Koh Phayam, Yeah man.

6th Febuary 2015.

 Australia Day celebrations went off like a cracker, beach cricket, BBQ and fireworks with a fair bit of lubricant as well. It was a great way to say goodbye to Koh Phayam, an excellent destination, pretty much like no other we have been to and it isn’t stinking hot with good breeze all the time.  It is so relaxed and easy going that ten days felt more like five so if you were paying for a holiday you might be getting back on the boat before you even know it.

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I reckon the gang found just about all the good restaurants, the last was a bit of a run down joint on the main drag in town but the food was pretty filthy with a price tag anyone would love. A couple of the View restaurants were really good to, even had a sort of Thai spaghetti with clams, filthy, chockers after that one. The entertainment was alright as well, Yenns, the bloke who run the place’s daughter kept us entertained for a bit, although the push button noisy phone thing could have, after a while, had her drowned in the pool.

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During our stay I completed a few jobs on the boat including oil and fuel filters, new oil, scrubbed her waterline and scrubbed the props. When we arrived she had a green four-inch beard from the bow to midships but in the calm waters of Buffalo Bay it all died and fell off which was a bit of a bargain. Fair bit of effort still to get it all off and the growth on the sail drives and props was just getting going so timed that well. The good old Hempel antifoul is working a treat on the hull with only five small barnacles on the whole boat. Under the keel where we didn’t antifoul it is going off, it’s good fun though, you get the wide scraper out and scour them off upside down, while checking out the fish get stuck in to the free meal.

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The Mojito’s from the Hippy Bar are filthy. This place is a bit of a hidden treasure, the dudes are done up like peace and love people strutting there stuff in flares with belts, big hair do’s and handfulls of rings. When you see them in town they are dressed just the same.

Larb moo is available everywhere and cooked to perfection at most. Tried a few other dishes, in particular stir fry ginger and pork, a new favourite, especially when served with sticky rice.

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We upped anchor about 1030 the day after Aussie Day and said our goodbyes to the Kokomos, Phil and Karen, and Archie and Jill off of Nojokin, a nice big stink boat that they travel everywhere in, doing it tough, Jill took a screamer at the cricket. The Babars were hard at it in a resort for the night, it was Elise’s birthday, so we didn’t get to say goodbye to them. All in all a tight gang once again, the type that turns heads and gets people talking, especially the dumb bitch who got the shits because we blocked the track trying to work out where the View restaurant turn off was. Someone should have belted her.

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We caught up with The Persians just out of the bay and headed for the Surin Group. Sweating like a rapist for the next few hours, not sure why but geez it was just pissing out me. We got our spinnaker up and the Persians followed suit and just bobbed along at 4.7kns following the imaginary border between Thailand and Myanmar but with about ten miles to go the wind dropped to bugger all and what there was on the nose so we motored the last bit to Koh Surin Nua, one of the islands in the outer island group in Thai waters.

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Coming around the headland into the bay we found Adagio on a mooring and Sylvia May anchored up in the bay. These guys were all in on the cricket and are good fun. Phil and Cheryl, from Adagio supplied the bat and ball. We met Terry and Jenny off of Sylvia May one night at a big feast with the Gary’s and others at the Shin Mi Restaurant in Langkawi. It was excellent catching up with them again and even got a bet for a bottle of vodka with Terry on the Scorchers vs Sydney Six’s BBL final. Go Scorchers. He is bloody confident, don’t think he even rates us.                                                                                                                                                We ended up anchoring in 25 metres on broken coral and sand, it took a bit to get the anchor set, not to much to grip to down there, in the end put the whole lot in, 100 metres, and on the blowiest day, 20 to 25kns, we moved 90 feet on the GPS, so reckon the sheer weight of the chain did most of the work, goes to show, it doesn’t do much good in the locker. The locals just chuck an anchor over, no chain, just rope and then all their mates come along and raft up, it would be unreal to be able to be that blasé, but I can’t do it.

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We have been diving on a nice bit of reef that no one else seems to bother with, surprising as it is heaps better than the ones the dive boats go to. You jump off the back of Boomerang, the anchor chain goes straight down 25 metres to the bottom, you can just make out the bottom and swim a hundred metres across the bluest blue water and as you get closer to the reef you can see a few boondy’s and sand then it just rises out of the blue to coral reef not one metre from the surface. The fish life is great, coral trout, snapper, garouper, a cod as big as me and his mate and another huge fish with what looked like mutton chops hanging down from either side of its mouth, plus all the other fish that you just take for granted.

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The other afternoon I went over for a look and was blown out by the big fish, they were probably always there but in the late arvo light they both came out and stood out. The parrot fish were doing circles over their territory, coming right up to you, lucky they didn’t get pinged. I was looking down and all of a sudden the bottom moved and the huge cod swam off followed by his mate and a bit later chasing a CT from rock to rock I came through the back door of a little cavern and come across mutton chops, It just looked at me and won the stare off, a ripper snapper came past just staring at me as well.

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We’ve been feasting with the Persians, hooting BBQ on the beach and a bits and pieces aboard Boomerang, also a lunch at the restaurant on land with a couple of other couples they knew from Switzerland and Germany. I had pork fried rice and a couple of Leo’s, Jen had omelet as well. Not to bad at all. They have a funny way of doing things with vouchers instead of cash but it works and there are heaps of tourists here. You can stay in tents that are all set up or little huts as well. The restaurant area is pretty big and well set out, you have to clean your scraps up, hopefully for a pig out the back but not real sure, and stack your dishes. Jen felt right at home.P1040249

 

She went for a walk down the beach where a heap of tourists were all milling around checking something out in the water, next thing I notice is the photographer dude jump, this made everyone jump and Jen walk away pissing herself. She had scared the bloke and he sent shockwaves through the crowd, well done mate sort of reminds me of something I might have done once upon a time.

Sylvia May left this morning, he was trying to reach us on the VHF but it wasn’t on, Pete screamed out from Persian Sands and got me on the VHF to let me know, so called up Terry and he gave me the news that the Scorchers had won by one run, GO SCORCHERS, he didn’t make any moves to drop off the Vodka though, have to chase him up down the line somewhere, lucky we still have plenty anyway. Suppose I should be grateful to get the result, we haven’t had any phone coverage for a while and the HF is a bit sporadic up here in the bay.

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The Adagio’s are leaving tomorrow morning at 0630 and their mooring comes up for grabs but now after a few days, the rock grinding noise from deep below is subsiding and Boomerang seems quite happy to hang out here near what I am now claiming as Rod’s Reef, still no one else has had a look at it. Did a book swap with the Adagios, they also like Ian Rankin, bargain.

Speaking of books I have been giving them a flogging, Let It Bleed, The Falls and Doors Open, all by Ian Rankin are fantastic reading, all hard to put down. Have just started reading, Most People I Know Think That I’m Crazy by Billy Thorpe, It is a pearler, haven’t had a book make me laugh for quite a while, I mean guts hurting laugh, Robert B Barrett could pull it off at least once in every book he wrote. Billy Thorpe is a funny bugger.IMG_1462

Jens read the Hope We Seek off the iPad and loved it. We have been listening to some good podcasts, Richard Fidlers’, Conversations, are great listening, the snow leopards, some bikie from the Pagans in Philadelphia, Mathew Evans the Tassie farmer whose mate Ross we know from Margaret River. There are a few more but can’t remember them all. We are sadly running out of movies and TV shows that have any interest, Halt and Catch Fire the only one we can really remember, so I won’t bore you with the others. Bring on a new series of Justified, The Banshee or Death in Paradise I reckon.

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The other day I had a funny throat which then went down my neck and has now even moved down to my guts, uncomfortable feeling like indigestion and feels like the burps are coming up from my bum. Nurse Penny has got me on a fast, and we will see how we go. It is like something is going through me from inlet to outlet, the only thing I can think of is some antifoul poisoning from cleaning the props and sail drives the other day. Pen reckons it lifestyle, I doubt it but she is probably right. To much larb moo.

Well, fasted for a whole day and a bit, even finally made a AFM, drank buckets of water but feeling better, still got a sore throat, probably a flu or something, the guys of Kokomo apparently had a shocker last week. Speaking of who, will probably come round the corner in the next couple of days.

Well, we have hit the main restaurant on Koh Surin Nae now, good feed of fish and veges, got some phone action and some internet, bloody slow though, tossing up whether to post this now or wait for the photos, bugger it here it comes.

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No it didn’t. They shut the genset down the moment I tried to publish, hopefully lucky for you.         It is now Monday and the wind has come up again 15 to 20 knots out of the East so making for a bit of a rocky existence, spewing too that I never got some photos of Rod’s reef when the water was dead calm, went over for a look today and the visibility is down to 15 metres and a bit hazy. Fish everywhere though so shouldn’t winge to much. While I was snorkeling along I heard motor noise in the water and looked up to see Mr Trip, Mr Gao’s boat fly past, so piled into the dinghy and took off up to the area they take the paying patrons. When he saw me, or perhaps the dinghy, his face lit up with a smile, probably remembering,“oh it’s the dickhead who can’t tie knots,” if he was thinking that, he didn’t show it and it was great to say goodbye to him properly as he wasn’t at his restaurant the night before we left. Reckons it was a good day today, twenty people crammed in and frothing to see some coral. I think from memory it was 500baht a pop to come from Koh Phayam to Koh Surin, so he should be grinning for a few hours work.

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Went exploring down in the bay with the Persians, some nice little bays and rivermouths to be found and checked out, Pen showed signs of her tracking abilities, wading through the mud, climbing trees and rocks looking for her land roots. We let her just go for it.

We are starting to go a bit troppo and have got a new language happening, Retep and Epolenep have picked it up quick as well. Our VHF radio which is now left on our personal channel, 17, is a good apparatus to try it out,“Yendor you there”, Yeah Retep what you want”. Fairly easily entertained hey. It is now moving to full sentences.

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Went for a blast over to the camp today for internet and a feed, both coming up short on quality, then had to drag the dinghy out through rock strewn sand bars and then take off back home to our bay, we are the only yachts here now, everyone else has headed south probably for a full moon party or something, we might just wait till Thursday morning to make sure we don’t get caught up in a day after full moon party, they don’t really need much of an excuse around here and I am just starting to get back to fully fit for duty after this quiet spell.

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Sitting back taking it easy watching a couple of yachts sail by, almost, one of them, a cat, changed course and headed for us, then proceeded to come about 50 metres from us and drop his anchor, there is a whole anchorage but this German wanker needs company. Oh well, we are out of here tomorrow, so who gives a shit.

Buffalo Bay Blues.

23rd January 2015.

 Don’t know what’s going on inside my head, either I am getting too relaxed, BP is now 124/ 62 most of the time, or my brain is going to mush, we have had another disappearing boat episode. Mind you it was after a big one at the Black Moon party at the Hippy Bar in Buffalo Bay.

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We have been slotting into the Northern Thai lifestyle, that has been presented to us, quite nicely. The Persians are very good role models and we have great fun with them. Pete, Jen and I walked into town to get a couple of bikes, couple of old clangers more like it. We walked for what seemed like a few k’s, had a drinks stop half way and hired our bikes from the first shop we found, probably good they don’t go too fast as there are people flying around the place, not sure what the hurry is but it is here in bucketfuls. The Persians just about got wiped out yesterday by a bloke who was just not looking as he was riding along, horror. The roads are all concrete, double wide on main stretches, half as wide for the offshoots and getting down to narrow footpaths in cement or what used to be cement into the resorts and restaurants that line Buffalo Bay. The road that goes down to the southern end of long beach is a shocker, made you want to ride along the beach in preference to going all the way back. But you can’t do that.

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We have seen most of the island now and have tried Larb Moo from many of the local restaurants and have got to say the Thai spicy larb moo from The Sun is almost as good as Jen’s, but you won’t be leaving the boat for a while next day. So hot.

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We missed a pretty big party up in the hills the other night but made sure we made the Hippy Bar for theirs, what a ripper, Mojito’s all round, excellent music, a packed house and all night long, can’t remember too much, except I found a camera and knew exactly whose it was, when she came back, spinning out, I had the greatest pleasure of giving it back to her, apparently it had her phone and cash in it as well. That had me grinning like a dead fox. The Wrangas and the Persians stayed late which was pretty much a cert, bloody good night.

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Next thing I know the phones going off, 0600, so loud and so long, finally dragged my sorry arse out of bed and got to it, it was Pete, ‘Wheres your dinghy?” ”tied up to your boat”, “No its not”, “Should be”, “Isn’t” “ but Mr Trip looks like he is towing one in,” “Horror can you give me a lift?” “Yeah no worries mate.” Apparently our dinghy has floated around the bay for most of the pre dawn into early morning and old mate Mr Gao, owner of Mr Trip Charters Koh Phayam, had his eye on it for us, when I fronted up to say my Cop and krupt’s he was as happy as Larry, I offered a carton, not interested but heading in later to buy him a few beers. Now, if I had a Boomerang T-shirt left he would be a worthy recipient. Hope he likes the last Acehnese one we had on board, he is a ripper.

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Since it appeared that I was neglecting my Captains duties I decided a bit of Gilligan may be called for, so I washed the dinghy, can’t believe it, found another leak by pure arse, fixed it with the proper glue, which I got from Swift Marine, and of course got the shit everywhere, at one stage the patch stuck to the table, then the seat so getting it off it was then stuck to my gloves, eventually it got put on the boat, not quite where I had intended but good enough, the dinghy is now hard as, not just during the days but night as well, yeeeha, it is superb, no more pump up every other day. I guess it was meant to be.

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Pete and I gave it a work out the next day, towing the SUP and skurfing for a bit, even paddled onto a couple of small waves, all tiny shorebreak dumpers here. We were both rooted after about ten minutes each but it was a tonic, perked us both up and unbelievably got a thirst happening. Made it to AFD status but yet to get an AFM in.

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We have been joined in the bay by the Kokimo’s and the Babar’s and had a good motorbike gang happening looking for a restaurant with a view of the island, ended up being on the main road just down from the cross roads. Our persistence was well rewarded with an excellent view and beautiful food, had stir fry ginger and pork with sticky rice, looked like the best choice on our table. The view is to the north through to the south and you are up above the cashew trees, which are now fruiting, once again worth the effort to find the joint.

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Picked up our washing and had a couple of beers with Mr Gao to thank him for the dinghy saving and met his mate Excellent, who was a very interesting bloke who has been coming here for years. When I finally got to leaving, dark and high tide with waves, I had to leave the washing and takeaways up the beach, wade out to my nuts, drag the dinghy back into shore and then went to run up the beach when all of a sudden a bloke comes out of the dark with my bags and says here you go, I said excellent, he went, “Yeah”. Cracked me up.

 

A couple of Perry’s on the prowl.

16th January 2014.

Happy Birthday Mum, wish you were here.

Beep beep goes the anchor alarm, it’s 2215 and we are getting a flogging. Probably shouldn’t have come here. Probably should have stayed where we were, it’s bloody Friday after all.

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We finished off the shopping with a trip to Phuket Town, Boat Lagoon to be exact. Hired a bike off of Wit and headed there looking for a few bits and pieces, found an excellent chandlery called AME, they have all sorts of stuff and in 20 minutes my list was done, even after asking the Pommy bloke who seems to run the show if he had a 115 volt encapsulated pump for a spare for the genset and he told me “no way”, I looked down to a shelf by the window and low and behold I am staring at one, same brand, same model everything, the bloke is pretty full of his own importance and rabbited on some excuse, blah blah blah, who gives a shit if you have got some big job on.

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Had a filthy feed at a shop Pete told us about, bloody good, even tried something other than larb moo, pork and beans in a red curry paste, Jen had roast pork and veges and in the end we also had a larb moo. They love their eggs up here, hows this truck load.

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Got back to the boat in time for a SUP which lasted three hours so was pretty rooted by the time we headed out for some tucker at Heng Heng then the markets, followed by a few beers in Nai Yang Beach, a good night was had once again with Pete and Penny and Jocko.

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Met four other yachties who are mates with the guys, another Fremantle couple on a boat called Babar, that made four boats in the bay from Freo out of about ten.

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I hit the land early for some fuel and ice, which was nonexistent, but ended up with a couple of really fresh snappers to take with us. Also loaded up on pills, my blood pressure is pretty stable at 130 over 70, which for me is pretty bloody good, has not been a problem since we got back, too much good living. Could be larb moo is a help, one of the constants in our lives at present, the occasional bottle of Savy Blanc to.

When I got back Persian Sands was gone, I could only see their sails in the distance, so it was time to get our act together and get going.

We said our goodbyes around the anchorage and bolted, main and headsail up heading North with 20 knots ENE so pretty much 60 degrees and hooking along. Sevens and eights for the first couple of hours then pretty much sevens until the wind dropped away. An excellent sail in flat water, first one of those for a while, Boomerang did well.

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The Persians were just drifting along when we finally caught up to them and we followed them into the estuary harbor at Ban Thap Lamu. Busy little harbor, it must have been going to work time as the fishing boats of all sizes were heading out as we were heading in, heaps of them. It is also a naval base and a departure point for the Similans, which are a bit over 30 miles West so you have the sleek looking ferry’s with three or four 200+HP outboards on the back, they fly.

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Had a few beers with the Persians and come home and finished the Fargo series, excellent. Need to get the movie and watch it again. Cousin Lou told us about that years ago and I remember it being good.

Hired a couple of motor bikes and headed into town, being a naval base it is pretty tidy but it seemed like a bit of an outback town, sort of dusty and spread out, can’t quite put my finger on a similar town to it. Two brand new servo’s, Shell and not sure of the other, we were a bit early for the restaurants but found a coconut man so kicked back and enjoyed them straight out the esky. Pete and I were discussing coconuts and both of us came up with the reason why they are not so popular back in Australia, we only ever got one of the old ones once a year at the royal show and the milk tasted like shit and the flesh was hard to get out and not so flash on your jaws.

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We rode down all the streets and tracks down at the fishing jetties and found an excellent hardware shop, got some blue spade lugs and a new lure but we spent ages just walking around looking at shit, they even had old boxes of rusty old nuts and bolts stacked up on top of each other that could easily have been 20 years old, looked like some of the same stuff we had in our shed when I was a kid, I reckon that half of which came from Uncle Buns shed before that.

Our main mission to town was to get some gas in Pete and Penny’s bottle and when we got back we were disappointed as they don’t just fill up, they only swap bottles so no gas for the guys. If they run out we have got a spare bottle, 9 kg’s seem to last us two to three months except when some wanker fills it up with water to rip you off ten bucks, then it stuffs up your solenoid and we have now found the front right burner on the hot plate has rusted out, down to two now, so probably ten years left in it.

Looked for a mud crab pot but only huge fish traps available so no crabbing, Pete enjoys crabbing coming from Broome. We upped anchor around lunchtime and headed thirty miles North to our next destination, another inland estuary whose southern entry is named Ban Thung Dap, on the chart it looks pretty impressive.

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Had good wind which enabled us to sail almost all the way there, only pulling down the sails to come into the mouth and we found a good little anchorage on the first bend near a fishing village, calm and quiet until the sun comes up and they start flying around in a new custom design longtail to what I have seen before, they are so loud it reminded me of Deaf Dave with his little jet boat without the exhaust one year in Augusta, didn’t bother him but the whole town knew he was coming to town about five miles up stream, funny as. I still remember standing on our balcony saying to Jen, I bet that’s Dave’s jet boat up near Molloy Island way before we could see it come down through the sticks.

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We got going after a coffee and motorsailed the rest of the way with the jib and excellent wind. It was a great little sail with the wind lifting us up when we needed it, you needed to put as much in the bank as you could because you lost a bit of height dodging crab pots and non existent banks, we almost made it to the Northern entrance but the breeze won with less than half a mile to go. The Persians picked up a plastic bag on their prop, quick dive for Pete and all’s good. They also picked up a new pet, perfect if you get a rat.

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We were not to certain where we should be headed so a quick decision to head for a group of islands, Koh Luk Kam Tok being the largest of them, was made and off we went, shit wind to start with then got the sails up then blowing it tits off the last few miles. We went searching for places to hide, no wonder there is no anchorages listed in any of the guides for this place. Ended up dropping anchor on the NW tip and it was horror, wind from the ENE and the waves from the North, it must be what monohull sailors endure on their way to having fun. The Persians were the first to move and with a good report from them we weren’t long after, ended up about a mile out to sea in 10 metres, much better.

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As the sun came up Pete, who I am sure is a campaigner for 60 the new 50, was on the blower, get up and lets bugger off, so we did.

The 12 knot breeze was at 30 to 40 degrees so put up the main and then the headsail and powered off for what was to be an unreal couple of hour sail.

The wind picked up, getting to 27knots in a gust, we had full main and jib up and flying along, Pete joking said it looked like we were flying a hull, it felt so good, Boomerang was pressured right up, we hit 8.7kns on really nice flat water at 40 to 50 degrees, best sail for ages, I was buzzing, felt like getting on the piss but waited, not really sure why. We headed around to the NW of Koh Phayam to a bay The Persians had stayed in previously.

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It is just like paradise, my god. Party time. Could be stuck here for a while, horror.

I now have to mention who took some of the photos, thanks Jen your a hot photographer.

 

Smile at everyone and sooner or later you will get one back.

9th January 2015.

Well a pretty easy week this one has been, I suppose if you include the genet shitting itself, constant 20 to 30 knot winds, anchoring on top of some FADS, almost getting into a blew with a dickhead kamikaze jet ski gaylord, countless rings of fire, and filling the cockpit with diesel, it may seem as though some action went down.

Saturday night we were pretty keen on watching Fargo the series, which we had started watching the night before. Started up the genet and then smelt the old, someone’s let the smoke out smell you get when something electrical has cracked the sads. Race back up the front to shut it down but it beat me too it.

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Uumm, where to start, first in with the torch and straight away I find the culprit, a lug has parted from the wire that used to be apart of it, fix that and go for start, the lift pump worked and away it went, for about 10 seconds, then that smell again, lots of swearing, eventually coming to the conclusion that there will be no Fargo tonight.

I then thought about bypassing the lift pump on the genet and just using the one in the bilge, so go down and suss it all out but now that pump doesn’t work either, the thick is definitely plottening, the only new addition is the fuel filter I replaced about a fortnight ago, the 1 micron one I bought from Multi Quip, I had a 30 micron in my hand but I thought 1 micron would somehow be better. It was now midnight, Jen’s sick of the swearing and gone to bed and I raised my hands to the sky and gave up.

Next morning we left Investigator II to head around the corner into Nai Harn Bay where the wind and waves were non existent and got to replacing the brand new rm120 filter with another brand new one and to stripping down the pump to see if there is a remedy, I had to drain the diesel into an old vinegar bottle which is nice and flexible as it has to fit into the most crap location for a filter to be installed, looks like the filter goes here because that is all the hose we have, horror, anyway didn’t spill a drop so pretty happy with myself, I took it out the back and stuck it on the table, about a litre and a half, There was a discussion on where it should be put but I wanted to clean a few tools that are just going a bit rusty, pliers, sideys and the like and also as the Sandys were coming over later and Dave might need some also, so it stayed on the table where it could be left to rest.

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We went to shore and tied up at the dinghy jetty, we were charged 300 baht, which is redeemable upstairs at the Phuket Yacht Club bar and café, good little venture. It is good to have someone look after your boat and it is good to not have to drag it up a beach or tie it off the back of a longtail. We went for a walk down to the beach, nice little spot, heaps of people everywhere although most don’t answer my constant howdy’s and hello’s in fact they don’t even smile, Checked me thongs and made sure I hadn’t trod in dog shit but no I hadn’t, oh well no point worrying about it too much. We found a nice little restaurant with big umbrellas over the tables and sat down for a feast. Ordered our staple, pork fried rice, top man goong and of course larb moo with a bowl of chopped chilli’s.

Jen went the chilled coconut, I went the Kimberley cool king brown of Leo, just got to pretty much skull it, the waitress had me over a barrel because I didn’t ask for a nik noi beer, which is small.

While we were waiting for our food this bloke comes walking along in bright yella duds that looked like the ones Moagli wore in Jungle Book, I know its rude to laugh at people but this was unbelievable, it wasn’t as though he was being made to wear them he had obviously chosen them for himself, jesus wept, just about pissed me pants, what a good belly laugh and just in time for lunch.

The food was excellent, the waitress was a beauty, which made lunch even better. Then along comes this bloke and his missus and sits at the table next to us, his wife got the sunny spot which I guess is fair, I would have offered the shade but instead he tells the waitress to shift our umbrella over to his table, I had to be decisive and authoritative and quick, it came out as, “not a chance mate,” he stared at me, I stared back, he looked at his missus stuck in the sun then looked back at me staring back at him, he then grunted and they got up and moved inside. Phew my first stand off with a Rusky, then it come to me, we were surrounded by them, it was little Russia, I am not sure but maybe they haven’t got anything to smile about, poor buggers.

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We went up to the Yacht club for a beer and to take in the view, great spot with really friendly staff. They serve toasted sangers, crepes and coffee as well. The Sandy’s came around the headland and anchored up near us so we headed back to Boomerang with the thought of a few beers and wines on our minds.

Back at the boat I had a message from Leo saying Larry was in the Gold Coast and could pick up the parts we need for the genset. Got onto Aidan from Marine Energy Systems in Brisbane, The Westerbeke man for the southern hemisphere and Asia I think, on a Sunday, he is dedicated, promised to get me a quote the next morning and that everything was on the shelf, grinning like a dead fox. Time for beers.

The Sandys came across and we made ourselves comfy and enjoyed the afternoon watching the sun go down. It was around this time we saw a very big cruise liner, The Costa Victoria, go past heading South, a fair way out to sea.

About 20 minutes later I saw what looked like the wake off a boat approaching us, it looked not to menacing but as it got closer I realised it was going to hit us at 90 degrees and they now looked to be sizable, then in no time at all it hit, rocking the boat mercilessly which then started to make things fly around the kitchen, our last middy glass from the deck became a victim, and then of course the old vinegar bottle with one and a half litres of diesel started to slide backwards and forwards across the table, I watched stuck to the spot as on its third shuffle it toppled off the table, escaping Jens finger tips by a bees dick, then it just cascaded down and splashed all over the teak and our feet. You would think that this would have bought the party to a finish but in true yachty form we got a bucket of water and some truck wash and washed it down then went back to the beers. A job for tomorrow. Jen had the last word, “told you to put it away”; looks like the pliers and sideys will just get rustier.

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The Sandys took off to KL to do a visa run and should be back for Fay’s birthday, it is now Saturday and they aren’t back and it’s birthday girls day tomorrow, we’ll see. Should send them the same message they sent us, “Shit Rodney its worse in Sumatra, git your sorry arses here now.”

Anyway next day out with the Sika teak cleaner, followed by the Sika Teak whitener and then a couple of coats of, you guessed it, Sika teak oil, it looks ok, that’s all I am going to say.

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Moved on up to Patong Bay again to say seeya to Jasmine and anchored up near Hubert on the North end of the bay. Put out eighty metres of chain in six metres of water so we shouldn’t be going anywhere, although it is constantly blowing 20 to 30 knots, then came along our next dilemma, we had back onto some fishing FAD’s which I only saw by pure chance, they were just under three metres from the surface at full tide which made them one metre below the surface at low tide, spewing as it was now falling and it was blowing its tits off. We managed to suck in fifteen metres and just left it there, it’s a bit daunting looking out the back seeing three dark spots in the water behind you but I was just not pulling that perfectly set anchor up for some sticks in the ground. We tried fishing them but got nuthin.

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One good thing with the wind means no jet skis, they are worse than apprentices, you have no idea. I have told so many of them to truck off it is not funny, one of them came along side the boat flat out and about a metre away, wanker, I have now got a line with a descent sinker and hook on it so if they come near me I go fishing. We were pulling the anchor up to come up to Nai Yang and this stupid prick with his little kid on board crosses straight in front of us, need some ball bearings and get the ging into action.

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We had a couple of feeds in Patong, frequented my favourite bar, The Seaview Bar, said hello to the girls, did our washing at 50baht a kilo and stocked up a bit at the Big C, sort of like Costco. Huge shopping centre just off Bangalore Road. Still haven’t got down there at night, will have to do it sooner or later.

After an excellent motor-sail with the jib up and starboard motor running to help charge the batteries, seven knots the whole way, we hit the markets at Nai Yang and stocked up on prawns and pork mince, a few veges but we still have a couple more markets before we leave. I have never seen tripe so white, almost tempted to get a kilo not.

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The prawns were very impressive, the smaller farmed ones were still alive, we tried some medium sized ones last time we were here and they were fine, good texture and tasted like prawn so not to bothered if they are farmed or wild caught. They farm them in the ocean not in ponds like in Langkawi.

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We have met up with Peter and Penny on Persian Sands, another Perry 43 and Western Australians to boot, they are good value and love a beer or vodka at the right time of the day, which of course is anytime. Their daughter is mates with one of our good old mates, Sue who has graced the pages of our blog before, how’s that for a small world. It is good to come across good people, they were on the hardstand next to Hubert for a couple of months as well.

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We went to a small restaurant with them last night, which had pretty good food, the hottest larb moo yet, tomorrow it is going to burn, oh yeah. Penny tied a band members shoe laces before he could trip over them, he washed smashed crab, Pen should have tied them together for a laugh.    I saw what seemed to be a smiling Russian, I went up to him and asked where he was from, he looked at me and started to say no English but then half way through he replied Russia, I introduced myself and shook his hand and explained how he was the first happy looking Russian I had ever seen. This made him and his wife smile even wider and he thanked me, how cool is that.

Couldn’t venture to far from Boomerang until late morning, had the stomach cramps, sweats and squirts big time, that larb was spicy, but with a couple of hours to high tide the airport reef started to break, not real big but got a couple of hours SUPing in, great fun, only one out getting a rest every now again then in they would come again, good style session, nose riding with a sole arch and even a few sort of drop knee cut ties, frothing sick is what I call it.

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The old bay is filling up, with boats coming in all day, Jocko from Telaga arrived, and this afternoon so did the Muscats. Last seen a few months ago leaving Telaga.

We took Jocko out for late lunch to Heng Heng Restaurant, which he seemed to enjoy, when the bill came he was even more surprised, 400baht for two larb moo’s, two pork fried rices, a huge bowl of seaweed soup which tasted more like celery and a couple of waters. Reckon we have found a hidden treasure, the people running the show all know us now and we seem to have moved up the pecking order a bit, with smiles all round. Most of the food down the beach although still cheap to us is double what it costs at The Heng Heng. The beer in our local bar is 30baht a can of Leo, dingin.

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Also did the market thing but a bit hard to get to much as our batteries are not in the best shape without a charge from the battery charger, they have been relying on wind and sun, which pretty much just about covers our 24-hour usage, but not quite, so after a week they are down to half charged. You find out what parts of your electrical system are not up to scratch pretty quickly when some part of it fails and you need the other bits to work. So the solar panels have had their day, now looking for some fandangled new ones with a bit more grunt. Larry gets here in an hour with our genset parts. Probably get stuck into it when I get back but could just as easily end up in Bangalore Road with Larry, we shall see.

The genset won, Wit, our yuk yuk driver, dropped me off at the airport and waited so back to the boat it was with all the bits, even ended up with three new scuppers from Bryan, prepped the new pump with its fittings and mounting bracket, changed all the filters, primed with the new manual system I have now installed and hey presto she is a goer. Didn’t even have to bleed it, yew yew Westerbeke. You bloody beauty. Northern Thailand here we come.

One last thing of mention, the Jo Nesbo book, The Son, is a ripper. Seeya I’m going SUPing.

 

 

 

 

Waves in Thailand, be buggered.

2nd December 2015.

Happy New Year.

That was a big one, crackers for three hours solid, it almost got boring but not quite. Sorry Tommo and Jeff I will wash my mouth out.

We left Koh Adang on Boxing Day at 0500 headed for Phuket. Things started out dodgy with me doing go to curser but placing the curser on Koh Lanta instead of Phuket, so we were heading hard onto the breeze for the first hour, when the sun came up and I found my glasses I saw my mistake and we could bear away 40 degrees so up with the sails and away we went. Bit of a washing machine ride but we sat on 6 knots most of the day, hardly any boats seen, just a couple of fishing boats and one yacht which coincided with one of the fishing boats so a course change had to be made. Once made we could not make the height we were enjoying, don’t know what happened there but it seemed to come on the nose as we all crossed.

Down with the sails and on with the Yanmah’s for a bit, current against us as well. I was starting to rue leaving port on a Friday but we had waited four days for this window so it had to be done.

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Later on in the afternoon it went cold and a bloody big storm hit us from no where, all of a sudden 30kns but at 90 degrees, then it pissed down, then you could see nothing, I went forward and removed the shade cloth from the windows so we could at least see 50 metres ahead, drenched through in 10 seconds, just before the storm I noticed a fishing boat to port heading our way but a bit North as well, who knows where it was now, the radar was just a purple haze all round. In the end the rain passed, the fishing boat passed ahead of us and we had 20kns of East wind and up with the sails then doing 8 knots plus. We were never going to make Phuket before sundown but there are a couple of islands just South, one of which is Koh Racha Yai, I think Yai is North and Noi is South, has a pretty protected anchorage so it seemed our best bet, we rounded the bottom of the island as the sun went down and had to find out way into the anchorage in the dark. Not so easy, the place was chockers with three super yachts, a dozen cats, a few mono’s and a few fishing boats chucked in to make up the numbers. We found a space and dropped anchor only to have it drag so a bit further in and try again, 15 metres deep and a pretty shaley bottom by the sound of it, but when the anchor grabbed it grabbed and we let out 50 metres which had us pretty close to a big old wooden restaurant boat but it all ended up cool with no problems during the night albeit a restless one.

We were up and gone by 0800 and had a nice sail to Ao Chalong where the customs and immigration offices are out on the end of a dirty great pier. The Sandy’s told us just to drop anchor out the front of the pier so we did, nice and close to the buildings. The place is pretty shabby at water level with bits of floating concrete just tied together with ropes and the gangway was falling to bits, someone had warned us that you need to walk on the screws as at least there is something under them. Well the screws had all fallen out but you could see where they used to be.

The process of clearing in was pretty harmless, plus we had our two-month extendable for another two months tourist visa already done so we were in and out in no time. They are all really good people to deal with. We just need to be out of Thailand by the 24th February and back in by the 28th to start the second entry on the visa. Quick trip to KL probably, be able to stock up on the meat from KLIA2 grocers.

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We have been getting harassed by Fay from Sandy and she reckons if we don’t get our arses up to Nai Yang Bay she’s going to give me a flogging, something to look forward too anyway. She calls me Rodney so I call her Shirl, she even sounds a bit like you mum and that look geez it takes me back to when I was fully in the shit when I was a ratbag kid.                                                             “RODNEY WHAT ARE YOU DOING NOW.” lol.

Upped anchor at 1100 and set out for Nai Yang Bay, about 25nm North on the West Coast. It was a beautiful day and with 10 to 15 knots on and off all the way we cruised on up there. Heaps of fishing nets but they weight them at both ends here so only hitting the flags or buoys is a problem.

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1630 had us in the bay, anchored up and knocking back a few beers. The talk was that there would be waves tomorrow, unbelievable, so we just had a few with the Sandy’s, didn’t really get my flogging which was a tad disappointing, but great to see these guys again. The Bonnies were also there as was Southerley II from Fremantle Sailing Club. The last time we saw them was in Benoa, Bali, after the Freo to Bali Race, they were the support team for it.

It was a ripper night, slight breeze and nice and cool so a good sleep was had, then up at sparrows for a paddle. Found a little wave and had some fun with it, bit shaky to start with, then got high sided and had to do the starfish into a foot of water, hit the bottom big time, all really hard old coral, not much blood but sore.

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Fay paddled over on her new SUP to join me and we had a yack in between waves then back to the boat fairly rooted. Felt good.

Jen and I went for a walk looking for internet sim top up, fruitless effort, but found a really good Thai restaurant, Heng Heng, excellent larb moo and sweet and sour pork.

By the time I got back to the boat Dave was out surfing and it was going off, two to three foot and the waves just go and go, filthy. On the SUP it was so much fun and pretty well surfed until the sun went down. Frothing sick.

Had a quiety to be ready for the next days surf but sadly it was heaps smaller so just got a few on the edge of the reef that broke for a bit.

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We all hit the Heng Heng for lunch, larb moo times two and a Thai stuffed omlette, better than yesterday. Got a new dtac sim for the iPhone but no modem sims here, just got to hot spot the phone, it is 4G which I have never even heard of, bloody fast. Got 6GB for as long as I want for 699thb, which is now about $30.00, Tony Abbot and your dickhead mate Hocking thanks for nothing, tossers.

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Got onto a couple of battery suppliers as our port engine battery has finally shit the tin, it was installed in 2008 so can’t complain can you? We hit the street markets, unreal, great veges and we even bought some prawns, haven’t seen a good prawn for ages, these were filthy. They seem to have really caught on to cooking things with sticks, we might have started something.

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One quote came in at 15000thb, thieving prick, ended up paying 3800thb plus 1000thb in tuk tuk fares, forgot to buy clamps, flogger. All went together well and she’s a beaut now, pain in the arse turning isolators off and on or forgetting they are on and flat starting batteries next day.

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We moved on down to Patong Bay just before lunch. Full main and headsail had us sitting on 7 to 8.5 knots all the way with the Sandy’s chasing us down. A couple of gusts of 27kns came through but nothing to get to worried about. A cruise liner was parked out the front of the bay. We found Hubert and Jasmine on Investigator anchored up front and centre to the tallest building on the beach so we did much the same and same with the Sandy’s. Dave and I went ashore for a few beers, funny little sesh, being propositioned by a few hotties, had to reply, “I don’t think my wife will be too happy” to which they replied “ we keep secret,” only in Thailand.

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Ended up have some Topman Goong, filthy, and a fair few beers, almost messy with a big night to come. Late arvo nannery then the girls wanted to go get some food so back in we went, it is easy to tie the boat up to the long tail stern lines down near the jetty, getting busy now 2000 with a real buzz about the place.

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Got back to the boats and we all hit The Investigator for our NYE partying. It was hooting with the fireworks starting slowly at 2200 then picking up the pace at 2300 then full-blown bombardment from midnight to 0130, it just went off. Once the real ones finished then it was up to everyone to add to the scene till the sun comes up, you could by a four inch rocket which was a two shot for 600thb, about $25.00. Fun for all the family. The whole night long those bloody lanterns landed around us, no direct hits to any of our boats but one landed about ten foot in front of where we were sitting up on the tramps on Investigator.IMG_1874

The wind picked up in the morning to 25 to 30 knots, it may be a bit bumpy but at least the hordes aren’t flying around on jet ski’s. Had to get stuck into a couple who kept buzzing us, reckon fishing rod with a great big squid jig next time. They are like kamikaze pilots, just go flat out until they come off or their poor girlfriend sitting on the back, who is absolutely shitting herself, screams, enough you idiot. One couple went splat right next to Sandy, we all watched it happen, laughed our guts out, the poor girl couldn’t even get back on she was so rooted. How no one gets killed has got me stuffed.

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We spent a late arvo with the jet skis, early night and up early to bugger off to Nui Bay, another 10nm south. Hubert rang and give us the thumbs up for space as it is only a three or four boat bay. We left Patong in almost gale conditions, got the headsail up and motorsailed at 8 knots making water down to Nui, which once we arrived is a beautiful bay with no fetch. Bit of swell rolling through which makes for interesting landings and departures on the beach, it is a really steep beach and it makes the waves look quite menacing.

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Leo off of Matrix, last seen at Bay of Plenty, met us there so was great catching up with him. He and Larry are chartering Matrix out up here.

We had a few beers, a really nice lunch and then we had to face the shore break back out. Patience is the name of the game and eventually we got a break, Jen went first using the backwash to push her out the back of the dumpers then with the help of the excellent lifeguard boys, I paddled the ski out through to pick Jen up, piece of piss.

Had a dive, not much good, too much movement to see anything but a good workout that’s for sure. Burnt up the bacon and eggs and now there is room for my favourite, BEER, come on midday.

It was sad last night as the last of the Laphroig was quaffed. No real frog episodes this time, that stuff can belt you. 49% proof.

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Our new additions to Boomerang are all working well, the new shade cover over the outdoor area is a bargain and the new BBQ plate for the gas burner thingo, that dad made us, works a treat with a couple of feeds off it so far.

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Been hammering the books, Lee Childs’s new one, Personal, is ok, Mo Hayder’s: Wolf is excellent, Ian Rankin’s: Fleshmarket Close is really good and Michael Connelley’s: The Burning Room is a ripper. Just started on the new Jo Nesbo book called The Son, which is hard to put down. Only got a couple of new books left, horror, I might have to join the millions and get them online with iBook’s or something, can’t see it being the same, how do you fold the corners on an iPad?