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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Waiting, Waiting for Farid.

24th April 2015.

Happy Birthday Mo and Jan and of course Jen.

We are waiting in Telaga for our dinghy, I have been doing jobs that could have waited, just for something to do, the dinghy, our only failure to complete project in Thailand, is due on Friday, the alcohol is due tomorrow, so Saturday is D day.

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The refloating of Boomerang went smoothly as, although my thirst for knowledge when it came to the props bit me on the arse, stuffed around with the pitch, then had to spend an hour or so ginning around, fighting the tide, diving on the starboard one adjusting it back to where it used to be, dickhead. I know how that works now.

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In the end the G&T bill was around $6000.00, we were on the hard for 18 days, got all the planned jobs plus a bucket load of others done, new gas bottle and all the solar panels done so we are grinning like dead foxes.

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I mentioned before that Toi is a ripper, well she is, she completed our doors the day before we went in, it is funny now as the rest of the saloon looks a bit plain, like it needs a face lift, next year perhaps, they look brilliant and the rest of Boomerang has that squeaky soft shiney feel to her. The anti foul line has been raised, lucky with all the extra weight that is about to be piled on it it needs to be, might have to get rid of some books, but it is hard to choose which ones, ahhh I just don’t know. Decisions, decisions, decisions.

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We had a big night in Nai Yang with Gerry and the G&T crew to say goodbye and thank you to them and we left Ao Po headed for Ao Chalong to clear out and as usual when you are organized and ready to go something always try’s to stuff you around, this time it was a public holiday, which means you have to pay for the privilege of clearing out, about sixty bucks, but by then I was pretty well Thai’d out, so bugger it, we are going. We thanked the immigration guy, who was excellent, for having us and he said to me I am welcome back any time I like.

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Jen told him I am a bit ting tong to which he replied, “no he’s not”, good little chuckle there. Got back to the boat had a snooze for close to three hours and we left with 12kn’s from the NE, heady up and starboard engine doing 2000RPM, a good knot of current had us doing six and a half knots headed for home.

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It was pretty easy going up until around midnight when all of a sudden a loud screeching noise erupted, sort of like eeoo eeoo eeoo, then it popped out the back, it was a bloody great big piece of foam that the fishermen use for moorings, scared the shit out of me and for the next three hours it was dodge the blocks, tried sitting up the front and bolting for the controls whenever one came into sight, come a gutser big time and took the tip off me little toe, again, before I gave that up as a bad joke. The eyes were getting a bit heavy when all of a sudden we passed the last squid boat to starboard and that was the end of the floats, bargain.

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Not long after this happened we came across a fishing boat towing a net, they do about a knot but love to go in front of you, we pulled up to let them have their way, it’s meant to be good luck for them so you couldn’t begrudge them that, anyway there was one about a mile off to starboard and doing two knots so kept a bit of an eye on him and once we got in front of him I just turned my attention to my new Rebus book and every five pages stood up and had a look around, all of a sudden I heard a loud throaty engine noise and I jumped up for a look, this bloody fishing boat had changed course and come over for a look, I squealed like a girl and the guy who was looking down at me from the bow of his boat just smiled and after his curiosity was quelled he waved to the skipper to get going again and they just headed off, not a word was spoken, they just arced up the engines and headed off, what a spin out, tried going back to reading but read the same page ten times just thinking how lucky was that, glad my Karma levels are running high. Now I am thinking, first the foam then that, what is going to be number three. So sat up on the roof and sucked on coffees till the sun came up and Jen surfaced and took over. By now we had Koh Lipe in sight and had the heady on tight sailing at sixty degrees, almost got the main up but in the end had some fish net dodging to do so easier just to do it the easy way, still doing 6 to 7kns, it was an excellent passage if you forget about the minor intrusions, I still can’t get the fishing boat out of my head though, bet they pissed themselves.

We drove into Telaga Harbour Marina at 1100 after altering the clocks so 18 hours is not to shabby, pulled into our usual possie, got the paperwork out the way, went up and said gidday to the marina girls then in airconditioned comfort slept till midnight, then finished Ian Rankin’s, Tooth and Nail, which is a hooting read, by sunrise.

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Langkawi is the same, not much changes here, the gang is a bit short on the ground but fish and chips was fun, Phil is back so good to see him again, Jeffery is at anchor at Pantai Tengah, I changed his genset over to 240 volt, success this time not like last time when I let some smoke out. John Spider and Eric were also there and then Raffis and then Champor Champor, some things stay the same, Blurrrrr.

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We have new shades for the boat now, the boys from Yacht Worx in telaga did a great job,all the port side staunchens and fittings have been reglued, but still no dinghy, come on Farid.

Hit Penang for our social visa for Indonesia which gives you two months and extensions for up to six months. Made a bit of a blunder, we went to the Shin Mi the night before and ended up on the Laphroaig back on Boomerang. Then up at 0700 and off to the airport, then Penang and a taxi to the Grand Inn, then sleep, then check what we need for our visa’s, long pants, long sleeve shirt, shoes, passport photos all of which I had but are sitting on my bed back on Boomerang. Frogged again. Jumped in a taxi and went to a shopping centre and 172rm later I am decked out an relieved, Jen who was also in the same boat, pardon the pun, frocked up in some brown gear and looks the part. Next morning 0855 we were out side the passport photo place, all done quick smart, Guna my new mate and cool taxi driver was waiting outside at 0907 and then we sped off to the Indo Consulate looking a million bucks. Queued up for a bit and then fill out one page front and back each, hand over passports, photos, photocopies of front page of passport and 170rm each. Laid on the charm and had a chat with the young women, she then let us know, “come back at 1000 tomorrow”, which worked well for our flight so pretty stoked with that. Normally have to wait till 1400.

We had a filthy feed at a Chinese restaurant just off Chullia street, superb food, this place is chocker from the time they open to the time they shut every day, spewing we didn’t get its name. There was a hooting storm while we ate, we were out on the pavement, only place left, and it pissed down, the plates flew of the table, one chair went flying down the street, it was madness. We just hunkered up against the wall and ate out of our laps. The boys kept coming out apologising to us but it wasn’t their fault and after we explained we lived on a boat and a bit of wind is a good thing they felt much better.

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We had another feast at the Red Garden, a hawkers centre, all the specialties are there, frog, sate, pork, duck, yumcha and different types of noodles are all cooked for you and bought to your table for bugger all, ours was number 120, we had a constant supply of food, Tiger beer and Hubert’s Bangladeshi mate cleaning our table every couple of minutes, good rule here, tip the cleaners and reap the benefits. It was a crack up, all the tables around us were piled high in crap with people shishing and waving their arms to get our waiters attention but they just ignored them and wiped our table or topped up our beers, Hubert told us about it and after seeing it, always look after the cleaners and the beer girls, they were even filling our glasses after a sip, it was brilliant. By the end all the people around us seemed to learn a lesson and instead of just treating them with disdain were much nicer about it.

Scored well as we went early to the Consulate and after my new mate saw us she had our paperwork ready in ten minutes, so it was out of there and off to HSBC bank then on to an Indian restaurant that Guna recommended, we had mutton curry and it was something out of this world, mouthwatering, we ended up having two serves each.

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Also fitted in a few hours on a bike tearing through the hills up the north end of Penang, had a couple of beers at the durian shop up there, then had a chilli crab at Restaurant At The End Of The World, it has been there for over thirty five years, well that was the first time we ate there anyway, it’s pretty flash now, used to be a bit rough but the place is hooting now, no cats or rats.

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We made our flight and were back in Langkawi in half an hour, not bad at 39rm each way. Air Asia rocks.

Our job list is now down to buying stuff and believe me it is flying out the pocket, geez, just got to remember there isn’t a great deal to buy when we get there.

The Sandy’s have rolled up so a bit of fun to be had, also Jasmine is back on the Gator and having a look around Langkawi, then hopefully by Saturday we will be off. Farid should have the dinghy back today, all on schedule though so plenty of faith in him, fuel up just as we leave and we are out of here, so we are waiting, waiting for the man.