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.

Koh Phayam, Yeah man.

6th Febuary 2015.

 Australia Day celebrations went off like a cracker, beach cricket, BBQ and fireworks with a fair bit of lubricant as well. It was a great way to say goodbye to Koh Phayam, an excellent destination, pretty much like no other we have been to and it isn’t stinking hot with good breeze all the time.  It is so relaxed and easy going that ten days felt more like five so if you were paying for a holiday you might be getting back on the boat before you even know it.

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I reckon the gang found just about all the good restaurants, the last was a bit of a run down joint on the main drag in town but the food was pretty filthy with a price tag anyone would love. A couple of the View restaurants were really good to, even had a sort of Thai spaghetti with clams, filthy, chockers after that one. The entertainment was alright as well, Yenns, the bloke who run the place’s daughter kept us entertained for a bit, although the push button noisy phone thing could have, after a while, had her drowned in the pool.

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During our stay I completed a few jobs on the boat including oil and fuel filters, new oil, scrubbed her waterline and scrubbed the props. When we arrived she had a green four-inch beard from the bow to midships but in the calm waters of Buffalo Bay it all died and fell off which was a bit of a bargain. Fair bit of effort still to get it all off and the growth on the sail drives and props was just getting going so timed that well. The good old Hempel antifoul is working a treat on the hull with only five small barnacles on the whole boat. Under the keel where we didn’t antifoul it is going off, it’s good fun though, you get the wide scraper out and scour them off upside down, while checking out the fish get stuck in to the free meal.

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The Mojito’s from the Hippy Bar are filthy. This place is a bit of a hidden treasure, the dudes are done up like peace and love people strutting there stuff in flares with belts, big hair do’s and handfulls of rings. When you see them in town they are dressed just the same.

Larb moo is available everywhere and cooked to perfection at most. Tried a few other dishes, in particular stir fry ginger and pork, a new favourite, especially when served with sticky rice.

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We upped anchor about 1030 the day after Aussie Day and said our goodbyes to the Kokomos, Phil and Karen, and Archie and Jill off of Nojokin, a nice big stink boat that they travel everywhere in, doing it tough, Jill took a screamer at the cricket. The Babars were hard at it in a resort for the night, it was Elise’s birthday, so we didn’t get to say goodbye to them. All in all a tight gang once again, the type that turns heads and gets people talking, especially the dumb bitch who got the shits because we blocked the track trying to work out where the View restaurant turn off was. Someone should have belted her.

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We caught up with The Persians just out of the bay and headed for the Surin Group. Sweating like a rapist for the next few hours, not sure why but geez it was just pissing out me. We got our spinnaker up and the Persians followed suit and just bobbed along at 4.7kns following the imaginary border between Thailand and Myanmar but with about ten miles to go the wind dropped to bugger all and what there was on the nose so we motored the last bit to Koh Surin Nua, one of the islands in the outer island group in Thai waters.

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Coming around the headland into the bay we found Adagio on a mooring and Sylvia May anchored up in the bay. These guys were all in on the cricket and are good fun. Phil and Cheryl, from Adagio supplied the bat and ball. We met Terry and Jenny off of Sylvia May one night at a big feast with the Gary’s and others at the Shin Mi Restaurant in Langkawi. It was excellent catching up with them again and even got a bet for a bottle of vodka with Terry on the Scorchers vs Sydney Six’s BBL final. Go Scorchers. He is bloody confident, don’t think he even rates us.                                                                                                                                                We ended up anchoring in 25 metres on broken coral and sand, it took a bit to get the anchor set, not to much to grip to down there, in the end put the whole lot in, 100 metres, and on the blowiest day, 20 to 25kns, we moved 90 feet on the GPS, so reckon the sheer weight of the chain did most of the work, goes to show, it doesn’t do much good in the locker. The locals just chuck an anchor over, no chain, just rope and then all their mates come along and raft up, it would be unreal to be able to be that blasé, but I can’t do it.

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We have been diving on a nice bit of reef that no one else seems to bother with, surprising as it is heaps better than the ones the dive boats go to. You jump off the back of Boomerang, the anchor chain goes straight down 25 metres to the bottom, you can just make out the bottom and swim a hundred metres across the bluest blue water and as you get closer to the reef you can see a few boondy’s and sand then it just rises out of the blue to coral reef not one metre from the surface. The fish life is great, coral trout, snapper, garouper, a cod as big as me and his mate and another huge fish with what looked like mutton chops hanging down from either side of its mouth, plus all the other fish that you just take for granted.

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The other afternoon I went over for a look and was blown out by the big fish, they were probably always there but in the late arvo light they both came out and stood out. The parrot fish were doing circles over their territory, coming right up to you, lucky they didn’t get pinged. I was looking down and all of a sudden the bottom moved and the huge cod swam off followed by his mate and a bit later chasing a CT from rock to rock I came through the back door of a little cavern and come across mutton chops, It just looked at me and won the stare off, a ripper snapper came past just staring at me as well.

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We’ve been feasting with the Persians, hooting BBQ on the beach and a bits and pieces aboard Boomerang, also a lunch at the restaurant on land with a couple of other couples they knew from Switzerland and Germany. I had pork fried rice and a couple of Leo’s, Jen had omelet as well. Not to bad at all. They have a funny way of doing things with vouchers instead of cash but it works and there are heaps of tourists here. You can stay in tents that are all set up or little huts as well. The restaurant area is pretty big and well set out, you have to clean your scraps up, hopefully for a pig out the back but not real sure, and stack your dishes. Jen felt right at home.P1040249

 

She went for a walk down the beach where a heap of tourists were all milling around checking something out in the water, next thing I notice is the photographer dude jump, this made everyone jump and Jen walk away pissing herself. She had scared the bloke and he sent shockwaves through the crowd, well done mate sort of reminds me of something I might have done once upon a time.

Sylvia May left this morning, he was trying to reach us on the VHF but it wasn’t on, Pete screamed out from Persian Sands and got me on the VHF to let me know, so called up Terry and he gave me the news that the Scorchers had won by one run, GO SCORCHERS, he didn’t make any moves to drop off the Vodka though, have to chase him up down the line somewhere, lucky we still have plenty anyway. Suppose I should be grateful to get the result, we haven’t had any phone coverage for a while and the HF is a bit sporadic up here in the bay.

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The Adagio’s are leaving tomorrow morning at 0630 and their mooring comes up for grabs but now after a few days, the rock grinding noise from deep below is subsiding and Boomerang seems quite happy to hang out here near what I am now claiming as Rod’s Reef, still no one else has had a look at it. Did a book swap with the Adagios, they also like Ian Rankin, bargain.

Speaking of books I have been giving them a flogging, Let It Bleed, The Falls and Doors Open, all by Ian Rankin are fantastic reading, all hard to put down. Have just started reading, Most People I Know Think That I’m Crazy by Billy Thorpe, It is a pearler, haven’t had a book make me laugh for quite a while, I mean guts hurting laugh, Robert B Barrett could pull it off at least once in every book he wrote. Billy Thorpe is a funny bugger.IMG_1462

Jens read the Hope We Seek off the iPad and loved it. We have been listening to some good podcasts, Richard Fidlers’, Conversations, are great listening, the snow leopards, some bikie from the Pagans in Philadelphia, Mathew Evans the Tassie farmer whose mate Ross we know from Margaret River. There are a few more but can’t remember them all. We are sadly running out of movies and TV shows that have any interest, Halt and Catch Fire the only one we can really remember, so I won’t bore you with the others. Bring on a new series of Justified, The Banshee or Death in Paradise I reckon.

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The other day I had a funny throat which then went down my neck and has now even moved down to my guts, uncomfortable feeling like indigestion and feels like the burps are coming up from my bum. Nurse Penny has got me on a fast, and we will see how we go. It is like something is going through me from inlet to outlet, the only thing I can think of is some antifoul poisoning from cleaning the props and sail drives the other day. Pen reckons it lifestyle, I doubt it but she is probably right. To much larb moo.

Well, fasted for a whole day and a bit, even finally made a AFM, drank buckets of water but feeling better, still got a sore throat, probably a flu or something, the guys of Kokomo apparently had a shocker last week. Speaking of who, will probably come round the corner in the next couple of days.

Well, we have hit the main restaurant on Koh Surin Nae now, good feed of fish and veges, got some phone action and some internet, bloody slow though, tossing up whether to post this now or wait for the photos, bugger it here it comes.

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No it didn’t. They shut the genset down the moment I tried to publish, hopefully lucky for you.         It is now Monday and the wind has come up again 15 to 20 knots out of the East so making for a bit of a rocky existence, spewing too that I never got some photos of Rod’s reef when the water was dead calm, went over for a look today and the visibility is down to 15 metres and a bit hazy. Fish everywhere though so shouldn’t winge to much. While I was snorkeling along I heard motor noise in the water and looked up to see Mr Trip, Mr Gao’s boat fly past, so piled into the dinghy and took off up to the area they take the paying patrons. When he saw me, or perhaps the dinghy, his face lit up with a smile, probably remembering,“oh it’s the dickhead who can’t tie knots,” if he was thinking that, he didn’t show it and it was great to say goodbye to him properly as he wasn’t at his restaurant the night before we left. Reckons it was a good day today, twenty people crammed in and frothing to see some coral. I think from memory it was 500baht a pop to come from Koh Phayam to Koh Surin, so he should be grinning for a few hours work.

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Went exploring down in the bay with the Persians, some nice little bays and rivermouths to be found and checked out, Pen showed signs of her tracking abilities, wading through the mud, climbing trees and rocks looking for her land roots. We let her just go for it.

We are starting to go a bit troppo and have got a new language happening, Retep and Epolenep have picked it up quick as well. Our VHF radio which is now left on our personal channel, 17, is a good apparatus to try it out,“Yendor you there”, Yeah Retep what you want”. Fairly easily entertained hey. It is now moving to full sentences.

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Went for a blast over to the camp today for internet and a feed, both coming up short on quality, then had to drag the dinghy out through rock strewn sand bars and then take off back home to our bay, we are the only yachts here now, everyone else has headed south probably for a full moon party or something, we might just wait till Thursday morning to make sure we don’t get caught up in a day after full moon party, they don’t really need much of an excuse around here and I am just starting to get back to fully fit for duty after this quiet spell.

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Sitting back taking it easy watching a couple of yachts sail by, almost, one of them, a cat, changed course and headed for us, then proceeded to come about 50 metres from us and drop his anchor, there is a whole anchorage but this German wanker needs company. Oh well, we are out of here tomorrow, so who gives a shit.

Mission Impossible.

30th November2014.

Happy Birthday Dad and little Mo.

Well we find ourselves in Perth for my dad’s birthday, early Xmas with the family and saying howdy to all the crew.

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Geez the last night on Koh Lipe was a classic, feast at Fino’s, beers at the Longtail Bar and then JD’s at the Peace and Love Bar till stumps, I am definitely getting too old for this shit. Peter helped us get the dinghy off the beach, it had done a full tide since the last time we looked at it.

Immigration was easy, a bit more paperwork and that was that; we were free to leave at our leisure and it cost nothing.

The motor back was excellent with a good current pushing us along at 7 knots, we were even motoring into 18 knots on the nose at one stage. Luckily not for too long as we got into the Lee of Langkawi and it soon dropped to 10knots. Fishing boats dragging nets all over the place, it is funny now, a fishing boat is not really an adversary anymore, just last year they bought on atrial fribulation with their antics, now we just pass them by, often close enough to have a yack.

Got back to Telaga at 1630 making it a three and a bit hour trip, snuck into our pen and got up to immigration, then the harbourmaster and then customs to finish our paperwork off. Telaga has the best entry and departure setup and with all the people coming in and out of Koh Lipe they are like a well-oiled machine. All three sections are friendly and helpful and a pleasure to deal with.

There is an arrangement between the Thai’s and the Malaysians where The Butangs is concerned, you can get a 30 day visa on arrival from Langkawi, you must not leave the Butang Group, which is a pretty big playground anyway, you must clear in and out from Koh Lipe where an Immigration official handles all the paperwork. This is the best option for a visa run that I have come across, didn’t need to do it this time but worth thinking about next time.

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Spent a day washing the boat, a day in Kuah doing shit, we also found the Mercury dealer, Swift Marine and what excellent people they are, well set up as well. Ordered a new carby for the old 15HP four stroke so hopefully that will arrive soon, if I can sell it that would make for a nice Xmas bonus.

Had a muddy at Shin Mi, a pie at Mangoes and a couple of barbies on the boat. Also had a going away do for Naim, my favourite Telaga girl, got her a cake and said our farewells, she is off to KL to start a new job. Good luck and Jumpa Lagi mate. Naim even dropped us off at the airport, she is a beauty.

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Well this flight home was not like my last, we went business for the first time. Back in September Air Asia had a special on Business class, same price as flexible economy and as we were booking so far in advance the possibility of a stuff up was just that, a possibility. Lucky to as we had to change the flight and it cost nothing, which even made the decision sweeter.

It was pretty bloody good sitting in the big seat reclined back and I was fast asleep from takeoff to just before landing, got to be happy with that.

Dad was on airport duties and we didn’t keep him waiting, through all the gates in no time, just like Langkawi. Jen even declared a wooden mortar which had to be inspected.

Moved into Jan and Rod’s which is where Mo is also living, so good to catch up with everyone. Spent the first days getting all the bits and pieces we needed on our list, setting up a vege patch out the back yard with Mo and then it was holidays. Well trying to fit everyone and everything in anyway. Ten days seemed like long enough, I love setting goals but this could be mission impossible.

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We had an excellent day for Dads birthday, hit the Red Herring, which is on the Swan River in East Fremantle. The oysters Kilpatrick weren’t, since when did you put BBQ sauce on an oyster, but thankfully the chef saved the day with a beautifully baked flounder, it was winner winner chicken dinner. Dads red emperor was quite possibly the best piece of fish I have ever tasted, the serve was huge and served on a bed of kale, filthy. All the other meals were devoured as well.

I was yacking with Dad about the last time I went to the Red Herring and told him that it was at Darren’s, the bloke who bought my business, fortieth birthday. No sooner had I passed on this bit of trivia that I looked up and there he and Ali, his wife, was standing next to our table, oblivious to me staring at them. That was a spinout.

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We hung around Perth for a couple of days, went out to tea for xmas with Mo, Jens Mum Marls, Chris and Rommy at Nocello, an Italian restaurant that was packed. It was also excellent, the gnocchi gorgonzola was the winner that night.

We had to go to the Thai embassy to apply for our visas, a phone call Monday morning had me rummaging through paperwork, iPad and laptop for all the stuff required. You need your boat insurance policy, boats papers, airline ticket to prove you are leaving Australia, receipts proving boat location – thanks Lyn, passports and a bit of time. So piled into Teniele’s car and off we went.

B is in charge and she is a ripper, the place fills up with people wanting to visit Thailand for extended stays but she just methodically works her way through each application whilst commenting on other applicants failings to do it right. A couple in front of us when asked where they live in Australia answered in the forest, they were sent packing to find a real address, bloody hippies, reminded me of the protestors at Ludlow Tuart Forest when I went protesting for the sake of the trees. We failed but it was bloody good fun causing as much mahem as was possible without blowing something up.

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Anyway back to now, it took us about an hour and B informed us that we could pick our passports up on Thursday, pretty painless experience and a good way to start the week. We headed straight for Rowe Street in Northbridge, Yumcha was calling, it was superb. Don’t know the name but it is the second restaurant from William street heading West. The prawn dumplings were awesome, same with the tripe, the shuimai and the crab balls. I reckon Perth is the leader in Yumcha even eclipsing Asia, so far anyway.

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A hooting roast lamb meal by AJ and Mo, my guts is getting bigger, had us prepared for a few days down South. This was where the mission began, drive to Margaret River, headed for Chris, Emma and little Mo’s for a night of beers and wines, next morning dropped in on Helga and Bonnie, geez she grew quick, went for a walk round our old neighbourhood, even checked out the old house as it is up for sale and the owners have headed overseas to live, climbed a couple of fences and we were following my old way home from the pub, said gidday to Bruno and Gudi then back over a couple of more fences and that tour is over and so is any thoughts I had of moving back to Margaret River. Bugger that.

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Had to do a rental inspection of our workshop that is now leased by TEC’s. Bummer Gus and the other boys weren’t there, saw T, Sarah and the new Supervisor then moved on. Went over to my favourite lunch bar, Auger Bites, where Joe made me a filthy bacon and egg burger on the house, she is a ripper, got Mo’s car serviced, paid my drivers license at the shire, bought the new Michael Connelly and Mo Hayder books and went to the bank to sort out an account, then hit the Tav for a beer where I ran into a bloke I grew up with when I was a kid, used up some of the loyalty points on 621 my Tav number for years, bought 3 crays for sixty bucks which just happened to be the amount I took out as Fastcash, first time I have tried that, not really sure what was so fast about it, I suppose I spent it pretty bloody quick, then we went around to the Tommo’s for dinner. This ended up in a horror huge one. It is gunna be hard to get the dinghy off him Jan.

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Next day we had lunch at the Tav with Carla, I surfaced at 1330, so a bit late, good to see the Freo Dockers # 1 fan again, we then hit the road for Augusta, another 40k’s South and had a bit of a snoop around the new marina, flash as, it is unreal and the finish is brilliant.

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Headed over to the Barbara’s where the Cala’s were waiting for a beer and a wine or two. Good to see everyone.

Later we headed over to there house and had the best Laksa and heaps of beers, Woodsy came around with beers, he got a five for playing cricket on the weekend, didn’t get for what out of him.

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Another big night but up at 0530 to go pull the cray pots, blowing its arse off so headed back home after a tour of the Cape Leeuwin’s many sites. We could see the pots but getting there would have been bone jarring and cold and wet.

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Had the house inspection at our joint in Augusta, looks good, went and got Hemmy, our neighbour’s dog, out for a spin, it is like a wind up dog that is just flat out every where. While we were there Mick and Kylie came home so it was hooting to say giddy to them too.

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Said our goodbyes to the Cala’s then back to MR to say our seeya’s there and collect heaps of out of date medical supplies that Tommo scored for us to give to the fishermen in Sumatra next year, they have got nothing so any thing is appreciated, could be worth a lobster or two.

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Saw little Mo and Emma then Helga then off to Busselton to the Geographe Bay Marina for happy hour beers with the captains, Mike and Andrew, at The Deck. Ended up scoring half a platter of cheese to go with the beers off some blokes, bargain.

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Tommo had been telling me about a Deck local bloke who fell out of a cherry picker, got there and sure enough I knew him, he is a lucky bugger, fell six metres and landed on his head, always thought he had sponge for brains, hahaha, sorry Darren hope you get better soon.

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Jen then drove to Mandurah where we were expected for tea at Muzz and Kazza’s, what a feast, Steak Diane, rack of lamb and veges. Excellent to catch these guys as they are the still frothing over their time on the boat in Langkawi. Koh Lipe next year guys.

Up at sparrows for our final part of the road trip to Perth, picked up a couple of muddies for xmas lunch with my side of the family. Round trip of 804kms. Another big day with a nanna nap chucked in for good measure. We had everyone there including Brodes and Scott who were in transit sort of from Broome to England, be a bit chilly there. Jan does a pretty good impression of when her and Rod arrived in England with her smile frozen on her face. Some excellent food and wines went down and my guts is definitely getting bigger.

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The vege patch is cranking and alls good, Mo also had Teniele and Craig’s herbs booming too..

Last day saw us visiting Marls, Yumcha, IGA and Bunnings and then packing. Finished off with Mum and Dad and the neighbours, Mark and Fee for drinks and goodbyes.

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Left for the airport at 0430 with Dad being the taxi driver, got there at normal time but by the time we got through immigration they were boarding our flight, shit rushing to the bitter end, horror, but 5 hours of Business class helped us on our way. Back home for a holiday I reckon.

Not Quite, we got to Langkawi with one box missing, spewing its got some good stuff in it, but no point getting to bothered cause no one else is either and really five out of six ain’t too bad.

 

 

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.