Xmas, New Years and plenty of beers

6th Febuary 2016.

RIP Kiwi Tony who was found deceased on his boat in Nai Harn last month.

I just sussed that this is post 101, hope the previous hundred haven’t bored the shit out of you, I tell you what though I am getting a bit lazy getting pen to paper which means you then have to remember stuff, horror. We had a good send off for Gary Potter aboard his very comfortable yacht, all the Telaga gang were there. From memory there was a bit of Frog consumed.

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Since we have been back I have been thirsty as and it all comes down to our intake of ham. I never much got off on it until a few years ago now it is one of my favourites and it’s not just the eating of it but the preparation for the eating of it that also appeals to me. Baz the butcher in Augusta showed me how to pick a good ham, they need to have a thick, say sixteen to twenty millimetre, (that’s also about three quarters of an inch) layer of white fat over a good portion of the ham, this is usually where the skin is thickest. Just look at the bottom of the ham, you can’t miss it. When you get it home you are always a bit undecided on what to do, shall I just put in the fridge or shall I try it, second option works for me. Cut the thick plastic wrapping and give it a wipe down, the ham I mean, I used to hit the thick bit of skin and fat but now I work my way round from the other side, clearing the skin and fat away in small bits and then with a bloody sharp knife, the small Asian cleavers work a treat, slice away until you reach the next bit of skin, it is almost as much fun as eating it. You must also try bits as they fall away onto the board, don’t chew too loud just hoover as much down as possible and pretend you have only just had a taste, hoovering ham whilst carving is a must. Once you’ve got your pile on the plate, probably ten sandwiches worth, then I go and find one of Jens new pillow slips, dampen it up and stick the ham in it and then put it in the fridge for next time, probably fifteen minutes or so.

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Speaking of pig, Jen was enlisted to cook a roast pork with apple sauce for Xmas day lunch over at the Breakfast Club, John’s joint, where we had been invited for lunch. Needless to say it came out pretty good, about three quarters of the crackle was crackly and the other bit was a bit chewy but there wasn’t any left.

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It was a big day, champers with the Tiggers, then cook the pig with a few gins and vodkas, worked out by putting the temp probe off my Fluke meter I could keep the temperature around 150 degrees, even got a skewer and shoved it into the middle of the lump of meat then extracted it and slid the probe in there as well. I think it might have got a bit hot once or twice but it came out hooting.

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When we got to John’s he wanted to see it and when we took the cover off his eyes lit up, he can be hard to please sometimes, hahahaha.

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With xmas over we were free to go, almost, the Harbour Master was on a four day break for xmas so we had to wait till Monday to get going. Another day in Kuah shopping, bugger. Hows this car at the countdown lights. I gave the Pooton a bit off the line but got thrashed.

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Well we went up to Datai to clean the props and get any barnacles off, not to bad, considering, Prop Gold seems to work heaps better than the other stuff. We sailed to Koh Lanta with one stretch providing us with twenty knots of wind at about seventy degrees and had us sitting on nine to ten knots with a reef in and the heady up, good fun. Made it to Ao Challong the next day, the last ten miles was horror, very uncomfortable and very happy to drop the anchor and get off.

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Clearing in was excellent, the young fella who logs you in remembered us straight away, you now must have an AIS working when you clear at the harbor master, the same immigration bloke from last year so that was easy and customs was a mere formality, very efficient.

We hit a restaurant we went to last year, larb moo all round, not a bad one but have had better, the beers were freezing cold, yen yen, though.

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Got ripped off at the pier with a green mango and spicy sugar out of a cart, paid 40 baht should have been 10, bitch. We got out of there pretty quickly and were anchored up at Nai Harn for the night, had a full on sleep and next day we headed for Patong for New Years Eve. Got our sim cards sussed out, 9GB for 699 baht, about twenty five bucks, pretty good value.

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NYE was on Investigator with Hubert and his family, hooting fireworks that just went on and on and good company to boot. An excellent night all round and the beginning of relaxation, we have no further plans so what will be will be.

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Ended up bolting from Patong before the Jet ski kimikasi’s got into full swing and headed up to Nai Yang to nice clear water, a few waves and heaps of squid.

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Have caught up with Manny, an excellent Barrow Island gang member, we had the best mob of workers we reckon in our time out there. He was flying around in a rib with twin 175’s on it, very flash.

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Nai Yang has really good markets, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, with fresh fruit and veges, if you get there early good fish, you can buy larb moo and lard quack (our word for duck) takeaway for like 40 baht, pork on a stick 10 baht a pop and when your finished icy cold beers at the bar for 37 baht, pile all your stuff into a tuk tuk, driven by Witt or Carl the blind Tuk Tuk driver, blind in both senses just depends on how late it is, then be delivered to the beach for 50 baht. The best value this year is passionfruit, 130 baht a kilo, I have eaten so many of my favourite fruit, best effort was twelve in one sitting, just couldn’t stop, geez the macerator makes some horror noise the next day. Thought the old dunny had shit itself one day so started to pull it to bits, luckily I found a fish stuck up in the inlet to the water pump, sheww.

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Sonnet is here again and it has been great catching up with Alex and his girlfriend Char, she is and excellent cook and coming from Esaan she is an excellent proponent at larb moo. Have had some filthy feasts on Sonnet that are hot going in and pretty much the same coming out.

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The beach house Boys rocked up straight from Sumatra, fun, fun, fun and a couple of very late getups, also one very early getup when my phone rings, “our dinghy is gone,””sure your in the right place?” Then half an hour later, 0400 mind you, “the motor won’t start,” I found Jimmy and some chick paddling it, “Hey Rod, what are you doing out here, are you just driving around?” Classic, gave them a nice steady tow and that’s how we ended up finding Wats Bar, a very busy little place which seems to have all the super yacht mob as its clientele, tried hoola hooping, not much chop at that anymore.

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Hubert senior is the Austrian BBQ champion, I think for a few years too, he is onto it, his fish is winner winner chicken dinner.I reckon those guys ate pretty well with father on board.

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The Persians came back, Drew from Langkawi rolled up and The Muscats were here to. Then the bay filled up with Aussies, Kokomos as well for Australia Day.

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Jen had a cold and I was getting it so a pretty tame one this year, although Hubert and I went over to G&T for a party that night, BBQ ribs to die for, Nok cooked them to perfection, Nook was in charge of fireworks, it was hooting fun, Toi knows how to turn on a show, thanks mate. Check the photo, they let him out and he now lives in Phuket.

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The next few days were in quarantine, smashed with the cold, first time sick, besides a crook guts, for a couple of years for both of us, luckily there were some waves so two to three hours out at airport reef sweating my arse off for a few days did wonders.

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Alex also took me scuba diving, that clears all the snot out of your head big time. Saw a tiny little fancy pants, pointed it out to my dive instructor but he wasn’t interested, reckons I must be easily pleased.

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Jen’s Cauliflower cheese’s make a nice change to larb moo and a couple of nacho’s have gone down a treat as well.

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Have been reading a bit, three excellent Ian Rankin, I think that is about it for him until he brings out a newt, spewed the other day when I bought one I was sure I hadn’t read and after a couple of pages I knew what was going to happen, bugger, a couple of Mo Hayder, Pig Island is good, The Treatment is horror. The latest Jack Reacher which I am sorry to say was crap, The Crossing by Michael Connelly is a ripper same as Osama by Chris Ryan, a couple of new authors to me, Sue Grafton and Lisa Gardner are pretty bloody good as well. Pretty hard to read all the Sue Grafton in order but started with T is for trespass, U is for Undertow and all the way back to B is for Burgular.

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They probably go to Z is for something will just have to keep the eyes peeled. The latest book is A time to die by Robert Moore, which I think might be a true story but I make a point of not reading covers, just look at the pictures. Yep a true story about The Kursk submarine, good read.

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Scrubbed the boat the other day, spent a few hours with flippers and a noodle and a new scraper doing the top foot or so, then Alex set me up with a full tank of air and off I went, bargain it was like I was shearing the hull, some of the stuff was close to an inch thick, the props and sail drives come up smicko and Boomerang is ready to go.

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Might be sooner than later, Manny just called and looks like we are going for a spin, geez the anchor is going to be covered in heaps of slime but you get that when you park up for close to six weeks, just see how it goes.

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Christ it was blowing its arse off, twenty five knots, one reef in and just hitting ten knots, good fun little spin, the kids got to have a drive on the way back to the anchorage where it is just getting to fifteen knots, chucked the anchor back in, ended up to close for comfort to a neighbour, so pull it back up and do it again, it has been a while and wasn’t missed by Alex and Char, bit embarrassing but no one else noticed.

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We have now said goodbye to The Persians, they’re off back home, we had a beer with them at the airport. Hope you have as much fun as we did back in the land of no smells

 

 

 

 

 

Sumatra, you gotta love it.

15th May 2015.

Caught up on sleep for a couple of days, got some good first waves at the inside left, so much fun right from the first one this year, also enjoying the arvo swims at our old spot which has changed quite a bit, a lot deeper these days but still nice. Have sported a few hangovers since we have been here, with the Breezies and the Gator’s in the same bay what would you expect.

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Not much swell so have been fishing, snorkeling and letting my ribs come good after their first outing back on the board.

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Our afternoon tradition of going up to the sand bar and sitting around up to your neck in crystal clear water sucking on beers is still going strong and has been the start of some good evenings had by The Gators, The Breezies and us and some new partners in crime.

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Have been killing the pig on fish from the fishermen, our new mate Danny comes by with lobster and Mangrove Jack’s, which at five bucks each is pretty good value, bloody nice fish, fresh as. You just get him to chuck it too you and then tell everyone you caught it, advice by Quentin. We had the removal of Jens stitchers from her hand by Doctor Hubert, nurses Jasmine and Iva, a successful operation with only a bit of fuss and quite a bit of medication.

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Cooked up a big pot of Tom Yum seafood for everyone using the fish and lobsters, filthy and none left, we were saying seeya to the guys off Dali, Phil and Iva, excellent dudes who are making a doco on people, I guess living the dream whilst they do it themselves as well. Good concept. They certainly weren’t up early next day, no one was, blurrrr.

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Hows this Jack, cost 50000 rupiah, and got turned into a hooting plate of fillets.

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A fisherman came by this morning with a boat full of mullet, they look identical to ours but were not quite as fishy, good fang on them, so get a mullet up ya.

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Had some good easy waves on the right, bit of bark missing but not to bad. The first wave that came through was a good four footer, I stuffed it up and fell off the back and got smashed, that was a wake up call, geez, thank god there wasn’t another one behind it.

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Got my act together though and ended up having a ball, although I didn’t get any like this one, this is what it turned into later that day. Brian came out and got a couple on his knee board and we sat there by ourselves for a couple of hours just catching a wave, paddling back out and catching another one, over and over again. Just terrible. Seems like there is a swell coming.

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Got going early next day and were greeted with another cat in the bay, Tim and Megan have got here, their boat is looking so good, last time we saw them they had just put the first coat of oyster on the hull, came out sick. The waves were hooting, we surfed the left by ourselves for a couple of hours and then Kym and Mike came and joined us, great waves, really cranking on the second section, unreal, sorry fully sick, I was frothing, once again catch a wave paddle back out and away you go again. Almost ripped my shoulder out of its joint on one of them, siick.

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Next day same again and again and again, then come Big Thursday, waves everywhere and four to six foot continuously coming through. Wasn’t going to go out due to a really sore Coxix from a couple of days ago but once I saw it, it was back to the boat get the board and back down, only the crew in the water so just take it in turns and all’s fine, so many waves, my first wave was a biggy and took off way to late, made it to the bottom only to be splattered by a pretty horror lip, horror. Got a few rippers. In the end just Tim, Megan and me out, pretty hard to take. My last one had me around the back of the reef, must have been pretty much the fifth section, filthy wave. Absolutely rooted. Have had a bit of a hiding too, three good floggings could be sore tomorrow.

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Sure am, Brian has come by, frothing, I just couldn’t say no as it is his last surf before he goes back, wish I had, it was all going great until three blokes paddled over a charter boat, talk about change your surf, two were just complete wankers, even said to Brian I reckon one of them would have to be Gold Coast or some place like that where you have to just continuously hassle for your waves, I got it right in one and the other clown was from Gellong, they were dropping in their poor mate, who wasn’t too bad a bloke but a bit overweight and struggling a bit, reminds me of someone I resemble, they just didn’t give a shit.

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Brian got his best wave ever, it was a beauty and Lyn got a photo of it. He was just like a big kid, fully frothing once he got the hang of it siick. I got my fair share then got dragged over the falls in two feet of water with the board somehow between my legs, horror, bark missing, crease in me board and a killing lower thigh. That was the end for me and thankfully Brian had had enough too.

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Big party on Investigator II that night for goodbyes to the Breezies and my birthday. It was excellent with everyone in the bay and up our way coming and getting on it, Gosha made me a filthy cake, Lyn made, as she calls it, good old French onion dip, superb, Kym made these new things to me, pickled lettuce on a biscuit, filth, Hubert walked off the back of his boat, Quentin by all accounts got lost getting back to the bay, Jen came out a bit bruised and Captain Morgan had his way with the lot of us, my memory is vague but it was excellent fun.

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We woke up and the Breezies were gone, I think I said goodbye to them but if not it was as usual, unreal fun seeing you guy’s again. While they were parked up in the anchorage with the view, we had bread cooking lessons by Lyn, hers were coming out so bloody good, my first attempt at rolls could have been used as cannon balls, heavy buggers.

Have read so many books, Ian Rankin is an author that you can’t go wrong reading, have just read seven in a row, he is a ripper, the last one called “The Complaints” is up there, finally took a break from his books, mainly because there are none left on the boat, so read “A Pirate Looks At Fifty”, by Jimmy Buffett, he is just about as lucky as me, wish I had a pile of his fun tickets though, he must be loaded. Excellent read, especially when he was on his way to making it, couldn’t put it down.

Fer caught another mangrove jack in the creek on lure, she is the only person that i know who has done so, this one was a bit small to claim but if it had have been one of the locals it would have been winner winner chicken dinner.

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We moved down to The Bay for a bit of a change of scenery, stuff all swell which has suited me with my numerous injuries and stuff, damming up the freezing cold creek and getting the pool to tit level, then busting it open, then go sit under the shade in the creek by the sea and let it all wash past you is both soothing and a good time to reflect on how tough we are doing it up here, I feel pretty bloody lucky.

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Another party on Investigator II, this time the Sandys and the host were the main offenders, not that that is bad at all, but had us leaving The Bay an hour and a half late for our trip to Sibolga, this time when I woke up, my clothes were wet, buggered if I know what happened there. We didn’t make Pulau Karang, about an hour to late with the sun just about gone but made it to a bay just west and anchored up. At least the Rangas had our act together in the morning otherwise who knows where we would have got to, probably Lizards or back in Calm Bay.

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We had a bit of a rock and rolly night, at least it was cool, it pissed down pretty much most of the night, upped anchor and headed for Sibolga 0900 and got here about 1400, good little run with the main up and some wind for a good chunk of it. Anchored out a bit and went ashore, Mumma and family were there to meet us, then Eddie, their smiles were so welcoming, probably going catchung catchung, but I reckon they were pretty happy to see that Boomerang come back.

We went to Immigrassi and handed over all the paperwork, the female officer from last year served me and recognized me straight away, so everything went swiftly and we just need to go and pick up our paperwork in the morning, then off to Customs and then The Harbour Master. All’s good, in fact it was quite nice to come back here, the traffic is loose, seems a bit more busy, but everyone waves to us and I had forgotten about the old, “Hello Mister.”

We dropped in for lunch at our old favourite restaurant, Sian Malam, Papa and Chen were so excited to see us it was hooting, he served up his sweet and sour pork, bistic babi, filthy and he even found us a dingen Bintang. Bargain. My old mate down the fishing tackle shop filled us with afternoon tea, stripy cake, then old mate in the blue phone shop got us going with phone and internet so we are styling.

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Immigrassi went well, customs were coming out to the boat at 1400, it is. Well now 1600 and customs have been and gone, pulled a few bits and pieces apart, checked under the floors and all cupboards but as there was nothing to find all was good and they left happy. Ended up being quite an extensive inspection. Poor old Boomerang got clobbered as they somehow managed to T-Bone our bow, classic, everyone shit themselves but no damage so all good. We now wait till tomorrow to pick up our paperwork and start shopping. We need about 300 litres of fuel, veges and we have run out of beer.

Looks like they have just about finished with the Gators and Capricorn has rolled up, so it looks like bistic babi and a couple of Bintangs at Sian Malam once again, bugger.

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Was going to finish there but have just got back from our visit to Customs, left this morning at 1000  and went to sign the paperwork and stamp it, sat around for a bit as the power went out, comfy lounge suite so not put out or anything, then the offer for lunch was made and off to a famous Batuk restaurant, serves pork traditional style, up in the foothills, it was absolutely superb, they know a few different ways of serving old porky up that is for sure. I am not sure if this is the norm with these guys but it was pretty special for us, the officials in Sibolga are good value, you have just got to smile, be nice, not be impatient and what will be will be.

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Waiting, Waiting for Farid.

24th April 2015.

Happy Birthday Mo and Jan and of course Jen.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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?