Big and Bad on the Bay Of Plenty.

3rd July 2015.

Happy birthday Teniele and Penny.

 Another week gone, that’s nine since we left, it is pretty amazing how quick they go by, although the moon is more noticeable, we are now in total full moon and if we were sailing it would be perfect, Ramahdam is half over, the full moon proves it, so hopefully our mates Danny and crew will have some fish and bugs for us soon. They haven’t been around since the beginning of Ramahdam.

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The Bay is pretty much deserted with only Investigator, The Sandy’s and us anchored up, Frederick and Rosie are clearing in, in Sibolga, we are waiting for the Persians to arrive, we had radio contact at 1900 tonight and they had ninety odd miles to go to Banda Aceh, blowing 25kns on the nose though, poor buggers, at least they are in a Perry 43 so you would feel confident with the boat.

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The waves have gone as well plus the wind is SE and just enough to stuff any chance of a surf. We have just about run out of veges, one cabbage left, got heaps of tinned stuff, a dozen eggs and plenty of meat. Had a hooting potato pie the other night, hit the spot nicely, used the powdered potato that we got from Sailors in Langkawi and pretty impressed. Hubert is in the same boat when it comes to food, although he was telling us about his sausage kebabs and his chicken kebabs today as we learnt how to play poker, sort of anyway. Old mate Ali keeps us with food on the table though, he is a beauty.

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Had a visit to the tree of knowledge and got a weather report, bit of a blow coming and you’d reckon some rain so looking forward to a bit of a drenching. Need some water in the creek system, bit dodgy washing clothes as they pong a bit from the water, which has a real sulphury smell to it.

There’s a turn up for the books, Imigrasi just paid us a visit, checking visa and stamps, all was good but just goes to show if you were doing the wrong thing they could catch you out anytime, not sure what would happen but I don’t want to find out.

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One of the local charter boats, captained by Aswin, has pulled up and with him are the same guys as last year, a couple of Germans Johannes and Jenns, good blokes and as they were going for a surf I went and got me board also, knew it was to shalla being low tide, dickhead, now got a couple of ripper cuts on my foot and knee, dickhead. Back to the boat for liberal splashing’s of the Chinese version of Betadine, Die Da Yao Jing, stings like buggery when you put it on a new cut but it dry’s them out in no time, the one on my knee wept for two days, not a good sign, even stayed out of the water as a result of it, but it came good just in time for my best session so far this season at Gunters. Could do no wrong for a few hours, got my best barrel, then got a bit of a pounding but got back to the boat frothing, siick. Had a few beers with the boys staying at the FSC, Zac, Des, Duck and Justin and recanted the day’s happenings, frothing. One of the boys that moved into the new section of the FSC came back with a suspected stonefish spike, but ended up being a hoax but better than actually getting spiked out here. Remembered Thomo’s at Dirk Hartog Island, he had to dunk his thumb, which looked like a bloody great sausage, into boiling salty water, bloody painful but he toughed it out and survived, this young fella squawked first go and then they added cold water to his bucket, I walked away in disgust and had another beer.

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The Bay has been devoid of Charter boats and if you wait till around 1100 all the guys from the camps are back in bed leaving the place deserted, perfect way to spend the middle part of your day, surfing and singing by yourself or with a couple of Germans, doing it tough.

We went to the opening of the new accommodation at the Floating Surf Camp, Dave and I pulled out the fireworks, Bailey supplied the speech and the coca cola, we the JD and voddie and with a bit of rope we tied down the 4” bomb, it went off, got to buy a few of them in Phuket next time we are there. Jesus wept, the noise was scary and the result was awesome with the sky above lighting up big time.

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It was a lay day next day, blurr.

Another big swell is coming, time to shift as the winds will have us facing in the wrong direction for the swells coming through into the anchorage, gets a bit rock and rolly, so we are up in Calm Bay again, like a millpond here.

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The Persians have arrived after a harrowing voyage, well done guys, and we celebrated their arrival with a good sundowner up at The Bahamas, which is what we call our old swimming hole now, a pretty apt likeness if you ask me.

Next day was Pen’s birthday, big lumpy waves and first out in the water for a bit then got bombed with the crowd, didn’t take much to get me back in the dinghy and out of there.

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We went down and said our goodbyes to the crew at the FSC and the boys, who ended up being rippers, well, really must have been rippers before they got there as they were rippers.

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1630 and it’s over to Persian Sands for an excellent evening of food and song, Frederick and his guitar were going off and everyone had a ball. We had chicken, bugs, fish and a huge bowl of salad, yews yews, it’s been a long time since we have even seen green veges, it was superb. Happy birthday Pen you are a pearler.

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Hubert and I ended up frogged, which also ended up with a few bruises and a pretty funny departure from Investigator into our dinghy, all done on hands and knees if you don’t mind, I certainly didn’t, bit sore now though. Look out Sibolga here we come, reckon even Blackie wanted to come too but bugger that, he bites.

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Bigger and Better in The Bay Of Plenty.

26th June 2015.

The swell is coming, you can just see it building from stuff all to about three foot and we’ve got the bay to ourselves, feels good sitting out there by yourself singing away happily just catching everything you want that comes through, when I got back to the boat Frederick was singing the same song over on Lara Pinta, Four Non Blondes, theres a bit in it about a REV-O-LUTION, stuffed if I know what it’s called, how’s that for a bit of dooodooodoodoo.

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Surfed the right with a young bloke, who is now called young fella, whenever he comes out, I have been helping him out, its cool cause he is no hassle and just likes a bit of a yack. He paddled into a beauty at Dindo’s yesterday, you should have seen his head when he got back out to the lineup, grinning like a dead fox, just about covers it.

The new swell brings people here just on a whim, hoping to get it, the new guys at the camp look like Thomo and Dogsy, found myself singing, “If your dads got no beard you’ve got two mums”, just another reason why you should listen to Tales from the Tinny, every Saturday morning on ABC Darwin. I am missing it big time.

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Normally we head up to Calm Bay for the phone and email but I have been going over to The Tree Of Knowledge lately, with unexpected results, internet, email and phone calls and no stuffing around, geez up the Bay you have to drive around in circles trying to get a bar, over at The Tree Of Knowledge it is three bars but if you stuff up and fall off, it’s gunna hurt. Saw today that the WA coast is getting some big waves along it, not sure if this is the same swell we are getting but it is very impressive.

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There are four charter boats here now so it is getting way to crowded, can hardly be bothered, the problem is the wind direction, it is coming out of the East which seriously cuts back the number of breaks available to surf, Lolok Point and the Dindo’s are perfect offshore but the rights are side shore and Treasures is onshore, so everyone is here, normally Treasures would have twenty plus guys out which keeps the crowd factor tolerable, reckon it might be time to move on.

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Yesterday I spent more time in the water than above it, three surfs, heaps of waves all at Dindo’s, three to five foot and pretty nice, went to look at perhaps going out to the right, bugger that, way to old for that shit, in other words I gayed out, still got all my skin on though.

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Had an excellent afternoon surf today, got my fifteen waves and called it quits, wines on Boomerang with Faezy while Hubert worked on Dave’s back, poor bugger was just about rooted but after a bit of the Hubert magic he is feeling much better. We have sussed out Hubert’s water maker problems, at least he can use it now even if the water is a bit high in salt, about a thousand PPM, good enough for showers and stuff. Also had a big win with the Sandy’s freezer, replaced the thermostat with a spare one Dave had stashed and winner winner chicken dinner, Dave reckons it is a different boat now. The creek has completely stopped running, no rain in two weeks, wish it would piss down but it just doesn’t even look like it. Wish the internet here would let me upload a movie Dave and Fay made one day while we were amusing ourselves at the creek, also got some sick footage of Bailey, Cheech and Chico at Gunters but just can’t get it to do its thing, got 3G and heaps of bars but you reckon the prick of a thing will work, not a frigging chance.

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Time for a change, out with the Byrne 6’6 and look out, first couple of waves were a bit dodgy but now it feels like the Nathan Rose with a bit more punch behind it, you seem to have more time to do stuff, loving it.

Actually looked in the mirror today, the crews was spewing, had to have a shave, at least my turtle has almost gone and I am catching stuff.

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Well the 6’6” and I weren’t quite up to five to six foot Gunters, what a flogging, just can’t get going quick enough on it, about a second late I reckon, at least everyone else was copping the same, geez, got bark missing and my confidence took a beating, after bouncing off the bottom it felt like I would be fine then another surge slammed me down again, horror, got to the surface and climbed aboard just in time to wear the next one on the head, just held onto that board for grim death, then popped up and just about got off the reef but copped the third, sort of starfished away from the board in about a foot of water and luckily just popped out the back, horror. Sat there for a bit and noticed another bloke in the same peril, he was on the second one and pretty well copped a similar dose to me, we both ended up sitting there, huffing, puffing and me atrial fribulating but alive so there you go, that will definitely scar me for a day or two. Took a fair bit of time to come good, even back at the boat I was all over the show, tell you, perhaps some things we do are pushing the envelope just a bit, but then again if I had have made it I probably would have had the same feelings just with a big bit of elation not horror.

Called Persian Sands at 1900hrs on frequency 8291.00 and what do you know we are now in contact via the airwaves. They are still in Telaga just getting everything sorted and should be on the road in a couple of days.

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It rained and blew its arse off this morning, first real Sumatra style blow but it didn’t last long, Keith on Surfmachine made two hundred litres of water, we didn’t get too much, couldn’t be stuffed ginning around in the wind and rain but at least our boat is all shiny again.

The last swell has gone, strongish SE winds so not much happening, the Bonnies left today, Hubert come over for a bit and we all did pretty much the usual, read and slept, BP 115/60, not doing it too hard you’d reckon.

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Bailey got back from Nias today, reckons he was a bit humbled down there, ten foot tubes with twenty foot faces will do that, bugger that, had a good little session with him, a corona and a couple of jacks, what more can you do for the milkman, he delivered us four litres of milk in the canoe, yeah. We got to pay Hubert back one but I am styling as I have become a coffee drinker now, we haven’t got enough limes for the old green tea and lime every morning, which is a bummer. The new accommodation at the camp is almost ready, they powered it up tonight, it is looking flash, big effort by the guys and of course the beautiful Goddy.

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Went to the tree of knowledge this morning also, good bars and even got a phone call off to the real estate, classic as Nadia answered and asked, “where are you?”, up a tree in the Banyaks,        “ Whats it like?”, beautiful, great waves, suns shining and sweating my arse off up here. Had to send a photo to show proof of the extent that us poor yachty’s go to make contact with you guys out in the real world.

Buoyweather reckons it is flat for almost a week, damn what are we going to do, dilligaf.

 

 

 

Big On The Bay Of Plenty.

2ND June 2015.

Back in the Bay of Plenty, although there aren’t many waves but there are plenty of people.

Sibolga was good fun, fair few hangovers and put on a few kilo’s, pork, pork and more pork will do that to ya, Papa’s bistik babi reined supreme, sweet and sour pork has always been a favourite of mine.

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Jazzie has left the Investigator II and headed back home to Austria, I reckon she had a ball but hard to tell as she doesn’t say much, I was meant to do a cook up of turmeric mangrove jack for her but Libra, sorry I should call him by his name tag, Dr Libra Christian, had other plans for us and we were taken to the Sari Laut Seafood Restaurant, what a feast, started with these black shells, kind of like an inch long spiral in some grey juice, not the most attractive dish, but once you get over that and suck the molusc out of it your mind is made up, filth. Each and every one of them has had the skinny end clipped somehow, this lets you suck it out. We then had garouper fried as we call Thai style, and a local favourite fish baked on a BBQ, steamed green veges, battered chumi chumi, baked prawns which although you had to peel them were very well cooked. Got me buggered why prawns in Asia come with shell on, it is heaps easier to shell them before you cook them, plus you have the burn factor for your fingers, who knows. It was an unreal feed though, one of the dipping sauces, which had an unknown condiment in it was hooting, don’t know what it was but geez it was the best sauce I have had in a while. Bit like kaffir lime leaves in a Thai curry, you have to have it or it just becomes an ordinary curry.

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Libra was like an excited kid, he loved taking us out, wouldn’t hear of us paying for tea, then took us home to meet his mum who had apples peeled and quartered for us to take back to the boat, after that it was down to the farmasi to collect all our gear, malaria test kits, active malaria pills, antibiotics and all sorts of other stuff. Libra drew us pictures and wrote out instructions for everything, he is definitely a good mate, we hope to repay him in kind next time we see him.

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Old Edy the tuk-tuk bloke from Mama’s is starting to get a bit greedy, caught him ripping us off, so he can get stuffed. Mama, although a bit pricey to use her jetty, at least looks after your boat and it is always there when you get back plus she is a beauty. Then you have Beng Beng, he is a ripper, if you need anything, taxi, fuel, a tour you name it he can do it. We had four hundred litres of diesel delivered to the boat and then pumped aboard for about a buck a litre, about thirty cents more than the petrol station but no sore back this time and as he says, Beng Beng not cheap, but at least you know the price and it doesn’t fluctuate from minute to minute. He took us up to the tunnels, where the main road to Medan is cut through the mountains, reminded me of a decline in an underground mine, it is big enough for the trucks to get through but only just. Further up the mountain is a monument and what used to be a flash hotel, pretty run down now.

We upped anchor on Sunday morning and headed for Pulau Karrang where we anchored up and just hung out for the arvo, had a good sleep so a night passage was possible, solo sailor and all, come 0200 I am trying to get Hubert’s attention to get him out of bed. It was a hooting moon and as we were travelling pretty much due west we would be following it down. One hour later Jen has joined me in whistling, yelling, using our horn thing, unbelievable, 0330, I have jumped in and swam over to Investigator II, stomped up the stairs and across the deck, finally got some action, bit of yelling from Hubert, who I reckon thought he was being boarded by pirates or something. Just told him to get up, then dived back in and swum the twenty odd metres back before he could get his hands on me. Bit spooky but it had to be done. We finally got going 0400 and had the moon for an hour or so and then it was pitch black till the sun come up. Motorsailed at 40 degrees in 12 knots of breeze all the way back to the Bay of Plenty and anchored up pretty much in the same spot as last time at 1500, pretty bloody good day if you ask me.

Surf has been nonexistent pretty much the whole week we were gone, everyone is a bit stir crazy, and they all bolted to other spots, guaranteed to bring the waves back on and it has been pretty good with a couple of pearler days. Had my best surf on the right yesterday, pretty well buzzing by the time I got back to the boat, got some beauties and lost no skin, doesn’t get much better than that. Captain Morgan and his mate the Frog reared their ugly heads later as we toasted Bondy, one of Western Australia’s finest, some think otherwise but winning the Auld Mug and bringing it to Freo is legendary, he was responsible for the best summer I have ever had, Oh that was party time, hard to top it. Cheers Bondy. RIP.

Killed the pig on some fish from a couple of young fishermen, 100000rup, couple of coral trout, and three checkerboard snapper and to seal the deal a cuttlefish chucked in. Eating like kings.

Went for a spin up into Calm Bay this morning to get some text messages sent and spotted a couple of coconuts in a short tree, got two of them with the paddle but the swell was battering the dinghy so I shot back and picked up Hubert and what follows just goes to show how lucky we are.

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We got back up to the bay and we were just seeing if the phone worked when all of a sudden coconuts started falling out of a tree right next to the short one I wanted to attack, we both focused on the tree, there was a big long tail swaying from up in the tree, we both went, must be a monkey, bloody big one too, put it this way my coconut hunting wasn’t going to happen, who knows what a big monkey would do to this white arsed farang, then a few fronds came down and as we were just staring in disbelief at the monkey a little bloke appeared and waved to us from about twenty metres up, we pissed ourselves. He was coming back down and I said stop and he did so I got a photo of him. The tail was his rope thingo for climbing up the tree, had us though. Ended up going in and flashing some cash and coming away with half a boat load, he even went up another tree and got me five hooting big young greenies, bargain. So loaded the dinghy up and we were just sitting in it checking old mate out up another tree when, crash and splash, a dirty great coconut tree fell over and landed about ten metres from us, then all the coconuts started floating and we just scooted around picking them up, easy as you like, now the boat is chockers with the bloody things, unbelievable. I had checked out getting a chainsaw in Sibolga to just chop a tree down but no need for that around here. Poor old Beng Beng couldn’t believe that we were going to chop down a coconut tree, I countered his argument with how well they look after the joint themselves, didn’t really get it though and nor did we get a chainsaw. Pretty lucky hey? Saved ourselves a hundred bucks.

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The Bay of Plenty is chockers, fourteen in one surf camp, four in another, then either Sereti, Southern Cross or Bohemia Baru roll up so there is another ten plus the four or five of us, the right sorts them out though, heaps of carnage on the reef, saw so many people yesterday stuck up on it with no real relief going in or back out, you are just going to be cut to ribbons which is not a good look, especially if you have only just arrived and your frothing.

Dindo’s turned it on today, good to be back to the safety of me old favourite wave, my arms are rooted, got so many waves, twelve people out but half of them were gaying out, bit like me on the right sometimes. Overheard this tosser going on about the reef and how shalla it was, geez it was high tide in the middle of springs, he didn’t last long, back to his room for some male action I reckon.

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Caught the biggest squid ever yesterday, it’s tube is 10mm thick, still bloody nice, we have had a couple of meals from it and still got half the tube and the flaps left, although I am coming round to not bothering with the flaps, chewy as. The new Thai jig is a winner, it just sends them off their heads, they don’t gin around or anything, just dart over and grab it and stuff it down their guts, you don’t really need to pull they do it to themselves, got to love them Thais. I would take a photo of one but then everyone would know, stuff that.

We have been back in the Bay for two weeks now and have spent some cash in the last few days, the freezer is chockers with fish, chumi chumi and lobster plus we have the dive bag hanging off the back with half a dozen crays in it, old mate Danny the fisherman came over and just for a look I checked out his catch, sitting on top were two three kilo filthy mangrove jacks, so we had to have those as well, cost like five bucks each, the Sandy’s went hunting the other day for hours and no result, pretty unusual as they usually do well, but they probably used five bucks in fuel. Last month we spent one million out here but we splurged in town for a week with food and fuel and going out on the town in good old Sibolga. Still this place is pretty good for curbing my money spending problems.

The Bay has turned on, there are four charter boats, one full of French hasslers and another five Canary Islanders, it is a bit of a nightmare but after being snaked twice and almost dropped in on I started my own campaign of revenge, in the end one of the them, called me a wave hog as I snaked him back, rode that wave with a big smile through to the end, that will learn him.

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Hooting waves, four to five foot for the last three days and off shore, it doesn’t get much better than this, lost a bit of bark on the right but considering what could have happened, I’m happy. Had so many filthy lefts that it is hard to remember the best ones, no injuries or aches and pains at the moment just the occasional hang over, usually when the Frog comes out. Had a beauty with Bailey from the Floating Surf Camp, he sunk his canoe and lost his paddle, sunglasses and shirt trying to go home, unbelievably he found his paddle in the morning fishing. Got to show him a technique for emptying his canoe, you just rock it side to side and in stuff all time it will be empty. That frog, I can’t find the last bottle but not really trying to hard.

Had a bit of a lull for a couple of days, Sandys have just come back from Sibolga, scored a carton of Bintang, some butter and some avacado’s so we are styling.

The whole anchorage went to The Gator for fish and rice and stuff, very good night, Hubert is a pretty good host, the boys from Valhalla had a ball, they are just about out of everything so it was good to see them hoovering up the last bits of flesh in the heads and bones of the fish which Rosie had cooked to perfection. Frederick, not Freddie anymore, supplied the tunes with his guitar and the place was rocking, Faezy was in hooting form, she had “shit on the liver” when they arrived but a bit of Jim Beam Black and she was on the attack. They have made a movie of us, I will try to add it to the blog if it is not to long.

Woke to the formidable thunder like crashing of waves at Gunters, which is where the locals came up with it’s name. The crowd was bearable so went out got three, the crowd came back from The Dream and then I got a rag doll flogging, blurr, then wore the next couple on the head, found myself up on the reef but floating along and it was time to bugger off out of there. Said to Hallas, “getting to old for this”, it was pretty bloody big, with some waves getting up there. Sitting on the boat I had jelly legs, last time I can remember having them was back in the motocross days after a big race at Manjimup.

Kicked back and read some more of this pretty average Michael Chrighton book, State of Fear, just wish it would end, have read a couple of rippers though, Thai Gold by Jason Schoonover is a goody and Rat Run by Gerald Seymour was a beauty.

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Went back out to the left in the arvo and had a ball, got a few rippers, as big as I have seen it, big long walls that had not a ripple on their faces. It was just three of us out as the charter boats are all at Treasures, Gosh rolled up and made it four, just terrible way to spend your afternoon, fully sick and frothing. Sereti rolled up and soon it was ten and time for a Bintang. The pulse was pretty much gone and they were left with smaller, fewer waves and a crowd, so good to be on the spot and suss the swells as they come and go, happens all the time.

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The anchorage is crowded with eight yachts in it, she is pretty well packed, the place is getting popular and the charter boats are also piled in here this morning, should have been here yesterday though, reminds me of a song, “wish they’d all go back to town, what do they expect to find, sure as hell ain’t peace of miiiind, deep water.”

The crew just asked what the date is, no idea, what day is it, no idea but when she asked what the tide was doing, high tide soon, shows our priorities as they stand, will need to do a burn off and get rid of the cans and bottles as well today, getting a bit messy around here.

The swell has died in the arse, got a few waves yesterday by myself, just so much more enjoyable with no crowd, you don’t seem to get as worn out when you have got the place to yourself. It is Sunday the twenty first of June by the way, The Sandy’s buggered off to Treasures, we went and made a couple of calls home and even got to send and receive emails and download the latest seven day forecast on Buoyweather, which is not that flash surf wise, might have to get the hooker out and try and shoot a fish. The Persians are getting ready to leave Thailand and reckon they will be here at the beginning of July, so by then we will need to do our visa extension, we pretty much lose ten days out of the sixty because of Ramahdan but that’s how it is. It will all work out in the end.

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Hit Treasures for a day but ended up going and checking out cobras and some other joint, Frederick got a couple of beauties, Hubert and I, kitted out in goggles, snorkel and flippers swam over to where the waves were breaking on the reef and as they approached we dived down and watched them roll over you, I have seen it on films but never really like this, it was siick.

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Anthony, a pilot from WA, was left in charge of Boomerang to get us home, fair few Bintangs and JD’s involved, he got us back with no problems and allowed us all a bit of a kip and that was another week down in The Banyaks.