chain and I once again doubled back in the direction we had swung in the night and dragged it in again, still stuck but we are right over the rock as the chain was tight as, let off ten metres right on top and then sucked it back and hey presto we are on our way. Holy shit I didn’t need that.

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We made good time to Sibolga and hit the Imigrassi office at 1400, the first thing they wanted was our sponsor letter, haven’t got one as we are just visa on arrival, yes you do, ok Beng Beng you do it so alls good, so it seems. Next day no real joy but we got heaps of other shit done, I got an x-ray on my shoulder, no broken bones so something more sinister I think, did the supermarket shopping, a new Shimano reel from the best looking woman in Sibolga, a new toilet switch and a couple of spare relays. Took the door from the toilet dunny down to a cabinet maker, not like the ones at home that’s for sure but at fifteen bucks I was willing to give them a go.

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Had lunch with Beng Beng at the pork shop on the hill, ok, but I think it is wearing a bit thin. No word from Imigrassi so we went for a drive around the place and then unloaded and back to boat. Got there and five minutes later it is pissing down and blowing thirty knots, didn’t even get a chance to drag the dinghy up, oh well a good test for the anchor and it wasn’t dark if something went tits up.

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Next day we slept in and got the call from Beng Beng, beer is ready and by the way you have a problem with your visa, horror, it runs out today, so gone from relaxed to in a race to get into shore and find out what to do. It all worked out in the end, some stuff up in Jakarta but is now sorted. Sometimes you have just got to, cross your fingers and hope for the best, something Beng Beng had never heard of, cracked us up, then shut your gob and smile.

 

 

 

The Adventure Begins, again.

3rd May 2016.

Goodbye Thailand.

Well thought I was alone and a bloody great big ship comes out of the dark, we are sixty miles of two hundred and fourteen down, Jens having a snooze and I am listening to Leonard Cohen with a Frog. Have seen three fishing boats and four ships, no wind so motoring at seven knots No moon and hopefully no pirates as we will stand out like dogs balls, Sitting on two thousand two hundred and fifty revs, the new bum job is good, even with this current.

We woke up this morning, listened to Tales From The Tinny, brilliant, then went in to clear out of Thailand, every thing went well, scored a top up of dinghy fuel so looking good there, reckon I need a bit of exercise though, it was pretty hard to pass the jerry can to the bloke, it did have eighteen litres in it but I struggled, I was standing on a rope with one foot and the other, don’t worry about it, excuses, when the guy passed it back full I just about got my second ever haemoroid.

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Hows this for a classic, just before we were heading in Joe and Noah rolled up, they are the second closest boat anchored up near us, spewing we didn’t know as we would have got on it with them. I am also glad as we are finally on our way, all I needed was a belly full of Bloody Mary’s, JD’s and coke to get this passage underway. I think it was half a box of Leo’s with Jen, Jerry, Walter, Ian and Lewis anyway. Hey Walter thanks for the T-shirt, Hey Jerry you are a wanker. A good one though.

We have seen a few pods of dolphins, I cant find the new lure and line I bought in Langkawi, Jen asked if I had checked my bed, I lied and said yes, it is more than likely there, with the washing, new books, empty beer cans, the missing wine glass and all the other shit you take to bed.

Just read that back, sorry I am not some dolphin killing Jap.

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Boomerang is behaving to her usual standard, tonking along, we slowed down today from seven plus knots to fives so we pulled up and jumped in for a look, it was refreshing, amazing, but nothing wrong and once we got going again back up in the high sixes, weird arse currents.

I cant remember a time when there are no fishing boats, this is unbelievable, reckon we could just cark it and be cool but I am saving all my Karma points up for the Indian Ocean. Is there any takers for a pleasant sail from Cocos to Mauritious, cant even spell it, let me know, Jen will have to vet you, don’t think it would be a hard vetting, do you drink and can you stay up at night.

Just had my look around, it is as black as, hope there are no pirates as we will stand out like dogs balls, I think the Frog is doing its trick, better bugger off.

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The Melaka Strait was pretty straight forward, no course altering required and saw some big ships, the biggest was an MCS ship that was over 400 metres long, big black thing. We got into Pulau Weh at 2100, dark as but they have excellent markers in the harbor and they all work. Anchored up in our old spot, sparked up the genset and A/C and went to bed, woke up 0130 freezing.

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Went ashore for paperwork, had a bit of a walk around while we waited for all the departments to arrive, phone chip, internet is cheap, 4.5GB for ten bucks, got a spare one.

Had to take the Quarantine guys first, then customs and that was it, both groups didn’t expect anything and it was over pretty quickly, cracks me up why they look under the matresses but that is a favourite. In the end it cost us about a hundred all up, eighty of it for the extendable visa. Plus I bought them all a drink at the restaurant on the shore, we also scored two bags of goat curry again from the same bloke, two meals each, saving them.

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We pretty much left straight away and headed for the Arioh Cut to anchor up for the night. Big tides and no moon so daytime job going through it. We tried getting hold of Rizal but no luck, Linda got in touch next morning but we were gone, I really wanted to take Rizal for a spin down to Pulau Similue and say goodbye to him properly, probably won’t see him again.

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Pretty crap wind this side, SE at 12kns all morning but it is swinging SW now so hope it goes West like it is meant to. Dave and Ty are waiting at Pulau Similue for a lift to Banyaks, bit hard to give them a fixed time at the moment. I am not sure what public holiday it is today but it must be a big one, we have not seen a fishing boat all day, amazing, you actually feel alone, we still have coast line but that will finish soon, it would be really good if there are no fishermen around.

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Spoke to soon, fishermen, a knot current against us but pretty glassy conditions and the boats are lit up big time.

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Made it to the top of Similue in pretty good conditions, motor sailing at 6.5knots and then we copped it, all of a sudden thirty knots on the nose, waves from three directions, horror, lasted a couple of hours but it has really stirred the sea up, it is one of those times when you would rather not be here. As we passed Sinabang it went dark so we have to find the bay where we are picking the boys up in the dark and it is black black. Luckily there are lights on the shore and following an old track I saved a couple of years ago we made it in and anchored up. Pretty bloody happy to be here, that was nerve racking, now to load the boys, boards and fuel and Pulau Banyak here we come.