Hilton Lawrence, Philip Gouws, Jethro Jewell, Craig Mackay, Bruce Armstrong, Gordon Boyers, George Darne, Monte Fuller, Leah Emery
Three massive lows push over the Indian Ocean towards Indo causing a huge fluster in Padang, with everyone who's anyone predicting the 'swell of the decade' in the Mentawais.
As our South African mates found out those people and their predictions were right.
The guys were thrown straight in the deep end on their first ever Mentawai trip, surfing 6ft absolutely smoking Maccas in the first few days. Everyone has a go after some initial nerves but after a few surfs most are charging. Those who prefer their frontside try out the right hander on the other side of the bay and score big time.
George and Bruce are up for some culture and venture up the river to pay a visit with the friendly locals. They are amazed by how beautiful the scenery is along the river edge, viewing heaps of birds and listening to the mysterious calls of the jungle. The various tributaries they describe as being main roads to the villagers and the boys are intrigued by their unique way of life.
After a change from all that perfection we steam up north. The waves are also pumping at a few spots so we use the speedy and end up surfing 4 breaks in one day. Some prefer lefts and others prefer rights so why not try all of them!! By now our guests confidence is growing and everyone pushes themselves to limit. Phillip scores an unbelievable tube which is forever sealed on film.
Selemat (our main deckhand) takes us all on a walk through the town at Telescopes to meet some of his friends. We end up being able to view his very own cococonut lined beach front land over looking the main break, and the guests dream with him of what it would be like to live in such an idylic place. Leah and I are all smiles because for now we already do. Amazing!
There were some keen fisherman on this trip and George lands himself a pair of giant G.T's and a couple of blue fin tuna. Hilton trys his first ever trawling mission and ends up getting another G.T and also a tuna. But Craig is the keenest trawling in the rubber ducky every morning and afternoon with many a story of the big one that got away. Starting as a really big fish, to a huge shark, to a massive monster.
We head up to playgrounds for the last few days and as Jeffroy describes "this place is like a theme park where you choose your ride." The water is crystal clear where you can coral view and check out the fish while you are sitting out the back waiting for your next wave.
Always adventurous Craig is pumped when the captain suggests one last surf at gnarly Bankvaults. He charges as usual and reluctantly is dragged out of the water to speedy back to the Barrenjoey for the crossing back to Padang. The next morning as he is getting off the boat and we are saying our final goodbyes he asks "is it offshore out there". To this the captain replys "somewhere would be absolutely pumping right now". There was almost a tear in Craig's eye.
Thanks for a great trip guys, we really enjoyed your company and wear those Mentawai tattoos with pride. See you all again when we turn up on your doorstep with our backpacks!