1980:Return To Paradise:part 4

Stormin Norman landed his Bark in Patong Bay early tuesday morning.

The Northen European tourist begged a local yachty to ferry them to shore, but Capt Norm quickly yelled at the other boat, in no uncertain terms, that these scurvy nads would be paying the Capt before they set foot on dry land!

Later that day, all were on shore, Captain Norman of the Kiwi Bark, his “son” Jack, a happy Javanese teenage lad, his first mate Nog’n and the two German tourist who finally paid for their recent journey from Singapore to Phuket.

Jack was a funny bloke, called everyone “porkchop”, this caught on quickly with the Kangaroo crowd who ended up calling everyone they met from then on porkchop!

Captain Norman inquired what goods or boarders might be available for transport to his next stop: Sri Lanka.

By the looks of his recent “travellers”, no one was taking any changes with the wily Kiwi and his “crew”.

But, while they stayed on the beach, they were merry and partied with the best of us for a month or so before they set sail for unknown ports westward.

The yachtys came and went all season long, careful to skirt the rough monsoon, the Andaman or Indian oceans could be hard on unseasoned sailors!

Captain Gary, with his new bride had just finished running “neccessities” from various parts of South Africa and anchored next to the Kiwis for several months.

Captain Garys report on Norms boat was dismal, rat infested,etc,etc,etc, we were leary of ALL yachties in those days and never took them up on their romantic offers of cheap sailing or diving to the nearby islands.

The only diver on Patong in those days was Shady Mike Brady, an excellent and highly qualified dive instructor by day and a REAL Irishman by night!

Mike seemed to turn evil once he got off his small dive boat and landed in Thai Garden bar. Dave could handle him, but he often annoyed the rest of us.

This was the first time we’d encountered the RigRat, oil workers from Middle East who invaded Patong every 3 or 4 months for their month off, often spending $10000 a week, they rode fast motorbikes, covorted with the pretty gals and bought drinks for all at the bar nightly! They became quite popular with the local expats and locals alike, we mainly friendly, loanly guys just wanting to have a good time while safely away from their hard task masters on the job!

We came to know these fellas as they frequented Patong for years to come, married a few of the local beautys and occassionally quite the oil fields and bought a shop or bar on Patong.

One such character was Lil Dave, a squate Aussie, with a great laugh and a large bankroll that kept him swimming in Singha and Mekhong. Like most, Lil Dave couldn’t hold his drink!

He bought one local a taxi, another a small bar on bar road and “invested” in several watering holes along Patong beach for the next few years.

too be continued…

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