Monday, August 1, 2011

Catch of the Day! Back in Rebak.

Here it is folks. Some sort of record I'm sure. We thought about weighing it or measuring it or something. 
The Catch
We picked up this beauty about 17 nautical miles north of Tarutoa, 41 nautical north of Rebak about four in the afternoon.  No wind so we were motoring in rather sloppy but not unpleasant conditions. First indication of a strike was a banging on the aft portion of the hull at about the speed you'd expect from something wrapped around a propeller. I put it in neutral ASAP and we started looking around. Low and behold, Janet saw this little beauty hanging out beneath the stern.
There's more!
When we broke loose the bamboo she claims the pole was eighteen feet long. I got into snorkeling gear in short order and saw a cloud of net and debris wrapped around the prop. I said, "Oh darn!" or words to that effect. Trying to back out in reverse just killed the engine as it wrapped up tighter around the prop. More 'words to that effect'. So it was time for the scuba solution and anybody who's ever tried to work beneath a boat in about four feet of sloppy, choppy sea knows what fun that can be. After burning through about 1500 psi and not making appreciable progress on the giant fur ball and getting nicely beat up by the boat trying just to hang on it occurred to me that this might not be the smartest thing I had done in awhile.
I wish these guys would hang onto their gear.

We are, after all, a sailboat. We don't need no stinking engine, right? No wind? We wait. There will be wind, eventually. So twenty two hours later we docked at Rebak after covering the 41 remaining miles under sail and getting a final tow into the slip by Noel of 'Yacht Supply' in Rebak. Most of the afternoon and night was spent at zero to two knots just trying to keep steerage on the boat and trying not to get run down by Thai fishing boats. 
Sunrise with light air
By mid morning the wind finally filled in, right on the nose of course, and we had a nice beat the final 15 miles or so into the marina entrance. I will say it was rather fun trying to get the most out of the boat on a relatively short leg working to windward. It's not something we do much while cruising but it was one of the great challenges and joys of racing.

Today I dove the boat at high tide in the marina. I used the biggest kitchen knife we have and only about 500 psi of air cutting off the rotton old net and line. Our fellow yachties were all quite impressed by the size of the beast. The prop, transmission, etc, all seem to be OK. No blood, no foul.
Sea Gypsy

This little adventure occurred on the way from Yacht Haven in Phuket to Rebak in Malaysia. We stopped at Ko Phi Phi Don again on the way and spent a couple days.
Janet and "Wanida"
 Took a 'long tail' boat  trip over to neighboring Ko Phi Phi Le which really is one of the most beautiful spots we've ever seen. It is a magnificent, uninhabited karst island with a wonderful 'hong' where much of the movie, "The Beach" was filmed. We got over there early enough to dodge most of the daily tourist hoard and it was gorgeous. One of those places which lives up to it's reputation.
At Ko Phi Phi Le
The 'catch' occurred en-route from Ko Phi Phi Don. Anyone who has frequented these waters knows the immense amount of junk in the sea, discarded fishing gear and other crap, is just a factor you can not always avoid.

Rebak Resort
So now we're comfortable in Rebak Marina, Langkawi, Malaysia,  the place we left the boat last year, and a lovely spot. The marina is part of the Rebak Resort and a private island. It's very quiet and luxurious. Yachties have access to the resort facilities and pool and also have a marina restaurant and store which is much less expensive than the resort. Much of the best of both worlds. The island itself is heavily forested. There are monkeys and Horn Bills and big monitor lizards around the grounds.  We'll do a few boat jobs and plan our land travel. In a few days we'll take off for a couple weeks of Laos, Viet Nam and Cambodia. Then we'll put the boat away and be home around the first of September.

Love to all,
Bill & Janet
SV Airstream

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