Passengers: Steve Vallance, Tony Warrilow, Andrew Myors, Bruce Taper, Peter Langworthy, Nathan Langworthy, Ian Blake, Michael Dowling
G’day All. Just a quick note to check that everyone has settled back into life on terra firma after what can only be described as an epic adventure cruising the magical Mentawais aboard the good ship BJ.
Thanks to all for making the trip what it was – great to share times, yarns, laughs and waves with friends old and new. Good to see everyone having a decent “crack” – and always a treat watching the Capt’n putting on a show of how to thread the “corridor” at the Office!
Many thanks also to the important others in your lives for supporting the trip – it’s a special understanding and I hope you’re spoiling them in appreciation!
To those amongst us who haven’t been on other charters I can guarantee the BJ experience is unlike any other surf charter trip thanks entirely to family McGroder and their extended family, the crew of the BJ.
John, B, Fynn and Duke – as always, thankyou so much for opening up your lives, world and home to us. The effort you put in to making these trips unique is astonishing and hugely appreciated.
A few of the Many Classic Moments:
• The cast of committed characters – it’s easy to come up with reasons not to go! 10 was the option, 8 signed on.
• First gathering over beers Jakarta Airport Hotel – friends old & new unite – stoke is in the air!
• Padang post several beatings at the often-times apparent cruel hand of Mother nature – wounds licked, life goes on, the Indo spirit holds the line.
• Padang crab fest, re-connections with family McGroder
• Back on board the BJ, can the welcome of the crew be any warmer?
• The crossing, fair winds calm seas
• First Port of Call, “The Office” - Captn’s call in the pre-dawn half dark……..we’re going to get smashed!!!
• Day 1, 3-10’ Lances. Little water time and jet lag is not an ideal prep!
• Unleash the Beest – Tony W, first in…last out. What better way to celebrate a milestone birthday!
• Capt’n John and the legend of BIG RED – vertical drops on a 9’2”, tube time drifts to the ridiculous
• All having a dig in intimidating surrounds, smiles abound as all do reef/beach n back circuit.
• B & Fynn, wheelhouse schooling & hands on education “island style”
• Duke, constant source of entertainment, Lizard Lounge launching….”ekuse me wots your name, do you know me?, ahahahahah!”
• An (over) abundance of food, bintang, water, sprite, coke, juice????? Standing By!
• Southern sojourn – empty perfection, pocket rockets, long rippable walls, picture postcard settings – surfing as it should be – pinch yourself – it’s real!
• Thuderstruck! Oil slick smooth perfection.
• The Batmans Secret Hideout
• Criss-crossing the Icelands channel & abandoning the BJ under Captn’s orders to swim to the BL
• Rifles, late afternoon taste – can only imagine it at 6’ and beyond………..
• Playgrounds in Paradise – some think Gingers, some think Mary-Anne’s….it’s all here on Gilligans Isle
• Adventure at every opportunity
• Captain McGroders limitless energy, constantly setting the standard, leading by example
• 5 minutes, 5 minutes, BOAT LEAVES IN 5 MINUTES….where’s that young bloke???….sleep when you’re home……QUIT YOUR WHINGIN’!!!!!!!
Stay Safe, Keep in touch & Keep Surfing……it’s good for ya!
Thanks for the email Steve – since I’ve been home I’ve been struggling with words to adequately convey my thoughts about the trip and I think your summary and subsequent emails from everyone else beautifully sums things up.
I’ve been left with so many enduring memories/feelings of my first trip to the Mentawais but perhaps the most prominent are:
• I was struck by how isolated the Islands are and how quickly the boat you’re on becomes your world and the people on board your family. I feel blessed to have been on board the Barrenjoey and to have experienced the skill/knowledge of the skipper, the fantastic care provided by the crew and the mateship, humour and inspiration provided by the ‘passengers’.
• The complete sense of freedom you get when you’re out on the water. I don’t think I’ve ever felt as carefree as the time when we were on board the Bynda flying back to the BJ after a fantastic session at Lighthouse. Cold beers in hand, smiles all around and the glow of the sunset enveloping us. I now know John wouldn’t have been too carefree at that time though!
• How hard you blokes charge! After witnessing your desire to surf, willingness to put yourselves deep inside and your skill out in the water I seriously questioned whether I could legitimately call myself a surfer. I now know that surfing 1 foot, wind-blown Trigg slop doesn’t qualify!
• How depressed I felt when I had to leave the BJ early and watching as you motored off to another adventure and more uncrowded perfection! (Made Mum’s 80th though which was fantastic!).
I’ve got some raw video footage of a few sessions which I’ll have a crack at editing and send out to everyone.
I want to go back and I hope we can do it again sometime soon!
All the best, Mick.
Thanks for the wrap up Steve.
Still a bit numb from the whole experience to be honest. It was a real treat to be on the BJ with John and family and certainly made for a great time out of the water as well. As you know, according to the captain, we hardly surfed so there was plenty of time spent on the boat.
I am getting to work nice and early since I’ve come home although Louise isn’t that happy with me channeling John and yelling at the kids to go out and play in the dawn without eating breakfast or going to the toilet….still its amazingly effective in tiring them out so they go to bed early.
If you have got a high-res shot of the Lighthouse picture I would love to have it….I think I can see john doing his solo session of the BJ2.
Hope everyone is well and Mick made the big 80th.