A dinghy ride to remember.

11th August 2015.

Holy crap, we have just been flogged, Jens spun, my legs are a bit wonky, well a bit more than normal, we only went to get some phone credit and some milk and its turned into a do or die mission.

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As we were leaving the Ranga I was looking to the north, balmy conditions but a bit of dark cloud moving in from that direction. I ummed and arrred for a bit but we went, famous last words “it cant be worse than the other day”. Flew over to town and parked the dinghy at the wharf this time, easy as you like and headed uptown to have a bit of a look around. Theres a festival on, wish I had have got a photo of the banner, perhaps tomoro if it didn’t get blown away, the first thing I noticed was “free sex” but this followed by HIV Aids, so we bolted.

Found a phone shop, got 100000idr credit for the phone and another 3.5GB of data, easy as you like, all for about twenty bucks, we then proceeded to go for a walk up the street and ended up buying some milk, corn flakes, shapes and some choccy. We came out of the shop and it was like we were in a different world, all the corrugated iron, that the shops are made of is banging and clanging, people are running for cover and the first raindrops are splattering around us, shit, c’mon lets get out of here. As we got to the wharf it was pretty bloody obvious that this was gunna be an all out adventure to get back to the Ranga. I was keen, Jen just obeyed orders, lucky for me, where we got in the boat was tucked away and calm but once we got out of the lee of all the ferrys and other boats, holy crap, about a metre wind wave with who knows what wind, had to put my sunnys on to be able to see, could have, should have turned around but I felt pretty confident we would make it. Plus it was the first real NW blow in the anchorage and you always want to be aboard for that, even if it is only to drink beers. Once out of the harbor we then followed the backs of houses and shops around the last point and be buggered it is now blowing it’s arse off. You have to cross a really bad stretch of water where current and wind really combine to throw up some shit, we were about half way across this when a twenty metre Indo ship appears out of the white we have found ourselves in, the bloke spun out, just gave him a wave and we powered on, but he threw me off my course and we just headed to where I thought Ranga would be, then we saw land, bit to soon for my liking, took a bit but Jen saw the Telkomsel Arial, we are now on the wrong shoreline to where we want to be and now it is going to be head on into it.

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I contemplated hanging about but as we got close to the shore it may be sand on the beach but its coral up to it, out of there. Took a bit of a gamble, I knew about where we needed to go and I also knew if I missed we would hit land to the west and a reef to the east, so getting my bearings with the coast and the wind direction we headed off into it, straight into it as best I could, within ten minutes I spied the point out of the white that we were now engulfed in, I then knew where the Ranga was, plus the bonus was she hadn’t come drifting past us so pretty sure she was still where we left her. Once past the point we copped the biggest waves of the mission, the dinghy is chockers, fuel tank floating around in the bottom, milk and corn flakes and all sorts of shit with it but we just plodded on, I saw the Ranga for a sec then it was gone, we were heading in the right direction, then we got hammered by the wind and rain, thought the dinghy was going to flip over backwards, almost said to Jen to sit up the front a bit but she was in no mood or state to be letting go of the hand rail thingys. The last hundred metres was out of control, I started thinking what happens now if the engine stops, so close but no way of getting there, it didn’t and we finally pulled up, Tohatsu, thats who, Jen clambered out and made it to the steps and sat down in the rain, I chucked all the stuff aboard, tied off the dinghy, got out of me gear, opened up the boat and grabbed a beer, that was one well earned beer and it settled me down big time, the second one was better and now the storm has past and we are into a bottle of some Kiwi Savvy Blanc. That was definitely a GoPro moment, but it is flat as usual.

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I checked our location on the GPS, we are 182 ft from where we were, the chain is tight but now pulled in a completely different direction. This boating lark, god you gotta love it.

G & T, the only place to be.

27th March 2015.

 Hanging out in Naiharn was getting a bit to easy, wake up have a swim, read a book, check the surf, have a few Leo’s and a white wine, check the hang gliders doing their stuff, it is a classic as if it is not dangerous enough just jumping off a cliff these guys fly around a great big mother of a wind generator. Then watch an episode or three of Six Feet Under, go to bed and then start all over, so a change was required.

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Hubert was around the corner on Investigator, twenty miles away, so we got our act together, said seeya to the guys at Pier 93, Paul on Escondido and headed south then north in balmy conditions but with the current in our favour, the batteries got a good charge, we made a fair bit of water and then we were there.

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The water up here is not clear, it has that milky look to it but it is clean enough, I even had a go at getting rid of the green slime stuff growing on our waterline, you have to dodge the jellys, mainly man-o-wars and not much bother, big tough Hubert’s not real keen on them though. The antifoul has worked a treat with only patches where we have hit something in the water showing signs of growth, Hempel Antifoul is the go up here.

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Spent a couple of days out the front of a resort, didn’t go in but had a pretty good feed around the corner at a beach full of bars and a sizable restaurant. Larb Moo was Lab squid, another one of those lost in translation moments.

Hubert and I got stuck into the installation of his AIS unit and after a day of sweating we turned it on and it worked, pretty well grinning and a well earned beer o’clock back on Boomerang that day.

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We took the dinghy into G&T Boatyard to get a lay of the land from the water as the haul out is happening tomorrow around 1000, all looks pretty straight forward, tides 3.3 metres so should piss it in.

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We had a look around the Ao Po Grand Marina, some pretty fancy boats parked up here, the nicest is a three masted yacht called Eos, it is a pearler, gleaming all over. Flying Fox and its tender, 6711 above, a Sea Axe, which has a helicopter, a couple of thirty plus foot tenders on board is to service the Fox which looked very similar to Big Fish which we were parked up next to in Keppel Bay Marina in Singapore.

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Had a few JD’s with Hubert, probably one to many, so woke up in a bit of a daze, quick jump overboard and that’s fixed, upped anchor and headed in with Hubert following us in Watson, lined up the posts and by the time we got there, Gerry had Nook, Nok, Nick, Bung and Pet ready for the lines and we just pulled her up till she was resting on the beach and let the tide do the rest. After lunch they lifted Boomerang up, dragged it with a tractor and winch up the ramp, washed her down and parked her up for us.

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Hubert has lent us his A/C so it is precariously perched on a lump of foam and some plastic has been taped around it. We removed the window frame for powder coating so it had to be taped up anyway. During the day I don’t think the compressor stops but at night it gets cold as. I have made a new door as Toi wants to get started on the old one.

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Toi has got the boys wet and drying the decks so the boat is a bit of a nogo zone until they knock off so we went and picked up the solar panels from Andaman Electrical, they have been easy to deal with and the bits were there when they said they would be, also had to get stuff to install them with at Bangkok Hardware, the hardware shop of Phuket, and a few other bits and pieces from AME. Geez walked into AME and someone had dropped their guts, couldn’t hack it, had to open the door up, whoever did it should be proud. Jen reminded me it was our wedding anniversary, twenty eighth we think, close enough anyway, so we had a feast at the local seafood restaurant, Bang Pae, which is renowned on Phuket, Todman goong, crispy shrimp salad and a thai style fried fish, a few beers and it was back to the boat for a nannery.

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The sanding is progressing well and the cockpit is now polished, soft as a baby’s bum, can’t wait for the whole job to be done. Toi has pointed out other things I need to get done now as they are just about to go to shit, all the glue under the handrails is in her words, dead and needs to be replaced. Toi is unreal, she knows a lot about a lot and how to do it. She has no problem with helping you out and to me seems like a person with good karma hanging around her.

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The polishing is now underway, it’s like brand new, what a bargain, Bung who has Friday’s off is here on Sunday going for it, he had a hand from Nook this morning and they have finished the cockpit and moved on to the topsides, gleaming.

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The solar panels are installed but need some extra wire to finish them, C&C Engineering, Yanmah people, are perhaps coming Tuesday to service the sail drives, then the props can go back on, another tick, although each tick usually coincides with a new job to the list, it’s never ending.

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Had a bit of fun last night with Gerry and a couple of his mates, Paul and Nick, at Bang Pae, tried some of the local rum, Sam Song, bit like metho by itself, the food was superb and tried a new dish, homook, which is a pastey sort of thing with fish and herbs wrapped in a banana leaf, the flavours blow your mind, lemon grass, kaffir lime, fish, turmeric come to you instantly and it has the consistency of mum’s South African fillet dish, which is and will always be my favourite meal. Pretty messy by the time we got home and getting into the A/C was a bargain.

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Went shopping the other day down near Boat Lagoon, had a feed at our favourite restaurant down that way, the Lunc Som Kitchen, had pad thai to share, fried kale and cripy pork each and a soda water each for 180thb or about eight bucks, then went looking for and found a place called Super Cheap, it is, but it is a bit hard to find stuff as it is all over the show, found the oil, boat cleaners, bottle shop and then a huge pharmacy so I wandered in to check on the pill situation, they had everything I need on the shelf which is not the norm so made life easy, then leaving I came across a pile of people all standing around a table with a bloke dressed in white taking blood tests, not to sure what for but it caught my attention, next thing I am sitting at a chair waiting my turn. Ends up being a Cholesterol test, so why not. Heaps more people started milling around now there is a pharang having a go, this could be entertaining. Waiting my turn my attention was drawn to my fingers, they are like dodgy as, covered in black Sika, paint, contact cement and my finger nails are filthy, horror. I also got a chance to look over the previous results as they are listed on a pad in front of me, the three young teenage girls in front of me had readings between 120 and 130 and a quick glance showed me that the highest result was 170, next I have to put my hand on the desk, palm up, the crowd which has now swelled all went, uurrgh as they saw the state of my fingers, he wiped my finger with alcohol, pricked my finger and then put the sample into his machine for three minutes and up pops the result, me and about thirty people leaned over to see the result, 82, which was the lowest by miles, the crowd ooh’d and ahh’d and the bloke asks me what I eat, “coconuts, kaylan and kale but most of all Larb Moo, lots of larb moo”, the crowd went into a frenzy, larb moo good for you. Got up copnkrapt the tester and the crowd, perhaps I don’t need some of those pills after all. Jen went to have a go but after the crowd witnessed the dirty fingered phalang have a go they all wanted a shot, it was chocker by then so she bailed.

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Boomerang is shiny as, Toi is even surprised how well it has come up, Bryan Perry makes good boats. The props are all in pieces and buffed and ready to be coated with prop gold, the doors are looking superb, Toi has taken that job on and she is showing her master craftsmanship, they look superb.

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I was sitting down there watching her go at it when she got a phone call, it was The Kokomo’s and they are up on the reef just out from us, we looked out and there they were, this set us off, Gerry and I dragged the dinghy from up in the trees, its half flat, fuel pisses out of the fitting when you squeeze the bulb thing but it starts and we are off on an adventure. We rounded up Hubert and headed over to a listing Kokomo, not looking to flash, the tide is falling so not much chance of dragging her free but we tried with the anchor chain and she moved a bees dick but that was all and the decision was made to protect rather than waste the light trying to drag her off this tide. We headed back in and got the foam blocks they use for hauling out and took them all out and used the chain to hold them into position, which worked pretty well.

2000, its dark and we are up to our tits stumbling over boondys in thongs, which Hubert found were capable of gashing you with bad foot placement, at least the water was a nice temperature. We got one of Gerry’s big sheets, ropes, under the boat and up to the starboard side and cleated off then used it to keep the tension on the chain and hopefully keep the blocks in place as the boat listed further.

2200, the boat is at about forty five degrees, still about a foot between hull and bottom on the port side, the tide has about 300mm to go and we can’t do bugger all so we took Karen ashore, Gerry stayed with Frank and Hubert and I went back to the Investigator. I got on to Toi and asked her about getting a local ferry to try and pull it off at high tide, she rang back about ten minutes later, “what time you want us there”, “0230 to 0300”, “OK see you there”, she is a pearler. Hubert and I had a few beers and some medicine schnapps for a fair few aches which are racking me, slept in a hammock and had a hooting dream, must have been the medicine. Woke up at 0230 to the smell of bacon, had a filthy feed, a coffee and off we go with a big D shackle.

0245, the boat is upright, still a bit of a list but looking much better, the boat Toi has organised is like a barge with a roof, the engine noise as we pulled up was great to hear, real throaty at idle, we have got a chance I reckon. They have been practicing their approach and towing angle, great to see they are onto it. We handed the shackle over to Gerry and changed the ropes to the winches in the saloon from around the missen mast. The guys on the boat had a huge rope which we ran through the shackle and back, Nok had to tie a bowline in the middle of the rope, I want to learn how he did that and he only just made it as the rope pulled tight, the big diesel roared and Kokomo twisted on its keel but no backwards movement, yelled to Frank give it shit and she started moving but this is when I should have said nothing as when I yelled “go, go go” the barge stopped, Gerry said to me don’t say anything unless you want them to stop, point taken, we had to realign the barge and rerun the rope back and forth, then give it another shot, this time nothing, my heart was sinking, should have shut my gob, then a ting noise as some of the stainless handrail got crushed and then all of a sudden she was off going backwards at a fair rate of knots, then the anchor pulled tight, then it was a tug a war between the barge and the anchor, we got over to the barge and yelled to Toi to stop which they did, it then took a fair bit of time to get the anchor up, it was well and truly set, then it was up and away we go, thank christ for that, but Frank decided to follow the barge, here we go again, we chased him down and turned him around and headed out to the channel with explicit instructions, ”——- follow us”, which were sort of listened to but finally we got them out to the channel and anchored in ten metres. Geez, it’s a struggle.

0500, we all made our way back to our homes and a new day of jobs. I reckon The Kokomo’s were very bloody lucky tide wise, although it was probably the main cause of their problems in the beginning, the low during the night was not that low, if it had have been a couple of days earlier they would have been lying on their side on the rocks, then the high tide was only 100mm less than the high when they ran aground, the bit of chop also helped lift the boat up and allow it to be dragged back, anyway it was pretty exciting and a bit of an adventure to get you out of the mundane life we have to follow. What a wanker hey.

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Boomerang is fully polished, the anti foul extension is primed and the first coat is going on as I tap away, the solar panels are pumping out seventeen amps, Toi is progressing well with the doors, painting, sanding, painting and sanding, I reckon they are going to come out filthy.

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I just screamed, Stark has the Kiwi’s 1 for 1, Toi, who is sanding the door frame, just about had a heart attack, poor bugger, Shit I did it again, 2 for 20 , and again 3 for 33, and again but not out, spew, come on Australia, the commentator sounds a bit gay, oh it’s KP.

Kiwis are now all out for stuff all, loving this, wish there were some Kiwis around, that’s a bit of a dumb thing to say, what am I thinking.

Australia have won, I have even warmed to KP, no wonder the poms don’t like him, he’s a really good bloke, what a ripper day.

 

 

A nice little lap.

8th February 2015.

 It’s 0130, rolling around in my bed trying to go back to sleep, it’s not gunna happen, every time you commit to an early morning start, sleep somehow deserts you. 0330, still no sleep but up anyway waiting for 0430 to drop the mooring and head south to the Similans, fifty odd miles away.

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The Persians are up, they have been up since 0300, bummer, could have got going earlier, it’s a huge full moon and outside it is almost daylight, lets get going, preheat engines and let the alarms blare for a bit, just to wake the neighbours, probably another cause of my sleeplessness, they being fifty metres away in twenty five with forty metres of chain in, if it had have blew, they would have been on top of us in no time, wankers. Besides leaving these pricks behind it was a bit sad to be leaving Koh Surin, it is an awesome place, great water, great beaches and a place that needs to not change. Keep it simple it works pretty well by the looks of it.

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The passage between the Surins.  photo by Jen.

 

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Well worn jungle path on Koh Surin.  photo by Jen.

 

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Some leafy tree things.  photo by Jen.

 

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Prehistoric Palm trees are all over the joint.

Not much wind, 7 to 10 knots, heady out and one engine tonking along at 2100RPM and doing six knots, eight sixes are forty eight, should get there just after lunch. We have left at the bottom of the tide and will have it for the next six hours so things are looking good.

As soon as the sun came up my eyes started getting heavy, then the nods started as I was sitting comfortably in my chair out in the breeze and overcast sky, next thing you know we are a third of the way there. I awoke as we were coming up to an island to port, all safe, what a way to knock off a few miles. Now wide awake, it is back to business as usual, pretty much the same as when I was asleep, sitting comfortably in my chair whiling away the hours, getting a good bit of guts laughing in, Billy Thorpe you are a beauty, geez Most People I Know (think that I’m crazy) is a good read, the exploits of Buster the boxer dog are unreal, buy this book it’s a ripper.

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We arrived at Koh Similan at 1400 and made our way through the islands to be greeted with boats like Mr Trip flying around everywhere, chuck in half a dozen ferry’s and I was thinking why did we leave Koh Surin, Pete had a ferry sneak up on him, I reckon it spun him out, the Thai’s have to pass in front of you as it is good luck to them, whatever floats your boat. The fourth Island is the main camp with restaurants, shops, tent land and bungalows, there is a bay facing North full of moorings but also full of boats so we headed around to the eastern anchorage and picked up a couple of moorings. Pretty choppy, but bearable, had a couple of Leo’s and a nannery then we headed into town.

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Ended up at a little restaurant which had really good food, spicy as, watch out dunny tomorrow stuff, cold beer although only Chang, as beers go Chang is at the bottom of the ladder, down there with Coopers Green, at least it was cold. We met a young girl, Lyn, from Singapore who unbelievably works at 1 degree 15 Marina at Sentosa Island. She had a confidence about her that you don’t find with very many Asian women, probably been putting up with winging yachties for years, that’ll do it. The Internet was slow as and pretty much a waste of time, emails only but we did eventually manage to get the Buoyweather seven day forecast to be checked out and evaluated later. It was a complete glass off on our way back to the boats, so it looked like we may be going to get a good nights sleep, as if, by 0500 we are pretty much the only boats in this anchorage, all the others have fled, ENE at 15 knots with a metre swell pushing through, lovely. I got the buoyweather out, it is going to be the same for four days, bugger that, there is just no real protection available here, plus the traffic is out of control, so even though it is Friday, I asked Pete for his input, about fifteen minutes later we were out of there.

Raising the main it got to about half way up and stopped, a bit of a look and there it is, the halyard is wrapped around the steaming light, not real happy, it won’t come down either, more not real happiness, spewing in fact, Bloody Friday, so then up on the boom with the boat hook extended, about a foot short, so up on the cars with one foot, one hand hanging onto the lazy jack rope and the other with boathook in fingertips, just reached and by pure arse got hold of the halyard and got a bit of slack, then was able to flick it off and away we go. What else is going to happen, It’s bloody Friday, you dickhead.

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We started out headed for Nai Yang, fifty mile away, but the wind was swinging to the east which soon had us heading for Patong Bay and not to much later Nai Harn. Sailing at 35 to 50 degrees and the port engine tonking along we were doing five to six knots into a dirty looking sea. It was a day of pinching and then losing what you had put aside then back up again. Ended up getting rid of the jib and just pointed as high as we could. As we were passing Nai Yang, fifteen mile to the east a decision was made, down with the main and head for home, rough as guts and battling to hit five knots we pounded on. The sea was getting better the closer to home we got and the last hour was a dawdle, the Leo’s soon were doing their trick.

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We pulled into Nai Yang at 1600, dropped anchor next to Sonnet, a boat near us at Telaga Harbour, it used to be owned by a bloke called Murray Raynes, who did a lap in her and wrote a book called, One Easy Lap, which is a good read. He actually lives in Nannup, about 80k’s from where we live. I dropped in on him one day and had a good yack, my Dad also worked with him at the Midland workshops, an interesting fellow. The new owner Alex, a German, is believe it or not a good bloke, he has bought back to me some faith in the German race, it doesn’t take much to leave an impression on me does it? One bad egg and thats the lot buggered. We gave him a copy of Murray’s book and he was stoked, he is even taking us out for tea tonight. Bargain.

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That was our Northern Thailand passage, about 263nms of nonstop entertainment, great sailing, beautiful places and really nice people. The Similans was a bit disappointing but on its day it is possibly ok, we just didn’t get it. These waters are conducive to sailing, with offshore winds that make life a bit exciting, relatively flat water and beautiful safe anchorages all the way up and down the coast.

Our sailing mates, the Persians, are excellent partners in crime and their outlook on life is contagious, I actually had an AFM and for the last week or so have been sticking to only a couple of beers a day, can’t say I feel any better for it, but it must be good for you. Thanks Nep and Etep you guys are tops. Hubert was on the money there.

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The people you meet doing this sort of thing also makes you grin, The Persians, The Kokomos, The Babars, The Nojokins, The Sylvias, The Adagios and a few others all out doing what we want, when we want and how we want with not too much to bother us or get in your way, what a hooting lifestyle we lead.

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Also you have got to love the Thai’s, they are a very motivated lot but they also have the ability to think into the future a bit and bend to achieve a result, unlike say the Malaysians who will not budge, but that’s not bad either, just horses for courses.

A couple of Perry’s on the prowl.

16th January 2014.

Happy Birthday Mum, wish you were here.

Beep beep goes the anchor alarm, it’s 2215 and we are getting a flogging. Probably shouldn’t have come here. Probably should have stayed where we were, it’s bloody Friday after all.

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We finished off the shopping with a trip to Phuket Town, Boat Lagoon to be exact. Hired a bike off of Wit and headed there looking for a few bits and pieces, found an excellent chandlery called AME, they have all sorts of stuff and in 20 minutes my list was done, even after asking the Pommy bloke who seems to run the show if he had a 115 volt encapsulated pump for a spare for the genset and he told me “no way”, I looked down to a shelf by the window and low and behold I am staring at one, same brand, same model everything, the bloke is pretty full of his own importance and rabbited on some excuse, blah blah blah, who gives a shit if you have got some big job on.

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Had a filthy feed at a shop Pete told us about, bloody good, even tried something other than larb moo, pork and beans in a red curry paste, Jen had roast pork and veges and in the end we also had a larb moo. They love their eggs up here, hows this truck load.

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Got back to the boat in time for a SUP which lasted three hours so was pretty rooted by the time we headed out for some tucker at Heng Heng then the markets, followed by a few beers in Nai Yang Beach, a good night was had once again with Pete and Penny and Jocko.

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Met four other yachties who are mates with the guys, another Fremantle couple on a boat called Babar, that made four boats in the bay from Freo out of about ten.

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I hit the land early for some fuel and ice, which was nonexistent, but ended up with a couple of really fresh snappers to take with us. Also loaded up on pills, my blood pressure is pretty stable at 130 over 70, which for me is pretty bloody good, has not been a problem since we got back, too much good living. Could be larb moo is a help, one of the constants in our lives at present, the occasional bottle of Savy Blanc to.

When I got back Persian Sands was gone, I could only see their sails in the distance, so it was time to get our act together and get going.

We said our goodbyes around the anchorage and bolted, main and headsail up heading North with 20 knots ENE so pretty much 60 degrees and hooking along. Sevens and eights for the first couple of hours then pretty much sevens until the wind dropped away. An excellent sail in flat water, first one of those for a while, Boomerang did well.

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The Persians were just drifting along when we finally caught up to them and we followed them into the estuary harbor at Ban Thap Lamu. Busy little harbor, it must have been going to work time as the fishing boats of all sizes were heading out as we were heading in, heaps of them. It is also a naval base and a departure point for the Similans, which are a bit over 30 miles West so you have the sleek looking ferry’s with three or four 200+HP outboards on the back, they fly.

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Had a few beers with the Persians and come home and finished the Fargo series, excellent. Need to get the movie and watch it again. Cousin Lou told us about that years ago and I remember it being good.

Hired a couple of motor bikes and headed into town, being a naval base it is pretty tidy but it seemed like a bit of an outback town, sort of dusty and spread out, can’t quite put my finger on a similar town to it. Two brand new servo’s, Shell and not sure of the other, we were a bit early for the restaurants but found a coconut man so kicked back and enjoyed them straight out the esky. Pete and I were discussing coconuts and both of us came up with the reason why they are not so popular back in Australia, we only ever got one of the old ones once a year at the royal show and the milk tasted like shit and the flesh was hard to get out and not so flash on your jaws.

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We rode down all the streets and tracks down at the fishing jetties and found an excellent hardware shop, got some blue spade lugs and a new lure but we spent ages just walking around looking at shit, they even had old boxes of rusty old nuts and bolts stacked up on top of each other that could easily have been 20 years old, looked like some of the same stuff we had in our shed when I was a kid, I reckon that half of which came from Uncle Buns shed before that.

Our main mission to town was to get some gas in Pete and Penny’s bottle and when we got back we were disappointed as they don’t just fill up, they only swap bottles so no gas for the guys. If they run out we have got a spare bottle, 9 kg’s seem to last us two to three months except when some wanker fills it up with water to rip you off ten bucks, then it stuffs up your solenoid and we have now found the front right burner on the hot plate has rusted out, down to two now, so probably ten years left in it.

Looked for a mud crab pot but only huge fish traps available so no crabbing, Pete enjoys crabbing coming from Broome. We upped anchor around lunchtime and headed thirty miles North to our next destination, another inland estuary whose southern entry is named Ban Thung Dap, on the chart it looks pretty impressive.

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Had good wind which enabled us to sail almost all the way there, only pulling down the sails to come into the mouth and we found a good little anchorage on the first bend near a fishing village, calm and quiet until the sun comes up and they start flying around in a new custom design longtail to what I have seen before, they are so loud it reminded me of Deaf Dave with his little jet boat without the exhaust one year in Augusta, didn’t bother him but the whole town knew he was coming to town about five miles up stream, funny as. I still remember standing on our balcony saying to Jen, I bet that’s Dave’s jet boat up near Molloy Island way before we could see it come down through the sticks.

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We got going after a coffee and motorsailed the rest of the way with the jib and excellent wind. It was a great little sail with the wind lifting us up when we needed it, you needed to put as much in the bank as you could because you lost a bit of height dodging crab pots and non existent banks, we almost made it to the Northern entrance but the breeze won with less than half a mile to go. The Persians picked up a plastic bag on their prop, quick dive for Pete and all’s good. They also picked up a new pet, perfect if you get a rat.

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We were not to certain where we should be headed so a quick decision to head for a group of islands, Koh Luk Kam Tok being the largest of them, was made and off we went, shit wind to start with then got the sails up then blowing it tits off the last few miles. We went searching for places to hide, no wonder there is no anchorages listed in any of the guides for this place. Ended up dropping anchor on the NW tip and it was horror, wind from the ENE and the waves from the North, it must be what monohull sailors endure on their way to having fun. The Persians were the first to move and with a good report from them we weren’t long after, ended up about a mile out to sea in 10 metres, much better.

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As the sun came up Pete, who I am sure is a campaigner for 60 the new 50, was on the blower, get up and lets bugger off, so we did.

The 12 knot breeze was at 30 to 40 degrees so put up the main and then the headsail and powered off for what was to be an unreal couple of hour sail.

The wind picked up, getting to 27knots in a gust, we had full main and jib up and flying along, Pete joking said it looked like we were flying a hull, it felt so good, Boomerang was pressured right up, we hit 8.7kns on really nice flat water at 40 to 50 degrees, best sail for ages, I was buzzing, felt like getting on the piss but waited, not really sure why. We headed around to the NW of Koh Phayam to a bay The Persians had stayed in previously.

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It is just like paradise, my god. Party time. Could be stuck here for a while, horror.

I now have to mention who took some of the photos, thanks Jen your a hot photographer.

 

Smile at everyone and sooner or later you will get one back.

9th January 2015.

Well a pretty easy week this one has been, I suppose if you include the genet shitting itself, constant 20 to 30 knot winds, anchoring on top of some FADS, almost getting into a blew with a dickhead kamikaze jet ski gaylord, countless rings of fire, and filling the cockpit with diesel, it may seem as though some action went down.

Saturday night we were pretty keen on watching Fargo the series, which we had started watching the night before. Started up the genet and then smelt the old, someone’s let the smoke out smell you get when something electrical has cracked the sads. Race back up the front to shut it down but it beat me too it.

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Uumm, where to start, first in with the torch and straight away I find the culprit, a lug has parted from the wire that used to be apart of it, fix that and go for start, the lift pump worked and away it went, for about 10 seconds, then that smell again, lots of swearing, eventually coming to the conclusion that there will be no Fargo tonight.

I then thought about bypassing the lift pump on the genet and just using the one in the bilge, so go down and suss it all out but now that pump doesn’t work either, the thick is definitely plottening, the only new addition is the fuel filter I replaced about a fortnight ago, the 1 micron one I bought from Multi Quip, I had a 30 micron in my hand but I thought 1 micron would somehow be better. It was now midnight, Jen’s sick of the swearing and gone to bed and I raised my hands to the sky and gave up.

Next morning we left Investigator II to head around the corner into Nai Harn Bay where the wind and waves were non existent and got to replacing the brand new rm120 filter with another brand new one and to stripping down the pump to see if there is a remedy, I had to drain the diesel into an old vinegar bottle which is nice and flexible as it has to fit into the most crap location for a filter to be installed, looks like the filter goes here because that is all the hose we have, horror, anyway didn’t spill a drop so pretty happy with myself, I took it out the back and stuck it on the table, about a litre and a half, There was a discussion on where it should be put but I wanted to clean a few tools that are just going a bit rusty, pliers, sideys and the like and also as the Sandys were coming over later and Dave might need some also, so it stayed on the table where it could be left to rest.

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We went to shore and tied up at the dinghy jetty, we were charged 300 baht, which is redeemable upstairs at the Phuket Yacht Club bar and café, good little venture. It is good to have someone look after your boat and it is good to not have to drag it up a beach or tie it off the back of a longtail. We went for a walk down to the beach, nice little spot, heaps of people everywhere although most don’t answer my constant howdy’s and hello’s in fact they don’t even smile, Checked me thongs and made sure I hadn’t trod in dog shit but no I hadn’t, oh well no point worrying about it too much. We found a nice little restaurant with big umbrellas over the tables and sat down for a feast. Ordered our staple, pork fried rice, top man goong and of course larb moo with a bowl of chopped chilli’s.

Jen went the chilled coconut, I went the Kimberley cool king brown of Leo, just got to pretty much skull it, the waitress had me over a barrel because I didn’t ask for a nik noi beer, which is small.

While we were waiting for our food this bloke comes walking along in bright yella duds that looked like the ones Moagli wore in Jungle Book, I know its rude to laugh at people but this was unbelievable, it wasn’t as though he was being made to wear them he had obviously chosen them for himself, jesus wept, just about pissed me pants, what a good belly laugh and just in time for lunch.

The food was excellent, the waitress was a beauty, which made lunch even better. Then along comes this bloke and his missus and sits at the table next to us, his wife got the sunny spot which I guess is fair, I would have offered the shade but instead he tells the waitress to shift our umbrella over to his table, I had to be decisive and authoritative and quick, it came out as, “not a chance mate,” he stared at me, I stared back, he looked at his missus stuck in the sun then looked back at me staring back at him, he then grunted and they got up and moved inside. Phew my first stand off with a Rusky, then it come to me, we were surrounded by them, it was little Russia, I am not sure but maybe they haven’t got anything to smile about, poor buggers.

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We went up to the Yacht club for a beer and to take in the view, great spot with really friendly staff. They serve toasted sangers, crepes and coffee as well. The Sandy’s came around the headland and anchored up near us so we headed back to Boomerang with the thought of a few beers and wines on our minds.

Back at the boat I had a message from Leo saying Larry was in the Gold Coast and could pick up the parts we need for the genset. Got onto Aidan from Marine Energy Systems in Brisbane, The Westerbeke man for the southern hemisphere and Asia I think, on a Sunday, he is dedicated, promised to get me a quote the next morning and that everything was on the shelf, grinning like a dead fox. Time for beers.

The Sandys came across and we made ourselves comfy and enjoyed the afternoon watching the sun go down. It was around this time we saw a very big cruise liner, The Costa Victoria, go past heading South, a fair way out to sea.

About 20 minutes later I saw what looked like the wake off a boat approaching us, it looked not to menacing but as it got closer I realised it was going to hit us at 90 degrees and they now looked to be sizable, then in no time at all it hit, rocking the boat mercilessly which then started to make things fly around the kitchen, our last middy glass from the deck became a victim, and then of course the old vinegar bottle with one and a half litres of diesel started to slide backwards and forwards across the table, I watched stuck to the spot as on its third shuffle it toppled off the table, escaping Jens finger tips by a bees dick, then it just cascaded down and splashed all over the teak and our feet. You would think that this would have bought the party to a finish but in true yachty form we got a bucket of water and some truck wash and washed it down then went back to the beers. A job for tomorrow. Jen had the last word, “told you to put it away”; looks like the pliers and sideys will just get rustier.

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The Sandys took off to KL to do a visa run and should be back for Fay’s birthday, it is now Saturday and they aren’t back and it’s birthday girls day tomorrow, we’ll see. Should send them the same message they sent us, “Shit Rodney its worse in Sumatra, git your sorry arses here now.”

Anyway next day out with the Sika teak cleaner, followed by the Sika Teak whitener and then a couple of coats of, you guessed it, Sika teak oil, it looks ok, that’s all I am going to say.

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Moved on up to Patong Bay again to say seeya to Jasmine and anchored up near Hubert on the North end of the bay. Put out eighty metres of chain in six metres of water so we shouldn’t be going anywhere, although it is constantly blowing 20 to 30 knots, then came along our next dilemma, we had back onto some fishing FAD’s which I only saw by pure chance, they were just under three metres from the surface at full tide which made them one metre below the surface at low tide, spewing as it was now falling and it was blowing its tits off. We managed to suck in fifteen metres and just left it there, it’s a bit daunting looking out the back seeing three dark spots in the water behind you but I was just not pulling that perfectly set anchor up for some sticks in the ground. We tried fishing them but got nuthin.

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One good thing with the wind means no jet skis, they are worse than apprentices, you have no idea. I have told so many of them to truck off it is not funny, one of them came along side the boat flat out and about a metre away, wanker, I have now got a line with a descent sinker and hook on it so if they come near me I go fishing. We were pulling the anchor up to come up to Nai Yang and this stupid prick with his little kid on board crosses straight in front of us, need some ball bearings and get the ging into action.

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We had a couple of feeds in Patong, frequented my favourite bar, The Seaview Bar, said hello to the girls, did our washing at 50baht a kilo and stocked up a bit at the Big C, sort of like Costco. Huge shopping centre just off Bangalore Road. Still haven’t got down there at night, will have to do it sooner or later.

After an excellent motor-sail with the jib up and starboard motor running to help charge the batteries, seven knots the whole way, we hit the markets at Nai Yang and stocked up on prawns and pork mince, a few veges but we still have a couple more markets before we leave. I have never seen tripe so white, almost tempted to get a kilo not.

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The prawns were very impressive, the smaller farmed ones were still alive, we tried some medium sized ones last time we were here and they were fine, good texture and tasted like prawn so not to bothered if they are farmed or wild caught. They farm them in the ocean not in ponds like in Langkawi.

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We have met up with Peter and Penny on Persian Sands, another Perry 43 and Western Australians to boot, they are good value and love a beer or vodka at the right time of the day, which of course is anytime. Their daughter is mates with one of our good old mates, Sue who has graced the pages of our blog before, how’s that for a small world. It is good to come across good people, they were on the hardstand next to Hubert for a couple of months as well.

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We went to a small restaurant with them last night, which had pretty good food, the hottest larb moo yet, tomorrow it is going to burn, oh yeah. Penny tied a band members shoe laces before he could trip over them, he washed smashed crab, Pen should have tied them together for a laugh.    I saw what seemed to be a smiling Russian, I went up to him and asked where he was from, he looked at me and started to say no English but then half way through he replied Russia, I introduced myself and shook his hand and explained how he was the first happy looking Russian I had ever seen. This made him and his wife smile even wider and he thanked me, how cool is that.

Couldn’t venture to far from Boomerang until late morning, had the stomach cramps, sweats and squirts big time, that larb was spicy, but with a couple of hours to high tide the airport reef started to break, not real big but got a couple of hours SUPing in, great fun, only one out getting a rest every now again then in they would come again, good style session, nose riding with a sole arch and even a few sort of drop knee cut ties, frothing sick is what I call it.

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The old bay is filling up, with boats coming in all day, Jocko from Telaga arrived, and this afternoon so did the Muscats. Last seen a few months ago leaving Telaga.

We took Jocko out for late lunch to Heng Heng Restaurant, which he seemed to enjoy, when the bill came he was even more surprised, 400baht for two larb moo’s, two pork fried rices, a huge bowl of seaweed soup which tasted more like celery and a couple of waters. Reckon we have found a hidden treasure, the people running the show all know us now and we seem to have moved up the pecking order a bit, with smiles all round. Most of the food down the beach although still cheap to us is double what it costs at The Heng Heng. The beer in our local bar is 30baht a can of Leo, dingin.

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Also did the market thing but a bit hard to get to much as our batteries are not in the best shape without a charge from the battery charger, they have been relying on wind and sun, which pretty much just about covers our 24-hour usage, but not quite, so after a week they are down to half charged. You find out what parts of your electrical system are not up to scratch pretty quickly when some part of it fails and you need the other bits to work. So the solar panels have had their day, now looking for some fandangled new ones with a bit more grunt. Larry gets here in an hour with our genset parts. Probably get stuck into it when I get back but could just as easily end up in Bangalore Road with Larry, we shall see.

The genset won, Wit, our yuk yuk driver, dropped me off at the airport and waited so back to the boat it was with all the bits, even ended up with three new scuppers from Bryan, prepped the new pump with its fittings and mounting bracket, changed all the filters, primed with the new manual system I have now installed and hey presto she is a goer. Didn’t even have to bleed it, yew yew Westerbeke. You bloody beauty. Northern Thailand here we come.

One last thing of mention, the Jo Nesbo book, The Son, is a ripper. Seeya I’m going SUPing.