The Ockwell Vacation.

2nd October 2014.

Drifters went off, we had Jonno and Lan followed by some young bloke by the name of Jaxon, then some chick, then Paul the pie man who sang an old Lobo song I haven’t heard since I was a kid, Baby I love you to want me, and then Jonno and Lan finished it up. The place was packed and it was a wobbly old ride home.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We had to get our arses into gear getting the boat ready for a week of circumnavigation, be it only Langkawi, but we got there. Kazza and Muz rolled up at 1900 on Tuesday night then back to the boat for beers, bourbons, rums, vodkas and Malibu’s, Keith and Cath joined us and a pretty good party ensued, then up at 0745 and gone by 0815 headed for Datai Bay, the NW tip of Langkawi.

We have had a change of roles, Muz is Skipper and I am Gilligan which is a role that as you would expect I find easy to play.IMG_1313

Anchored up in seven metres and went for a paddle board, then Kazza had a go, she got the swing of it pretty quick, next time we will let her go, we had the leg rope still connected to the handrail.

I took her for a snorkel over on a reef we found last year, the Nemo’s have taken over, it is unreal, there is one lump of coral with at least twenty Nemo’s living on it in close proximity to each other, I have seen heaps of Nemo’s but nothing like this.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Once we were back at the boat Kazza dropped the bombshell, “that was the first time she had ever snorkeled”, couldn’t believe it. She loved it so what a bargain.

Muz and I went over later and Kazza came back as well, while we were feeding the fish bread and crushed up sea urchins all of a sudden the water just silted up to a point that you could see nothing, bit of a spin out, it was like some thing huge had stirred up all the bottom, we later found it was a current that just happened to start while we were there. Kazza just swam to the boat unfazed, Muz and I were thinking big bitey things.IMG_1343

We had an impressive dinner, steamed corn on the cob with butter, salt and pepper, followed by Kailan and oyster sauce with premo Western Australian steaks that melted in your mouth. It is so good to get something that you can’t get easily and that you miss, the guys bought heaps with them and a couple of lamb roasts. Perfect guests.

Next morning we hit the Andaman Resort for breakfast, this is good value eating, they have champagne, good shit too, eggs anyway, curry fish, smoked salmon, meat, toast and the good old favourite, baked beans, papaya, limes, pineapple, ah you name it, rm75 each which is a bit exxy but pretty good way to start the day. Didn’t need to eat for the rest of the day.IMG_1335

How’s this too, walking up the beach we passed a bloke and his missus, I looked back and then said to him, is your name Chook, to which he replied yes, geez we went to the same school, Wesley College, as each other, he was a couple of years older and when I was thinking about it a bit later, we even used to get off the bus at the same stop, pretty small world.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Pretty much upped anchor and buggered off and headed for Tanjung Rhu, with Muz in command, me cleaning anchor chain, pretty uneventful trip although we had to slow down for a storm to pass in front of us and then just drove in through the mouth, found our old spot and chucked the anchor back in.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The dinghy followed and off to Jen’s Hong but no way we could get in as the tide was to low so back to Captain Mikes beach and just wallowed in the shallows, sipping beers and wine doing it tough.

Back to the boat and out with the only remaining crab trap, it is getting pretty rusty now, took Muz for a spin up my creek and we set it, told him we might see a Mangrove Kingfisher, we did, probably going a bit fast to truly appreciate it but at least we got a glimpse, beautiful plumage, it is probably the same one as last year.

Set the pot at the successful spot from last year and went and picked the girls up for an entree over at the Thai floating restaurant, bloody panas, chilli hot, and the rice was yella, bit disappointing.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Kazza was in charge of dinner tonight, this is how she did it, Muz chopped the garlic, chilli and blended it with butter for her to spread onto the loaf of bread that he had cut up to make garlic bread. The loaf of bread was another thing we got from the Andaman along with a baggette and some ice, good value that place.

Kazza’s garlic bread was excellent, we followed this up with Sailors pies that are always guaranteed to please, not much left on any plates at the end.

Came across my fisherman mate from last year, Aseme, when we went up to say gidday he just sort of acknowledged us then he recognized me, big smiles all round, it was cool. Put in the order for one two kilo Golden Snapper, see how we go.

Fish and chips tomorrow, no Pantai Cenang though, shew, we look like we need to get going down the East coast on Saturday as the weather really turns nasty for a few days with winds up to 30kns from the WNW, same crap we came home from Sumatra in, we only have a few miles and we will be around the corner and in the lee of the island so not to bad.IMG_0013

Come across Asmin and Rocky, the crab fishermen, probably not the way you want to reacquaint, our anchor chain was across their net, Muz jumped aboard their boat to help, ended up cutting the net but they seemed unfazed, it was funny because as he was lying on one side of the boat pulling on the net Rocky was leaning over her side pulling on the net, she was not giving an inch but if she had just let it go Muz was onto it. I could see what was going on but they couldn’t understand me, even came out of it with eight crabs and a couple of big nippers off some poor crab who is now having a hard time eating anything. We through the female back, love doing that, they just don’t get that.IMG_0018

Friday fish and chips was good fun and by the time we got back to the boat it was time to pull the crab pot, no joy, reckon we got the last mud crab last year.

Saturday had the wind up to 15kns and pretty crap seas so we got going and headed for Hole in the wall. Just before we left Aseme came over to the boat and sold us a bucket of squid for rm20, heaps of them, Muzz and I got a system worked out and we cleaned them all up in a tidy and methodical manner, the seat now has ink on it but that was when we were just starting, Muz went into eager beaver mode making pickled squid, and we had heaps left over for all sorts of different feeds.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We got the headsail up as we made our way south to Timun Island, a bit of a rarity, but gave us an extra knot and we with the tide we made really good time to our next anchorage in a bay on the east and north end of Timun Island. We passed a cat and a mono going the other way, when they entered the channel the tide well and truly smashed them. Pretty nice place, no hotels or shops, Jen thought there were, reckons she read it somewhere, dreaming.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

On investigation we found a waterfall and a pig on the beach, Muz thought monkey, I thought dog but ended up pig, it was oblivious of us until we started the engine, then it shit itself and bolted. The waterfall is nice too.

After a couple of nights we moved on to a bay just around the corner from Kuah Town, then into Royal Langkawi Yacht Club for a couple of nights, it blew its guts out so we stayed an extra night, had a hooting feed at Teo’s, drove to Chin Mi for tea one night, great duck, and went to watch Jonno and Lan which was good but it pissed down big time and flooded the place out. I was a bit worried about getting electrocuted after seeing how the place was wired, we found some high ground and set up there.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Driving back was loose, water everywhere, people crashing motorbikes but our car made it all the way without a hint of trouble. Speaking of the car, we hired a flash one called a Myvi, Malaysian made and I have got to tell you a pretty bloody good car. This one had done 85000kms and it still looked brand spankers, the interior was the same, impressive.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We got out of RLYC and headed for Rebak Island for the guys’s last night. On the way we went and said gidday to the guys on Sea Hog and dropped off Luke’s belated birthday present, fire crackers, then we motored for a few hours down the passage and around a couple of islands to our destination.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Then had the pleasure of meeting an old mate of ours, Abu, on A jetty. He is another one of these marina guys that are always smiling, knows what he is doing and does it well. He is married with seven kids, rooting king you could say. Muz did. He was pretty wrapped with the Wahoo fillets we gave him, sadly we didn’t have enough to feed his whole tribe but he was grinning all the same.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Rebak Island and the TAJ resort are known for their pool and it didn’t take long for us to be drinking beers sitting in the pool bar alongside a couple of Canadians. Big bald buggers and good fun as well. In fact most of the people there were good value, it is a place to relax and just wonder what the next drink will be, frozen Margaritas done Everest style are the best although they are followed closely by the spicy Bloody Mary.IMG_0013_2

Happy hour at the yachties bar came and went, as with dinner at the hard dock then the second happy hour at the main bar did the same. Slept like kings and queens.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

As the check out time for yachts is 1500 the last day started late but would have probably ended the same so we escaped with a couple of hostages, Aniko and Martin from Hungary, who just happened to be on Rebak for their honeymoon.IMG_0044

We set both sails and just plodded along towards Telaga, only 5 miles off, even pulled up and everyone jumped in for a cool down, then into Telaga and our possie.IMG_0051

The Breezies, Brian and Lyn, were there to meet us and leant us their car to get everyone back to the airport.IMG_0068

This was to prove a bit of a disaster as when they arrived at the airport Jen took control of the car, say no more, and parked it in the carpark. I had ridden the motorbike with Martin so we ended up with two vehicles that needed to be returned to Telaga. It didn’t matter too much as it soon became one as when we walked into the now chocker block carpark Jen went to press the button on the key so we could find it, but alas no buttons, my next question was where is it? Not sure. What colour is it? White I think, I thought grey but it ended up being silver, after a quick look around it was hopeless so we took the bike home. About 0400 I woke up and got Jen into gear and we went looking, the place was pretty empty by then and as we rode around the carpark all of a sudden one stood out, parked a bit pissed, unlocked and definitely the Breezies car. What can you say? Well now that we had found it we could laugh but still it will take a bit of living down.

So that was the end of our Ockwell Vacation 2014, Jen and Kazza talked for 165 hours, Muz and I just did what blokes do, it was pretty bloody hooting and you guys are welcome any time you please.

We now have the Breezies in town, I really was looking forward to giving my liver and other organs a bit of a rest but with Fish and chips tomorrow I reckon I have got buckleys.





Langkawi, got to get out of here.

28th November 2013.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Captain Rod and Missus’s Jenny.