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

25th August 2015.

Farewell Fonz we are going to miss you.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nias part 2 plus a fair bit more.

31st July 2015.

Well I have stuffed up big time, instead of using Word I bashed away using the blog software, it has been a while since I have done any blogging and now in the Telo’s Group I am buggered if I know where I was up to and the internet here is pretty bloody useless and I can’t access the blog to get started again.

The coverage although showing four bars is good for a email or a phone call, but hard to even get Buoyweather, it is amazing that you can go and sit up a tree at The Bay Of Plenty and do what you want but here, stuff all. Mark was telling us that the locals pinched all the solar panels and batteries from the towers, that probably doesn’t help. The thick plottens.

Oh well here goes!!!!!!!!

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Once upon a time, the other day at Nias, Dave and I paddled out for our first bash at it, we both were feeling a bit on edge, this is one of the best waves in the world but when we got into it, all the days of surfing Gunters paid off big time. Lagundri Bay has one of the best take offs going, quite easy to pull in quick and then if you are lucky you’ve just got to do a bit of steering, tucking and then grinning, what a wave, check the shit eating grin, yewwww yewwww, some of the best seconds in my life.

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We had three days there, surfed everyday, the crowds are a bit of a killer but we always managed to get waves, then we did a runner, crap weather coming, down to Pulau Telos with some really good Easterly wind, forty four miles in six hours, main and heady all the way, felt so good to sail again, it has been a while.

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Since getting here we have looked for waves daily, for stuff all return, just no swell at the moment, everyone says how filth Telo’s is, cant see it as yet. We checked out Telos Town and we all were very impressed, nice people and friendly as, found a great restaurant, Warram Raza, which is near the wharf. Cleanest restaurant we have been to in Sumatra, it was such a nice change, makes fresh juices with apples and blunder, which is tamarillo, nasi goring, mie goring and even burgers, all good value too.

While we were there I went and checked the dinghy, to my surprise it had been shifted and an enterprising young dude was busy cleaning the green shit off the hull, just said go for it. When he came for payment the rot set in, 130000idr, more than most people make in a couple of days and this for a couple of hours work, no chance, but ended up giving all the small notes I had which came to 89000idr anyway, he snaffled this up pretty quickly with a real sheepish grin. Made me feel like there was some wool getting chucked about, right on my head.

You can buy fuel, got some unreal long beans, they were the best veges we saw available in town and good tomato’s. You can even get Bintang and Guiness, the Indo’s say that funny, gwinus, tried to correct them but no point.

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We had a storm last night that was the loudest noise I have ever heard, the thunder was like the cracking noise a tooth makes as it is being pulled out but it was so loud it was distorted. Lightning hitting the water, it was going off, went out the back and witnessed a lightning strike in our vicinity, the air went hot, bloody lucky, then we had the wind and a bit of rain for a few hours, still cant get over the noise.

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We moved down to Marks place on Pulau Sopika, very laid-back joint with some of the best architecture around, all the shacks and bungalows in the area were finished off to an excellent standard, which is sometimes lacking here. We had a BBQ at Marks one night, good fun and by the end a bit messy. We cooked our spuds in the coals of a beach bonfire, ate them with butter and salt and pepper, one of the best meals of late, pretty easy to. Christ you get hammered by the locals selling you stuff all the time here, the ones who get in first kill the pig with absorbitant prices that soon get slashed once the competition gets a bit more willing. We bought a couple of really big papaya for 100000idr, later they were easily bought for 20000idr each, a young coconut is 5000idr which is good value as they are really good, not as salty as some of the others from up north of here. If you really push you can get them to chop the tops off ready for chucking in the freezer, then you only have to cut a flap out of the top, drink the water and scrape out the flesh. The young ones are the best breakfast drink straight out of the freezer, go with bacon and eggs or the Indo coco pops perfectly. Just like a chocolate milkshake only crunchy. We have polished off some eggs, we bought ninety at Sibolga twenty odd days ago and we are down to a dozen left, it has been a bargain as only one has been dodgy, cooked the shit out of scrambled eggs on toast covered in tomato sauce, to get rid of any egg taste, is and has always been a favourite of mine. Churches are popular around this neck of the woods.

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50000idr will also get you a two whopper Chumi Chumi, squid, that’s a couple of meals for two people in each one. Tried the besar, local fave fish, boney as all shit and a pain in the arse to fillet. Spend more time spitting than chewing.

The search for surf had us splitting up, The Sandy’s and the Rangas headed south and the Persians and the Gator hung around up there. Still haven’t had a surf but have looked for a bit, good potential down here at Finger Bay on Pulau Tanahbala. The locals kids are driving me nuts, it took me an hour to read three pages today, I handed out a couple of exercise books and some colour pencils to some little kids who were in a dugout with their dad this morning and for the rest of the day it has been satu lagi book, got the dictionary out and now my standard reply is tidak lagi book, no more book, or book finis. They then ask for pensil, so we hand them over one each. Jen’s idea was a beauty but to late, we should have chopped the pencils up and spread them out a bit more. Late this arvy we had a dude come up and ask for medsin, he was pointing at his gob, I had a look in and the poor buggers back tooth was smashed and black looking and his gum was red as, he kept on going hessshhh, sucking cool air over it, I know what that feels and tastes like, it’s a smell you can taste, we found some stuff we got from Malaysia for toothaches but his was not just a toothache, we gave him a Panadol with caffeine too. Reckon we might see him again tomorrow.

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Still no swell, meant to be here today but, nup. The young fella hasn’t come back either, Jen reckons it was good stuff.

We have been going on dinghy runs and leaving the big boats anchored up in Fingered Bay, finally got a surf on an island off the coast a couple of miles, big lumpy lefts I call it, got a few and bailed, the current got so strong it was pretty much impossible to sit on the spot, Dave tried for another hour, then he paddled back to the boat. I went for a spin this morning around the corner, come across The Mad Fish’s, Jeremy and Cassie, long term explorers of the Telos area, they are a wealth of knowledge and don’t mind giving a little bit away which is both unusual and cool. Mad Fish is a Fusion 40, they didn’t have much good to say about Fusion the company but like their yacht all the same. Cassie asked me where we had bought our boat, told them in Cape Coral, Florida, turns out they had been looking at the same time as us and were thinking of checking The Ranga out but decided to build their own.

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Had a good yack with them, stood up and on their cushion was a black stain, checked my boardies, squid ink all over my arse, I thought Cassie would have spewed but easy as you like, it’ll wash out, don’t worry about it it’s ok. Jeremy sounds like Fatso from the Lunar Circus, an easy voice to listen to.

We surfed a spot called Skateparks this arvo, got a few of the bigger ones, got dropped in on by a Brazillian chick in not very much, could think of no reason to worry her into getting off the wave, not to bad a view, reminded me of the chick at Nias, I am sure they are just trying to put all the blokes off. It appears to work as this one seemed to get more waves than all us put together. Where is the camera when you need it.

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Have read heaps of books, Fredericks pile he gave us was exceptional reading, I now have a couple of new authors to look out for, Sue Graton and Jeffery Parker, they write how I like to read, hard and fast. Also read an autobiography by Roland Perry called Sailing To The Moon, it’s about the great Rolly Tasker, what a beauty, I never had a clue how famous he was, all the titles from West Australian to Australian to World and even a silver Olympic medal which could have so easily been gold if he would have protested, something he was not known for though. Pissed him off a bit but, oh well I’ll just go build another boat that is lighter and faster and flog them next time, no wonder John Sanders renamed his yacht the Rolly Tasker Perrie Banou for the Freo to Bali race, Rolly Tasker was a ripper. He reckons he had a yacht design for the Americas Cup, which Parry lost in Freo, that would have been unbeatable, after reading this book it would be hard not to believe it, with his local knowledge and genius for yacht and rig design, why didn’t anyone listen too him. Couldn’t put it down. Inspector Morse is another beauty by Colin Dexter.

Woke to screaming noise this morning at about 0300, I just hope it wasn’t a human, if it was a pig it would be bloody tough, the only good outcome was it was a monkey just going off, somehow doubt that though.

Shifted spots from Fingered Bay over to a surf spot called Monkeys or Skateparks depending on who you talk to, it is pretty easy but does have some really nice sections down the line. Surfed for hours.

Had a hooting party on the Ranga, few of us can’t remember to much but it was pretty good fun, dancing John Travolta style and holding the roof up John Thompson style, some talk of dry rooting the door frame, can’t substantiate that though, but it probably explains the grazes on the top of my head. Jeremy was in the same boat, in more ways than one.

The Persians and Gator are here, hopefully they aren’t ready to get on it, I cant.

Another excellent lago, all the charter boats buggered off at 1700 and left it to us guys till dark. Pete came out on the mal and caught an alrighty, getting to like this place big time, love to be here when it is a bit bigger.

Bloody hell I am rooted, just had four and a half hours out at Monkeys, although I can see why people call it skateparks, you can pretty well make it up as you go, so much fun, Dave, Jeremy and Cassie were all partners in crime, although Jeremy was on the SUP, so got to drop in on him a couple of times which bought a smile to Cassie’s dial, we were pushing her to go for some of the bigger ones and she scored a beauty, even bigger smile, Pete came out right at the end but by then we had all had enough. His first wave was a ripper, right in the spot, he was grinning like a dead fox all the way back out. I actually pulled off a hooting floater, well an old persons floater anyway, now called the pie floater.

These couple of photos are from way back but due to my brain fade they have made it now, you got to love crossing the Equator.

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We all got on it on Gator till who knows when, very messy, the Captain came out but at least there was no Frog, the main reason being there isn’t any left.

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Off to the Mentawi’s tomorrow, yeww yeww, look out.