Paul Green, Damien Blake, Luke Hankey, Ben Garrard, Mark Sheppard, David Russel.
Where does one start the first story for our charters? After so many months refitting the Barrenjoey, and a further 2 months travelling from Sydney, Australia, to Padang, Sumatra, I can safely say that this charter is not only welcome but to a point almost surreal. We are doing it! Finally!
One must point out that not everything on this charter went exactly as planned (does it ever?). The arrival was very disappointing, none of the passengers boards arrived! We grabbed a bunch of old hack boards from a haunt in town and headed off into the sunset. A cold Bintang and a clean deck. The boys looked pretty bloody happy as the wild Sumatran Coast became a blur in the dusk.
There will not be any details of where we surfed in these stories. Most of the spots are now known. It is just an old habit that dies hard with the Captain.
One of the highlights of the voyage was the BJ being at a number of breaks by herself. Nothing like watching perfect waves go through unridden and having to drag sunburnt, sore, and tired bodies off the deck to go for another paddle because the sight of empty barrels was just too much. There were that many waves that the beers usually flowed before sunset as we pondered the perfection.
We had complaints about the air conditioning being too cold, the fish were constantly jumping on our hooks, and the passengers had a go at any and every wave they were taken to.
Luke finally got to surf the waves that his father has been speaking about and retroed back to the 70's on an old Stinger swallowtail
Paul after a long stint in the wake boarding wilderness remembered what it was about to surf perfection and was so stoked he was talking about his return trip, new boards, schizo, sciatic backhand snaps, and brain blasting barrels.
Ben 'G-Land ' Garrad, the lone goofy footer, whilst loosing a tooth, still managed to smile. Could be something to do with the best backhand barrels of his life!
Slim Dave pulled in non-chalantly, exited like a matador and donated a rod and reel to the BJ that has since hooked many fish.
Damo, the brash Body boarder, belted, barrelled and bounced his way between the lefts and the rights.
Sheppo tasted the reef, liked the blood and sought vengeance in his conquest on the bone crunching days.
We had Zane as our chef and his treats caused some laid back arvo resting under the canopy whilst he surfed by himself. What did he do to that pasta???
The first real 'badai' (black Sumatran storm) belted us on our way back to Padang. We managed to get the mainsail up and the Barrenjoey ploughed through the ugly seas. Everyone slept through the maelstrom which said a lot for the boat's comfort and made the captain very happy.
The BJ had made it through her first charter with flying colours.