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

 

 

 

 

 

Once again, Our Boomerang comes back.

25th December 2014.

Made Koh Lipe in just on four hours and found our old mooring from the last visit. It is secured to a huge piece of rock on the seabed. We sat back and had a few drinks and relaxed, it was good to be on holidays again with only one commitment, be at Bang Thao Bay in Phuket by Xmas to meet the Sandy’s and the Bonnies, not to hard you wouldn’t think.

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Slipped into Lipe for some new phone sim cards, a feed at Fino’s, dropped in at the Elephant Bar to see the Banana Band boys and to say gidday to Pete at the Peace and Love Bar. I ate so much food I could not get a beer into me so we went home early.

This is where the fun starts, we were just tooting along in the dinghy back to Boomerang, dropped by another cat to say hello, a couple from Singapore, then we turned for home but where was it. We motored around a ferry but still no Boomerang, then we motored out a bit and there was a nice big Perry 57 that wasn’t there before, for a brief second I thought it was an early Xmas present, but it wasn’t, it was Ivory Street from Penang, by now the blood pressure is rising, not something I relish, I am thinking someone’s pinched it, then I am thinking that the new shackle I put on had come undone, then I am thinking oh well it is insured and then I am thinking I don’t care if its insured, I want her back. All this shit going on in my head, HORROR.                                                      At this time we noticed a couple of people waving vigorously at us so we shot over to their boat, it was Steve and Teena from Telaga, my hopes were rising and when they explained that they had watched Boomerang drift past them, missing all other boats and head out to sea on her Pat Malone I thought what, how long ago, about an hour, panic is setting in now big time as it is blowing it arse off, but Steve says don’t get to worried as its just out there somewhere you can see the anchor light, see out there, I looked and of course I could see the yella anchor light out in the distance. We took off in the dinghy and bashed our way out to her, and when we got there she was perfectly ok, amazing. We piled on and I started the engines just to be sure, she was weighed down at the nose so we went up to see what was going on, would you believe the whole fucking mooring is hanging off the bridle, it is true, unbelievable. So now it is strip off and get my flippers and goggles on and the Leatherman knife Muz and Kazza gave me then swim under the boat and start cutting the mooring away. Jen shone the torch from above and you could see the lump of rock about fifteen metres below, clear as. Cutting the rope was a bit of a mission as where I had to cut was about a metre below the surface and I had to keep finding where I was cutting every time I went back down with a new breath. The last strand about 8mm in diameter broke by it self and then the mooring went down and Boomerang went up with me hanging onto the bridle, Horror.  We then motored back to shore and anchored up, in 25 bloody metres so had all the chain we had in, it grabbed good. I had marked our spot where we found her and it was just on 1nm out to sea. How lucky was that.

Once back and settled I headed over to thank Steve and Teena, they reckoned it was so frustrating watching Boomerang drift by but once it was safely out of the mooring area it seemed to not be in too much peril. Then I had to mop up the carnage as they had rung Keith and Cath in Langkawi to get our number, KandC had called a resort on the beach they knew and had people looking for us on the beach, one bloke had Keith on his phone asking if Rod and Jen were here at the Peace and Love Bar and along the beach, before we got there, but no one let us know about it once we arrived, another lost in translation, Horror. It was an amazing effort by everyone and thank you all.

Goes to show it pays if sometimes you guts yourself to exploding on Larb Moo, Larb squid, Sweet and Sour pork, sticky rice and a couple of coconuts. If I could have fit a few beers in who knows what would have happened.

Next day we moved to Koh Adang as we didn’t clear in on Koh Lipe because we would then have to clear out from there when we left for a visa run. We would just wait for a weather opportunity and head to Ao Chalong to do the paperwork.

Found our old mooring, dived on it and did some repairs before deciding it was safe, the hauser from the float had the outer strands damaged so made myself up a sling so it was doubled up and safe as houses. At this point the weather turned to shit.

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We visited the neighbours, Steve and Teena, they visited us with an excellent bloke from Germany, Thomas, who was waiting for his wife and daughter to arrive at Koh Lipe. Bit of a blinder.

Our ETD was not looking real flash, to the north we had 20kns NE with 1 to 2metre swell at 4 seconds or windy and choppy as on the nose, bit like a washing machine, so we waited.

My main task each day was to take the dinghy down to the SW tip of Adang and hit the internet for weather, good old favourites, Buoyweather and Passageweather, both showing pretty much the same with Buoyweather indicating a bit stronger winds, in Indonesia if Buoyweather said 15kns it was going to blow 25kns so we waited.

Then the internet ran out so a mercy dash back across the channel to Koh Lipe, which was out of control bouncing around and hanging on, a brisk walk into town found my mate the phone top up guru at the 7/11 and filled up. Also bought another sim card, AIS this time as the dtac was sometimes a bit sketchy. I am not sure about other people but we end up with so many different sim cards it is not funny, so a cull was needed and in the end we had my old iPad and Jens Samsung phone all with credit coming out of their slots.

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By the time I got back to the dinghy it was time to have a well earned beer, only one as I only had 100bart left, dickhead, but then departed with a brief catch up with Persian Sands, another Perry 43 from Broome, whilst talking to Pete The InvestigatorII sailed past, Hubert and Jasmine, who both Pete and I know well.

The ride back across the channel was heaps better, riding down the waves instead of up them this time, I caught up with Hubert and guided him in to a anchoring spot behind us. Good to see these guys again, although the Bloody Mary’s were guaranteed to be strong.

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Had a good night on Investigator, Hubert as usual the perfect host, I spilt some tomato juice on the new teak so I was banished to be served upon only, don’t you dare try to pour anything was the call. Then I kicked my beer over, horror.

Next morning was Xmas, opened our pressies from home, got books, money, shortbread and something else but can’t remember at the present moment what it was, it was great being able to have a surprise though. Wine glasses was the other things. Cheers Family.

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We went down to our local internet café and rang and emailed everyone from the dinghy, it was great to talk with everyone even over the outboard noise as we had to shift due to oyster encrusted rocks every few minutes, they were all sorted with breakfast and lunch organized, checked the weather, tomorrow it is, yeeha.

Had a nice dive with Hubert and the new speargun which is 3 from 4 in the killing stakes, I can even load it quite easily, the other one was so hard to do. Got two parroties and another don’t know its name.

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When we were here just over a month ago there were fish everywhere, we had been watching the locals diving daily and now it is slim pickings, wankers have cleaned it out. Pointed out a stone fish, a small crayfish and a couple of pencil fish to Hubert along the way. We did the top of the tide thing and with no real effort we had probably covered a mile up and back.

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Filleted it all up and we now had our Xmas BBQ food for later. Our Xmas brunch was Sailors beef sausages on sticks, dipped into a blend of Indian mango pickle, some mustard from the Andaman and a bit of tomato sauce. Jen even put tomatoes on sticks, she’s an ideas girl.

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We all met on the beach for a BBQ late in the arvo, time enough for Frisbee, which I am still pretty crap at but getting a bit better, Steve was an old pro, then followed by crab races. We met Thomas’s wife and daughter, can’t possibly try to spell their names, Soph, the newly named daughter, helped Jen collect a bag full of hermit crabs and they set up a track and it was all go. Teena seemed to have bet heavily as her excitement levels rose to fever pitch, but it was a track for Soph and the smaller crabs on the day. After an action packed card the crabs were let go and more wine and beer were drunk.

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Soph was tending the fire like a seasoned pro and Steve made a bed of coals for the potatoes in alfoil.

In the end Thomas and his mob went back to their boat, so did Steve and Teena for a roast chicken, eating late again, and we had the fillets with garlic, salt and pepper and a drizzle of coconut oil wrapped in foil.

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Have lost our BBQ plate thing, last seen Telaga on back step of boat. Bugger.

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Jen had some of her Yoghurt and garlic jizz which went superb with the spuds and the fish was really nice and soft, Jasmine reckons it was perfect, she even had 2 serves, she is a very easily pleased girl. She explained that where they are from in Austria, all the fish tasted really fishy so they didn’t eat it, I know the taste she means.

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We hung around for a few wines and beers sitting around our camp fire listening to geckos in the jungle surrounding us, Hubert was knowledgeable on these little critters and when you listen you can here them puffing themselves up and then letting rip with four or maybe five GE-KO noises they are famous for.

As the fire got lower so did our lighting level and the time to pack up had come, all in all a pretty good Xmas was 2014.

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Merry Xmas from SV Boomerang and her Captain and Crew.