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.

An early Ranga Xmas.

16th December 2015.

 Now that was a good holiday. Happy 80th Marls and Dad.

Back in Langkawi once again, and once again missing some luggage. I knew it wasn’t going to be good when we saw, through the window whilst waiting for our plane, Jens bag being delivered to the plane on its own. If anyone opens my black one they are in for a surprise, 5.5kgs of ham on the bone plus a fair old whack of beef. Oh well a couple of beers at the bar and all will be good.

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Started our holiday well with phone and internet shopping, then to the Apple store with my exploding iPhone5, they replaced it just like that, with a quick visit to the bank and once again have access to my HSBC account, it even had money in it but not for long, yumcha was filth and our applications for a couple of Thai six month visas were completed, it took two visits though.

The heart doctor was a disappointment, seemed more intent on getting me under the knife than worried about my blood pressure but his blaze attitude worked wonders as I woke up the next morning with close to perfect blood pressure and the funny anxious feeling I have had for the last few months a thing of the past. It seems it is all in my head.

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This time back in town we have time to take it easy and relax a bit with our parents, family and friends, we also had the very auspicious occasion of celebrating my dads 80th birthday, which was a ripper. The popular theme for presents was single malt whiskey, which will keep him grinning for a while.

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We had an inspection on our properties in Margaret River and Augusta, had a  good feed with Carla at a new Korean Restaurant in town and also got to celebrate Helga’s birthday with a bonfire, a thing that goes way back for the pair of us. It was a pearler of a night with other like minded people scouring her back yard for things to burn. Bonnie had set up all the chairs at a safe distance which altered depending on what was being chucked on, a hot time was had. Fire kept the cold at bay, especially as I had forgotten any jeans or jumpers.

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Ended up being cajouled into doing a day of work, that seriously put the grey matter under some stress sitting in a pumpshed, laptop on a milk crate recomissioning one of our old systems but it must have worked as I heard nothing back, no news is good news. The wine industry is taking a hit at the moment with something like thirty vineyards up for sale either on the books or just looking. Also Woolies and Coles aren’t helping matters with their tactics.

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Jens brother, Nulla, lent us his car, her old one, which made our holiday so much easier, thanks for that mate, we clocked up some serious k’s, down south twice and heaps of running around. It was loaded up with all our gear and stuff to the point of bursting at times.

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Our travels included the Pemberton and Northcliffe region, The Brown’s and The Baker’s farms and Lost Lake Winery to visit our old drinking partners from the Geographe Bay Marina, Ash and Tia and the famous Marine Boy. Pigged out on Brownies oranges and gooseberry’s and had a great feast on Marron out of the dam, filthy. We had an excellent meal at a place called Foragers, the menu was set around cherries, which are in season, christ when Leanne showed me the menu I thought that they had gone feral on us, tell you what though it was bloody beautiful. Everything that we ate came fresh from the region and it both tasted and felt good for you. Some of it looked just like your regular weeds but we all left there chockers.

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We headed back to Augusta to fix a leaky roof and a bit of block clean up, our tenants are unreal, our old neighbours the same, they are the new owners of Augusta Cellars, Mick knocked off and left Kylie to it at about 1000, joined us with whipper snipper, lawn mowers and blowers, Cala rolled up with a dangerous looking hedge clipper and by 1300 we were drinking freezing cold Sapporo beers under the house in the garage just like old times.

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I missed the opening to the Augusta Yacht Club by a couple of hours but got to sail on F-Troop, an RL 26, it was a good race of four laps with excellent wind for the first three laps which had us in second place but alas the wind dropped off and the heavy hull slowed down allowing a couple of boats to pass us, we still won on handicap though, during the race I said to Pete that if I was giving him the shits with my constant, get it up or too high’s, just to tell me to shut up, he reckons I got close once, he gave me the flag at presentation, well done Pete and Muzz. It was a really good fun arvo, all AYC events are, excellent people and a pretty awesome bit of water to play around on.

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The Cala’s place was home for us in Augusta, a few big nights, one in particular with Mick and Kylie as well, was a beauty, suffered through the next day big time.

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One morning up at sparrows, down to the marina and pile aboard Ernie’s boat and head for Busselton. The one and only rule on XCET is if you go below 20knots it’s a carton of piss, we didn’t go anywhere near it and it seems everyone had had a big night beforehand and were doing their best to keep the previous nights food down. Only one chuckler but a few close calls. Took us five hours and 1000 litres, fairly flying along at 25+ knots. Had a couple of beers at The Deck and headed home in the Augusta taxi, all eight of us including the driver, pretty crowded.

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Had one of the best Chinese meals I have had in ages, The Augusta Moon, is an old favourite and they are pumping out good tucker, pretty funny when you are living in Asia and the food is better at home, it is really good Chinese.

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Spent a few days up in Margaret River staying with Chris and Emm and little Molly, had excellent fun seeing people again, even in the doctors it was like hello, oh hello, hello, it was really good. To go to the bottle shop should take minutes but some times like ten, IGA was worse but you get your story down pat and it just rolls off the tongue. Saw so many people, good value. Got to drop in on Johnny Frazer and picked up a carton of Frazer Woods Champagne, great to see him, maybe a crew candidate, carn do it, we had ourselves checked all over for skin cancers at the Busselton skin mob, all clear, didn’t get to the Deck for happy hour with the Captains which was a very hard decision, can’t drink and drive in Western Australia and we had to be back in Margaret’s that night for a party at Thommo’s, more blurr. Said our goodbyes and headed back to Perth for a holiday.

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On the way back we dropped in on Muzz and Kazza in Mandurah, the boat was ready, esky full of Swan Draught and wine, off we go for lunch on the river, beers out straight away, I reckon Muzz has done this before, it didn’t take long and you realised they both had done this before, we run into Keith and Joe from Telaga, old owners of the burka boat, as well with their new boat and  had a nice lunch at the Mandurah Yacht Club then back on the water again, then the road then the piss again for sister Jan had organised a gathering with more people at her house, excellent fun and very very messy.

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That left three days to spend with Mo and our folks, so lunches and teas all round. Mum even made me a pretty huge South African fillet dish that is an all time favourite, we even cracked a bottle of 1997 Hayshed Hill Cabernet, it was pretty bloody good Mr Stanlake.

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We went to a place called the Blend up in Melville Heights, excellent food and they really did have a grinning fox, now can you see what I mean when I say Iam grinning like a dead fox? Also had a nice meal at the Emperors Palace and Noccello with Marls and Mo as well.

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I caught Mum on the phone trying to find Mrs Friday, the Fox Terrier lady, my first question, are you serious? Yep, cool lets find her. It took a bit but finally we were on our way to find them a new dog out in dogland. Most of our dogs have been from the Mirolinda Kennels, ended up getting a 4 year old girl that was pretty funny looking but you could tell she had a pretty nice nature and I reckon she was pretty lucky to be leaving kennel life for some new life in a house with carpet and a TV. She was a bit spun out to start with but she is a little beauty.

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Well that was pretty much Ranga Vacation for this year, we loaded up all our stuff, 75kg’s, how much would make it to Langkawi, who knows but as long as the Black suitcase does, its got the huge ham, the slab of Porterhouse, the slab of Scotch fillet and a bottle of Frazer Wood Champers in it.

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Merry Christmas to the lot of you, HO, HO, HO and this is what I want for xmas when this job is done.

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

Telaga Happenings

7th November 2014.

Back in sunny Langkawi along with Keith’s brother Clive who was on the same planes as me back from Perth. My bike was where I left it in the area set aside for taxi drivers and it started so alls good.

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A pretty uneventful week although had a couple of highlights, we went to the Pause for Paws show at the Eagle Rock bar at Pantai Tengah, all the best bands from KL were here and there are some beauties, one had a huge bloke playing the acoustic guitar, it looked like a ukulele on him, he had it up high above his belly and liked to wave his arms around, he was bloody good. Drinks were a killer though, rm50 for a beer and a gin and tonic, four rounds and we were broke. Then along came Bond, hot bottle of Hardy’s Sav Blanc and some ice and we sat out on the boardwalk getting a shine on.

Had this big local bloke, owned a boat, a restaurant, a house and a great big black Harley Davidson, which he offered me the keys, thought for a sec but then thought better of it. He was pretty big on himself sprouting on about his money. Keith and Cath and Clive were boogying all night long.

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We had Bollywood come to town, Telaga Harbour Marina that is, full stage production with dancers and stuff, I went and sat out on the side smoking a cigar and having a beer but after a few takes they pretty much told me to piss off back inside, Boomerang is quite possibly a prop for this lavish production. Fame and fortune follows us everywhere. The chick was hot, the boys from Mahurajha’s agree.

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Boomerang is in the background to this wedding shot as well.

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Koh Lipe is calling so we have been getting Boomerang ready for departure, she is looking good, all polished and the props all done so just need the weather and away it will be. Had planned on Saturday but it blew its arse off, also the Breezies are back so we have decided to wait for them as well. They are doing a dive course on Lipe as where they went to do it a couple of weeks ago had no vis.

We have been hitting Shin Mi a fair bit, in fact they gave us a discount the other day, unbelievable. Had a steamed muddy in soy the other night that was absolutely delicious. We went for tea at Shin Mi with a group of yachties and over the course of the meal the subject came around to fire crackers, I didn’t even start it, I was telling our story of letting off crackers through the Kimberley and all of a sudden this women goes “that’s where I have seen Boomerang, I knew I had seen you somewhere.” When we anchored up in Parry Harbour one evening with Chris and Woodsy back in 2011 we had let some rippers go, there were two other boats in the place, one was Opal Lady and the other was Lazy Bones which happened to be the guys I was sitting next too. Pretty small world.

Also had a great lunch feast at Teo’s, Curry crab, spewing though as just as he had chopped it up along came a bloke with another foam box full of freshy’s, couple of rippers amongst it, next time I will ask before I choose.

 

All this good food has got the blood pressure a bit erratic so I went to the Langkawi Hospital for a check up the other day. Most people say how crap this place is but it cost me rm50 for an ECG and they monitored me until the BP came good. Dr Li asked me how long I have been here, said a couple of months, she then asked if I eat local food, Yep, drink beer, Yep, well perhaps I should slow down a bit on both, so I have and alls good. Can’t believe it was to many crabs, although I do wake up just about every morning thinking how I can get my hands on one. I reckon it is the beer, but don’t tell anyone.

Jeffery bought his boat around to Telaga and I went out and helped him bring it in to his berth, climbed aboard and felt like a spaz, rockin and rollin, monohulls who would want one. We got him into B19 easy as and he is now happily going through his job list getting her ready for fun. I had a look at his genset the other day and tried to flash it, got to 70 volts then the smoke came out, we have now pulled it to pieces and he will need to get the bits sorted as we are going on holidays tomorrow. Horror, the last thing I need is work related stress.

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Had and excellent sing along with K&C&C for Clive’s last night, The Breezies came too, he is a pretty good guitar player and singer to boot. It was really nice to meet Clive and I reckon he had a ball with his older brother, don’t think it will be 8 years between drinks next time.

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Was waiting for the motor rewinder to come and check out Jeffery’s genset but he rang, “had an accident”, so that was us, packed hose and lead away then headed over to the fuel dock and stuck 150litres in, probably could have got away without any but might need the genset for the air conditioner, pretty sticky at night and if it rains and you cant leave the hatches open your stuffed.

Left Telaga around 1130 and headed out for Koh Lipe, about 25nm and our home for the next fortnight, Thai food done proper, can’t wait.

BEEEEEP, horror, the starboard engine alarms going off. Have not even made it 100 metres out from the entrance to Telaga, shut it down and shifted all the surfboards and crap, then the mattress, then tried to find my stick for holding the engine hatch open which was now living in the dinghy, good place for it not, luckily the string we used when overhauling the fuel pump was handy. Climbed in and the first thing I see is a bottle of coolant, did I or didn’t I, well obviously I didn’t top up the coolant after changing the engine mounts, Rod is a wanker, Jen was going what’s wrong? Just mumbled you drive, follow The Breezies and avoided eye contact, filled it up and away we go. Shaking my head at no one in particular, WHAT A WANKER.