Holidays are over, those ones anyway.

21st September 2015.

Its time to get up, the time is six o’clock.

Its time to get up, the time is six o’clock.

Its time to get up, the time is six o’clock.

Floundered around in a blur then finally found the bastard and went back to bed.

The Sandy’s anchorage is safe but bejesus it is rock and roll all night long. A huge lightning storm hit around 0330, lots of lightning and it pissed down. The thunder was like in the Telos, it sounded distorted it was so close.


We hung in there till 0700, knock off time for the fishermen I reckon, they were all coming past yelling and carrying on.

An irritating one foot swell at about three seconds is sweeping into the anchorage from the east, a light five knot SE breeze which is not making things to bad, no sideways action but lets get out of here.


We had anchor up and everything stowed by 0730, then it was hobby horsing out of the place around the port marker and guess what, it got far worse. To sail our course is impossible, fully on the nose, so Penang it is. The bloody autopilot is playing up or it may possibly be the plotter, that is twice now it has needed to be reset. Along the coast fishermen come over to see you and wave, my standard line now is, Aceh bagus, Jumpa Lagi, which they all seem to like. One boat came towards us and they are very animated, I waved back but they more like waved their arms in a Hati-Hati kind of way, I looked where we were headed and be buggered there’s a little wave breaking dead ahead, all the charts say ten metres, we were in thirty and I didn’t wait around to watch it rise, apparently I did good as the waving and yelling stopped.

We set the sails and sailed between thirty and fifty degrees, motorsailng, doing four to five knots, big time current against us, not much you can do, we aren’t going back.


Got Boomerang balanced up and sailing, which improved our situation ten fold, pretty ugly conditions, but Penang is not a bad spot. Mid morning we had some favourable wind direction and were just about able to head for the bottom of Langkawi, things are on the up, plus we are up in the high fives now. By lunch it was all ok, heading for Telaga Harbour.

A ship passed us from behind, I had no idea it was there, checked the AIS, amber light solid, normally green or blue, out with the book, not a great deal of info, perhaps bad area, GPS not working, that sort of stuff. So disconnected everything, checked all leads, opened up the AIS, ah shit, it has the burnt electrical smell, now it’s rooted for sure, this is not really going to plan, we are just about to cross the Straits of Melaka, one of the busiest passages in the world, now with no B class AIS, I dragged out the spare and plugged it in but even though all the indicators are correct there is nothing displayed on the plotter, a real case of the thick plottening. Out with the books, laptop and special lead but don’t really reckon I need to be bothering, it is not going to work but persisted for a couple of hours then spat the chips and had a beer followed by a stiff JD and coke, that’ll fix it. Nope. It is getting on now and the sun is going down, turned on the radar just to check. I was checking the screen and noticed these purple arcs, thought it to be waves but then looked around and there are none, oh shit we are almost in the strait, they are ships and it looks bloody busy as well.


The first one was a beauty, came up behind us, had him sussed, called him on the radio to no avail, he tooted his horn as he went past. From then on it was game on, I was wondering when I was going to get tired, not tonight that was for sure, they started coming at us from all directions although most were heading east to west or close to it, at one stage we had one slow down to give us room and then they all started doing it so you couldn’t just run up the front work out which way they were heading by their nav lights then back to the wheel to make adjustments, reckon they were thinking what’s this stupid prick up to. A couple of hours and perhaps fifteen boats I was rooted, me brain was fizzing, even had the doubts coming on, but they stopped for almost an hour, what a short lived fantasy that was, the bastard things then came at us like there was no tomorrow. At one stage I called on the VHF, all ships, all ships this is sailing vessel Boomerang we are at such and such and heading on course 082 degrees to Langkawi, can you please avoid us, not one of them replied, but they definitely saw us with every light on our mast on. About 0200 they started to slow down, thank god for that, hooked into a couple of beers to settle the nerves. They were still coming but one at a time now with heaps of gap so even allowed myself fifteen minutes nap with the phone on my chest, It’s time to get up, the time is 0230. Back to life check the surroundings and have another go, added up to a couple of hours in the end, plenty, when you know, just make it to daybreak and it is bedtime. The crew doesn’t want anything to do with nighttime and ships, don’t blame her either. You don’t realize how much you can miss something till it’s gone, the AIS gives you the ship that’s bearing down on you’s name, once you call it they are obliged to answer but if you are calling someone, like merchant vessel x 3, this is sailing vessel boomerang x 3, they don’t give a shit about you. They don’t need to give a shit is probably closer to the point.


Well the sun rose, I have sussed a comfy posy on the chair, the morning is startling, beautiful clear sky, an ocean that is so calm and blue as blue, nice, last night was horror, today is like you won and here’s your prize. We had the current with us and engines just tonking along to get 6.3kns, the risk of shipping has gone so iPad is showing the way, given up on the other gear and the autopilot is manageable but needs constant attention, we are going a bit fast as we don’t want to get to Telaga to early, although Jen did suggest the fuel dock, that is a good option. Dropped one engine off and lost a knot, it can stay off.


Saw a whale today, I thought I saw one about half an hour earlier and was thinking, as these Thai fishing boats, ones with the net between them, I imagined what would happen if they caught a whale and there you go one pops up and we both, sitting up the front sipping Anchor beers, saw it, be buggered hey. Yesterday I saw a pack of dolphins, they were going off up front, heaps of them, that was pretty cool too.


We have sat and watched the horizon for the expected 0 – 5 knots of WNW breeze, not happening, so time for a snooze, good one to, woke ready to go which was good as the wind has arrived, ten to fifteen knots at 120 degrees and all is good.


Had a funny thing happen, a boat came over for a look, cut me off to start with, then they just took off, the strange thing was all the dogs barking on it, guess it was someone’s navy but not sure whose.


The going was good so I had another snooze but a storm was headed our way, Jen give me a shake around 2300 as the wind had come around on the nose at twenty knots, it then moved to beam and eventually back to 120 degrees, so much for taking our time, we were flying, by this stage all the squid boats are packing it in for the night and heading for cover, we just ploughed on Langkawi now a glow on the horizon. About 0200 and it has passed but the lightning show we got was superb, full horizontal stuff, looked like it was joining the clouds together and then the occasional direct hit on the ocean, spectacular, our conditions continued to improve and I set about getting the fenders and ropes ready. As you come into Telaga there are some bamboo posts that are bunched together at the top and a few metres above the sea level, it might be a FAD not sure, but I know they are there and approximately where they are so I was looking out for them, you wouldn’t want to hit it as it would skuff up the gelcoat pretty badly. I quizzed on whether I had passed them and decided that I had and moved up front to tie off a fender, this is when I saw it, it went sailing past and all I could do was just watch it as we missed it by a couple of metres, just goes to show after all the crap with the electronics, the ships and the weather when your lucks in it is in.

Dropped anchor out the front of the marina as it was pretty calm by then, I had a shave for my appointments with Imigrassi, Harbour Master and Customs officials in the morning and hit the sack, slept in in the end but we were safe and sound in berth A34 by 0930. Had Cath and Gary help with the ropes, then we helped another boat come in and finally kicked back for a bit. All things considered it was a good sail, 250nm as the crow fly’s, not sure how many miles we actually did, in forty three hours, pretty much the standard.

All the paperwork over, with no dramas, we were welcomed back by the Imigassi boss and the Harbour Master, that to me is way cool. Came out of there with a spring in my step. Up to the Marina Office, cleared with them and we are back home.

BRING ON THE OCKWOLD’S, sorry Ockwells..

The Rangas would like to thank, Hubert, the lone sailor, party organiser and constant backup for ciggys, lighters and red wine, The Sandy’s for I am not sure what, but it is always good fun when you guys are around, Fred and Rosie, our live entertainment and a constant smiling face, The Persians, what a big effort to get there, Bailey and Erwin and Uncle and Goddy at the Floating Surf House, BengBeng for services done under extreme corruption, Dr Libra Christian for being our mate, Firman for his driving skills, Allie, Anaren and Nabahan for the Udang Kipas, Mangrove Jack, taking me diving and just being good dudes, Marcus for the fins, Mick for the JD and Ballantines, perfect timing, Paul the photographer for my Barrel shots, Uni and the kids at Lagundri Bay you are rippers and we really hope CaptainR’s is there next year.


We travelled approximately 2180 nautical miles, we used 1620 litres of fuel, we made 13000 litres of water and including getting the boat ready up in Thailand, six grand, we spent right on $15000 over five months for everything, to do a 12 day charter is close on five grand each, lets say four, so looking at it that way, I saved $35000 dollars and Jen got hers for free. Geez with calculations like that you may as well just go surfing, eat lobsters and drink heaps of piss.




Big On The Bay Of Plenty.

2ND June 2015.

Back in the Bay of Plenty, although there aren’t many waves but there are plenty of people.

Sibolga was good fun, fair few hangovers and put on a few kilo’s, pork, pork and more pork will do that to ya, Papa’s bistik babi reined supreme, sweet and sour pork has always been a favourite of mine.


Jazzie has left the Investigator II and headed back home to Austria, I reckon she had a ball but hard to tell as she doesn’t say much, I was meant to do a cook up of turmeric mangrove jack for her but Libra, sorry I should call him by his name tag, Dr Libra Christian, had other plans for us and we were taken to the Sari Laut Seafood Restaurant, what a feast, started with these black shells, kind of like an inch long spiral in some grey juice, not the most attractive dish, but once you get over that and suck the molusc out of it your mind is made up, filth. Each and every one of them has had the skinny end clipped somehow, this lets you suck it out. We then had garouper fried as we call Thai style, and a local favourite fish baked on a BBQ, steamed green veges, battered chumi chumi, baked prawns which although you had to peel them were very well cooked. Got me buggered why prawns in Asia come with shell on, it is heaps easier to shell them before you cook them, plus you have the burn factor for your fingers, who knows. It was an unreal feed though, one of the dipping sauces, which had an unknown condiment in it was hooting, don’t know what it was but geez it was the best sauce I have had in a while. Bit like kaffir lime leaves in a Thai curry, you have to have it or it just becomes an ordinary curry.


Libra was like an excited kid, he loved taking us out, wouldn’t hear of us paying for tea, then took us home to meet his mum who had apples peeled and quartered for us to take back to the boat, after that it was down to the farmasi to collect all our gear, malaria test kits, active malaria pills, antibiotics and all sorts of other stuff. Libra drew us pictures and wrote out instructions for everything, he is definitely a good mate, we hope to repay him in kind next time we see him.


Old Edy the tuk-tuk bloke from Mama’s is starting to get a bit greedy, caught him ripping us off, so he can get stuffed. Mama, although a bit pricey to use her jetty, at least looks after your boat and it is always there when you get back plus she is a beauty. Then you have Beng Beng, he is a ripper, if you need anything, taxi, fuel, a tour you name it he can do it. We had four hundred litres of diesel delivered to the boat and then pumped aboard for about a buck a litre, about thirty cents more than the petrol station but no sore back this time and as he says, Beng Beng not cheap, but at least you know the price and it doesn’t fluctuate from minute to minute. He took us up to the tunnels, where the main road to Medan is cut through the mountains, reminded me of a decline in an underground mine, it is big enough for the trucks to get through but only just. Further up the mountain is a monument and what used to be a flash hotel, pretty run down now.

We upped anchor on Sunday morning and headed for Pulau Karrang where we anchored up and just hung out for the arvo, had a good sleep so a night passage was possible, solo sailor and all, come 0200 I am trying to get Hubert’s attention to get him out of bed. It was a hooting moon and as we were travelling pretty much due west we would be following it down. One hour later Jen has joined me in whistling, yelling, using our horn thing, unbelievable, 0330, I have jumped in and swam over to Investigator II, stomped up the stairs and across the deck, finally got some action, bit of yelling from Hubert, who I reckon thought he was being boarded by pirates or something. Just told him to get up, then dived back in and swum the twenty odd metres back before he could get his hands on me. Bit spooky but it had to be done. We finally got going 0400 and had the moon for an hour or so and then it was pitch black till the sun come up. Motorsailed at 40 degrees in 12 knots of breeze all the way back to the Bay of Plenty and anchored up pretty much in the same spot as last time at 1500, pretty bloody good day if you ask me.

Surf has been nonexistent pretty much the whole week we were gone, everyone is a bit stir crazy, and they all bolted to other spots, guaranteed to bring the waves back on and it has been pretty good with a couple of pearler days. Had my best surf on the right yesterday, pretty well buzzing by the time I got back to the boat, got some beauties and lost no skin, doesn’t get much better than that. Captain Morgan and his mate the Frog reared their ugly heads later as we toasted Bondy, one of Western Australia’s finest, some think otherwise but winning the Auld Mug and bringing it to Freo is legendary, he was responsible for the best summer I have ever had, Oh that was party time, hard to top it. Cheers Bondy. RIP.

Killed the pig on some fish from a couple of young fishermen, 100000rup, couple of coral trout, and three checkerboard snapper and to seal the deal a cuttlefish chucked in. Eating like kings.

Went for a spin up into Calm Bay this morning to get some text messages sent and spotted a couple of coconuts in a short tree, got two of them with the paddle but the swell was battering the dinghy so I shot back and picked up Hubert and what follows just goes to show how lucky we are.


We got back up to the bay and we were just seeing if the phone worked when all of a sudden coconuts started falling out of a tree right next to the short one I wanted to attack, we both focused on the tree, there was a big long tail swaying from up in the tree, we both went, must be a monkey, bloody big one too, put it this way my coconut hunting wasn’t going to happen, who knows what a big monkey would do to this white arsed farang, then a few fronds came down and as we were just staring in disbelief at the monkey a little bloke appeared and waved to us from about twenty metres up, we pissed ourselves. He was coming back down and I said stop and he did so I got a photo of him. The tail was his rope thingo for climbing up the tree, had us though. Ended up going in and flashing some cash and coming away with half a boat load, he even went up another tree and got me five hooting big young greenies, bargain. So loaded the dinghy up and we were just sitting in it checking old mate out up another tree when, crash and splash, a dirty great coconut tree fell over and landed about ten metres from us, then all the coconuts started floating and we just scooted around picking them up, easy as you like, now the boat is chockers with the bloody things, unbelievable. I had checked out getting a chainsaw in Sibolga to just chop a tree down but no need for that around here. Poor old Beng Beng couldn’t believe that we were going to chop down a coconut tree, I countered his argument with how well they look after the joint themselves, didn’t really get it though and nor did we get a chainsaw. Pretty lucky hey? Saved ourselves a hundred bucks.


The Bay of Plenty is chockers, fourteen in one surf camp, four in another, then either Sereti, Southern Cross or Bohemia Baru roll up so there is another ten plus the four or five of us, the right sorts them out though, heaps of carnage on the reef, saw so many people yesterday stuck up on it with no real relief going in or back out, you are just going to be cut to ribbons which is not a good look, especially if you have only just arrived and your frothing.

Dindo’s turned it on today, good to be back to the safety of me old favourite wave, my arms are rooted, got so many waves, twelve people out but half of them were gaying out, bit like me on the right sometimes. Overheard this tosser going on about the reef and how shalla it was, geez it was high tide in the middle of springs, he didn’t last long, back to his room for some male action I reckon.


Caught the biggest squid ever yesterday, it’s tube is 10mm thick, still bloody nice, we have had a couple of meals from it and still got half the tube and the flaps left, although I am coming round to not bothering with the flaps, chewy as. The new Thai jig is a winner, it just sends them off their heads, they don’t gin around or anything, just dart over and grab it and stuff it down their guts, you don’t really need to pull they do it to themselves, got to love them Thais. I would take a photo of one but then everyone would know, stuff that.

We have been back in the Bay for two weeks now and have spent some cash in the last few days, the freezer is chockers with fish, chumi chumi and lobster plus we have the dive bag hanging off the back with half a dozen crays in it, old mate Danny the fisherman came over and just for a look I checked out his catch, sitting on top were two three kilo filthy mangrove jacks, so we had to have those as well, cost like five bucks each, the Sandy’s went hunting the other day for hours and no result, pretty unusual as they usually do well, but they probably used five bucks in fuel. Last month we spent one million out here but we splurged in town for a week with food and fuel and going out on the town in good old Sibolga. Still this place is pretty good for curbing my money spending problems.

The Bay has turned on, there are four charter boats, one full of French hasslers and another five Canary Islanders, it is a bit of a nightmare but after being snaked twice and almost dropped in on I started my own campaign of revenge, in the end one of the them, called me a wave hog as I snaked him back, rode that wave with a big smile through to the end, that will learn him.


Hooting waves, four to five foot for the last three days and off shore, it doesn’t get much better than this, lost a bit of bark on the right but considering what could have happened, I’m happy. Had so many filthy lefts that it is hard to remember the best ones, no injuries or aches and pains at the moment just the occasional hang over, usually when the Frog comes out. Had a beauty with Bailey from the Floating Surf Camp, he sunk his canoe and lost his paddle, sunglasses and shirt trying to go home, unbelievably he found his paddle in the morning fishing. Got to show him a technique for emptying his canoe, you just rock it side to side and in stuff all time it will be empty. That frog, I can’t find the last bottle but not really trying to hard.

Had a bit of a lull for a couple of days, Sandys have just come back from Sibolga, scored a carton of Bintang, some butter and some avacado’s so we are styling.

The whole anchorage went to The Gator for fish and rice and stuff, very good night, Hubert is a pretty good host, the boys from Valhalla had a ball, they are just about out of everything so it was good to see them hoovering up the last bits of flesh in the heads and bones of the fish which Rosie had cooked to perfection. Frederick, not Freddie anymore, supplied the tunes with his guitar and the place was rocking, Faezy was in hooting form, she had “shit on the liver” when they arrived but a bit of Jim Beam Black and she was on the attack. They have made a movie of us, I will try to add it to the blog if it is not to long.

Woke to the formidable thunder like crashing of waves at Gunters, which is where the locals came up with it’s name. The crowd was bearable so went out got three, the crowd came back from The Dream and then I got a rag doll flogging, blurr, then wore the next couple on the head, found myself up on the reef but floating along and it was time to bugger off out of there. Said to Hallas, “getting to old for this”, it was pretty bloody big, with some waves getting up there. Sitting on the boat I had jelly legs, last time I can remember having them was back in the motocross days after a big race at Manjimup.

Kicked back and read some more of this pretty average Michael Chrighton book, State of Fear, just wish it would end, have read a couple of rippers though, Thai Gold by Jason Schoonover is a goody and Rat Run by Gerald Seymour was a beauty.


Went back out to the left in the arvo and had a ball, got a few rippers, as big as I have seen it, big long walls that had not a ripple on their faces. It was just three of us out as the charter boats are all at Treasures, Gosh rolled up and made it four, just terrible way to spend your afternoon, fully sick and frothing. Sereti rolled up and soon it was ten and time for a Bintang. The pulse was pretty much gone and they were left with smaller, fewer waves and a crowd, so good to be on the spot and suss the swells as they come and go, happens all the time.


The anchorage is crowded with eight yachts in it, she is pretty well packed, the place is getting popular and the charter boats are also piled in here this morning, should have been here yesterday though, reminds me of a song, “wish they’d all go back to town, what do they expect to find, sure as hell ain’t peace of miiiind, deep water.”

The crew just asked what the date is, no idea, what day is it, no idea but when she asked what the tide was doing, high tide soon, shows our priorities as they stand, will need to do a burn off and get rid of the cans and bottles as well today, getting a bit messy around here.

The swell has died in the arse, got a few waves yesterday by myself, just so much more enjoyable with no crowd, you don’t seem to get as worn out when you have got the place to yourself. It is Sunday the twenty first of June by the way, The Sandy’s buggered off to Treasures, we went and made a couple of calls home and even got to send and receive emails and download the latest seven day forecast on Buoyweather, which is not that flash surf wise, might have to get the hooker out and try and shoot a fish. The Persians are getting ready to leave Thailand and reckon they will be here at the beginning of July, so by then we will need to do our visa extension, we pretty much lose ten days out of the sixty because of Ramahdan but that’s how it is. It will all work out in the end.


Hit Treasures for a day but ended up going and checking out cobras and some other joint, Frederick got a couple of beauties, Hubert and I, kitted out in goggles, snorkel and flippers swam over to where the waves were breaking on the reef and as they approached we dived down and watched them roll over you, I have seen it on films but never really like this, it was siick.


Anthony, a pilot from WA, was left in charge of Boomerang to get us home, fair few Bintangs and JD’s involved, he got us back with no problems and allowed us all a bit of a kip and that was another week down in The Banyaks.