Its a good life but some times it’s not right.

25th August 2015.

Farewell Fonz we are going to miss you.

Geez we usually look forward to getting internet and phone coverage but this time it sat us on our arses. Our good mate Les, Barrow Island name Fonzy, has been killed in a motorbike accident, horror.

I first met Fonz on Barrow Island in 1991, a bearded, cruisey sort of bloke who was interested in what you had to say and had only good things to say himself. The environment of Barrow Island was one of his loves, the way he got going when he talked about it, although in his low key manner, even Harry Butler could be upstaged.

On Barrow Fonz was often our photographer, he would find his way out to the spots and sit there in his truck or grader and film away. One epic time we had T-Trees going off, Robo and myself out, Fonz sitting on the roof of the grader getting some of the best Barrow footage I reckon that was ever taken. It was a perfect day, we all knew it. After I left Barrow I kept in touch with Fonz through the grapevine and for the last few years Fonz and Amanda and one of the times, Shantelle, came and sequested our tinny, the first two days was spent cleaning it, crab season was usually on so it more times than not stunk with the occasional missed crab or a chicken wing gone septic, I am sure that our dinghy loved Fonz, he even got new numbers put on it, the dodgy texta numbers were getting a bit hard to see. It was good to see it being used and appreciated, he and Amanda enjoyed Augusta, it can do that to you, not much happening but plenty of time and space to do it, but you need a boat.

Fonz loved bike riding on his Harley, he even shipped it to America and rode around the USA, he had some funny stories about that trip, one being chased by the most vicious dog on earth and others about how many people he met just because of the Western Australian number-plate on his bike. I am pretty sure that was only part of it, he was such a likable bloke, shit we are going to miss you mate.

Amanda and the girls please know we are thinking of you guys.

We left Padang and made it to Tabekat Bay just on dusk, anchored up and kicked back. Tim caught a sail fish on the way, 40 kgs, then released it, we got nothing, all our lines are rooted, they have all twisted up so will need to get that sorted. We made our way over to Tanahbala and hit monkeys straight up, got some waves, the first ones since we left, don’t know about the Mentawis, probably just not mentforme. Next day was bigger and a lot of fun and then it was off again, heading north, this time we went through the cut between the islands, it is not much shorter but it feels like it is, such a nice sail and cruise up the channel, anchored in a pond and slept like a beauty.

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We stopped at Sopika to say seeya to Mark and his boys but he wasn’t there, visa run, another thing we noticed that wasn’t there was the big Indo boat that was anchored up out the front of the surf camp, thin as the tide dropped it started to appear, about a foot of the bow broke the surface, the bloody thing sank, it is a big heavy prick of a thing, reckon it may become a reef.

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We hit Telos Town, had a feed at Warran Raza, topped up the phone and had a beer, Jen got a bit of stuff as well. Later that day the local fish market came to us, the snappers were so fresh and we got three for fifty thousand, cant go wrong there, had them filleted up in no time. Good feed.

Next morning we left for Nias, great current with us, got the headsail out and we sat on seven and a bit knots most of the way. We stuffed up, we crossed the Equator and didn’t even realize, dickheads, we missed out on having our last bottle of champers, now we will have to wait for next year to crack it. Although Kazza and Muzz are coming soon, chances are it will be scoffed probably on their first day.

We pulled up into Lagundri Bay, dropped anchor, had a few beers and carked it, swell tomoro.

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It picked up over night and out I went in the morning, first wave was ok, even though I dropped in on a bloke, the next one was a ripper, but four weeks of getting pissed, eating bacon and eggs for brekkie every day and bugger all surfing, had me way to late on the takeoff, got to my feet but just crashed and burned at the bottom, just about ripped me head off, then got the rag doll treatment, then wore the next one on the head. Paddled over to the boat feeling a bit like the Coyote after one of his many misadventures with TNT. Got me act together and went back out for a few more but called it quits once the wind came in, geez my neck is sore.

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Next day was Baileys birthday, we hit the local BBQ pork restaurant, bloody nice babi and juices. This is possibly the best pig I have eaten, the skin was like give me more, we had four serves.

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On the way back we stopped at a roadside fish market for a butchers, I opened the door and what do you reckon was hanging from a nail in front of me, five muddies, two good size but who gives a shit, a muddie is a muddie. Not much else took me fancy so off we went.

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We got back to Rahoul’s place, then went for a walk which wasn’t real long, made it to Uni’s place and once they all realized it was Baileys birthday it was dingin Bintang king browns all round. It was an excellent session, Uni actually met the first surfers to ever come to Lagundri Bay, they had wooden boards and were scared shitless of the locals and the locals were scared shitless of them too. These couple of blokes lived on bananas and coconuts for their stay, but surfed the place with style by the sounds of it. I asked Uni when this was but he could not remember a year, not that far back. It was a great story, he needs to get it down proper as it is local history.

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We went for a walk up the point and got hammered by the kids, I had been wondering where they had got to but once they saw Papa and Mumma walking towards them, with the birthday boy Bailey, who is a bit of a celebrity around here, it was on.

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I nullified the hoardes by letting a few know that there was a free feed and a drink and a book and a pencil if they were at the boat 0900 next morning for a bit of work, washing Boomerang. It turned into every kid was coming, they were frothing. Next morning the first guys swam out at 0800 and wanted jobs, got them starting at the top, they got to it in a flurry, had to get them to be a bit more subdued as I wanted some gel-coat left.

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By 0900 there were thirteen of the little buggers all going Pappa what job for me, papa want cloth, papa is this good, geez I looked at Jen and thought this is a bit to much like having apprentices running around out of control. They actually had a ball, parts of Boomerang I am sure got washed over and over but Dutchy and his mate gave the whole boat a covering in wash and wax and she is gleaming.

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I then had to take them surfing, another workout for poor old Pappa, they all wanted to go on the first run, then we went to Uni’s joint for Mie Goring and a drink. I handed over a bloody great jar of dinosaur eggs, bubble gum in the shape of eggs, these were a real hit, the smallest one in the pack was sitting sheepishly at the end, mouth shut which was unusual, asked him to open up, he had four eggs and a great big wad of gum stashed in there as well. At least he didn’t have to share them with the big guys. They ranged from seven to fourteen and they all swam or paddled out just to do something different, plus a good feed and that’s what they got, huge plates of mie goring vego and a drink. I also handed out some exercise books whilst we waited for food, had them drawing moons, stars, earth, Boomerang, their houses and of course waves. Tell you what it shut them up. They all pigged out and it was over, we said our goodbyes and they all shook my hand and that was that, they all went their way and a couple came and helped me do the dinghy. Then along come Lucinda, she wants to see Mumma, so Frapa, short for Frapachino and his brother Ary, called Harry Potter, had to come back out. These kids are unreal and I need to think of something good to bring next year that they can all get into, they all surf like demons so something down that line would work for them I am sure.

We left next morning, the surf was pretty good but I just needed a break and we headed around the SE corner and up the east coast to a spot we all anchored in when we first came to Nias from Sibolga.

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This place is good holding in six metres but this time we had a two metre swell running, spent all arvo wondering what happens if the swell picks up. They were ominous just coming at you, needless to say they didn’t break. We lucked in also with a fishing boat, he come past for a look and I yelled out if he had ikan, fish, he shook his head and held up two filthy udang, prawns, we bought the lot, cooked them up and scoffed the lot, best prawns I have had in Asia.

The night was spent up and down as the boat went up and down, at night with the full moon blazing away it was heaps more spooky as you could sort of see the swell coming but then it was on you, they were seventeen seconds apart, I counted heaps, so a good swell is happening.

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We left at 0600 and headed out into a stormy looking day, managed to dodge most of it and were anchored up seventy miles away at 1745. We actually got good wind for the last twenty mile, so made up a bit of time.

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I had Being Being under contract, fuel, paperwork and shopping, this is just after the fuel contract was finished, we amazingly achieved this all in one day and now we are ready to get going and at 0400 that’s us, well done crew and of course Beng Beng.