Waiting, Waiting for Farid.

24th April 2015.

Happy Birthday Mo and Jan and of course Jen.

We are waiting in Telaga for our dinghy, I have been doing jobs that could have waited, just for something to do, the dinghy, our only failure to complete project in Thailand, is due on Friday, the alcohol is due tomorrow, so Saturday is D day.

P1040885

The refloating of Boomerang went smoothly as, although my thirst for knowledge when it came to the props bit me on the arse, stuffed around with the pitch, then had to spend an hour or so ginning around, fighting the tide, diving on the starboard one adjusting it back to where it used to be, dickhead. I know how that works now.

IMG_2026

In the end the G&T bill was around $6000.00, we were on the hard for 18 days, got all the planned jobs plus a bucket load of others done, new gas bottle and all the solar panels done so we are grinning like dead foxes.

P1040879

I mentioned before that Toi is a ripper, well she is, she completed our doors the day before we went in, it is funny now as the rest of the saloon looks a bit plain, like it needs a face lift, next year perhaps, they look brilliant and the rest of Boomerang has that squeaky soft shiney feel to her. The anti foul line has been raised, lucky with all the extra weight that is about to be piled on it it needs to be, might have to get rid of some books, but it is hard to choose which ones, ahhh I just don’t know. Decisions, decisions, decisions.

IMG_1989

We had a big night in Nai Yang with Gerry and the G&T crew to say goodbye and thank you to them and we left Ao Po headed for Ao Chalong to clear out and as usual when you are organized and ready to go something always try’s to stuff you around, this time it was a public holiday, which means you have to pay for the privilege of clearing out, about sixty bucks, but by then I was pretty well Thai’d out, so bugger it, we are going. We thanked the immigration guy, who was excellent, for having us and he said to me I am welcome back any time I like.

IMG_1983

Jen told him I am a bit ting tong to which he replied, “no he’s not”, good little chuckle there. Got back to the boat had a snooze for close to three hours and we left with 12kn’s from the NE, heady up and starboard engine doing 2000RPM, a good knot of current had us doing six and a half knots headed for home.

IMG_2037

It was pretty easy going up until around midnight when all of a sudden a loud screeching noise erupted, sort of like eeoo eeoo eeoo, then it popped out the back, it was a bloody great big piece of foam that the fishermen use for moorings, scared the shit out of me and for the next three hours it was dodge the blocks, tried sitting up the front and bolting for the controls whenever one came into sight, come a gutser big time and took the tip off me little toe, again, before I gave that up as a bad joke. The eyes were getting a bit heavy when all of a sudden we passed the last squid boat to starboard and that was the end of the floats, bargain.

IMG_1992

Not long after this happened we came across a fishing boat towing a net, they do about a knot but love to go in front of you, we pulled up to let them have their way, it’s meant to be good luck for them so you couldn’t begrudge them that, anyway there was one about a mile off to starboard and doing two knots so kept a bit of an eye on him and once we got in front of him I just turned my attention to my new Rebus book and every five pages stood up and had a look around, all of a sudden I heard a loud throaty engine noise and I jumped up for a look, this bloody fishing boat had changed course and come over for a look, I squealed like a girl and the guy who was looking down at me from the bow of his boat just smiled and after his curiosity was quelled he waved to the skipper to get going again and they just headed off, not a word was spoken, they just arced up the engines and headed off, what a spin out, tried going back to reading but read the same page ten times just thinking how lucky was that, glad my Karma levels are running high. Now I am thinking, first the foam then that, what is going to be number three. So sat up on the roof and sucked on coffees till the sun came up and Jen surfaced and took over. By now we had Koh Lipe in sight and had the heady on tight sailing at sixty degrees, almost got the main up but in the end had some fish net dodging to do so easier just to do it the easy way, still doing 6 to 7kns, it was an excellent passage if you forget about the minor intrusions, I still can’t get the fishing boat out of my head though, bet they pissed themselves.

We drove into Telaga Harbour Marina at 1100 after altering the clocks so 18 hours is not to shabby, pulled into our usual possie, got the paperwork out the way, went up and said gidday to the marina girls then in airconditioned comfort slept till midnight, then finished Ian Rankin’s, Tooth and Nail, which is a hooting read, by sunrise.

IMG_2073

Langkawi is the same, not much changes here, the gang is a bit short on the ground but fish and chips was fun, Phil is back so good to see him again, Jeffery is at anchor at Pantai Tengah, I changed his genset over to 240 volt, success this time not like last time when I let some smoke out. John Spider and Eric were also there and then Raffis and then Champor Champor, some things stay the same, Blurrrrr.

IMG_2086

We have new shades for the boat now, the boys from Yacht Worx in telaga did a great job,all the port side staunchens and fittings have been reglued, but still no dinghy, come on Farid.

Hit Penang for our social visa for Indonesia which gives you two months and extensions for up to six months. Made a bit of a blunder, we went to the Shin Mi the night before and ended up on the Laphroaig back on Boomerang. Then up at 0700 and off to the airport, then Penang and a taxi to the Grand Inn, then sleep, then check what we need for our visa’s, long pants, long sleeve shirt, shoes, passport photos all of which I had but are sitting on my bed back on Boomerang. Frogged again. Jumped in a taxi and went to a shopping centre and 172rm later I am decked out an relieved, Jen who was also in the same boat, pardon the pun, frocked up in some brown gear and looks the part. Next morning 0855 we were out side the passport photo place, all done quick smart, Guna my new mate and cool taxi driver was waiting outside at 0907 and then we sped off to the Indo Consulate looking a million bucks. Queued up for a bit and then fill out one page front and back each, hand over passports, photos, photocopies of front page of passport and 170rm each. Laid on the charm and had a chat with the young women, she then let us know, “come back at 1000 tomorrow”, which worked well for our flight so pretty stoked with that. Normally have to wait till 1400.

We had a filthy feed at a Chinese restaurant just off Chullia street, superb food, this place is chocker from the time they open to the time they shut every day, spewing we didn’t get its name. There was a hooting storm while we ate, we were out on the pavement, only place left, and it pissed down, the plates flew of the table, one chair went flying down the street, it was madness. We just hunkered up against the wall and ate out of our laps. The boys kept coming out apologising to us but it wasn’t their fault and after we explained we lived on a boat and a bit of wind is a good thing they felt much better.

IMG_2058

We had another feast at the Red Garden, a hawkers centre, all the specialties are there, frog, sate, pork, duck, yumcha and different types of noodles are all cooked for you and bought to your table for bugger all, ours was number 120, we had a constant supply of food, Tiger beer and Hubert’s Bangladeshi mate cleaning our table every couple of minutes, good rule here, tip the cleaners and reap the benefits. It was a crack up, all the tables around us were piled high in crap with people shishing and waving their arms to get our waiters attention but they just ignored them and wiped our table or topped up our beers, Hubert told us about it and after seeing it, always look after the cleaners and the beer girls, they were even filling our glasses after a sip, it was brilliant. By the end all the people around us seemed to learn a lesson and instead of just treating them with disdain were much nicer about it.

Scored well as we went early to the Consulate and after my new mate saw us she had our paperwork ready in ten minutes, so it was out of there and off to HSBC bank then on to an Indian restaurant that Guna recommended, we had mutton curry and it was something out of this world, mouthwatering, we ended up having two serves each.

IMG_2052

Also fitted in a few hours on a bike tearing through the hills up the north end of Penang, had a couple of beers at the durian shop up there, then had a chilli crab at Restaurant At The End Of The World, it has been there for over thirty five years, well that was the first time we ate there anyway, it’s pretty flash now, used to be a bit rough but the place is hooting now, no cats or rats.

IMG_2057

We made our flight and were back in Langkawi in half an hour, not bad at 39rm each way. Air Asia rocks.

Our job list is now down to buying stuff and believe me it is flying out the pocket, geez, just got to remember there isn’t a great deal to buy when we get there.

The Sandy’s have rolled up so a bit of fun to be had, also Jasmine is back on the Gator and having a look around Langkawi, then hopefully by Saturday we will be off. Farid should have the dinghy back today, all on schedule though so plenty of faith in him, fuel up just as we leave and we are out of here, so we are waiting, waiting for the man.

 

G & T, the only place to be.

27th March 2015.

 Hanging out in Naiharn was getting a bit to easy, wake up have a swim, read a book, check the surf, have a few Leo’s and a white wine, check the hang gliders doing their stuff, it is a classic as if it is not dangerous enough just jumping off a cliff these guys fly around a great big mother of a wind generator. Then watch an episode or three of Six Feet Under, go to bed and then start all over, so a change was required.

IMG_1791

Hubert was around the corner on Investigator, twenty miles away, so we got our act together, said seeya to the guys at Pier 93, Paul on Escondido and headed south then north in balmy conditions but with the current in our favour, the batteries got a good charge, we made a fair bit of water and then we were there.

P1040782

The water up here is not clear, it has that milky look to it but it is clean enough, I even had a go at getting rid of the green slime stuff growing on our waterline, you have to dodge the jellys, mainly man-o-wars and not much bother, big tough Hubert’s not real keen on them though. The antifoul has worked a treat with only patches where we have hit something in the water showing signs of growth, Hempel Antifoul is the go up here.

P1040796

Spent a couple of days out the front of a resort, didn’t go in but had a pretty good feed around the corner at a beach full of bars and a sizable restaurant. Larb Moo was Lab squid, another one of those lost in translation moments.

Hubert and I got stuck into the installation of his AIS unit and after a day of sweating we turned it on and it worked, pretty well grinning and a well earned beer o’clock back on Boomerang that day.

P1040817

We took the dinghy into G&T Boatyard to get a lay of the land from the water as the haul out is happening tomorrow around 1000, all looks pretty straight forward, tides 3.3 metres so should piss it in.

P1040807

We had a look around the Ao Po Grand Marina, some pretty fancy boats parked up here, the nicest is a three masted yacht called Eos, it is a pearler, gleaming all over. Flying Fox and its tender, 6711 above, a Sea Axe, which has a helicopter, a couple of thirty plus foot tenders on board is to service the Fox which looked very similar to Big Fish which we were parked up next to in Keppel Bay Marina in Singapore.

P1040822

Had a few JD’s with Hubert, probably one to many, so woke up in a bit of a daze, quick jump overboard and that’s fixed, upped anchor and headed in with Hubert following us in Watson, lined up the posts and by the time we got there, Gerry had Nook, Nok, Nick, Bung and Pet ready for the lines and we just pulled her up till she was resting on the beach and let the tide do the rest. After lunch they lifted Boomerang up, dragged it with a tractor and winch up the ramp, washed her down and parked her up for us.

P1040834

Hubert has lent us his A/C so it is precariously perched on a lump of foam and some plastic has been taped around it. We removed the window frame for powder coating so it had to be taped up anyway. During the day I don’t think the compressor stops but at night it gets cold as. I have made a new door as Toi wants to get started on the old one.

IMG_1974

Toi has got the boys wet and drying the decks so the boat is a bit of a nogo zone until they knock off so we went and picked up the solar panels from Andaman Electrical, they have been easy to deal with and the bits were there when they said they would be, also had to get stuff to install them with at Bangkok Hardware, the hardware shop of Phuket, and a few other bits and pieces from AME. Geez walked into AME and someone had dropped their guts, couldn’t hack it, had to open the door up, whoever did it should be proud. Jen reminded me it was our wedding anniversary, twenty eighth we think, close enough anyway, so we had a feast at the local seafood restaurant, Bang Pae, which is renowned on Phuket, Todman goong, crispy shrimp salad and a thai style fried fish, a few beers and it was back to the boat for a nannery.

IMG_1947

The sanding is progressing well and the cockpit is now polished, soft as a baby’s bum, can’t wait for the whole job to be done. Toi has pointed out other things I need to get done now as they are just about to go to shit, all the glue under the handrails is in her words, dead and needs to be replaced. Toi is unreal, she knows a lot about a lot and how to do it. She has no problem with helping you out and to me seems like a person with good karma hanging around her.

IMG_1949

The polishing is now underway, it’s like brand new, what a bargain, Bung who has Friday’s off is here on Sunday going for it, he had a hand from Nook this morning and they have finished the cockpit and moved on to the topsides, gleaming.

IMG_1975

The solar panels are installed but need some extra wire to finish them, C&C Engineering, Yanmah people, are perhaps coming Tuesday to service the sail drives, then the props can go back on, another tick, although each tick usually coincides with a new job to the list, it’s never ending.

P1040851

Had a bit of fun last night with Gerry and a couple of his mates, Paul and Nick, at Bang Pae, tried some of the local rum, Sam Song, bit like metho by itself, the food was superb and tried a new dish, homook, which is a pastey sort of thing with fish and herbs wrapped in a banana leaf, the flavours blow your mind, lemon grass, kaffir lime, fish, turmeric come to you instantly and it has the consistency of mum’s South African fillet dish, which is and will always be my favourite meal. Pretty messy by the time we got home and getting into the A/C was a bargain.

IMG_1977

Went shopping the other day down near Boat Lagoon, had a feed at our favourite restaurant down that way, the Lunc Som Kitchen, had pad thai to share, fried kale and cripy pork each and a soda water each for 180thb or about eight bucks, then went looking for and found a place called Super Cheap, it is, but it is a bit hard to find stuff as it is all over the show, found the oil, boat cleaners, bottle shop and then a huge pharmacy so I wandered in to check on the pill situation, they had everything I need on the shelf which is not the norm so made life easy, then leaving I came across a pile of people all standing around a table with a bloke dressed in white taking blood tests, not to sure what for but it caught my attention, next thing I am sitting at a chair waiting my turn. Ends up being a Cholesterol test, so why not. Heaps more people started milling around now there is a pharang having a go, this could be entertaining. Waiting my turn my attention was drawn to my fingers, they are like dodgy as, covered in black Sika, paint, contact cement and my finger nails are filthy, horror. I also got a chance to look over the previous results as they are listed on a pad in front of me, the three young teenage girls in front of me had readings between 120 and 130 and a quick glance showed me that the highest result was 170, next I have to put my hand on the desk, palm up, the crowd which has now swelled all went, uurrgh as they saw the state of my fingers, he wiped my finger with alcohol, pricked my finger and then put the sample into his machine for three minutes and up pops the result, me and about thirty people leaned over to see the result, 82, which was the lowest by miles, the crowd ooh’d and ahh’d and the bloke asks me what I eat, “coconuts, kaylan and kale but most of all Larb Moo, lots of larb moo”, the crowd went into a frenzy, larb moo good for you. Got up copnkrapt the tester and the crowd, perhaps I don’t need some of those pills after all. Jen went to have a go but after the crowd witnessed the dirty fingered phalang have a go they all wanted a shot, it was chocker by then so she bailed.

IMG_1949

Boomerang is shiny as, Toi is even surprised how well it has come up, Bryan Perry makes good boats. The props are all in pieces and buffed and ready to be coated with prop gold, the doors are looking superb, Toi has taken that job on and she is showing her master craftsmanship, they look superb.

IMG_1964

I was sitting down there watching her go at it when she got a phone call, it was The Kokomo’s and they are up on the reef just out from us, we looked out and there they were, this set us off, Gerry and I dragged the dinghy from up in the trees, its half flat, fuel pisses out of the fitting when you squeeze the bulb thing but it starts and we are off on an adventure. We rounded up Hubert and headed over to a listing Kokomo, not looking to flash, the tide is falling so not much chance of dragging her free but we tried with the anchor chain and she moved a bees dick but that was all and the decision was made to protect rather than waste the light trying to drag her off this tide. We headed back in and got the foam blocks they use for hauling out and took them all out and used the chain to hold them into position, which worked pretty well.

2000, its dark and we are up to our tits stumbling over boondys in thongs, which Hubert found were capable of gashing you with bad foot placement, at least the water was a nice temperature. We got one of Gerry’s big sheets, ropes, under the boat and up to the starboard side and cleated off then used it to keep the tension on the chain and hopefully keep the blocks in place as the boat listed further.

2200, the boat is at about forty five degrees, still about a foot between hull and bottom on the port side, the tide has about 300mm to go and we can’t do bugger all so we took Karen ashore, Gerry stayed with Frank and Hubert and I went back to the Investigator. I got on to Toi and asked her about getting a local ferry to try and pull it off at high tide, she rang back about ten minutes later, “what time you want us there”, “0230 to 0300”, “OK see you there”, she is a pearler. Hubert and I had a few beers and some medicine schnapps for a fair few aches which are racking me, slept in a hammock and had a hooting dream, must have been the medicine. Woke up at 0230 to the smell of bacon, had a filthy feed, a coffee and off we go with a big D shackle.

0245, the boat is upright, still a bit of a list but looking much better, the boat Toi has organised is like a barge with a roof, the engine noise as we pulled up was great to hear, real throaty at idle, we have got a chance I reckon. They have been practicing their approach and towing angle, great to see they are onto it. We handed the shackle over to Gerry and changed the ropes to the winches in the saloon from around the missen mast. The guys on the boat had a huge rope which we ran through the shackle and back, Nok had to tie a bowline in the middle of the rope, I want to learn how he did that and he only just made it as the rope pulled tight, the big diesel roared and Kokomo twisted on its keel but no backwards movement, yelled to Frank give it shit and she started moving but this is when I should have said nothing as when I yelled “go, go go” the barge stopped, Gerry said to me don’t say anything unless you want them to stop, point taken, we had to realign the barge and rerun the rope back and forth, then give it another shot, this time nothing, my heart was sinking, should have shut my gob, then a ting noise as some of the stainless handrail got crushed and then all of a sudden she was off going backwards at a fair rate of knots, then the anchor pulled tight, then it was a tug a war between the barge and the anchor, we got over to the barge and yelled to Toi to stop which they did, it then took a fair bit of time to get the anchor up, it was well and truly set, then it was up and away we go, thank christ for that, but Frank decided to follow the barge, here we go again, we chased him down and turned him around and headed out to the channel with explicit instructions, ”——- follow us”, which were sort of listened to but finally we got them out to the channel and anchored in ten metres. Geez, it’s a struggle.

0500, we all made our way back to our homes and a new day of jobs. I reckon The Kokomo’s were very bloody lucky tide wise, although it was probably the main cause of their problems in the beginning, the low during the night was not that low, if it had have been a couple of days earlier they would have been lying on their side on the rocks, then the high tide was only 100mm less than the high when they ran aground, the bit of chop also helped lift the boat up and allow it to be dragged back, anyway it was pretty exciting and a bit of an adventure to get you out of the mundane life we have to follow. What a wanker hey.

IMG_1970

Boomerang is fully polished, the anti foul extension is primed and the first coat is going on as I tap away, the solar panels are pumping out seventeen amps, Toi is progressing well with the doors, painting, sanding, painting and sanding, I reckon they are going to come out filthy.

IMG_1961

I just screamed, Stark has the Kiwi’s 1 for 1, Toi, who is sanding the door frame, just about had a heart attack, poor bugger, Shit I did it again, 2 for 20 , and again 3 for 33, and again but not out, spew, come on Australia, the commentator sounds a bit gay, oh it’s KP.

Kiwis are now all out for stuff all, loving this, wish there were some Kiwis around, that’s a bit of a dumb thing to say, what am I thinking.

Australia have won, I have even warmed to KP, no wonder the poms don’t like him, he’s a really good bloke, what a ripper day.

 

 

Adventuring with the Alison’s. A froggin good time.

13th March 2013.

Well, picked up the tourists, on time and fully loaded with all sorts of surprises. We headed back to Boomerang and lazed about for a bit and then Captain Erratic made the decision, lets bugger off, so then it was get rid of the hire car, pick up the washing and any last things like milk and a bit of cheese, go over and say seeya to the Persians who have proved to be splendid cruising companions, or I think it is buddies, but that sounds a bit gay. Thanks guys seeya in Sumatra. We then gave the Yanmah’s a kick in the guts, hauled in the anchor which had been well and truly set after three weeks of us and sixty metres of chain hanging off it, then set off for Koh Lipe or perhaps Naiharn or was it Koh Rok Nok. Just had to be at Koh Lipe in a couple of days to meet up with Hubert and his folks on Investigator.

IMG_1624

Pretty much motored down the west coast of Phuket, no breeze to speak of but once we got to the bottom there was a bit, 10 to 15 knots from the ESE which although pretty tight, 30 to 45 degrees, enabled us to get the sails up and get rid of the starboard engine. Got on the blower to the Persians and asked about pulling into Koh Rok Nok at night, “piece of piss, I will email you the coordinates”, just what you would expect from them. So it was that we headed out into the Andaman Sea on our way south with a couple of options. I carked it for a few hours, Jen and Chris had us in good position when I got back up to do a bit, three slabs of Australian eye fillet, half a block of chocolate, a coffee and my new book from home, The Mulberry Tree, which is written by Ken Hill and is a ripper, had me sitting there all night pinching up and up as the wind gradually moved more east which helped us to make Koh Lipe. Koh Rok Nok not an option anymore, so it’s the long haul. One hundred miles instead of sixty but it is a nice night.

IMG_4360

The Mulberry Tree is partly about my Grandad Sweetman, and his brothers’s lives living on the Canning River and down Mandurah on the Serpentine, which is where we spent just about every school holiday I can remember when we were growing up. I had the pleasure of sailing down to Freo from Dongara with my Uncle Alf, who also features in the book and as we sat there heading south he told me story after story about Gran and Grandad. Then reading this book just shows how skilled they were, fishing, hunting and building stuff and how generous the Sweetman’s were. It is an excellent read.

IMG_1542

Had to slow down a bit to let the sun come up to pass between Koh Adang and Koh Rawi, don’t know why, its pretty bloody wide but my eyes were playing tricks, ended up just angles being a bit out there. Had no problem with boats or nets, didn’t even have to adjust course once to avoid anything, which is pretty bloody good for Thai waters. We sailed down the passage, no Investigator, so on to Lipe and still no Investigator so grabbed a mooring, big mother, and I went to bed while the crew, who pretty much slept the whole way in what I would call a bit rough conditions, all came to life and hit the town. Little Molly was a big surprise, sleeps like a log, got to be happy with that. Jen took Chris, Em and Molly to Fino’s for lunch and introduced them to Pete at the Peace and Love Bar, giving me a good few hours sleep, the bloody long tails wear a bit thin but at least there are no jet ski’s.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Caught up with Hubert and met his parents and we hung out in Pattaya Bay for a couple of days, then up to Adang and some snorkeling. Molly has not done this before, I remember Em’s first go, years ago at Rotto, geez I just about pissed myself when she first put her head under with the goggles, she came back up in a funny as flurry, so how was Little Molly going to go. They stuck the goggles on and the snorkel in her mouth, she was in a Mickey Mouse ring and she bobbed over for her first look underwater, took to it like a duck to water which was what she looked like, head down bum up. We have a snorkeler in our midst’s you can be certain of that. We went and snorkeled Koh Rawi, got Em set up and had her enjoying herself in no time, they have now seen Nemo’s and heaps of other stuff. Molly had a sunburned bum, which was pretty funny as it was the only part of her not covered in sunscreen.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The guys from Aurelia passed by, hadn’t seen them since Christmas, then Micah anchored up nearby. Had a bit of a rubbish burn on the beach one night with a few beers, then a big one back on Lipe, the frog got me, Laphroaig Quarter Cask Whiskey, it is amazing the things that happen when a bit of frog is about. Probably pay to stay away from it for a while, it is scary.

image1

After a few Chris, Em and I went to town to get pizza, roast duck and money, came back with loads of stories, pizza all scrunched up in three plastic shopping bags and a sore jaw from laughing so much. Well and truly frogged.

P1040475

We woke up to long tails and ferries all on top of us so escape stage left, our plan to get going early now a bit like the duck and money, had gone to shit but never mind the tide changes at 1030 and looks like being the only natural assistance we are going to get for the next few hours, it is like a millpond, with only a slight two knot flutter from out of the West, so we took off about 1000 and around Lipe then back up the channel and forty odd miles North again to Koh Rok Nok.

IMG_1557

The last fourteen miles we got wind and motor sailed into the anchorage right on 1700, struggled a beer down, dived on the mooring which is bloody deep, just got there and only just got back up, the water is crystal clear and almost tempts you to go that bit further, good coral and a few good fish here too. Deane and Yanina come over and asked us out for tea at the restaurant, we had just got there so we declined and said we might get there for a drink later, then the Marine Parks boys rolled up wanting our fees, 400thb each, 100thb for the boat, kids and captain are free for five days, it came to 1300thb, we went through Ems purse and found 1360thb and handed it over.

IMG_1675

I don’t think there is anything under 60thb for sale here so hobnobbing at restaurants is out for us until we get to Koh Lanta, a bit further North and what is meant to be a sizable town. Forced saving, classic, it’s only type of saving that works on me.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We can dive off the back of the boat, swim twenty metres and be onto a pretty good bit of reef, it is about twenty metres deep under the boat, imagine how Molly feels when she jumps in and it is the big blue, she loves it though. She has moved away from Mickey and just using a lifejacket now, she hasn’t got the flippers bit quite sussed yet but it won’t be long.

P1040514

Doing some repairs on a snorkel I cut my finger with the Leatherman knife, blood sprayed out, never seen that before, but got it covered up and now in a bandaid with the heaps of good old Three Legs Brand, Yellow Lotion, it has stopped throbbing, probably a stitch or two would go down well but not going to happen out here. Chris also did some major big toe nail carnage kicking his toe twice on the same thing.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Have now checked most of the spots for snorkeling around here, some nice viewing to be had and some good fish.

IMG_1605

We watched an aluminium cat come into the anchorage the other day, he was going flat out and I said to the crew he is going to hit the reef, then they came to a screaming halt, then one of the rudders popped to the surface, then, I could go on but the I feel sorry for them, their holiday would be rooted, fair few aboard as well, just goes to show how stuff happens and can visit you, when and where ever you are out here. It happened so fast you didn’t even get the chance to stand up or offer any warning, it was a low low tide as well, all you can say is, poor bastards.

IMG_1773

Another session on the Laphroaig did pretty much the same as the last one, arghh frogged again, upped anchor next morning and only had to motor twenty odd mile to Koh Muk and the Emerald Cave, not a breath of wind, got there and the rangers come over, we handed over our five day tickets, they handed them back and said, give us 200thb per person, we have 60thb left, tried to explain, even offered my lucky American twenty buck note that has lived in my wallet from way back when we bought the boat, he looked at it and said, not enough, I looked at him and gave up, took my twenty back, then out comes Molly, he sees her and has the big change of heart, I conferred with Chris, who had been checking out the crowds, then had great pleasure in shaking my head and taking off. The place was teeming with people, music going off, boats everywhere, only thing not there were jet skis, so perhaps they actually did us a favour.

P1040608

We upped anchor and buggered off to Koh Lanta, which ended up being a good little sail with all sails up in 12 knots, a bit tight but good fun all the same. Halfway there we were confronted with about twenty Thai fishing boats, two boats with one net strung between them. One good thing about them is they are slow and we managed to drag them off.

Came around the bottom of Koh Lanta, got the guide out and headed for anchorage B, Hat Kan Tiang, apparently a nice little bay to hang out in.

We abandoned ship and hit the shore, asked a girl from the resort the location of a money changer, sent us on our way down the beach, got to a bar and asked again, oh no no no money changer here, went to next shop, same, we are thirsty as and starving by now, then a Pommy bloke comes up and points up the road, so off we go, ATM that will do, then we walk up the street and the first thing we see is a big yellow sign saying Currency Exchange, the girl at the beginning knew but the ten other local people just had no idea, kind of like we have just travelled back in time or something, perhaps they are all on the gear, stuffed if we could work it out. Shared a feed and a coconut with the fly’s and headed back to the boat along a track with open drains heading for the coast, got to the water and the stink is horror, the breeze had changed and being low tide all the filth was oozing out of the sand into the sea, we got back to the boat and had to shift as a dive boat had moored next to us and just taken off, this was really my fault, I saw the lines in the water but thought whatever boat comes along will pull up on them or just use some others, not these guys, they just put the eyes over the cleats and left with about ten metres floating in the drink. Ended up being better, as further out you only got sniffs of the stink. We call anchorage B, Stink Lanta. Probably couldn’t recommend it for anything. Sorry, there was a wedding on the beach and they had an excellent fireworks display once it got dark, it went for about half an hour and to top it off one of the canister boxes fell over a bit and started shooting them low over the water, it looked superb, they were pretty bloody good.

P1040536

Couldn’t get out of there fast enough though and not long after sun up we were gone, heading north for the next possie, Anchorage A, Had Khlong Dao, this time though it has a big asterix next to it, Alex off of Sonnet who we met at Nai Yang has recommended it, big sigh of relief. It is a pretty big bay but quite shallow so you need to stay out a bit with the tides we are experiencing at the moment, couple of metres movement, but we landed at pretty much the top of the tide, dragged the dinghy up and headed for the first restaurant bar in sight, The Easy Bar, check the menu, they sell larb moo and other moo things, they have as many coconuts as you want, cold beer, no flies, everyone is smiling, feels like we are back in Thailand again. Since leaving Koh Rok Nok it all seems to have been a bit hard, so hooray, if not it was the frog. I even double checked it wasn’t a Friday a couple of times.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We had a great feast, followed by a foot massage and then beers all arvo, occasionally dragging the dinghy down the beach to the new water line as the tide dropped, two vertical metres equates to about fifty metres horizontally, but no hardship when you do it in bits.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Molly turned on the charm, got to know the owners little girl, ended up getting a facial and a foot massage from the girls who were just happy to have something to do, they all loved having her there to pretty much play with. Later on we were sitting up in the bar under the big tree that shades the place, Molly was down at the waters edge just yacking to some woman, they got very friendly and when they said their goodbyes Molly just continued to play on the waters edge by herself. Later on, after another ten metre dinghy shift, we came across the woman and Molly pointed her out to Em so we got talking, she reckoned she was a bit worried about Molly being on her own, we all cracked up because we were wondering what questions Molly was shooting at her, like how come your bikinis don’t match? Why have you got black hair? Why do you speak funny? The lady, from Turkey, laughed and was relieved that we were watching her like hawks. Single child children are good at amusing themselves and need a bit of latitude. Our Mo turned out good and this little kid is a beauty too. She has got the whole boat sussed, if you say there is none left she will take a step left or right and point out a box of what you just said is all gone and say “no they are in there” and boy can she eat. I made a deal with her that she could have the last 7UP but I don’t want to see her blanky, scaly old rug, again, she has not removed it from her room since, we may have cracked a big one there.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We hit town for brunch, internet top up, phone top up, cholesterol pills and found a bookshop and bought ten of their twelve Ian Rankin books. She was stoked. We moved on up the street, Chris had a horror toilet moment, I just held on, and ended up having beers at the Easy Bar. The Alisons had massages and I went out the boat and had the most excellent time listening to the poms get done and dusted, go Bangladesh you beauties. Stick that up your arse Jeffery Boycott, have a long lonely flight home. Went in to pick the guys up but ended up in a flash hotel, The Chung, which has a pool and a happy hour. Two for the price of one, but you get them at the same time, bit of a pain but makes you knock them back a bit quicker than normal. Really good pub with no problems using the pool or bar, surprised us all.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Got going mid morning heading for Koh Phi Phi Don, no idea what to expect but a few people have tuned us on how busy it gets.

Horror, it is way beyond your wildest dreams, boats, boats and more boats, what a spin out. 1600 and we are just about to go ashore and have a look around, when we first arrived it looked like we wouldn’t be here to long but the place has settled and might be ok, we are on a mooring so fingers crossed.

Bedlam is a word that could be used to describe this place, the north side is the doof area, all day and all night by the seems, Chris was grooving, I was amazed, DJ’s going during the day, a pool full of tattooed, pissed young people all going off, oh well whatever rocks your boat. This is tattoo land.  Some of the tats just looked like they had been rolling in mud. We had some tacos, average but the beers were cold, then cruised on down the lanes and tracks that criss cross the joint, dodging carts full of beer, food and baggage, pretty busy place, found a seafood restaurant that also had duck, so stuffed ourselves full then off we go again. It is not real hard to go through 3000thb and have not much to show for it, found that out as had to wait for a few hours for the tide to come back. Had a foot massage that was more like a shin massage, very lazy woman, poor old Em had a facial done by some bloke, he had just been doing a foot massage and hadn’t washed his hands so she was keen as to get out of there, nothing like a massage to relax you. Chris got his nails done, that’s weird, can’t see what’s wrong with using your teeth.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Finally got back to the boat, good breeze so good sleep. The mooring we chose ended up being a beauty, in pretty close with all the speedboats, but they all go to bed early and the water stayed nice and calm even with 15 knots coming at you.

Up early and out of there, rounded the southern tip and set the jib and starboard motor up, to make some water, and sitting on 6 to 7 knots in quite breezy conditions, put it this way I was glad to be going with it, we have found this stretch of water can be a bit of a slog, real washing machine job.

IMG_1738

Made it into Naiharn Bay at 1300 and anchored up, sat back and had a beer. Another lap down, this one was approximately 260nm and a pleasant little jaunt.

photo

I reckon the Alison’s have had a ball, little Molly can just about do padder-kick now and is not scared of the water at all, just zings around the boat without a worry and didn’t even come close to falling in, she is a funny little moosetekeer, which is the new way it is spelt according to Molly. We left her with a mate of theirs wife and Paul took us to Patong, Bangalore Road, excellent, we cracked up, ass whipping fun was a classic and then Chris had a go at smacking the nail into the lump of wood. I had been hanging out to see him do this as I have witnessed him using a hammer cack handed and back to front at the same time and not miss once, he proved me right.

P1040655

First hit he sunk it in past half way, his opposition, an ex barmaid or dancer you would think, had a very surprised look on her head, she only hit hers in about half an inch, Chris picks up the hammer and eyes it up and smack, bye bye nail. It was unreal, I just about knocked some old bag over in celebration, Winner winner chicken dinner. That does not happen often.

P1040659

Watched a magician and some dancing in the street but it gets a bit boring pretty quick so we bolted, checked all the ladyboys, lined up along the road at Kata, waiting to pounce on some poor pissed sucker on his way home. Beware.

P1040666

Had an excellent lunch the next day up on Kata Hill, local place with awesome food and an amazing view. Back to the boat, which meant a few beers, vodkas and saying our goodbyes. Ended up a waste of time as we ended up in Pier 93 for a few hours before Captain Rod had to go home, Blurrrr. It was excellent having The Alisons on tour, I asked Molly what her favourite bit was and she said without a pause, the pool at Koh Lantra, there you go, life through a little kids eyes, she has now been promoted from swab, didn’t like that much, to first mate. Chris and Em, the same as normal, as you would expect, excellent partners in crime.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

They flew out at 0600, Paul gave them a lift at 0300, he’s a good bloke too.

Hired a car to go and say goodbye to the Persians up at G&T Boatyard, Toi had cooked up a storm, roast chicken with beer cans shoved up them and a roast lamb, veges and gravy. Pigged out and had a few beers, not to many as it is a fair old hike back to Naiharn from Ao Poh. Sad to say seeya to Pete and Pen, will see you in Sumatra guys, The Kokomos also made it and it was good to see those guys as well.

Seen a hooting car crash on the way back, horror, but the way they drive is conducive to having them.

We haul out next week and then the fun starts, big list of jobs, Gerry was joking about how long we were staying at G&T, reckons always have an open mind, I have the perfect incentive to get it all done on time, Bay of Plenty, Sumatra is calling.

 

 

Money Money Money.

28th February 2015.

0400 and up, head into shore, drag the dinghy up the beach and stumble across it in the dark to the hire car, this one is Karen’s private one so feeling a bit priveledged, then drive to the airport, park in the dodgiest spot and about ten minutes later greet our newly arrived guests, The Alison’s.

It has been a pretty laid back time up here, just anchored up in Nai Yang Bay, going to the markets, the Boss Bar, Old mates bar, One Bar and eating out at Heng Heng and Cii’s joint, the Bank, with the Persians.

P1040358

Have been knocking a few jobs off, Jens winch shit the tin so pulled that to bits and had the electric motor rewound, the guy at AME was excellent, organised it for us and even though it is Chinese New Year it was still ready to pick up on the day he reckoned which was the day before this mob arrived.

IMG_1552

I pulled the inverter out, it hasn’t worked for a couple of years, so thought I would give it a shot, opened it up, Horror, it is amazing the charger works, all the printed circuit boards are rooted, wires on the main board which is mounted to the base are corroded completely off. Bugger. Big decision, just keep on going as before or chuck it out and get a new one, the thought of not being able to charge the batteries with a battery charger is not a good one, even though we will soon have our new sola panels, so the hunt is on for a newy. Waltzed into East Marine one day and you wouldn’t believe it, a nice new Xantrec 110 volt charger / inverter just sitting there, same size and capacity just the latest model to ours, what are the chances, ends up it was a stuff up when they bought it, meant to be 240 volt and it has just been sitting there, they dropped 26000thb for me and that was that. Hey Big spender, bye bye three grand, plus another couple for the sola panels, geez I might have to go back to work, horror.

IMG_1550

It works a treat, although it took a bit of mucking about setting it up, even read the instructions twice, it came with a remote panel as well which is an option normally so installed that where the other one used to be, bit of drilling and cutting but looks real flash. The first night I thought I had turned it off, derr, so it had a good time sucking the battery’s down until I realized during me morning checks that something was a bit askew, sorted it and then worked out how to get out of basic settings and into advanced, a whole new frontier, which wasn’t highlighted in the instructions, I can now say this expensive grey box is tweeked to the max. We watched a few DVD’s the other day for free and the charger is a ripper, goes through bulk, absorbtion and float charging thingys. Very flash.

The watermaker was the next thing to have a bit of a sook, have cleaned the membrane and it is happy again, which is lucky as five people use a fair bit more water than two. Being in Phuket has been a real advantage as all the brands are catered for here, YSE Engineering has all the Spectra Watermaker gear, and you can pretty much find what you are looking for at Boat Lagoon or nearby. AME is awesome, one of my favourite chandellery’s, plus just up from them is a great little food joint that just pump out the best Thai tucker for bugger all.

Pete took me to Bangkok Hardware, could just as easily be called Alladdins Cave, found the 13mm tube socket for doing Jens winch and some feet for the inverter to get it off the ground. Pretty sure you could find anything in this shop if you looked. On the way back we picked up some Ladies pies for tea, filthy, ate two of them, chockers.

IMG_1941

The last week before we left had waves at airport reef, so hours of SUP action, even dragged the mal out one day, the surf rescue boys joined in with me, Pete and Deane on his two person canoe. Came away with fully sick sunburn to the back and my lips look like I have got shankers big time. Thought I was doing the righty with some sunscreen that was stashed in the bathroom but it ended up being tanning lotion which is pretty much just coconut smelling cooking oil. Sleeping was no fun. Lying on my guts with head at ninety degrees.

Pete and I picked up the winch motor, had a boys day out again, then got back and managed to get it installed and wired up, it must have been on the way out for a while because we can’t remember it being this fast, ever.

We have done a fair bit of shopping for food at the Big C, a couple of fuel runs and all the veges from the markets so we are ready to go on our first look at the area south of Phuket, all the tourist places, I am not sure how it will go as I am not very tolerant to jetskis and longtails anymore.

 

Visa run.

20th February 2015.

Woke up 0330, dragged my sorry arse, love that Fay, out of bed and gave Jen a kick in the guts, Pete rocked up in his dinghy, light rain, it has been pissing down all night which is well needed, made for a hooting sleep, drops us off on the beach where Wit’s scooter awaits, rode to airport in light drizzle, found a parking spot, locked bike, then headed for the Air Asia departures desks.

We waited patiently in line but then realised we had already booked in on line, bargain, guts starts rumbling, Tom Yum Goong spicy will do that to you, hunt out the dunnys, its one of the holes in the ground jobs and it doesn’t look real user friendly, it is not, slipping in my flippers but manage to do the squat thing, no paper, horror, no going back though, horror. Touch the hose thing, revulsion sweeps over me, then remember the roll of bum fodder in my knapsack, unfold out of the squat with a big slip but joy to the world, job finished.

Head back out to go to customs, knocked back, paperwork needs stamp, back in queue, about ten back from where we used to be but wait patiently, offer the big stare to a couple of would be queue jumpers, amazingly it works and they move off to the back of the Queue, we wind our way through the barriers and finally get the all important stamp, now we can proceed through customs, immigration and the duty free shops, then wait, then board, arrive in KL, 0840.

When we purchased the airline tickets, they were 800thb each way, each, came to something like $270.00 AUD, couldn’t believe it then but now understanding it, it is Chinese New Year, 2015 is the year of the goat and today is the big day. Everyone is celebrating not flying.

Our mates Brownie and Leanne grow goats down in Pemberton, good goats, probably a good year to have lots of goats, not sure about eating them though, a bit of a doublewammy there.

The city of KL is closed, the bits we want to go to anyway, Amberon SDN.BHD. our Malaysian Iridium dealer and Hempel Antifoul, so KLIA2 is it for us, I had wondered why the plane was only half full, not a normal occurrence for Air Asia.

KLIA2, as I have mentioned in a previous post, is huge so it can’t be too hard to find stuff to do. First off we hit the grocers for some chili oil, then Dim Sum On The Go, the king prawn dumplings are great, kailan and oyster sauce also, the rest is average but edible and a perfect way to celebrate CNY, as it is advertised all over the place.

IMG_1947

For some reason the keys to Wit’s bike drifted into my thoughts, more to the point, where did I put them, check pockets, empty contents of knapsack and replace, check Jens bag, re-empty my knapsack, check freezer bag, look in my knapsack again, Nah, spew. Go to ring Wit, no service, text, same result. Finish up breckie and go in search of phone shop, Hotlink won, the guy just used scissors to trim the chip to iPhone size, now ring Pete, can’t get him, leave text for Wit. The bike is amongst about a thousand others so finding it is no walk in the park, and explaining where it is proves to be a high jump, I sent a photo of a map to Pete and he has got it through to Wit. I have done all I can, now we have to wait.

All this stress has made me hungry and what better than a Whopper, yeah, Burger King is just there. Bloody good burger and the best chips, sorry French-fries, they were so good Jen, who only wanted a Whopper, ate half of them. A deafening boom boom boom and a crash of cymbals arose and look over the edge of the balcony, it’s the same guys dressed like a dragon, jumping from platform to platform, that we had seen at Straits Quay Marina in Penang. They were the stars that night at the Raja Muda presentations. They are rippers. Another couple of hours gone.

We then go for a wander, Jen’s got her ideas I had mine but finally we start looking for a product that suits us both, thongs, neither of us were successful but we tried heaps of them. Pete got back to me, I owe him 400thb for the locksmith, they had to make another key, oh well at least he reckoned it was an interesting process unlocking the bike and making the new key, another couple of hours gone.

All the walking has my feet aching, especially in my poxy Flippers, so we go hunting for a Thai massage parlour, Thai Odyssey, and both get a foot massage, it was unreal, bit of a wash first then some tea, then more tea, then it starts, thoughts of the last time come crashing to the forefront of my memory, but it isn’t so bad, almost tickled a couple of times and only felt real major pain twice, but he stopped pretty quick when I started kicking. During the massage I had to fight to not fall asleep, pretty good value I reckon. I heard myself snore and Jen jumped in and told the bloke to pinch me, don’t let him fall asleep. Another hour down.

Went and checked the planes taking off and landing, watched one of the A380’s land and taxi to the terminal, huge is not the word, their wings kind of hang down when they are on the ground, makes you wonder how long they will last, all that flexing. Best go on a new one. Another hour down.

Found a new section that we hadn’t seen before, MPH Bookstore was a winner, bought a Malay dictionary and phrase book, and a couple of others by Camilla Lackberg and Kathryn Bonella. The guys, who run the place were wrapped when I asked them to help me out with how they learnt Malay as kids, this led to us all going through each book offering this and that and we eventually came up with one called Everyday Malay. Tida apa, terimah kashi. You should get a pay rise guys. Another hour down.

IMG_1958

By now we had seen all there was to see, so we headed for gate L7, through customs then the walk to section L, then immigration, then hand over our chili oil and tahini, bloody terrorists have stuffed it up for all of us, at least we got to use some of the oil with our yumcha so all was not lost, still spewing a bit though. Walked our way down to L7, the place is chocker, so down to L10 where there is a food shop and a cappuccino is looking good. I reckon if you were going to own a shop in KLIA2 this is one of them, shit food, shit service, shit coffee but bugger all left, they are sold out, except for a couple of muffins, you even had to buy water in a paper cup for rm4 because they had sold out of bottles as well. People just kept on keeping on and the boss just rubbed his hands with glee, if he had any brains he’d have freezers and fridges full of shit ready to go, but hey I’m just a dumb lectrishn. In the end we got a couple of pissy little coffees for rm15, but we scored a table with a copy of The Straits Times which was just sitting there. Sat there and read it from cover to cover, it is always a good read and I couldn’t believe my luck, another couple of hours done and dusted.

Soon enough we are being herded onto our plane, back to Phuket, it is twenty minutes late and the pilot is on a mission to make it up, just taxiing felt like it was a rush, only just waiting for a bit at the top of the runway, lets just get this show on the road. Same with coming into Phuket, we slowed down when we reached the terminal, it was excellent, and in the end we were only seven minutes late. This is when I witnessed something I have never seen in Asia, not one person got up before the seatbelt lights went out, everyone was either sitting there shitting themselves or the pilot hit the button for the lights a bit early, it was like a new world wonder. Still had the argey bargey to get to the door, but then smooth sailing out of the joint.

Scored a taxi, which was passed down the line to Junior as we were such a small fare, 300thb, but Junior didn’t really give a shit and off we went to Nai Yang. Got to the Boss Bar, tried to ring Pete to pick us up, ordered a beer and a G&T, Pete rang back and heading in, Jen had to skull hers with a straw, they let me take my king brown stubby and holder with me on the promise that I will return it today, walked out onto the street and it pissed down. Hid under a Pandannus tree, Pete come and got us and dropped us at Boomerang, the rain stopped, we cracked a bottle of Frontera savy blanc, Chilean and not a bad drop, that and a big day had me nodding off in no time, well and truly rooted.

I don’t know if we chose the right option for our visa run but it certainly wasn’t boring. KLIA2 is an excellent airport, so much to see and good exercise thats for sure, only things needed are a pub and a cinema, then it would be winner winner chicken dinner.

 

Want a rant, heres a rant.

14th February 2015.

Happy Birthday Retep and Sabrina Hahn.

Had a biggy last night and up early for Roots and Shoots, cancel hire car, then bacon and eggs and good old baked beans on toast, on Persian Sands with birthday boy, then listen to Tales From The Tinny, then listen to Australia smash the poms, all without a beer. It’s almost like we are back at home.

A pretty uneventful week, bit of shopping, organized our new solar panels and some really good engine soundproofing for the genset. We now have our dates for hauling out, 19th March to 3rd April at G&T, over at Ao Poh, which is on the eastern side of Phuket. We met Toi, who has been recommended to us by so many people that you’d have to be a dickhead to go anywhere else. She is onto it and I reckon that the tasks I’ve set for her and her team are doable with the time we have between tides. We can only enter their yard with a 1.9 metre tide and of course the same for leaving, so we will get a couple of weeks to get the boat wet and dried and polished top to bottom, anti foul raised 100mm, service the sail drives and props and the doors to the saloon refurbished. It would have been great to get the saloon floor done too, but not enough time.

photo

Caught up with the Sandys at Yacht Haven, I copped a couple of flicks on the fored from Fay, as you would expect, they are slowly getting there, with most jobs done before they head home for a bit, Fay’s son is going to be spewing when he gets his boardies, they are pink not watermelon, Poor bastard. Dave rang me today and was telling me about Fayzy’s disappearing act while she was washing the boat, so pissed off I missed it, she has fallen down between the jetty and the hull and found herself stuck surrounded by oysters and couldn’t get out, took three of them to haul her sorry arse back up onto the jetty, Dave reckons he didn’t laugh, I would have pissed myself. Go Shirl.

Unknown-1

Poor old Boomerang is looking a bit dull having not had a wash for a month or so, it hasn’t rained for ages, so arced up the Spectra water maker and filled the tanks, then gave her a big lather up, the salt was pretty thick up the front, tastes great, and the dirt that came off was amazing, she is all back to squeaky clean, next need to do the waterline again as the beard is coming back. Nai Yang Bay really gets the growth happening, not sure why. Could be all us yachties swimming, shitting, pissing in the water but I just dunno. Hence the raising of the anti foul line, we are a bit overloaded but I just can’t come to grips with getting rid of some of the stuff we have on board. Need to have a garage sale, that would be better than just giving it away or even worse, chucking it. I reckon it might be harder to extract money out of a some of these yachty types than out of the locals anyway, so not much point trying. Just raise the waterline.

photo[2]

Have now got onto live streaming, so ABC 720 Perth is on all day long, they have the best shows and it doesn’t surprise me that even Victorians tune in to it. Last week Sabrina Hahn was on Who Are You, a segment on Geoff Hutchison’s show, it was a pearler, check it out. Then you wait a bit and Gillo comes on with some good and different topics and of course the laugh. Dave Warner was on the other day, he has got a show on in the Festival of Perth called The King And Me, they also did a show at the Charles Hotel, spewing we missed that. We went on You Tube and watched some of his stuff, unreal banana peel, an excellent arvo, the reworked Mugs Game is a classic. Who would have guessed Shapell was a thieving bitch and look where it got her, superb lyrics Dave Warner.

photo

Saturdays we tune in to Wolfy and Sabrina for Roots and Shoots, then flick over to ABC Darwin 105.7 for a mp3 recording and get a mullet up us on Tales From The Tinny, one of the best shows around, funny as. These guys have got it sussed, taking the piss out of others and more often themselves. This bara season looks like being a ripper. When I used to work, I had ABC 720 on all day and if this is the closest thing to once again being gainfully employed so be it, suits me to a tee. One of the most enjoyable things to hear on the radio is the cricket and that was one opening game by the Aussies, flogging the poms, yeew yeew, nothing better, the next thing that needs to be done is someone needs to belt Jeffery bloody Boycott, what a wanker, he was using the big stage to bag the physical training coach of his beloved team which in itself was pretty poor and then it was all because the guy reckons he rants a bit, he is so far up himself he doesn’t even realise he rants on about crap all the time, he better be commentating the pom’s and not us, that would be the end of the wireless for me. I reckon he is probably in love with Stuart Broad as well, can’t stop praising the cheating prick and paying out on the crowd for booing him, it was only The Ashes we lost, dickhead. I had just about forgotten about Broad but now, thanks to Jeffery, all Australians should stand up and boo at the top of our lungs every time Broad goes near the ball. Also love how that weird arse Kiwi umpire has been dumped and delegated to the 3rd ump, although he will probably stuff it up anyway.

P1040343

We have found the Nai Yang version of Bangalore Road. Down the end of the street are a few bars with lots of waitress’s trying to get you to partake in a cleansing ale or twenty, Alex the German pointed out the girls and the lady boys, lucky for me because if I was that way inclined, I had a 50/50 chance of sleeping with a bloke, couldn’t believe it, stuff that.

P1040330

There are some good restaurants and bars down the strip and all the food tastes the same, thats because it all comes from our mate at the Bank Restaurant, she’s a beaut. We also have Madam Karen, ph 0980343699, who is a wheeler dealer around this neck of the woods. She can hire cars, bikes, supply laundry services and get you fed.

P1040340

Were down there the other day watching a fire twirling show and at the end they let some crackers off that were up a tree, a bloody great chunk of tree hit me in the back so Jen and I moved a bit further away and as I turned to watch the show another chunk smashed my glass which was in my hand on it’s way to me gob, everyone made a fuss but no freebie, wonder what third party cover they would have had. Like the rest of the place, bugger all.

IMG_1931

Had Retep’s birthday with premature drinks and celebrations for him at the OK Bar, Jen got the band to sing happy birthday, a very merry night as you can probably see, which definitely put a dampener on his actual birthday day celebrations which started 0900 with B&E&BB’S on toast, and ended with beers at old mates at the markets and a feed at Heng Heng, which was so spicy the beers were used just to quell the burn. Wit, ph 0805332575, rolled up with his son, Number Five, and drove us home in the revamped Tuk Tuk. Its now got newly covered seats and is looking very flash. The Persians gave them a soccer ball and some clothes, which they loved.

IMG_1933

An early night means an early morning, had a SUP for and hour or so, heaps harder to catch small waves than bigger ones so it takes it out of you, low tide too and not real keen on standing in a foot of water on the coral, so headed back, polished the staino up front, scrubbed the beard off the waterline and sat back to listen to the cricket, SA and Zimbabwe with a beer or two. I want to see the catch the bloke in the orange shirt, with his hat on and a beer in his left hand, plucked from the sky with his right, as reported by an excellent commentator, Ebony, who just happens to be a chick, wonder what Jeffery thinks about that?

 

 

A nice little lap.

8th February 2015.

 It’s 0130, rolling around in my bed trying to go back to sleep, it’s not gunna happen, every time you commit to an early morning start, sleep somehow deserts you. 0330, still no sleep but up anyway waiting for 0430 to drop the mooring and head south to the Similans, fifty odd miles away.

IMG_1304

The Persians are up, they have been up since 0300, bummer, could have got going earlier, it’s a huge full moon and outside it is almost daylight, lets get going, preheat engines and let the alarms blare for a bit, just to wake the neighbours, probably another cause of my sleeplessness, they being fifty metres away in twenty five with forty metres of chain in, if it had have blew, they would have been on top of us in no time, wankers. Besides leaving these pricks behind it was a bit sad to be leaving Koh Surin, it is an awesome place, great water, great beaches and a place that needs to not change. Keep it simple it works pretty well by the looks of it.

P1040223

The passage between the Surins.  photo by Jen.

 

P1040236

Well worn jungle path on Koh Surin.  photo by Jen.

 

P1040235

Some leafy tree things.  photo by Jen.

 

IMG_1168

Prehistoric Palm trees are all over the joint.

Not much wind, 7 to 10 knots, heady out and one engine tonking along at 2100RPM and doing six knots, eight sixes are forty eight, should get there just after lunch. We have left at the bottom of the tide and will have it for the next six hours so things are looking good.

As soon as the sun came up my eyes started getting heavy, then the nods started as I was sitting comfortably in my chair out in the breeze and overcast sky, next thing you know we are a third of the way there. I awoke as we were coming up to an island to port, all safe, what a way to knock off a few miles. Now wide awake, it is back to business as usual, pretty much the same as when I was asleep, sitting comfortably in my chair whiling away the hours, getting a good bit of guts laughing in, Billy Thorpe you are a beauty, geez Most People I Know (think that I’m crazy) is a good read, the exploits of Buster the boxer dog are unreal, buy this book it’s a ripper.

IMG_1358

We arrived at Koh Similan at 1400 and made our way through the islands to be greeted with boats like Mr Trip flying around everywhere, chuck in half a dozen ferry’s and I was thinking why did we leave Koh Surin, Pete had a ferry sneak up on him, I reckon it spun him out, the Thai’s have to pass in front of you as it is good luck to them, whatever floats your boat. The fourth Island is the main camp with restaurants, shops, tent land and bungalows, there is a bay facing North full of moorings but also full of boats so we headed around to the eastern anchorage and picked up a couple of moorings. Pretty choppy, but bearable, had a couple of Leo’s and a nannery then we headed into town.

P1040298

Ended up at a little restaurant which had really good food, spicy as, watch out dunny tomorrow stuff, cold beer although only Chang, as beers go Chang is at the bottom of the ladder, down there with Coopers Green, at least it was cold. We met a young girl, Lyn, from Singapore who unbelievably works at 1 degree 15 Marina at Sentosa Island. She had a confidence about her that you don’t find with very many Asian women, probably been putting up with winging yachties for years, that’ll do it. The Internet was slow as and pretty much a waste of time, emails only but we did eventually manage to get the Buoyweather seven day forecast to be checked out and evaluated later. It was a complete glass off on our way back to the boats, so it looked like we may be going to get a good nights sleep, as if, by 0500 we are pretty much the only boats in this anchorage, all the others have fled, ENE at 15 knots with a metre swell pushing through, lovely. I got the buoyweather out, it is going to be the same for four days, bugger that, there is just no real protection available here, plus the traffic is out of control, so even though it is Friday, I asked Pete for his input, about fifteen minutes later we were out of there.

Raising the main it got to about half way up and stopped, a bit of a look and there it is, the halyard is wrapped around the steaming light, not real happy, it won’t come down either, more not real happiness, spewing in fact, Bloody Friday, so then up on the boom with the boat hook extended, about a foot short, so up on the cars with one foot, one hand hanging onto the lazy jack rope and the other with boathook in fingertips, just reached and by pure arse got hold of the halyard and got a bit of slack, then was able to flick it off and away we go. What else is going to happen, It’s bloody Friday, you dickhead.

IMG_1408

We started out headed for Nai Yang, fifty mile away, but the wind was swinging to the east which soon had us heading for Patong Bay and not to much later Nai Harn. Sailing at 35 to 50 degrees and the port engine tonking along we were doing five to six knots into a dirty looking sea. It was a day of pinching and then losing what you had put aside then back up again. Ended up getting rid of the jib and just pointed as high as we could. As we were passing Nai Yang, fifteen mile to the east a decision was made, down with the main and head for home, rough as guts and battling to hit five knots we pounded on. The sea was getting better the closer to home we got and the last hour was a dawdle, the Leo’s soon were doing their trick.

IMG_1450

We pulled into Nai Yang at 1600, dropped anchor next to Sonnet, a boat near us at Telaga Harbour, it used to be owned by a bloke called Murray Raynes, who did a lap in her and wrote a book called, One Easy Lap, which is a good read. He actually lives in Nannup, about 80k’s from where we live. I dropped in on him one day and had a good yack, my Dad also worked with him at the Midland workshops, an interesting fellow. The new owner Alex, a German, is believe it or not a good bloke, he has bought back to me some faith in the German race, it doesn’t take much to leave an impression on me does it? One bad egg and thats the lot buggered. We gave him a copy of Murray’s book and he was stoked, he is even taking us out for tea tonight. Bargain.

IMG_1467

That was our Northern Thailand passage, about 263nms of nonstop entertainment, great sailing, beautiful places and really nice people. The Similans was a bit disappointing but on its day it is possibly ok, we just didn’t get it. These waters are conducive to sailing, with offshore winds that make life a bit exciting, relatively flat water and beautiful safe anchorages all the way up and down the coast.

Our sailing mates, the Persians, are excellent partners in crime and their outlook on life is contagious, I actually had an AFM and for the last week or so have been sticking to only a couple of beers a day, can’t say I feel any better for it, but it must be good for you. Thanks Nep and Etep you guys are tops. Hubert was on the money there.

photo

The people you meet doing this sort of thing also makes you grin, The Persians, The Kokomos, The Babars, The Nojokins, The Sylvias, The Adagios and a few others all out doing what we want, when we want and how we want with not too much to bother us or get in your way, what a hooting lifestyle we lead.

P1040311[1]

Also you have got to love the Thai’s, they are a very motivated lot but they also have the ability to think into the future a bit and bend to achieve a result, unlike say the Malaysians who will not budge, but that’s not bad either, just horses for courses.