Stephen Cox, Alan Johnston, Philip Pearson, Martin Loosemore, Cameron Northey, Luke Northey, John Botella, Stefan Szczepanski
The first real swells of the season and these guys lucked right in. Back to back to "oh my back!" it was supposed to be a holiday, but there was no rest as the waves just kept on coming. Weather conditions remained smooth and clean. Tunneling waves were had by all. Let's not forget that every single one of the lads paid some dues, left skin on the reef and went home with some Mentawai tattoos. By all reports, the few other boats that were in the vicinity scored as well. The lack of crowds has been the blessing on those willing to make the journey. Good on ya!
Highlights of our 3rd charter include. The perfection and power of the rights. Young Luke charging on his backhand where a lot of backsides baulk. The lone Welshman, Martin, getting bashed by the lips but tenaciously bouncing back and hurling himself down the faces till the tubes encompassed him. Even after snapping 2 boards this guy was still laughing, stoked to be here. The goofy footers being satisfied with lefts, then rights, then no-one cared. JJ's perpetual tube rides that everyone witnessed, no-one videoed, till the day when the wind backed out of the jungle and the pipes began to spit and we are now bored with watching his barrels.
Between swells the boys went on a fish-fest and landed (in no particular order) 3 Spanish Mackerel, a coronation Trout, 2 Jobfish, a Bluefin Trevally, 3 dogtooth tuna, except we ate steak that night.
The downside was surfing with 2 boats of professional surfers in epic waves. Most people do not mind mixing with some of the best in the world for an arvo. Its great to see the likes of Koby Abberton and Todd Morcom absolutely rip, tear and lacerate their way in perfection. But when another boatload of South Africans turn up and there are about 20 pros competing for the cover, us mere mortals have to watch, or take the close-outs and get slammed into the reef. Everyone is friendly, mind you, but they still catch a lot of waves. There needs to be more etiquette and communication among the Captains so we do not end up at the same spot. Also minimizing boat numbers to 6-8 passengers would help. 12 surfers jumping off one boat tends to crowd the line-up up a bit.
Still we have surfed new and old spots in all their glory. The old bastards of the voyage have shaken out cobwebs they never knew existed and returned to the surfing of lost years. At least till night time where a couple of Voltaren washed down with a couple of Bintangs helps ease what the mind refuses to acknowledge.
The last day needs mentioning as the trip ended in perfect 2-3 ft lefts. Magical Indo glass-off and the spearing of a 22kg Giant Trevally that dragged the hunter down into the depths before the dinghy rescued him!