22nd August 2014.
The guys on Lara Pinta got an absolute flogging on their trip from Sibolga to the Bay, ours was completely different, we set the jib and flew it to about half way when it finally got to be a pain in the arse, so motored with just over a knot of current in our favour the rest of the passage. Jen put in another sterling effort of 4 hours. The lighthouse at Lizards guided us in from 20nms out and after following one of my saved routes we motored through the little island chain and anchored up at 0500, just in time to watch a full on storm pass by us just to the West and then probably follow the course we had just travelled. I had spent the last hour watching it brewing away as we were down to 2kns dodging around reefs and small islands with no moon whatsoever, almost praying that it would hold off for us until we got the anchor down. It did, unbelievable.
Sat back and had a beer to watch the dawn happen around me, safe and sound and pretty relaxed.
Went down to the bay to say gidday to everyone, Bailey and the boogers still at the camp, Lara Pinta also still in the bay. Ended up having a couple of beers and some rum and cokes with them, bit blurry by the time it was getting dark but got home ok. Was meant to test VHF and set off some crackers, completely forgot and just passed out.
The surf is small and the wind is too much NW for the Bay to be cranking so not much frothing going on, no luck fishing up the creek either although, Fancypants, our real live natural pet is back where she lives, we thought that the aquarium fishermen might have got her, she lives alone near a stick in the middle of a channel in about 2 foot of water, it is amazing they haven’t spotted her. We followed one of the boats through the other day and they are to busy with sticks pushing their boats through the shallows to look down, Fancypants is either real smart or just lucky. This is the best photo we could get of her.
Not like Nemo and mini Nemo who used to live on a coral bombie in about a metre of water right near our bank and afternoon dip spot. I was snorkeling over there with Jonny and went to show him where they lived but they and the Aenemes they lived in are gone. I only hope Mo got a photo of them the day we found them. The mini Nemo was about half the size of your little fingernail, they are probably swimming around in some aquarium in Singapore by now.
Went for the smallest surf today, we have a swell coming but the wind is all wrong now, I have asked whether this is normal for this time of the year, getting mixed messages though, seems to me earlier is better for the Banyak’s, Bay of Plenty anyway, May to beginning of August. The weather when we arrived and just up to two weeks ago was just beautiful, hot but clear skies, not much rain but a bit sticky.
Geez speaking of sticky, when we got to Sibolga all three of us just started sweating like you wouldn’t believe, it was horror, all my shirts have white lines, where I guess the salt leached out of me, around the neck and back.
As we went past some fishermen this morning we asked the usual, chumi chumi, no mister, never mind but as they were heading back to Balai they pulled in and sold me two good size lobster and a couple of bugs, like Moreton Bay Bugs back home. We had crayfish salad and the last bottle of Savvy Blanc for tea. Both were consumed with passion and love. Down to a bottle of Moet and six cartons of Bintang’s.
Sorry about the lame attempt with our theme song, anyone that knows me would realize I have no music ability whatsoever, wow same word twice in one blog that I don’t think I have used in years.
Hit by storms, mainly rain, all night, so up and down checking but have now started a new book, The Goldfinch, by some woman by the name of Donna Tartt, it is thicker than the usual books I read but it has got me, so spent most of the night reading anyway, my bum is testament to that from sitting up in bed, feels like I have been in a hospital bed for a few nights.
I think the surf is average today so a sit around and do bugger all day seems fine, Jen not really to enthusiastic either. Bummer the Dockers weren’t on yesterday, bloody rugby league today, the reception was really clear yesterday as well. Gellong trounced again, yeah, C’mon Dockers. And they did.
Sunday morning the swell came up a bit but still onshore so left it to the arvo to go and check. Read heaps of The Goldfinch, good book, about half way through so about a normal book to go, then went down to the Bay, 6 foot plus and the wind is from the west south west at 10 to 12kns, bugger, the inside left would be cranking if there was no wind. Back at the boat, Calm Bay is filling up with fishermen, they all come over wanting something but they are ok, Jonny’s huge box of noodles is being greatly appreciated by them, couple of packets here and a couple there.
They make you laugh though, they come up to the steps on our boat, tie off and just climb aboard, then looking looking at everything, then touching whatever it is they are looking at, then turning to me with sad looking eyes and with a little finger gesture to their chest, for me. Tida, is now my stock standard answer and Jen grab a packet of noodles each for them is now the gesture of friendship.
Tida is no and can be put at the front of words like, tida bagus – no good, tida apa – no worries, I like tida dingen, but they just look at me like der, then say panas, which is hot but to my way of thinking is the same as not cold.
Have managed to work out the mass inundation of local and not so local fishermen into our lives, along with the swell big winds are expected over the next few days, happy to be anchored up here in 14 metres with 80 metres of chain out, we ain’t going nowhere. It is working out a good move clearing out at Sibolga as we more than likely would not have made it to Sabang before the CAIT ran out the way the weather is looking. Like I said before, I have got a good book and it is pretty bloody fat.
The boys from Lara Pinta have gone and come back searching for waves, bloody shalla, Rosie came over for a cup of tea and a recipe swap with Jen, pretty social little locale out here in the boonies.
We might just wait for the tide and go for a fish, don’t want to get bored or anything like that.
Got hold of Frederick and Rick and went for a surf at the inside left, Dindos, bit onshore when we got there but got the classic Lago for the last hour, great waves up to 4 foot and high tide so pretty good conditions, heaps of people out but got my fair share of waves and got out pretty happy and pretty well rooted.
Woke to perfect conditions, even in pretty good nick and frothing for a surf. The right-hander was going off, 4 to 6 foot, mid tide although falling and just myself and Kevin, French bloke whom I spent a bit of time in July surfing with, he and his mates. The point was packed with a bit of agro, Kevin and I just took it in turns, wave after wave, one of the best sessions I have had, but as the hours rolled on to three my arms were a bit heavy and I copped a couple of pearlers on the head pulling in but with nowhere to go then got well and truly smashed, flew from up on the lip to the bottom and splattered so fast it took my breath away, it felt like my whole body had been slapped, wore the next two in eight inches of water and coral then finally starfishes off the reef to safety, bluuuurrr, BLOODY SHALLA, horror and now I have done something to my ribs, bit like moto-cross this surfing lark.
Paddled back out and waited a couple of turns to try and get my breath back and heart rate down, then scored a beauty all the way to the dinghy, climbed in and just about carked it.
Went and sat on Ishwan’s boat, Kevins charter boat at 500000idr a day, food, beer and coffee included. I got to know Ishwan quite well and really enjoyed my time drinking coffee and smoking his ciggys with him. I had him in stiches more than a few times, especially when I would bring up the sleeping arrangements with him and Kevin all alone in a violently rocking boat, “no no captain Rod, he sleep there, me here”. Sure no cuddling as I moved close to him to give him a hug, no no Captain Rod. By this time we would just about be in tears.
Kevin would come back and have no idea, funny as.
I have declared a back to school activity for myself, when I get back here next year I am going to be fluent in Malaysian/Indonesian no matter how hard or what it costs. To be able to talk with these guys, instead of charades, is something I must do as we now have quite a few old mates out here.
Jen and I went fishing, two coral trout, two cods and one of the favourite eating fish, no idea of its name, what an excellent time we had, it was the last bit of coast in the area that we has left to try and it went off, only lost one lure to a rock so all in all a bit better than break even fishing trip. Just lately they have all been hand in pocket jobs.
Got back to the boat, Frederick and Rosie had also done well with an assorted pile of fish. BBQ on Boomerang. The Lara Pinta crew came over with fish and a big bottle of Captain Morgan Spiced rum, oh dear. Jen made a couple of salads, Rick was frothing over the bean one, Frederick cooked packets of fish on the BBQ and Rosie did the traditional shallow fry fish down on the bottom step, What a pig out and excellent fun too. Good mob that Lara Pinta crew.
Next day down to the bay for a look, only observer as ribs giving me jip so Jen came too, we ended up sitting on the stern of Ishwan’s boat drinking coffee and taking photos. Once again fun times, Kevin comes in, has a coffee and a smoke then back out for more, Frederick got a couple of rippers and Rick got one but got smashed.We said our goodbyes to these guys but will see them in about nine months.
Hows this, we left the bay the same way we arrived, 4 foot plus and looking perfect, there was a couple of weeks the wind changed and the swell was a bit small but realistically we surfed most days, mostly just two out, barrels were frothing, I reckon this place is siiick.
We upped anchor with Lara Pinta and headed for Treasure Island as we head for home. Got to treasures it is 10 foot and way to scary for me, while we were just bobbing around looking, Keith from Surfmachine got onto a monster and rode it all the way through and even around the corner into the bay, not a usual occurrence believe me.
Early goodbyes this morning to Lara Pinta, will miss those guys, good value travelling partners. They are headed in the same direction as us and with a bit of luck we will catch them on their way back down as we leave the Banyaks.