Lets Get This Show On The Road Again.

25th April 2015.

Anzac Day. Lest We Forget.

The boat is chocker, Farid proved to be good for his word, and the job he has done is unreal, the covers look great and with the patches on the wear points he reckons it should last another five years at least. If you need a new dinghy or one repaired go and see them at Swift Inflatables near Kuah. If you ask any one about Farid and Elina they just say how nice they are and what a good business they have and I cant fault those sentiments one bit. Cheers Farid.

Just need to fuel up, pay the marina bill and clear out and look out Sumatra here we come. Went up to Scarborough’s for one last fish and chips, good one but short lived for me, jobs to do. Every one was in good spirits and wished us a good trip.

Took Jen out for dinner to our ex favourite restaurant, Privilege Restaurant, what a shocker, ordered lobster broth and got three pissy little bits of hard over cooked flesh and to make it worse the broth was luke warm so it was obvious that it hadn’t just been cooked, probably last weeks left overs, Jens things were also average to the point that when the waiter walked past, Fer asked her if they had a new chef. Geez at 35rm for a bowl of stock they have got to be taking the piss. After our notification of dissatisfaction our mains come along, mine, beef rendang was really good, Jen got some salad stuff which was not real flash, they gave the entrée’s to us for nothing but to late, last time we go there, the other owner Peter would have spun out, it was a pity he was on holidays.

Had to pay our bill for Boomerangs pen and power, Norma asked when we would be back, told her about six months and she was disappointed as she wanted to ask us to her wedding, spewing that’s two now, Farah, who is Sophia’s daughter was getting married today but plans had been made and that was that, I would have loved to have gone cause Sophia is a ripper and so is Norma.

Dawn happened on the peninsular in Gallipoli, we listened to the broadcast live, stood when told too and as usual enjoyed this heart felt celebration for all the diggers and the soldiers that followed in subsequent battles and wars. Had a thought for good old Tom Milo as well. It amazes me how many more people now get into Anzac Day, great too see, dawn service is a bit like Christmas morning these days.

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We left our berth 1300, filled up to max, 460 litres diesel, and headed out through the pond, straight into Cest Le Vent, pronounced, close the vent, and had to have a pow wow with them as we hadn’t seen them since Batam a couple of years ago. Good dudes, another spew as we didn’t know they were in Telaga and they were only a k away. Said our goodbyes and headed off to Koh Lipe for the night and then the assault across the Melaka Strait dodging ships to Banda Aceh, bring it on.

Got to say gidday to Peter at Love and Peace Bar, Roman at the Elephant Bar and all the girls at Fino’s, grabbed a carton of Leo and drove the dinghy back to Adang, fair way in pitch black but we got there. Another boat had come into the anchorage while we were away but by then we were both pretty rooted and carked it.

Had an excellent sleep and got underway as the sun came up, the other boat was Ivory Street, a Perry 57 from Penang, must have been coming back from Phuket.

We headed around the bottom of the Butang Group and set course for Banda Aceh, 235nm, with the spinnaker up and doing 6 knots pretty much for the whole day, lowered the kite and set the jib for night and just motor sailed at 6 knots dodging ships all night. With morning came a storm which we are still in so doing 7+knots for the last couple of hours and it doesn’t seem like it is going to bugger off any time soon, which is great, flying along. Hubert had the main up, now it is reefed down, 25 knots of NE will do that, I am sticking to our usual game plan, don’t bust nothing and anything over 6 knots is money in the bank.

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Well we are now in Calm Bay, Pulau Pulau Banyak, it was a pretty tiring passage with good wind nearly all the way. We hit the Arioh Cut at midnight and right at the bottom of the tide, not the best scenario but the weather was to good to be pulling up and having a rest, at 0400 it was deemed by both boats it was time though. Woke up about 0900 to find we are in a ripper little bay, crystal clear water and no one about. Still the push was on lets get going and by nightfall we were well and truly on our way to Pulau Similue dodging logs and fishermen but no real dramas, hit something solid but it just bounced off and we motor sailed off into the half moon lit sea. This is where our luck really came to bear, we travelled almost 50nm in a straight line with 13 knts of wind at 70 degrees and we passed storm after storm after storm on both sides without copping one, it was unreal, called Hubert up and asked how he was going, all good, so I had a kip for a bit well until my crew came out and tickled my foot, came out of a dead sleep with a bit of a jump, spewing. Tried to explain Hubert was keeping an eye out but that fell on deaf ears.

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The wind deserted us about twenty miles out from the top of Pulau Similue so on with the Yanmahs and we anchored up in the top bay near Pulau Tepi checked the anchor and carked it, for about fifteen hours. Hubert broke our sleep on the VHF telling us we had had a visitor, some bloke trying to get in touch with us, didn’t hear a thing. Thought about it and didn’t want to upset anyone so upped anchor and bolted down the eastern side of Pulau Similue with a good current and a bit of wind down past Sinabang and by the afternoon we had made the southern end of Similue and headed out for Pulau Pulau Banyak.

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Current against us, no wind and doing four knots with both engines going, spew, but we just plodded along and at sunup we passed The Bay Of Plenty and headed around Lolok Point and up into Calm Bay. With about a mile to go, you wouldn’t believe it, after all that way we caught a fish, a nice little Spaniard which had it’s head cut off and shoved in a bucket quicksmart as we were heading through the reefs that surround you as you enter Calm Bay. Anchored up with the rest of the boats in Calm Bay, five of them, The Breezies, Mike and Kym, Phil and Iva and a couple of others. The Breezies were over, beers had and a visit to Investigator for a well earned end of passage beer.

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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.