The Up’s and Downs of a Cruising Sailor.

25th April 2016.

Anzac Day. Happy Birthay Jen.

Well I reckon I know why my blood pressure is all over the shot, it’s Langkawi. Been back a week and it is bloody hot, beer drinking weather some would say. The poor heart doctor would be shaking in his five hundred dollar prado shoes if he had an inkling at my drinking capabilities at the moment.

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We left Phuket and had a spinacker run for six hours down to Koh Phi Phi Yai and anchored up behind a little island. Pretty busy place with longtails buzzing around all arvo and three big ferrys anchored up to one mooring, no wonder they are all rooted, the moorings that is. Woke to solitude and lapped it up for about a cup of tea, then they come in waves around the corner and as close to the boat possible, wankers.

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We got out of there and headed for Koh Ya, found a really good mooring tucked behind a couple of little islands, more like big rocks, and we went for an excellent snorkel, crystal clear water and fish everywhere, good spot. We stayed the night then headed South, caught two Tuna and kept going for Koh Rawi, for some oysters and believe it or not a cool night, in the morning I had the hatch shut and was wrapped up in me sheet, no idea where that come from but we both enjoyed it.

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Next was Koh Lipe, big night at the Elephant bar with the Banana Band, a couple of Chinese on their honeymoon and my old young mate the barman. Staggered onto walking street and just about got run over by a taxi, perfect timing, I still had to negotiate a dinghy ride back to the boat but it all fell into place, got home 0200, safe and sound.

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Our next port of call was Telaga Harbour Marina, where the lovely Norma had booked us in for a week, got all the big things happening, booze and food and boat parts, had a feast at Teo’s and a hooting fish and chips Friday.

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It was a ripper fish and chips Friday, a good crew rolled up and some laughs were had, plus plenty of Tigers.

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Recovery day was pretty slow, although we ended up at Kumahs for a curry and Tigers, superb food mate.

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We now are members of three gangs, FCF gang, The Marina mob and another group of excellent people who I met around the place, Christy, Paul, Uncle Willy who is a pretty good example of getting old, he is a fit man for his age and he loves his ciggy’s and Tiger’s, Lewis, Ali and family and of course Kumah, one of the first people we met in Langkawi years ago. He is a ripper and pops up all over the show, he once helped me and Brian lose a couple of hundred Ringot playing cards at Drifters.

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Speaking of Brian and Lyn we caught up with them as well, as usual good fun was had. We had a BBQ on the beach for Andrew’s sixtieth, then the next night was a party on Boomerang, good do even if I say so myself, most of all the gangs turned up, Jono and Phil rolled up at 1500 and started me off early, Jono reckoned he would be gone at 1800 when everyone else was rolling up, yeah right, the both of them were in superb form by the end of the night. Keith and Kath, John and Colleen, Brian and Lyn and others were also there getting into it, I have a feeling there were a few people frogged. The boat was pretty trashed next day, just a little bit.

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Wisely I had allowed one more day before we left, spent a fair bit of it on the brush, that will learn me.

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I spent a whole day saying seeya to everyone we had met, Sofea and Theo down in Cenang, Joe and his wife at Joes Farmasi Kuah, Teo, Frederick but sadly not Rosie.

IMG_0772 Old Aunty and the staff at The Shin Mi. It was a good thing to do and although a bit sad it was good to see that at least someone likes me. The hardest goodbye was with the Tiggers, Keith and Kath, what unreal people to get to know, thanks again for everything you guys, you are rippers.

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We left with a passenger, Lewis who decided on coming with us to Phuket and so started a twenty hour passage, we had wind then none, we got caught up in a rope, late night dive in my jocks with the knife, fixed it as far as we were concerned, then sailed again till morning avoiding all boats, pretty hard feat as there are hundreds of them but with the tide in our favour we pulled up in Grand Ao Po Marina just on lunch, Toi teed it up with them and instead of doing it hard on the boat we had A/C going and not really much of a care in the world. Tiger time, although by then half a bottle of Pims had vapourised.

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Toi graciously lent us a car so with transport sorted we went about our chores, Jen got a two houry with Ratree down at the Nada Nada Massage for her birthday, she came out grinning, so did Lewis but I just worked and got dehydrated to the max, got back to the boat a bit white, shaky as and worn out. A quiet one for me, Lewis was still at the bar and Jen was glowing.

Our days were spent in and out of Ao Chalong, down at Nadas, up at Nai Yang and hovering around chandelery’s, AME came up the goods on a new filter bowl, cost 350 baht, yeeha Wewak, saved me 3000 baht on a whole one.

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The usual beverages on the balcony were had and a hooting BBQ with the G&T Team, it was a great night, plenty to eat and drink, the boys were going off dancing away and the hula hoop is back, little Ing has a style all of her own, not three weeks ago she was just learning now she’s running around flat out doing it. I am useless at it, not even a lap before it is on the ground. Young Or has got it though.

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I got an excellent massage from Ratree, the best one yet, it is going to be sad to leave these guys, they have been good mates .

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We invited them and Toi, Gerry and the kids out a spin up into Phang Nga Bay to see James Bond Island, it was a great day but geez it was hot. Once the wind came in it was better but just about melted. The girls went mad taking photo’s and then we went through the hong, pretty good to see.

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Got back on dark and rooted, Nada, Ratree and Youngen went home on the bike, Toi went home to make some dinner, we just collapsed and didn’t make it anywhere. Sorry about that Toi.

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Goodbye you guys, it has been unreal, in fact it rates as horror, hope we see you again. Hey Or, how old are you? You and Ingy have a great life mate.

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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Not enough hours in a week.

24th October 2014.

Brian and I had a beauty, the girls dropped out after Scarborough’s so we headed for Raffi’s, then Champor Champor, then Drifters and ended up playing poker into the wee hours. We had one good win that boosted our rm100 bank, so we lasted a fair while although a local bloke by the name of Kumar was doing all the work. Without my glasses I could make out it was a picture but of what, who knows, good to be able to blame it on something. It ended up a slow drive home. The car was found unlocked and the windows down, buggered if we know how that happened. Same car that got lost at the airport, you got to wonder.

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Have been trying to get my Gopro happening, it is a saga which just never seems to come good, a job for Alex our computer man when we get home. Tried using Brian’s lead and it works so my brand new lead is rooted and do you reckon it would be hard to load the app on the new MacBook, IT SHOULDN’T BE SO HARD.

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Brian and Lyn left for Thailand, it was as always, great fun hanging around with them, will hopefully meet them in Koh Lipe, Thailand, in November.

I mentioned the Sandys in an earlier post, well this is a crack up, we had the Muscat’s leave Telaga heading for Phuket, the Sandy’s were bought up, I thought they were already back in Sumatra, but that very afternoon they passed by the Muscat’s and as I woke up from my nanna nap, need at least one every day, I looked out my window and here is Sandy parking up at the jetty. Couldn’t believe it, bolted upstairs and out to say giddy, Fay saw me and went, oh shit, in a friendly way as only she can do. David parked Sandy up, big catamaran, and we helped with the ropes. This place is like bloody Hay Street, never a dull moment.

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Next to arrive in town that afternoon was Keith and Joe, up for a fortnight, staying on their boat so we are getting a bit of a gang happening, poor liver, although the new 1700 start time is pretty good.

Keith and Cath had done some excellent things for their arrival back, their canopy had a set of eyes in the window slots, looked unreal, their boat is also known amongst us as the burka boat and a pair of Keith’s brown shorts were up the mast, it was later found that they were not the good old favourites, which Keith found in his cupboard and wore for the rest of his holiday. Nice brown ones.

We had an excellent night at drifters on Monday, bought our own crowd, Brian and Lyn, The Mobbs’s, Keith and Cath, the Sandys and the locals, the music was good, Jonno and Lan seem to be polishing their act up nicely and Keith even played and sang a couple of songs.

I got hammered by Terry’s ex about smoking, she wouldn’t stop, on and on and on, felt like drowning the bitch, could have ruined a good night but guess what, apart from a few cigars, being covered in patches, chewing Nicorete gum I haven’t had a ciggy for weeks so I guess thanks for that, I couldn’t stand copping that again.

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We also had the Langkawi Mountain Bike Challenge that week and Telaga was the place to be with a couple of stages being ridden around the marina, local beach and the jungle. These guys are fit, skinny and pretty serious, it was about the fiftieth person who came past us that gave the first smile, bloody Kiwi too. We did the usual, stood around having a ciggy and this time even took the camera. Got some good shots and this smile is a winner.

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The difference between MTB and Iron Man competitors is huge, the mountain bikers are lithe but strong whereas the Ironmaners are built bigger and look a bit stronger but I think it is probably courses for horses. We got into a couple of local men, Kedah team, which is the province that includes Langkawi, the guy behind, copped go on catch him, get him and it just perked him up to get in front and beat his mate, it was good value.

The Sandy’s got their paperwork happening and got going to Sumatra, it was excellent catching up with them again and hope to be heading back to Sumatra with them in April 2015. They put so much fuel on the poor boat it was down in the water at the bows but they will need it. Apparently fuel has just gone up in Indonesia, still rm2.86 per litre from the marina. It is a bit difficult buying Diesel from the Petronus stations here now. They are not keen filling plastic jerry cans, the Baraq stations don’t seem to fussed.

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We had a hooting BBQ over on one of the islands with a couple of Gary’s, Keith and Joe. We set up the fire early and went over on dusk, then the sky turned black, then the wind came from the NE, then the wind dropped then it came from the SW and then it pissed off all together, we got half a dozen raindrops, all around got a drenching, you wouldn’t read about it, you would here I suppose.Had a great little Barbie and a few beers, nice out there. Even had to put the fire out.

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Another pretty good fish and chips, Raffis and Champor Champor preparing ourselves for the next adventure, four days in Thailand.

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Hit the shores of Satun, an hour ferry trip and you are there, cost rm23 each way each from Jetty Point in Kuah. A short tuktuk ride and we were at The Gleam Resort, Keith and Cath come here all the time when doing visa runs, excellent place, clean as and the rooms are unreal and for, 1200thb which is about $40 bucks a night I reckon a bargain. Converting to bart you divide by 10 to get to ringgits then divide by about 3 for AUD, easy.

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We all went bike riding on pushy’s to town, ended up in Ons Bar, as you do, and finally got to eat some Topman Goong, prawn patties which are Captain Mikes favourite, so filthy we ordered another plate full, you were right Mike, sensational. The street markets are just right in front of Ons and the food is a real step up from the Malaysian market food, have been waiting to get some Thai in me, bloody hot though. I knew it would be ring stinging next morning first taste but soldiered on. In the end all the food, a few hours drinking came to about $30.00 each. Good value.

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Riding the bikes is so easy as the place is dead flat, Jen had the old style girls bike, Keith and I got a MTB, Little Keith had the old banana seat model with T-bar gears and Cath and Joe had a couple of all sorts. We rode to The Big C, a shopping centre, then back with no great effort hardly getting a sweat up, Jen leading the way on her Mary Poppins model.IMG_1546

The food at the Gleam is good but the food on the streets is great, found a place that served up awesome pork larb, green mango salad and a plate of Topman Goong, not much point ordering rice as it just never comes, first time for that. We ended up eating there twice in one day, big joint on the way into town, you cant miss it. Very popular with buses and tours, forget what it was called.

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Our stay at the Gleam was so relaxing and sleeping in another bed was a treat especially with the AC set to 16 degrees C, all the blankets on and the TV going.

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The round golden thing on Jens fork is Topman Goong, then we have seafood green mango salad, noodles and the pork larb and back at the beginning raw fresh veges. It would be easy just to live on what you can see here.                                       Good wet markets, fresh fruit and veges and very friendly people. Also went on a motorbike ride to a beach, sore arse and not much of a beach, huge mangrove forest, no wonder they have a giant mud crab at the jetty, there must be heaps of them out there.

Returning to Kuah we were met with a big rainstorm and took us a couple of hours to get back to Telaga, pulling into places for cover every few k’s.

The Mobbs’s left after a big night and another great feed at Shin Mi. It has been great to see them as usual and now it could be time for the liver cleanse. Our toilet decided to shit itself. Our port main bilge pump did the same, both in the same area on the boat. Once I got into it I found the sump pump was not pumping thus filling the bilge every time we had a shower and brushing teeth. Whilst having a shave I heard a new noise, the splashing of water as it landed in water, found it, moisture had got into the connection to the sump box, new crimp and heat shrink and job done. We filled the toilet lines with vinegar and it didn’t take long for them to be bubbling away. I was hopeful that this was the end of it but after 24 hours I had a piss in it and it just about overflowed when I tried to dump it. Pulled the toilet to bits, lots of floss and black cotton, not much but something, reassembled it all and tried it out, a bit better but not like normal so stuck more vinegar down it. Next commissioning run was a failure, found hard white rock like stuff that had come away from the hoses and blocked the discharge, the vinegar did well. This is where I stuffed up big time, got Jen to push the button while I put the pipe in a bucket, it came out quicker and of a quantity not expected, so filled the bucket and then the bilge, not good especially as Jen had a surprise for me which I won’t bring up, although I almost bought up me lunch. Jens turn to clean the bilge. In the end I stripped the dunny down again, this time getting to the delivery side impeller and what do you reckon, yeeha it is rooted. The Mobbs’s were with K&C in Kuah, got them to drop into Multi-Quip and pick up a newy, then installed it and hey presto it is now a fully functioning dunny again.

Some people ask what we do all day, not much normally but then a problem comes along and boy can they sometimes go from a rock to a bloody big boondy in no time at all.

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Had some bad news from home, Cala’s dad Mario passed away, he was an excellent bloke and pretty much my Augusta dad, you could always get a beer at Barbara and Mario’s, sit around and be entertained by his antics, loved a bet especially when his footy team, West Coast Eagles were going good. Our $200 bet when backwards and forewards for four seasons with me coming out on top. Eating olives out the bucket and drinking home brew up in the shed listening to his jokes was about as much fun as the body can take, he would laugh his way through the whole joke and slap his side when he delivered the catch line, then repeat it a few times to make sure you got it, getting more and more animated, he would even have tears rolling down his cheeks, it was good for the soul. You are going to be sorely missed mate. To the whole Clabrese family, our hearts are with you.

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I checked for flights, being in Langkawi with the airport just down the hill was a bonus and without to much trouble I am heading home on Air Asia for a few days. Just after I booked it I got a message from Muzz in Geraldton letting us know his dad had also passed away, this put me on my arse, just grabbed a beer and went and sat up the front for a while, two excellent people in a couple of days. The flight was booked so couldn’t change it and couldn’t get in touch with Muzz so just hoped both funerals would be close.

I used to go around John and Beth’s and sit in the shed where he would show me how to splice all sorts of ropes, he knew them all, we would have a few beers, Beth would join us and we would talk about all sorts of stuff. We made mooring lines for Boomerang all with eyes spliced into them, all splices up to Johns high standard otherwise pull it apart and start again, it was a good craft to learn and he was a pretty bloody good teacher.

So left Langkawi at 2010, for the first time I got to fill in the Australian Immigration card with Empolyment- retired, although Mo reckons it should be retard. Arrived at Perth airport 0545, Dad picked me up and off to Augusta and the Karridale cemetery for Mario’s service. Said to him as we were walking in, don’t you bloody make it three. A very sad day, lots of balling but Cala and Emma got through their parts and we all said good bye to our mate. Barbara looked great and you could sense a strength in her I had not really noticed before. It was a great turn out. We had a big wake at the Augusta bowls club and then back to Cala’s for more, big bonfire and then bed, slept like a log. Had a good time with Dad, your turn next trip mum. Had a look at our house, looks fine but forgot to get the mail, dickhead.

Next day heading back to Perth Muzz got in touch, Johns funeral tomorrow, so out to the airport first thing next morning, then up to Gero, Mellissa picked me up and back to the house. John’s funeral was in the afternoon so had a few hours to go and see the cousins, not much luck there, but caught up with Uncle Mal whilst looking for Leigh. Good to see him and we were entertained by the dog chasing dragon flies around the pool, in the pool and on the pool.

John had the crematorium packed, Muzz did well and so did Beth and the rest of the family. One of John’s old mates from the wharf spoke of their life as waterside workers, a very entertaining and thoughtful uligy.                                     Another sad day but John had been pretty crook for a while after he had a stroke so perhaps he is in a better place. Once again guys our hearts are with all of you.

Flew home at 1810, my mate Bill picked me up on his BMW 1600cc motorbike and gave me a good dink home, powerful piece of technology, awesome. In Gero I had been driving around in Mellisa’s Cooper S so got a pretty good dose of bogan for the day.

Dinner was waiting at Jan’s, Mark, Brownie and Leanne rolled up and a few ales and wines were had. Alex the computer wiz got the Gopro software sussed, fixed Mo’s computer, and sort of fixed my emails but it was a bit hard as I have forgotten the password for my iCloud account. Don’t ever do that as it is like your MMSI number, you only get one chance. Mo came home from work at midnight and we all crashed, Mo and I having to be at the airport at around 0430. just about had enough of planes, looking forward to getting back home and having a good sleep in. She got me to the airport on time, great seeing you mate, thanks for taxiing me around. Thanks Jan for the help with the share trading account and the food, roast lamb was a winner.

Made the plane easily and here I sit tapping away down here in cattle class, even so it is better than the seat I had on the way down. There must be a good movie on as three blokes are just pissing themselves, really loud laughter, they have got everyone grinning, just what the doctor ordered.

Getting to know the ins and outs of KLIA2, it is a huge airport, I know where Burger King is, last whopper for a while I guess.Today we arrived at Q4 and had to walk to J13, it only goes to J22 so pretty much traversed the whole new airport, I reckon it is a ploy to make Malaysians thin. Got an hours kip in some lounge chairs, jumped on the plane and rode the bike home, a few beers and wines and goodnight she wrote.

Telaga Lethargy, everyone should give it a shot.

16th September 2014.

Well Langkawi is living up to its previous high standards as a place to come and let your hair down. We have been to the usual Fish and Chips Friday at Scarborough’s, not a huge turn out but the usual cohorts so fun was had.

Saturday night was the Dockers versus Port Power, the maggots destroyed us in one quarter, we couldn’t kick straight in the next and Port just had the legs in the end. At least after that I went to a birthday party at Rays Place, a bar in Kuah, caught up with a few crew from Johor Bahru, Lizzy, Wally, Luke the birthday boy again, it was a classic I knew how old he was because we went to his 30th last year in JB, John and Kate, good night much bagus.

We stripped the fuel pump off the starboard motor on Sunday, I packed it up and next day, 0800, seriously hungover, went to Kuah, caught a two hour ferry to Kuala Kedah, caught a half hour taxi to The Public Fuel Pump Company in Alor Setah, then had twenty beef sates for lunch then back to the ferry terminal and back to Kuah on the 1500 ferry, big day, by the time I got back to the car I was rooted, got in and turned the key, nothing, horror I left the lights on all day, spewing and it then started to piss down.

Asked a few people but pretty much got told to bugger off, then along came a couple who asked me what was up, I explained and the lady pointed at a van not twenty metres away and said the driver had a set of jumper leads in his hand, thanked them profusely and shot over to this young bloke, well revived my belief in Malaysians, he parked up next to me and we had it going in a jiff, offered him some cash but no way so just shook his hand and said Terima Kasih. Then it pissed down, not just pissed down but really pissed down.

We have been to the live music night at Drifters Bar and Café, good night with Jonno and Lan up on stage and eating some really good pate. They also sell pies but Jens lamb curry filled me up before we got there.

We have found a shop that sells frozen meat, Frozen Foods in Matsirat, the lamb chops are frozen pieces and you go through a box picking out the ones you want, kind of like in a butcher but these are like rocks, I got 22 to a kilo for rm31, they even came from Australia somewhere, or perhaps the sheep did, I will check that next time. We BBQ’d ten up, bloody nice and Jen curried the rest, superb two meals, left overs on toast, just like the good old days.

Have now washed and polished both hulls, the decks are next, but it is much to hot and getting up early has become a task, back to the sleep ins and loving it, so it is now a late afternoon job but Keith and Cath have complained about the working hours being out of the Telaga Harbour Marina union award rules so don’t know when they will get done now.

I have got all the gear to do the job with brushes, rough pad things, soft pad things, black streak remover, antislip deckwash with PTFE, and some shit hot polish.

Oh boy another week has gone, not much happening on the cleaning front, the boat is pulled to bits inside as we have Pete the Diesel guru looking at the yanmahs. Found a few things but they still aren’t running as smooth as they used to. I am now good at finding fuel leaks. Finally there are none after litres of sweat, bark off my hands, aches and pains and even a sunburned bald patch, that job is put to bed.

We have been taking it pretty easy with a couple of bike rides to Kuah for lunch and bits and pieces. Hired a motorbike, bit of a clunker for 200rm a month, think it is the same one a mate of ours Phil had before he went home to Tassie, but at that price, about three bucks a day you can’t complain. It took ages for the bloke to find me a helmet that fits so have been riding around with a pushbike helmet, look like a dork but now with the new helmet I look like a complete knob head. Jens fits her good. She keeps asking if we are in a rally, stuffed if I know what she means.

From Telaga to town the road is really windy and in pretty good condition so pretty good fun leaning into the corners with all the shopping in my lap or a carton of tigers and Jen on the back hanging on for grim death.

Found a shop in Kuah, Lantrac; sell fuel hose filters everything for diesel motors, got eight filters for the price of two from Australia. How does that work?

Geez, for the last few days I have been crook, started sore throat, then running nose like you wouldn’t believe, so much snot, then coughing up gunk, the one good thing was lying in bed all day, fast asleep. It knocked the crap out of me, now getting a bloody shanker, not good.

Starboard engine is done, can only be the engine mounts now, it is much better though, start on the port today, better pull my finger out as Karen and Murray roll up on Tuesday. Still got to polish the deck, it is just never ending.

Port engine done but still running pretty rough, the new silicone exhaust hose has definitely got rid of some of the vibration, upped the idle to 850RPM with the help of Pete’s strobe thingy.

Friday fish and chips was a quiety but no less messy by bedtime.

I met a girl from Singapore, Gen, she was wearing a Busselton Iron Man shirt so I asked her if she liked Busso and we got yacking. She was in the Langkawi Iron Man, which is on tomorrow, so we were having a bit of fun with her, Jen suggested she take an umberella to keep the sun off on the bike leg, I asked her if she could text me when she was getting close to the U-Turn, which is right next to Telaga, so we could run over and cheer her on, apparently not allowed to text, so Keith and I wandered over at 1230, waited around smoking ciggys with the officials till 1420 and we almost missed her, we were watching some other chick almost crash, but out the corner of my eye I saw 347, “Go Gen, Go Gen” then got a Hey Rod back and it was all over. Some bloody fit looking dudes, 3.8km swim, 180km ride and a marathon, 42km’s, to finish off, oh what fun that would be. I looked up the results and found Genevieve Lee from Singapore number 347 came in 392 out of well over 1000, I reckon bloody good effort for someone who just wanted to finish, well done mate.

Went on a mercy dash down to Cenang for the footy grand final at Raffis, got there 10 minutes into the last quarter and Hawthorn are flogging Sydney, had one beer, fried rice with chilli anchovies and left. The least most interesting thing I did all day, can’t stand them pricks. At least the bike ride was fun.

Seeya.

 

 

 

Langkawi, got to get out of here.

28th November 2013.

Up up and away we are on AAX the friendly friendly way, headed for the big Kl.

Only one hour late but it’s still in the air so shouldn’t winge to much. Had our final fish and chips Friday today with the mob we have met in Langkawi. Captain Mike invited us there when we were anchored up next to him in Tanjung Rhu. We have met the whole crew and geez you can have some fun with them, Keith and Joe our marina mates always keen for anything, Jonno and Michael, the Scottish father and son team who are always up to something, Terry and Jeff and George all make it up to Scarborough Fish and chip restaurant. Good fish and dingen beer. After the feed it’s off to Raffis in Chenang which is like Kuta was 30 years ago. Cheap drinks and good. It is pretty amazing how well you get to know the place when you spend a bit of time here, we know Langkawi like you wouldn’t believe, where to get bacon, Hendricks gin, diesel by the 100 litres for mr2 per litre, gout pills, good roti canni or really good roti canni, hire car for rm50, crabs and fish fresh from the sea, drill bits and taps you name it. We have made lots more mates, Keith and Jo, little Keith and Kath, the fish and chips crew, the marina dwellers and the girls at Telaga Harbour, are all great, so nice and friendly we bought them a cake and they loved it.

P1020785Ray and Bev joined us although their luggage didnt as it went somewhere else. It had 8 porterhouse steaks and snaggers in it so we went back and forth to the airport a few times trying to suss it out. The next day it arrived in the arvo so we went and picked it up and as soon as we got back headed north to Datai Bay and parked up for a couple of days there. Had steak on the BBQ, unreal, we had brekkie one morning at the Andaman and scrubbed the hull. Ray reckoned his hull was so shiny we would be doing circles. We then headed up to Tanjung Rhu for a few days, got some crabs and had a feast, Ray and Bev went for a walk and got escorted off a private beach then the heavens opened up while Jen and I watched a DVD. We went to Thailand for a BBQ on Ko Kai Tai Island one afternoon, a deserted place with a dunny in a shed, heaps of thongs and the usual crap you see floating around.

Took the guys to Jens Hong and we spent a bit of time having a beer and cooling off.

Showed them up the river and through the cave and then out hole in the wall and back to the boat via the open sea. It was a great day and pretty buggered by the end of it.

Ray and I tried our luck crabbing but got nothing so we packed up and headed back to Telaga to get ready for heading south. We almost had a mutiny but it was averted.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


We went back down to Penang for the Raja Muda yacht racing, it was soon apparent that Boomerang is not a racing machine but we came second in the rickshaw races which get a bit rough and ready but we quickly adapted to the rules and ran one team into the fence, it was a pitty that it was them as Alfie ended up being one of the best people we came across. The crowd hated us and started booing us during and after all our races, I was only trying to get in front they could have gone around us although we provoked it a bit more by giving them the fingers, spun them out when I started neighing to Jen in the crowd it was quite an experience.

We got protested out of the first yacht race for going around the wrong mark, the real mark had been dragged way out the way by some mono and we didn’t know, the Breezies rung us up and told us race control were trying to call us on the radio, ours was turned down, so we had to speak with them and they gave us the option of coming back and racing the second race or retiring, we cracked a beer and retired an easy decision especially on the up down course we had to sail. Told everyone that Jen was cooking a roast and watching DVD’s once we were back at the dock.

The prize giving night was a pearler with a 2 person dragon jumping from platforms, no bigger than a foot square that were close to 10 feet in the air, then picking up speed before lunging through the air and landing on another platform and coming to an instant stop. It was the best thing we saw in Penang. The two young fellas, who were the dragon, had looks of sheer joy once they finished the routine and high fived each other, I clapped for ages.

Got on it with the neighboring table who come from a boat called Lady Bubbly, they were mixing Captain Morgan rum into coconut milk, bloody good drink. There were heaps of coconuts.

The food was excellent, hot and well cooked by local people, there was so much that they fed all the security guards, I grabbed two huge plates of chicken sate and some other chicken that looked like KFC and took it out to the taxi drivers who bogged in big time. We had used these guys heaps so they all new me and I reckon taxi fares could be quite cheap next visit to Penang.

We also hit the hawkers market just up the road from the marina where I found my new food group, frog. Dry chilli frog will always be a favourite, bit like chicken without the bird flu. Finally got Jen to try oyster omelette, which she loved, Ray and Bev went the pizza and fish spagbog, an unusual choice. There were some great dishes to be had and we would recommend this place to anyone, a few km’s  past the marina on the right.

Next day we had to head 7 nm out to the shipping channel where the start boat was, it was blowing NW at about 8 kns, not real flash for us, but we were in amongst it for the start and would have featured in the photos as we all crossed the line, but once they sorted themselves out the other 3 light boats moved away from us. We held our height but not boat speed even though we clocked 8.7kns in 15kns of breeze pointing at 50 degrees. If only it had have been the 15knt NNE that was predicted.

P1020624                                                                                                                We sailed for nine and a half hours on the same tack, steadily improving our height but all of a sudden the breeze dropped to bugger all and we just bobbed around for a while. It was decided by all on board that lets get out of here so on with the yanmahs and off we went for Langkawi. At about 0200 we were passing the finish boat and let them know we had retired and the next radio call was steel de breeze telling them they had finished, good timing by someone, probably them. They did okay but we’re pretty glad to be finished, I was pretty glad to be back at Telaga harbour in our pen drinking beers reflecting on how we had performed and really it was lucky we came second in the rickshaw races.

We couldn’t be bothered sailing any of the inshore races as there was hardly any wind, Ray and Bev moved out to their hotel, I got my bed back, ripper, and I set about scrubbing the boat while Jen washed sheets and sorted out cupboards. We had one interlude with a BBQ out on an island with the marina mob. It was a great night with a fire on the beach and briars to cook on. One other excellent thing here is no bugs night or day so hanging out on a beach is a pleasure.

It took all day to clean the tops of the boat, then loading the fuel took half another, at 100 litres at a time. By Wednesday morning we were ready for our move to Rebak Island and haul out on the next day. Every thing went well, they even had a diver to check the straps, we gave the boat a polish and a big clean up inside which was 2 days of hard slog but when we finally shut her up it was a job well done. We stayed in the Taj resort for 2 nights which made a total of 4 nights in 7 months we had not slept aboard. It felt weird, the bed was to hard, but it was nice too.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We moved out and caught a ferry back to the mainland, Keith picked us up and we picked up Jo and said goodbye to Little Keith and Kath then headed for Friday fish and chips at Scarborough’s, drinks at Raffii’s with the crew, then to the airport and home we went.

Well that was a great holiday, 7 months of fun in the sun. I love the Asian people and here are a few tips when in Asia, always smile, shake everyone’s hand and most of all be nice.

There is no point arguing with Indonesians and Malaysians, they just don’t get it and good on them.

Seeya,

Captain Rod and Missus’s Jenny.