Not enough hours in a week.

24th October 2014.

Brian and I had a beauty, the girls dropped out after Scarborough’s so we headed for Raffi’s, then Champor Champor, then Drifters and ended up playing poker into the wee hours. We had one good win that boosted our rm100 bank, so we lasted a fair while although a local bloke by the name of Kumar was doing all the work. Without my glasses I could make out it was a picture but of what, who knows, good to be able to blame it on something. It ended up a slow drive home. The car was found unlocked and the windows down, buggered if we know how that happened. Same car that got lost at the airport, you got to wonder.

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Have been trying to get my Gopro happening, it is a saga which just never seems to come good, a job for Alex our computer man when we get home. Tried using Brian’s lead and it works so my brand new lead is rooted and do you reckon it would be hard to load the app on the new MacBook, IT SHOULDN’T BE SO HARD.

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Brian and Lyn left for Thailand, it was as always, great fun hanging around with them, will hopefully meet them in Koh Lipe, Thailand, in November.

I mentioned the Sandys in an earlier post, well this is a crack up, we had the Muscat’s leave Telaga heading for Phuket, the Sandy’s were bought up, I thought they were already back in Sumatra, but that very afternoon they passed by the Muscat’s and as I woke up from my nanna nap, need at least one every day, I looked out my window and here is Sandy parking up at the jetty. Couldn’t believe it, bolted upstairs and out to say giddy, Fay saw me and went, oh shit, in a friendly way as only she can do. David parked Sandy up, big catamaran, and we helped with the ropes. This place is like bloody Hay Street, never a dull moment.

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Next to arrive in town that afternoon was Keith and Joe, up for a fortnight, staying on their boat so we are getting a bit of a gang happening, poor liver, although the new 1700 start time is pretty good.

Keith and Cath had done some excellent things for their arrival back, their canopy had a set of eyes in the window slots, looked unreal, their boat is also known amongst us as the burka boat and a pair of Keith’s brown shorts were up the mast, it was later found that they were not the good old favourites, which Keith found in his cupboard and wore for the rest of his holiday. Nice brown ones.

We had an excellent night at drifters on Monday, bought our own crowd, Brian and Lyn, The Mobbs’s, Keith and Cath, the Sandys and the locals, the music was good, Jonno and Lan seem to be polishing their act up nicely and Keith even played and sang a couple of songs.

I got hammered by Terry’s ex about smoking, she wouldn’t stop, on and on and on, felt like drowning the bitch, could have ruined a good night but guess what, apart from a few cigars, being covered in patches, chewing Nicorete gum I haven’t had a ciggy for weeks so I guess thanks for that, I couldn’t stand copping that again.

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We also had the Langkawi Mountain Bike Challenge that week and Telaga was the place to be with a couple of stages being ridden around the marina, local beach and the jungle. These guys are fit, skinny and pretty serious, it was about the fiftieth person who came past us that gave the first smile, bloody Kiwi too. We did the usual, stood around having a ciggy and this time even took the camera. Got some good shots and this smile is a winner.

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The difference between MTB and Iron Man competitors is huge, the mountain bikers are lithe but strong whereas the Ironmaners are built bigger and look a bit stronger but I think it is probably courses for horses. We got into a couple of local men, Kedah team, which is the province that includes Langkawi, the guy behind, copped go on catch him, get him and it just perked him up to get in front and beat his mate, it was good value.

The Sandy’s got their paperwork happening and got going to Sumatra, it was excellent catching up with them again and hope to be heading back to Sumatra with them in April 2015. They put so much fuel on the poor boat it was down in the water at the bows but they will need it. Apparently fuel has just gone up in Indonesia, still rm2.86 per litre from the marina. It is a bit difficult buying Diesel from the Petronus stations here now. They are not keen filling plastic jerry cans, the Baraq stations don’t seem to fussed.

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We had a hooting BBQ over on one of the islands with a couple of Gary’s, Keith and Joe. We set up the fire early and went over on dusk, then the sky turned black, then the wind came from the NE, then the wind dropped then it came from the SW and then it pissed off all together, we got half a dozen raindrops, all around got a drenching, you wouldn’t read about it, you would here I suppose.Had a great little Barbie and a few beers, nice out there. Even had to put the fire out.

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Another pretty good fish and chips, Raffis and Champor Champor preparing ourselves for the next adventure, four days in Thailand.

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Hit the shores of Satun, an hour ferry trip and you are there, cost rm23 each way each from Jetty Point in Kuah. A short tuktuk ride and we were at The Gleam Resort, Keith and Cath come here all the time when doing visa runs, excellent place, clean as and the rooms are unreal and for, 1200thb which is about $40 bucks a night I reckon a bargain. Converting to bart you divide by 10 to get to ringgits then divide by about 3 for AUD, easy.

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We all went bike riding on pushy’s to town, ended up in Ons Bar, as you do, and finally got to eat some Topman Goong, prawn patties which are Captain Mikes favourite, so filthy we ordered another plate full, you were right Mike, sensational. The street markets are just right in front of Ons and the food is a real step up from the Malaysian market food, have been waiting to get some Thai in me, bloody hot though. I knew it would be ring stinging next morning first taste but soldiered on. In the end all the food, a few hours drinking came to about $30.00 each. Good value.

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Riding the bikes is so easy as the place is dead flat, Jen had the old style girls bike, Keith and I got a MTB, Little Keith had the old banana seat model with T-bar gears and Cath and Joe had a couple of all sorts. We rode to The Big C, a shopping centre, then back with no great effort hardly getting a sweat up, Jen leading the way on her Mary Poppins model.IMG_1546

The food at the Gleam is good but the food on the streets is great, found a place that served up awesome pork larb, green mango salad and a plate of Topman Goong, not much point ordering rice as it just never comes, first time for that. We ended up eating there twice in one day, big joint on the way into town, you cant miss it. Very popular with buses and tours, forget what it was called.

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Our stay at the Gleam was so relaxing and sleeping in another bed was a treat especially with the AC set to 16 degrees C, all the blankets on and the TV going.

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The round golden thing on Jens fork is Topman Goong, then we have seafood green mango salad, noodles and the pork larb and back at the beginning raw fresh veges. It would be easy just to live on what you can see here.                                       Good wet markets, fresh fruit and veges and very friendly people. Also went on a motorbike ride to a beach, sore arse and not much of a beach, huge mangrove forest, no wonder they have a giant mud crab at the jetty, there must be heaps of them out there.

Returning to Kuah we were met with a big rainstorm and took us a couple of hours to get back to Telaga, pulling into places for cover every few k’s.

The Mobbs’s left after a big night and another great feed at Shin Mi. It has been great to see them as usual and now it could be time for the liver cleanse. Our toilet decided to shit itself. Our port main bilge pump did the same, both in the same area on the boat. Once I got into it I found the sump pump was not pumping thus filling the bilge every time we had a shower and brushing teeth. Whilst having a shave I heard a new noise, the splashing of water as it landed in water, found it, moisture had got into the connection to the sump box, new crimp and heat shrink and job done. We filled the toilet lines with vinegar and it didn’t take long for them to be bubbling away. I was hopeful that this was the end of it but after 24 hours I had a piss in it and it just about overflowed when I tried to dump it. Pulled the toilet to bits, lots of floss and black cotton, not much but something, reassembled it all and tried it out, a bit better but not like normal so stuck more vinegar down it. Next commissioning run was a failure, found hard white rock like stuff that had come away from the hoses and blocked the discharge, the vinegar did well. This is where I stuffed up big time, got Jen to push the button while I put the pipe in a bucket, it came out quicker and of a quantity not expected, so filled the bucket and then the bilge, not good especially as Jen had a surprise for me which I won’t bring up, although I almost bought up me lunch. Jens turn to clean the bilge. In the end I stripped the dunny down again, this time getting to the delivery side impeller and what do you reckon, yeeha it is rooted. The Mobbs’s were with K&C in Kuah, got them to drop into Multi-Quip and pick up a newy, then installed it and hey presto it is now a fully functioning dunny again.

Some people ask what we do all day, not much normally but then a problem comes along and boy can they sometimes go from a rock to a bloody big boondy in no time at all.

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Had some bad news from home, Cala’s dad Mario passed away, he was an excellent bloke and pretty much my Augusta dad, you could always get a beer at Barbara and Mario’s, sit around and be entertained by his antics, loved a bet especially when his footy team, West Coast Eagles were going good. Our $200 bet when backwards and forewards for four seasons with me coming out on top. Eating olives out the bucket and drinking home brew up in the shed listening to his jokes was about as much fun as the body can take, he would laugh his way through the whole joke and slap his side when he delivered the catch line, then repeat it a few times to make sure you got it, getting more and more animated, he would even have tears rolling down his cheeks, it was good for the soul. You are going to be sorely missed mate. To the whole Clabrese family, our hearts are with you.

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I checked for flights, being in Langkawi with the airport just down the hill was a bonus and without to much trouble I am heading home on Air Asia for a few days. Just after I booked it I got a message from Muzz in Geraldton letting us know his dad had also passed away, this put me on my arse, just grabbed a beer and went and sat up the front for a while, two excellent people in a couple of days. The flight was booked so couldn’t change it and couldn’t get in touch with Muzz so just hoped both funerals would be close.

I used to go around John and Beth’s and sit in the shed where he would show me how to splice all sorts of ropes, he knew them all, we would have a few beers, Beth would join us and we would talk about all sorts of stuff. We made mooring lines for Boomerang all with eyes spliced into them, all splices up to Johns high standard otherwise pull it apart and start again, it was a good craft to learn and he was a pretty bloody good teacher.

So left Langkawi at 2010, for the first time I got to fill in the Australian Immigration card with Empolyment- retired, although Mo reckons it should be retard. Arrived at Perth airport 0545, Dad picked me up and off to Augusta and the Karridale cemetery for Mario’s service. Said to him as we were walking in, don’t you bloody make it three. A very sad day, lots of balling but Cala and Emma got through their parts and we all said good bye to our mate. Barbara looked great and you could sense a strength in her I had not really noticed before. It was a great turn out. We had a big wake at the Augusta bowls club and then back to Cala’s for more, big bonfire and then bed, slept like a log. Had a good time with Dad, your turn next trip mum. Had a look at our house, looks fine but forgot to get the mail, dickhead.

Next day heading back to Perth Muzz got in touch, Johns funeral tomorrow, so out to the airport first thing next morning, then up to Gero, Mellissa picked me up and back to the house. John’s funeral was in the afternoon so had a few hours to go and see the cousins, not much luck there, but caught up with Uncle Mal whilst looking for Leigh. Good to see him and we were entertained by the dog chasing dragon flies around the pool, in the pool and on the pool.

John had the crematorium packed, Muzz did well and so did Beth and the rest of the family. One of John’s old mates from the wharf spoke of their life as waterside workers, a very entertaining and thoughtful uligy.                                     Another sad day but John had been pretty crook for a while after he had a stroke so perhaps he is in a better place. Once again guys our hearts are with all of you.

Flew home at 1810, my mate Bill picked me up on his BMW 1600cc motorbike and gave me a good dink home, powerful piece of technology, awesome. In Gero I had been driving around in Mellisa’s Cooper S so got a pretty good dose of bogan for the day.

Dinner was waiting at Jan’s, Mark, Brownie and Leanne rolled up and a few ales and wines were had. Alex the computer wiz got the Gopro software sussed, fixed Mo’s computer, and sort of fixed my emails but it was a bit hard as I have forgotten the password for my iCloud account. Don’t ever do that as it is like your MMSI number, you only get one chance. Mo came home from work at midnight and we all crashed, Mo and I having to be at the airport at around 0430. just about had enough of planes, looking forward to getting back home and having a good sleep in. She got me to the airport on time, great seeing you mate, thanks for taxiing me around. Thanks Jan for the help with the share trading account and the food, roast lamb was a winner.

Made the plane easily and here I sit tapping away down here in cattle class, even so it is better than the seat I had on the way down. There must be a good movie on as three blokes are just pissing themselves, really loud laughter, they have got everyone grinning, just what the doctor ordered.

Getting to know the ins and outs of KLIA2, it is a huge airport, I know where Burger King is, last whopper for a while I guess.Today we arrived at Q4 and had to walk to J13, it only goes to J22 so pretty much traversed the whole new airport, I reckon it is a ploy to make Malaysians thin. Got an hours kip in some lounge chairs, jumped on the plane and rode the bike home, a few beers and wines and goodnight she wrote.

The Ockwell Vacation.

2nd October 2014.

Drifters went off, we had Jonno and Lan followed by some young bloke by the name of Jaxon, then some chick, then Paul the pie man who sang an old Lobo song I haven’t heard since I was a kid, Baby I love you to want me, and then Jonno and Lan finished it up. The place was packed and it was a wobbly old ride home.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We had to get our arses into gear getting the boat ready for a week of circumnavigation, be it only Langkawi, but we got there. Kazza and Muz rolled up at 1900 on Tuesday night then back to the boat for beers, bourbons, rums, vodkas and Malibu’s, Keith and Cath joined us and a pretty good party ensued, then up at 0745 and gone by 0815 headed for Datai Bay, the NW tip of Langkawi.

We have had a change of roles, Muz is Skipper and I am Gilligan which is a role that as you would expect I find easy to play.IMG_1313

Anchored up in seven metres and went for a paddle board, then Kazza had a go, she got the swing of it pretty quick, next time we will let her go, we had the leg rope still connected to the handrail.

I took her for a snorkel over on a reef we found last year, the Nemo’s have taken over, it is unreal, there is one lump of coral with at least twenty Nemo’s living on it in close proximity to each other, I have seen heaps of Nemo’s but nothing like this.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Once we were back at the boat Kazza dropped the bombshell, “that was the first time she had ever snorkeled”, couldn’t believe it. She loved it so what a bargain.

Muz and I went over later and Kazza came back as well, while we were feeding the fish bread and crushed up sea urchins all of a sudden the water just silted up to a point that you could see nothing, bit of a spin out, it was like some thing huge had stirred up all the bottom, we later found it was a current that just happened to start while we were there. Kazza just swam to the boat unfazed, Muz and I were thinking big bitey things.IMG_1343

We had an impressive dinner, steamed corn on the cob with butter, salt and pepper, followed by Kailan and oyster sauce with premo Western Australian steaks that melted in your mouth. It is so good to get something that you can’t get easily and that you miss, the guys bought heaps with them and a couple of lamb roasts. Perfect guests.

Next morning we hit the Andaman Resort for breakfast, this is good value eating, they have champagne, good shit too, eggs anyway, curry fish, smoked salmon, meat, toast and the good old favourite, baked beans, papaya, limes, pineapple, ah you name it, rm75 each which is a bit exxy but pretty good way to start the day. Didn’t need to eat for the rest of the day.IMG_1335

How’s this too, walking up the beach we passed a bloke and his missus, I looked back and then said to him, is your name Chook, to which he replied yes, geez we went to the same school, Wesley College, as each other, he was a couple of years older and when I was thinking about it a bit later, we even used to get off the bus at the same stop, pretty small world.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Pretty much upped anchor and buggered off and headed for Tanjung Rhu, with Muz in command, me cleaning anchor chain, pretty uneventful trip although we had to slow down for a storm to pass in front of us and then just drove in through the mouth, found our old spot and chucked the anchor back in.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The dinghy followed and off to Jen’s Hong but no way we could get in as the tide was to low so back to Captain Mikes beach and just wallowed in the shallows, sipping beers and wine doing it tough.

Back to the boat and out with the only remaining crab trap, it is getting pretty rusty now, took Muz for a spin up my creek and we set it, told him we might see a Mangrove Kingfisher, we did, probably going a bit fast to truly appreciate it but at least we got a glimpse, beautiful plumage, it is probably the same one as last year.

Set the pot at the successful spot from last year and went and picked the girls up for an entree over at the Thai floating restaurant, bloody panas, chilli hot, and the rice was yella, bit disappointing.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Kazza was in charge of dinner tonight, this is how she did it, Muz chopped the garlic, chilli and blended it with butter for her to spread onto the loaf of bread that he had cut up to make garlic bread. The loaf of bread was another thing we got from the Andaman along with a baggette and some ice, good value that place.

Kazza’s garlic bread was excellent, we followed this up with Sailors pies that are always guaranteed to please, not much left on any plates at the end.

Came across my fisherman mate from last year, Aseme, when we went up to say gidday he just sort of acknowledged us then he recognized me, big smiles all round, it was cool. Put in the order for one two kilo Golden Snapper, see how we go.

Fish and chips tomorrow, no Pantai Cenang though, shew, we look like we need to get going down the East coast on Saturday as the weather really turns nasty for a few days with winds up to 30kns from the WNW, same crap we came home from Sumatra in, we only have a few miles and we will be around the corner and in the lee of the island so not to bad.IMG_0013

Come across Asmin and Rocky, the crab fishermen, probably not the way you want to reacquaint, our anchor chain was across their net, Muz jumped aboard their boat to help, ended up cutting the net but they seemed unfazed, it was funny because as he was lying on one side of the boat pulling on the net Rocky was leaning over her side pulling on the net, she was not giving an inch but if she had just let it go Muz was onto it. I could see what was going on but they couldn’t understand me, even came out of it with eight crabs and a couple of big nippers off some poor crab who is now having a hard time eating anything. We through the female back, love doing that, they just don’t get that.IMG_0018

Friday fish and chips was good fun and by the time we got back to the boat it was time to pull the crab pot, no joy, reckon we got the last mud crab last year.

Saturday had the wind up to 15kns and pretty crap seas so we got going and headed for Hole in the wall. Just before we left Aseme came over to the boat and sold us a bucket of squid for rm20, heaps of them, Muzz and I got a system worked out and we cleaned them all up in a tidy and methodical manner, the seat now has ink on it but that was when we were just starting, Muz went into eager beaver mode making pickled squid, and we had heaps left over for all sorts of different feeds.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We got the headsail up as we made our way south to Timun Island, a bit of a rarity, but gave us an extra knot and we with the tide we made really good time to our next anchorage in a bay on the east and north end of Timun Island. We passed a cat and a mono going the other way, when they entered the channel the tide well and truly smashed them. Pretty nice place, no hotels or shops, Jen thought there were, reckons she read it somewhere, dreaming.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

On investigation we found a waterfall and a pig on the beach, Muz thought monkey, I thought dog but ended up pig, it was oblivious of us until we started the engine, then it shit itself and bolted. The waterfall is nice too.

After a couple of nights we moved on to a bay just around the corner from Kuah Town, then into Royal Langkawi Yacht Club for a couple of nights, it blew its guts out so we stayed an extra night, had a hooting feed at Teo’s, drove to Chin Mi for tea one night, great duck, and went to watch Jonno and Lan which was good but it pissed down big time and flooded the place out. I was a bit worried about getting electrocuted after seeing how the place was wired, we found some high ground and set up there.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Driving back was loose, water everywhere, people crashing motorbikes but our car made it all the way without a hint of trouble. Speaking of the car, we hired a flash one called a Myvi, Malaysian made and I have got to tell you a pretty bloody good car. This one had done 85000kms and it still looked brand spankers, the interior was the same, impressive.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We got out of RLYC and headed for Rebak Island for the guys’s last night. On the way we went and said gidday to the guys on Sea Hog and dropped off Luke’s belated birthday present, fire crackers, then we motored for a few hours down the passage and around a couple of islands to our destination.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Then had the pleasure of meeting an old mate of ours, Abu, on A jetty. He is another one of these marina guys that are always smiling, knows what he is doing and does it well. He is married with seven kids, rooting king you could say. Muz did. He was pretty wrapped with the Wahoo fillets we gave him, sadly we didn’t have enough to feed his whole tribe but he was grinning all the same.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Rebak Island and the TAJ resort are known for their pool and it didn’t take long for us to be drinking beers sitting in the pool bar alongside a couple of Canadians. Big bald buggers and good fun as well. In fact most of the people there were good value, it is a place to relax and just wonder what the next drink will be, frozen Margaritas done Everest style are the best although they are followed closely by the spicy Bloody Mary.IMG_0013_2

Happy hour at the yachties bar came and went, as with dinner at the hard dock then the second happy hour at the main bar did the same. Slept like kings and queens.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

As the check out time for yachts is 1500 the last day started late but would have probably ended the same so we escaped with a couple of hostages, Aniko and Martin from Hungary, who just happened to be on Rebak for their honeymoon.IMG_0044

We set both sails and just plodded along towards Telaga, only 5 miles off, even pulled up and everyone jumped in for a cool down, then into Telaga and our possie.IMG_0051

The Breezies, Brian and Lyn, were there to meet us and leant us their car to get everyone back to the airport.IMG_0068

This was to prove a bit of a disaster as when they arrived at the airport Jen took control of the car, say no more, and parked it in the carpark. I had ridden the motorbike with Martin so we ended up with two vehicles that needed to be returned to Telaga. It didn’t matter too much as it soon became one as when we walked into the now chocker block carpark Jen went to press the button on the key so we could find it, but alas no buttons, my next question was where is it? Not sure. What colour is it? White I think, I thought grey but it ended up being silver, after a quick look around it was hopeless so we took the bike home. About 0400 I woke up and got Jen into gear and we went looking, the place was pretty empty by then and as we rode around the carpark all of a sudden one stood out, parked a bit pissed, unlocked and definitely the Breezies car. What can you say? Well now that we had found it we could laugh but still it will take a bit of living down.

So that was the end of our Ockwell Vacation 2014, Jen and Kazza talked for 165 hours, Muz and I just did what blokes do, it was pretty bloody hooting and you guys are welcome any time you please.

We now have the Breezies in town, I really was looking forward to giving my liver and other organs a bit of a rest but with Fish and chips tomorrow I reckon I have got buckleys.