Ship of fools

Carcharodon Dundee
Swellnet Dispatch

The clock is ticking. The countdown has begun.

Sooner or later the borders will open and a year's worth of pent up froth and fizz will be unleashed across the globe in the form of rollicking Aussie surf mobs all dying to get their fill of tubes, giggles, and bankable memories as they traverse the oceans in the sweet comfort of a surf charter vessel.

When the green light for travel is finally given it's going to be a mad rush to Indonesia the likes of which we’ve never seen. Charters will be booked solid and berths will be hard to come by, so now is the time to formulate your plans and get ahead of the pack. Regardless of your budget, destination, or skill set, the single most crucial facet in a successful boat charter is the people you’ll be sharing the adventure with. Never underestimate the importance of getting the mix of souls just right as you’ll doubtlessly become both benefactor and victim to the character traits of each which are invariably exaggerated by the enforced confinement below decks.

The people you select to man your vessel into the surfing heart of darkness will make or break the mission. Here’s a few characters essential in any motley crew worth their salt.

The Mother Hen:

You're at Changi Airport and your connecting flight to Padang boards in fifteen minutes. Unfortunately the six hour layover has splintered the crew and cast them to the winds. Luckily most of the pack has decided to simply park up at the bar next to the gate and down a few Tigers to keep the mood high, but Big Dave sauntered off hours ago chasing a neck massage and hasn’t been seen since, the Dirty Duo from the Central Coast said something about duty free before vanishing, and Johnno has stayed true to form and gone too hard on the travel-aid Xanax he necks like lollies and is now passed out on the carpet.

Who’s going to step up to the crease and corral the crew in time to make the flight? Mother Hen of course! The Mother Hen is a born organiser who can be relied on to assume responsibility for his charges as they bounce like pinballs off the myriad distractions which could threaten the entire venture before it's even left the dock. Accounting for passports, arranging taxis, even filling out immigration declaration forms for the semi-literate, there is no action the Mother Hen won’t unhesitatingly take to ensure the trip gets out of the gate. The glue which binds any big adventure.

The Hooray Henry:

Hooray Henry loves a good time and any good time will do. Not all trips are blessed with great waves or comfortable weather and this can sometimes lead to a sombre mood descending upon what should be a happy occasion. This is Hooray Henry’s time to shine. Anyone can be upbeat when the Gods are smiling upon them but Henry’s superpower is to be constantly and indefatigably positive regardless of circumstance. 

It wouldn’t be the first time for a charter boat to experience mechanical trouble on the day of the trip. Pumping swell, light winds, and the good ship becalmed miles from the action by a busted diesel engine. Things are looking grim, the crew are starting to mutter and dark clouds are beginning to block out the sunshine of adventure. Just when it might get real ugly, up pops Hooray Henry from the galley with an armful of cold Bintangs and a sanguine grin.

“OK boys “ he jauntily states whilst dispensing beers “What's the difference between a clitoris and a golf ball?”  

And just like that the threat of a darkening horizon is gone.

The Hard Charging Mad Bastard:

No avoiding the purple blob quietly haunting the swell charts as the days count down to the much anticipated trip. The crew have packed their big boards in anticipation, but now that the big day has dawned and the ferocity of the surf is presented in terrifyingly vivid reality the enthusiastic debates over the merits of equipment and the previous braggadocio has evaporated like mist in the sunshine. Replaced by the palpable vibe of a dozen grown surfers quietly shitting themselves.  

The sound of wax being applied to a surfboard is like thunder in the ears of the crew and all heads swivel towards the Hard Charging Mad Bastard, who up to this point has been a middling presence in any given session. Now he seems a few inches taller than he did when he was overshadowed by the small wave wizards who relentlessly hassled him for waves when conditions weren’t so serious.

No-one is taking the piss out of the Hard Charging Mad Bastard’s functional surfing style as he pushes into the set of the morning and threads clean through the guts of the heaving pit which inspires the rest of the crew into action. 

If not for the Mad Bastard there’s a very good chance the intrepid crew might’ve found themselves squabbling for waves with the kids and the kooks at the protected break instead of pushing themselves into the waves of their lives.

Never leave home without a Hard Charging Mad Bastard beside you.

The Shred Lord

At the end of the day, after all the talk of a shared good time with mates, a respite from adult commitments back home, and the joy of travel, we get to the heart of the matter. The real reason that every surfer on board has undertaken days of travel at huge expense is the hope of getting their slash on and reaching new heights of surfing performance when finally set free amongst a quality lineup of powerful, perfect waves. 

Just as the Hard Charging Mad Bastard is the person who motivates the boat when the waves get serious, it’s the role of the Shred Lord to inspire the motley crew to push the performance boundaries of their own surfing. There’s not a surfer alive who doesn’t hit the lip that bit harder or push their bottom turn a bit deeper after seeing the Shred Lord go to town, fins out and gouging on a set wave whilst they’re paddling back out.

Bonus points if the Shred Lord is an ex-pro who’ll regale the crew with raucous tales of their time on tour during sessions on the Bintangs. Deduct points if they’re the type who fails to realise that relentless name-dropping and continuous self-referencing gets old irrespective of sporting prowess.

The Easy Rider:

To weather the storm of adventure and stage a successful mission into the remote archipelago demands a specific and specialised cast of buccaneers and chancers. Unfortunately, there's a downside to any worthwhile collection of skilled picaroons and it's that they are prone to acting like a herd of cats when decisions need to be made.

The goofy Shred Lord will only go left. The Hard Charging Mad Bastard will only permit a downtime DVD screening as long as it’s a romantic comedy, preferably one starring Meg Ryan. The Hooray Henry thinks that a dozen Bintangs is not enough consumption to allow someone to declare and happily retire for the night. 

Trying to find a bit of peace and quiet from this mob on a boat, which felt huge leaving port but which seems to be shrinking by the minute, can drive a surfer to the point of madness.

That’s when you thank the good lord Huey for your prescience in inviting along the Easy Rider. The particular skill set held by this surfer is in neither surfing nor people management. They are not typically inclined to throw themselves over the ledge at a death slab or be maniacally upbeat twenty four hours a day.

The talent of the Easy Rider is their intrinsic urge to reply to any decision with one of two casual and well-intentioned stock replies. These being : 

"Whatever you reckon works, mate."

"Sounds good to me."

After a week caged up with a dozen high maintenance individuals these few words sound as sweet as a choir of angels.

With space on the boat at a premium, the person you need sitting beside you when you want to quietly take in the moment is always the Easy Rider. Content in companionable silence, respectful of personal space, and never one to inflict themselves upon a weary traveler, the Easy Rider is an amiable slice of sea-borne gold.

The Loose Cannon:

Who’s going to be the first mad bugger to jump off the mast?
Who’s going to growl out the aggressive leader of the Brazilians when a boat full of them tries to take over the lineup?
Who’s going to be the bloke who crazily decides to wake board behind the boat without mentioning it to the skipper when the boat does a night run between breaks? The story of which will define the trip and be retold unto infinity by the crew with both a tone of solemn condemnation and an air of gleeful approbation .

The Loose Cannon that’s who.

The recklessness of the Loose Cannon’s behaviour will be the stuff of eternal legend and the cause of much head shaking despair. The catalyst for much excitement and sometimes the cause of serious regret. Just don’t feed them after midnight.

The General Store:

Whilst the Mother Hen will ensure that everyone boards the boat, it’s the General Store who is relied upon when someone’s boards fail to make the dock by departure time. The General Store is the surfer who brought twice as many boards as anyone else, twice as many fins, and three times the wax. 

They’ve got extra fin keys. They’ve got multiple spare legropes. They’re a walking surf shop slash camera store slash army surplus. 

This is not due to generosity of spirit towards their crew members but the result of a deeply anal desire for redundancy in any and all events. The General Store will never refuse a surfer in desperate need of an item from their stash but will always gain their pound of flesh in return. Best possible outcome for all on board is the desperate surfer acquiescing to become the boat slave in exchange for a borrowed stick after they’ve snapped all of their own a week into the trip . 

Accordingly the anal manner of the General Store can be a punish to be around but this is to be accepted as just another idiosyncrasy amongst a cabal of misfits and their various peccadilloes. A couple of beers will soon reveal the good human confined within the eternal noise of the General Store’s headspace...and a couple more will have you trying to swim back to port just to get away from them.  

This brings us to the most important inclusion on the boat: Yourself.

So start saving and banking up those browny points at home because the borders will be open before you know it and you really don’t want to be the one dropping the rest of the crew at the airport when they go chasing the surf charter fantasy. 

It won't only be the waves of your life you could miss out on. You’ll never forgive yourself if you aren’t there when the Loose Cannon doses the General Store with laxatives disguised as headache pills. Can you even imagine the boisterous laughter when everyone wakes up to find their tiny six berth galley cabin ankle deep in faeces ?  

Such a delicate thread to add to the tapestry of your life…missed !

So get out there and start organising.

// CARCHARODON DUNDEE

Comments

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Thursday, 21 Jan 2021 at 4:34pm

Us Aussie's wont be going anywhere in 2021, Indo will probably open up by mid year and then we will watch as half the world gets to play but we dont.

Anyway screw a boat trip book into a majority local owned and run camp and actually help the people of the country and area you are visiting.

Or at the very least book into a camp/resort rather than a boat even if its foreign owned and run you will be helping the local people of the area get employment and local business that supply fuel and food and pay local taxes etc.

Opposed to a charter boat that employees staff from Padang buys majority of its food and fuel in Padang often gets major maintenance done in Thailand and then comes and uses the resources of the Mentawais & Telos giving pretty much nothing back to the local people or government.

Anyway if i had to pick one im the easy rider, if i am on a boat you will most likely find me in the wheel house chatting with the Indo captain and annoying him by pulling out all the rolled up nautical maps.

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot commented Thursday, 21 Jan 2021 at 4:35pm

Come on Indo play along man you old Debbie Downer you

rodger_ramjet's picture
rodger_ramjet's picture
rodger_ramjet commented Thursday, 21 Jan 2021 at 4:59pm

Great approach and call on land based camps. Always met so many great locals in land based camps making the experience so much better (it helps to speak a little Bahasa).

Any names that are majority locally owned and run i-d?

fitzroy-21's picture
fitzroy-21's picture
fitzroy-21 commented Thursday, 21 Jan 2021 at 5:04pm

Charts Indo, they're called charts :)

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Thursday, 21 Jan 2021 at 8:24pm

ha ha yeah 100% Charts not maps i sound like such a kook saying maps, i should know to i did a coxswain course at Tafe, although i never did get up my hours went into other areas of work.

t-diddy's picture
t-diddy's picture
t-diddy commented Monday, 25 Jan 2021 at 12:47pm

like/thumbs up

Saltwaterlover's picture
Saltwaterlover's picture
Saltwaterlover commented Thursday, 21 Jan 2021 at 4:17pm

So True! Hilarious.
Seems like most other countries can travel. Friends living in New York are visiting Europe, Euros doing the same in reverse. Golfers, Sports people etc. All travelling freely throughout their respective continents. And all those yanks in the ments and Bali!
We've been stooged, particularly Victorians.

Gowsa's picture
Gowsa's picture
Gowsa commented Thursday, 21 Jan 2021 at 4:42pm

Saltwater - are you suggesting we follow the US approach to COVID ?

Saltwaterlover's picture
Saltwaterlover's picture
Saltwaterlover commented Thursday, 21 Jan 2021 at 4:54pm

haha knew that was coming. Get busy livin Gowsa

Gowsa's picture
Gowsa's picture
Gowsa commented Thursday, 21 Jan 2021 at 6:37pm

Im guessing youre a Victorian Saltwater
Im from NSW - Up hear weve been livin'
(and quite nicely too)

Stok's picture
Stok's picture
Stok commented Thursday, 21 Jan 2021 at 8:15pm

Nothing like gloating about dumb luck coupled with spelling mistakes.

Gowsa's picture
Gowsa's picture
Gowsa commented Friday, 22 Jan 2021 at 9:37am

Actually Stok, its punctuation mistakes.

ringostarr's picture
ringostarr's picture
ringostarr commented Friday, 22 Jan 2021 at 12:23pm

Up hear?

Gowsa's picture
Gowsa's picture
Gowsa commented Friday, 22 Jan 2021 at 1:12pm

Fair Cop
Grammar police got me on two counts (punctuation and spelling)

H2O's picture
H2O's picture
H2O commented Thursday, 21 Jan 2021 at 4:23pm

Hmmm...... The authors style is reminiscent of a familiar contributor to this virtual shed. Could it be.......................?

H20

Pops's picture
Pops's picture
Pops commented Thursday, 21 Jan 2021 at 4:58pm

100% is.

He who hesitates is lost

bonza's picture
bonza's picture
bonza commented Thursday, 21 Jan 2021 at 4:44pm

Ben Oxenbould as Bull. nightmares.

Pops's picture
Pops's picture
Pops commented Thursday, 21 Jan 2021 at 5:02pm

Enjoyed that one.

He who hesitates is lost

JQ's picture
JQ's picture
JQ commented Thursday, 21 Jan 2021 at 5:17pm

Nice, well written, enjoyed it. Look forward to the day I get to finally experience such a trip in all its glory.

Supafreak's picture
Supafreak's picture
Supafreak commented Thursday, 21 Jan 2021 at 5:30pm

@ indo , hey mate have you heard about Eric the co-owner of the camp at thunders ? He got into some trouble with locals from cold springs over his dog which they had killed and were taking away when he confronted them . The locals gave a story to police that there was a fight and he got charged and found guilty in court . He’s looking at jail time then deportation . Sounds like a full stitch up job . There is a go fund me page set up. Also while my mate was at Lances right 14 police rolled up and fronted the resort owner there about IMB and other permits , plus the English dude building the massive house was asked why he was already building with unapproved IMB , this was in October 2019 Eric was skipper and part owner of Addiction when it first hit the mentawis , his episode is as off now. Just wondering if you know anything of these stories .

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Thursday, 21 Jan 2021 at 7:42pm

Yeah i saw the Go fund thing for him the other day but only know the story from the page, i know off him but dont know him.

Don't think I've heard those other stories but Katiet has a history of similar things, pretty much all the buildings in Mentawai's don't have IMB's locals dont bother with them, but yeah as a foreigner would be crazy to build without one.

etarip's picture
etarip's picture
etarip commented Thursday, 21 Jan 2021 at 8:12pm

Eric was the guide on a charter I was on. Good dude. Quite an Aussie sense of humour for a Seppo. Was between his Addiction phase and pre-Thunders camp. Heard from a different captain on a later trip that he’d gone off the rails a little? That was about 2016 I guess.

Tick's picture
Tick's picture
Tick commented Thursday, 21 Jan 2021 at 5:36pm

What's the difference?

troppo dichotomy's picture
troppo dichotomy's picture
troppo dichotomy commented Thursday, 21 Jan 2021 at 5:54pm

Rite on Supafreak!
I just got an email from Eric last week.He's a friend.Hope he doesn't get deported.

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Thursday, 21 Jan 2021 at 6:09pm

Ha ha. a good read.

I reckon I'd be a bit of an Easyrider Hooray Henry blend with a smattering of Mother Hen.

1173

Vunerable's picture
Vunerable's picture
Vunerable commented Thursday, 21 Jan 2021 at 6:12pm

They both get lost in the bush Henry.

frog's picture
frog's picture
frog commented Thursday, 21 Jan 2021 at 6:44pm

Thunders with a camp? Nothing left now to appear wild and untouched.

Frogg

ringmaster's picture
ringmaster's picture
ringmaster commented Thursday, 21 Jan 2021 at 7:31pm

Hey Carcharon.

Which character profile best fits you?

(Good write up BTW)

LarryB's picture
LarryB's picture
LarryB commented Thursday, 21 Jan 2021 at 7:32pm

Love the story and can identify all the character descriptions with crew I have traveled with on multiple occasions to Indo. With respect to planning a trip, I will never go back to the Ments due to crowds, attitude and other fuckers who think the whole setup is there just for them. I'm currently living in a tropical location and have had waves to myself over crystal clear reefs - although the waves may not be the quality of Indo smokers I had it to myself with enough barrels, walls and quality conditions to exhaust my chicken legs. I highly recommend everybody keep going to indo - but I would rather have waves to myself than fighting it out for one or two screamers and a couple of photos.

tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter commented Thursday, 21 Jan 2021 at 8:11pm

haha nice work ,, Hard Charging Mad Bastard trumps a Shred Lord any day in my book. As for the Loose Cannon , well that always ends badly. Make sure he's got insurance and rich parents before you go.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Thursday, 21 Jan 2021 at 8:12pm

how good are Xanax.
Xanax, gudams and a few 'tangs.

happy days.

Solitude's picture
Solitude's picture
Solitude commented Thursday, 21 Jan 2021 at 8:32pm

Nice write up mate. I’m sure got the travel bug itching in many.

A boat trip with 10 other guys paddling out at once does not sound like fun to me.

Westofthelake's picture
Westofthelake's picture
Westofthelake commented Thursday, 21 Jan 2021 at 9:24pm

Good read b, and pics too.

Sheep go to heaven's picture
Sheep go to heaven's picture
Sheep go to heaven commented Friday, 22 Jan 2021 at 7:55am

Whats the difference .... well most men are happy to spend 10 minutes looking for a golf ball
on the other hand .........

Robo's picture
Robo's picture
Robo commented Friday, 22 Jan 2021 at 8:01am

My last boat trip was Maldives Southern Atolls, 4 of us, saw 1 other boat in 11 days in passing, but didn't surf with them.

donweather's picture
donweather's picture
donweather commented Friday, 22 Jan 2021 at 7:15pm

How'd you go down there wave wise? What time of year did you go down there?

Robo's picture
Robo's picture
Robo commented Friday, 22 Jan 2021 at 7:38pm

That trip I did in March, was 3-6ft, suppose to best time of year for winds, it was paradise no resorts/tourists. A hours flight south from Male, then only 2 hours on boat to first surf spot.

donweather's picture
donweather's picture
donweather commented Friday, 22 Jan 2021 at 8:00pm

Was this 2021?

Edit: sorry brain explosion. Meant 2020

Robo's picture
Robo's picture
Robo commented Friday, 22 Jan 2021 at 7:39pm

What?

donweather's picture
donweather's picture
donweather commented Friday, 22 Jan 2021 at 7:59pm

Your trips. What year was it?

Robo's picture
Robo's picture
Robo commented Friday, 22 Jan 2021 at 9:12pm

Why were you there lol?

batfink's picture
batfink's picture
batfink commented Friday, 22 Jan 2021 at 8:08am

Boat trips, yeah, nah.

I do like being on land and having a room to myself, but lord knows the quality of surf you can run into on a charter. Just being able to get away from people is necessary.

But never say never. Maybe a mate will call me one day looking to fill up a boat and I’ll do it.

I’d be the silent observer. Didn’t get a mention here because C. Dundee didn’t notice he was on the boat.

ringmaster's picture
ringmaster's picture
ringmaster commented Friday, 22 Jan 2021 at 10:36am

Yeah, I'm done with boat trips. Need my own space for a few hours a day and probably getting softer as I get older.

I've stayed with Paul and the crew at Pitstop Hill in the Ments 3 times now and would recommend to anyone without hesitation. Limited to 10 crew at a time staying there and with 2 fast boats you always split up for your surfs. Absolutely epic setup they have and they are as keen as you to be chasing the best waves available every day and they know as well as anyone in that area where they ALL are and when they'll be on. No dodgy calls to save on fuel etc........these guys are as good as it gets in my experience.

Environmentally A1 and genuinly look after the local people as well.

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot commented Friday, 22 Jan 2021 at 10:55am

I enquired with these guys a few years ago now. Must of been when they were first opening.
Ended up doing a boat trip for what ever reason but I’ve always had it in the back of my mind I’d like to go there eventually.
Good to hear some positive feedback about it

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Friday, 22 Jan 2021 at 12:32pm

Never stayed there but agree Paul and co are good guys and have a good set up and sustainable type business not too big and surfers in it for the love of it, not the greedy big resort model..most tsunami safe accommodation in the area too gets pretty busy around there these days though.

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Friday, 22 Jan 2021 at 11:01am

Having never been to Indo, I'd be all over a boat trip, resort stay, camp any way shape or form. I reckon a boat trip with the right crew (see above) would be a blast even as I get older or softer.

I've been trying to get my wife there but she's not a water person and likes her creature comforts. I've almost sold her on Kandui or RLZ but looks like I have to put up a kidney as collateral.

Got a few mates that regularly do Pitstop Hill and they give it a double thumbs up too.

So for the moment, while It's bloody freezing where I am. it's nice to think warm water thoughts.

1173

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Friday, 22 Jan 2021 at 1:41pm

Zen here is another option in the playgrounds Kandui area that could suit you and your missus, looks pretty decent quality with a pool but price range is cheaper currently $140-$175 USD pppn https://www.alaiamentawai.com/special-offer

memlasurf's picture
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf commented Friday, 22 Jan 2021 at 1:59pm

Good luck with that Zen, Mentawais are no place for someone who doesn't surf and like a bit of luxury. Can be quite claustrophobic in the wrong resort and the weather is crap - hot, humid and 4 seasons in 2 hours. Could be courting disaster taking the trouble and strife!

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot commented Friday, 22 Jan 2021 at 2:46pm

Huh? The weathers fucken amazing

memlasurf's picture
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf commented Friday, 22 Jan 2021 at 2:51pm

It was absolutely shite when I was there. Couldn't wait to get out of the place and they give Melbourne and hard time, the Ments was the worst. Bali is brilliant as it gets the trades, the Ments is to close to the Equator so can be fluky.

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Friday, 22 Jan 2021 at 3:10pm

I've always wanted to go to Indo just for a taste of perfection. Rightly or wrongly the stars never seemed to align. I torture myself when I see vids of those beautiful warm water funnels of love. These days (pre-corona) I still travel a lot but always with my wife and our travels seem to revolve around food, architecture, museums and buying shit we don't need. The last holiday I had by myself was a couple of years ago catching up with a mate snowboarding in Canada. That was cool, getting bent before going to the ice-hockey, big mountain powder, crushing cans- good times.

Was supposed to my first ever boat trip to the Maldives last year, corona put paid to that.

I reckon if I could get a nice place with air-con, wi-fi and a breakfast buffet, I might just be able to convince the finance manager.

1173

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Friday, 22 Jan 2021 at 3:21pm

When this is all over we can meet up in Indo and have the best time ever getting sick pits sucking super sick , Zen.

Quick question Zen : What’s your tolerance for guys that morph from great mates into serial pets as soon as you hit the lineup ?

Asking for a friend.

memlasurf's picture
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf commented Friday, 22 Jan 2021 at 3:27pm

Good luck Zen can only ask. There are some really swish places further north which I reckon my other half (whose own money is her money and my money is her money) might cope with but they are pricey and I think the surf is not as consistent or big. Gee shame about the Maldives that looks awesome.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Friday, 22 Jan 2021 at 3:39pm

if you can sell your gal on snorkelling warm water reefs, palm trees, pools, cocktails at sunset, balmy breezes you'll be golden Zen.

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Friday, 22 Jan 2021 at 4:30pm

Sadly Free, if it was log fires, hot springs and seafood buffets it'd be a no brainer. Snorkelling, mossies and sand in your bits is a hard sell.

1173

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Friday, 22 Jan 2021 at 4:49pm

Sell the Ments as a winter wonderland and when she stumbles upon palm trees and coral reefs just blame global warming.

lucky-al's picture
lucky-al's picture
lucky-al commented Friday, 22 Jan 2021 at 4:30pm

if you've never been to indonesia before why not start with bali for the sake of convenience? sanur!

Westofthelake's picture
Westofthelake's picture
Westofthelake commented Friday, 22 Jan 2021 at 4:40pm

I hear ya zen.

FR has laid some good talking points to convince the finance manager ( I got one too), but tbh if it was me I'd be inclined to simply leave the gal behind.

And if you ever do plan a trip sometime in the future to indeed surf some "warm water funnels of love", let me know, and we can lose our virginity together :) I reckon we'd get on just fine.

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Friday, 22 Jan 2021 at 5:01pm

Each to their own I like that changing true tropical weather when it goes from sun to rain to sun again, especially when one minute its pouring rain and wind is howling and next minute its sunny and no wind, often score the best waves after a storm.

But yeah i think it could be hard for a non surfer in the Mentawais if not into nature or beach's, snorkelling etc and prefers a place with shops etc

dudette's picture
dudette's picture
dudette commented Saturday, 23 Jan 2021 at 2:12pm

The majority of guys I have encountered that have taken there non surfing girlfriends to cheaper places in Indo have absolutely hated it. Seen many an argument. There just isn’t enough to do and like you said it gets claustrophobic very quickly if you’re not surfing 5+ hours a day. Added to the fact that there is very few other girls around for them to talk to. Save yourself the drama and go solo would be my advice or stick to Bali haha.

seaslug's picture
seaslug's picture
seaslug commented Saturday, 23 Jan 2021 at 7:41pm

My non surfing wife loves it but she's a Filipina jungle woman, spends her day fishing and walking the reefs. Likes to hang out in the kitchen with the Indo women discussing and cooking food.

Island Bay's picture
Island Bay's picture
Island Bay commented Monday, 25 Jan 2021 at 6:28am

Been to Lakey 6 or 7 times with Ms Island Bay. Twice she's done month long stays. Loved it. Always stayed at ever more falling down Mona Lisa.

And thanks, Blowin.

Numbatt's picture
Numbatt's picture
Numbatt commented Friday, 22 Jan 2021 at 1:54pm

Yes, all leave to Indo this winter... please please please please.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Friday, 22 Jan 2021 at 3:29pm

Can't let the opportunity pass by.

Westofthelake's picture
Westofthelake's picture
Westofthelake commented Friday, 22 Jan 2021 at 3:41pm

Classic tune!

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Friday, 22 Jan 2021 at 5:02pm

Yep. Do indeed enjoy that song.

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Friday, 22 Jan 2021 at 5:18pm
dean maddison's picture
dean maddison's picture
dean maddison commented Friday, 22 Jan 2021 at 5:45pm

Ben Oxenbould is a fucken legend. The Bull was all time. Great movie.

crg's picture
crg's picture
crg commented Friday, 22 Jan 2021 at 8:08pm

I had the extreme good fortune of being on a couple of early explorer private yachts in the ments in ‘87, ‘89 & ‘90.
That first trip as a fifteen year old I’ll never forget...thought I’d died and gone to heaven. I think my last trip was maybe ‘05/6 and I’ve never been on a boat since. Combination of the region being sadly exploited and crowded and lack of tolerance for large groups of men.
The first post-covid indo season is going to be a shitshow.

I'm not cheap,
But I'm free.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Friday, 22 Jan 2021 at 8:30pm

I only did my first Ments boat trip in 2018, because I thought I'd missed it with the crowds.

was quite surprised, most of the lineups were moderate to light crowds, OK etiquette.

lot more kooks there than I expected so if you had a reasonable skill set it wasn't hard to get waves.
I'd go back.

vicbloke's picture
vicbloke's picture
vicbloke commented Saturday, 23 Jan 2021 at 7:35am

similar hear but was staying in a camp. if the boats left the day before you would get up at first light the next day and get a few hours with the camp based crews before any boats turned up. also, if you were prepared to surf at anytime of the day then you could time your surf with less crew in the water

Boogie woogie's picture
Boogie woogie's picture
Boogie woogie commented Saturday, 23 Jan 2021 at 11:18am

Surf tour operators can go and get fucked I fuckin hate em, nothing like seeing a boat load of cunts pile over the side and clog the line up been on x 2 boat trips never again I felt embarrassed, I’ve watched my end of paradise just get totally fucked over by non Indonesian operators mainly expats living in Bali coming over buying everything and setting up shop to make another bali come and surf perfect uncrowded waves while staying at our generic surf/ yoga retreat , these operators dont give a fuck about filling line ups with floatsam, they will spin you some shit that it’s about helping the community, BULLSHIT the whole lot of em make me sick I hope 2021 send them to the wall go and get fucked the lot of ya

Bw

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Saturday, 23 Jan 2021 at 12:00pm

Ha ha! Awesome!

(Mic drop)

1173

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Saturday, 23 Jan 2021 at 12:22pm

Step 1- visit an as yet under the radar ,yet still frequently surfed remote location.

Step 2- Fall under the spell of its virginal beauty and pristine charm.

Step 3- Return next opportunity. Meet like minded souls, get reflective over some beers , contrast The Spot with your crowded home. Make drunken plans to purchase some land cheaply, build a small shack and escape the masses at your own quiet slice of heaven.

Step 4- actually follow through on drunken promises.

Step 5- live the dream for a couple of seasons . Mates come bunk for free. Life is grand.

Step 6- accommodate a few friends of friends for a small fee...just to cover expenses( and maybe a little cream!).

Step 7- Build a couple of extra shacks for visiting surfers. Charge a slightly higher yet still reasonable rate. Wait a minute ... You’re making money now! Wheels inside head turn...

Step 8-Build more accomodation, a little more up market. For the more discerning tastes out there. Just because your’e in the jungle does not mean you've got to rough it.

Step 9- Overheads getting a little higher, maybe borrow a bit of money to a cover things and some small advertising to make sure your’e getting full occupancy. Lots of interesting people to meet, maybe a little busy taking care of business but still getting in the water often. Although it is a little more crowded in the water now and you don't want to be taking too many waves and treading on guest’s toes.

Step 10- Advertise more to compete with the new accomodation that popped up next door after a repeat guest ( and good friend) appreciated your lifestyle so much he decided to follow suit. Maybe expand some more to achieve dominance .

Step 11- Still meeting great people, lots of opportunity to stay at new friend’s places around the globe. But no time. Find yourself more and more catering to the whims of rude, self entitled customers who somehow forget they are in the middle of nowhere and expect the world.

Step 12- running a full time business under shitty third world conditions . Locals constantly have their hands in your pocket. Not much time for surfing and fuck! It's so crowded !

Step 13- Every guest tells you they are envious of your lifestyle . You are actually envious of theirs, they are on holidays. You are always at work. You barely surf now. Fork in the road....Stay and deal with it or get the fuck out. But where to go?

Step 14- Have another beer and think decide tomorrow. At least your’e not sitting in traffic somewhere.

Solitude's picture
Solitude's picture
Solitude commented Saturday, 23 Jan 2021 at 2:02pm

I know your describing the stereotype, but shit, you have basically described word for word a place I went to pre-COVID

dan@shoreline's picture
dan@shoreline's picture
[email protected] commented Saturday, 23 Jan 2021 at 7:45pm

Step 15 - move and go ruin somewhere else

Step 16 - repeat steps 1 - 15

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Saturday, 23 Jan 2021 at 11:21am

Yeh Boogie !

san Guine's picture
san Guine's picture
san Guine commented Saturday, 23 Jan 2021 at 11:27am

Personally prefer land-based camps and ideally during Ramadan

san Guine's picture
san Guine's picture
san Guine commented Saturday, 23 Jan 2021 at 11:31am

...and I'd be the irritating one, OK for a couple of days then I would start to grate on everyones nerves : )

Supafreak's picture
Supafreak's picture
Supafreak commented Saturday, 23 Jan 2021 at 1:29pm

I’m just so very grateful to have started surfing in the early seventies when society looked down on surfers as bums. Traveling Australia and Indonesia has been a lot of fun and met some hilarious characters in that time. Getting used to average to shit surf now and still grateful to be able to paddle out . Forecast looking good for early February and school holidays will be over. WOOHOO

dudette's picture
dudette's picture
dudette commented Saturday, 23 Jan 2021 at 2:56pm

Does anyone else think there will be a lot less boats operating once things return to some sense of normality? Surely Covid has sent a few operators broke and that boat maintenance would have gone by the wayside due to owners have no access to their vessels. I don’t know what is happening in Padang right now but I would think there might be a few boats in a state of disrepair. Just a thought.

dudette's picture
dudette's picture
dudette commented Saturday, 23 Jan 2021 at 3:03pm

Or maybe I’m just dreaming and when I do finally get back to my little slice of paradise there won’t be boat loads of Brazzos paddling out and thinking they are surfing snapper haha.

vicbloke's picture
vicbloke's picture
vicbloke commented Saturday, 23 Jan 2021 at 3:05pm

good point you make....probably have to wait 12 months to establish the full effect of covid on the boat operators

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Saturday, 23 Jan 2021 at 3:31pm

Ive been hoping that this will happen it really needs to happen as there is too many boats and it would also be a good thing for well established charter boat owners to get rid of a few.

I do know there has been a few charter boats for sale and i know of one changing hands.

Boats are different to resorts in that you can close a resort down and there is not too much maintenance but boats are different, having them just sitting in the water cost money, even last time i was in Padang there was a few old charter boats in the river there pretty much abandoned or half sunk as get to that point where the maintenance is too high..but these are older boats.

The no access theory IMHO isn't a factor, many owners live in Indo or have Indo business partners and have people to look after their boats, its only been the last month or so that nobody can enter and exit Indo before that owners/investors could get a visa to enter Indo, plus many boats go to Thailand in the off season for maintenance as much better facilities up there.

But yeah I am hoping there is a rest and some boats exit the market get sold for private use or other business, but might not happen....

dudette's picture
dudette's picture
dudette commented Saturday, 23 Jan 2021 at 4:29pm

Yeh fair call ID. You definitely have a better understanding of the inner workings of that world. I’m sure a few of the dodgier boats would be operating with fairly minimal profit margins and it would be almost impossible for them to stay afloat (pun intended) after 1 and potentially 2 seasons with zero guests.

vicbloke's picture
vicbloke's picture
vicbloke commented Saturday, 23 Jan 2021 at 6:08pm

playing the devils advocate...less boats may translate to higher prices for the camps??

Jamyardy's picture
Jamyardy's picture
Jamyardy commented Sunday, 24 Jan 2021 at 1:25pm

Equally less boats may translate to higher prices from the remaining boats on charter .. supply and demand

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Monday, 25 Jan 2021 at 7:55am

Nah camp/resorts prices aren't really set by charter boat prices anymore as there is so many camps/resort competing against each other anyway.

In the past 10 years though we have seen the quality of charter boats increasing, as they make money they upgrade their boats to more modern bigger boats and prices increase from that factor.

Jamyardy's picture
Jamyardy's picture
Jamyardy commented Monday, 25 Jan 2021 at 3:38pm

Cheers Indo, So you don't think some of the boat operators will crank up prices this year to cover maintenance/idle costs during 2020 when they had no revenue, and still probably had loan payments if they borrowed ?

dudette's picture
dudette's picture
dudette commented Saturday, 23 Jan 2021 at 3:12pm

Maybe they enforce social distancing in the line up haha.

Supafreak's picture
Supafreak's picture
Supafreak commented Saturday, 23 Jan 2021 at 4:12pm

WOW that was a bomb at nias , nice way to leave indo

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Saturday, 23 Jan 2021 at 6:18pm

anyone know a good, reasonabley-priced camp for an off-season trip in playgrounds area?

benlexcen's picture
benlexcen's picture
benlexcen commented Monday, 25 Jan 2021 at 1:41am

In the Telo area try @teloranch

Stay Tuuuubed

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Saturday, 23 Jan 2021 at 6:45pm

Have heard gd reports of this place not sure about off season- Indo owned
https://www.theshadowmentawai.com/

Boogie woogie's picture
Boogie woogie's picture
Boogie woogie commented Sunday, 24 Jan 2021 at 1:04am

COVID safe surf resorts are they joking , Christ on a bike is there no limit to the depth they will sink to , will they pay for medivac/ hospital treatment if you were to contract it at said resort ?, no fuckin way bro , no insurance policy will cover that they,ll take ya money and let u die where u lie then it’s up to your family and friends to get u out , the owners of any resorts have a huge responsibility to be responsible and not advertise such absolute nonsense nothing is COVID safe, you watch every surf/ yoga wanker resort hop on this gravy train , get a dirty anjin up ya worms

Bw

Vic Local's picture
Vic Local's picture
Vic Local commented Sunday, 24 Jan 2021 at 1:27pm

Hey ringmaster and views from the cockpit.
We so need a mother hen on the next indo trip. You blokes are genuinely shit house at navigating through airports. Booze, Mazies, and the furthest departure gate from the bar is not a good combo.
Views especially. You need to learn that as a passenger (rather than a pro flier) the plane doesn't wait for you. It's a genuine miracle only 2 flights were missed amongst the ten of us.

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

views from the cockpit's picture
views from the cockpit's picture
views from the ... commented Sunday, 24 Jan 2021 at 3:26pm

Yeah, That can be a shock when one is used to a priority boarding call up ;-)
Leaving ones wallet at a take away food counter in the airport prior to departure in Asia aint real bright either eh!

ringmaster's picture
ringmaster's picture
ringmaster commented Sunday, 24 Jan 2021 at 4:58pm

I was safe in the knowledge that one of my minions would pick up after me.

And I was right!

Vic Local's picture
Vic Local's picture
Vic Local commented Sunday, 24 Jan 2021 at 8:51pm

Facing a 30 minute sprint back to the food court with 10 beers in the system, and the flight closing in 10 minutes, you didn't look too safe.

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Sunday, 24 Jan 2021 at 3:37pm

People hang shit on SE Asia due to their culture sometimes seeming backwards. Then you get situations like when I got on the piss in Malaysia the afternoon before catching a boat to Thailand and left my passport at a money changer late on a Saturday arvo.

Went down in a panic to the money changer at about 6AM on the Sunday morning and found a contact number of the “ head office “ . They got someone to drop my passport off at my hotel within an hour .

They know how to get shit done in SE Asia. They understand flexibility. Unfortunately this also has its downsides when they use their “flexibility” to interpret maintenance and safety programs.....

mickseq's picture
mickseq's picture
mickseq commented Sunday, 24 Jan 2021 at 7:34pm

I started to book flights again for around Aug onwards though I am not holding my breath, next xmas for 3 months I'm hoping will happen

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Sunday, 24 Jan 2021 at 7:19pm

Shhhhhhhhh

nicko74's picture
nicko74's picture
nicko74 commented Sunday, 24 Jan 2021 at 8:41pm

Well said Blowin.

Thanks SN for such an great article and more so an entertaining follow on thread!

Love it

troppo dichotomy's picture
troppo dichotomy's picture
troppo dichotomy commented Monday, 25 Jan 2021 at 12:03am

Boogie Woogie,thank you for not selling out.
Poetry to me ears!!
So sick of hearing boat trips are bad,from land camp owners.
Vice versa,boaties complaining about"them ferals on land!'

Reality is we've got a plague of surfers with no morals.
Sold their soul!
Some donkey eventually always shows up and will exploit a wave for social status and financial reward.

Greedy surfentrepretunist will ruin your spot and justify themselves by going and doing it somewhere else as the last spot is now too crowded.

Go surf.Enjoy.Stay with some villagers,charter a boat with the local fishermen.Support the local economy.

Some jackass will come along and exploit the area with a super yacht or build an over price land camp.

Boycott boat trips and surf camps as much as possible.Please don't support parasitic pest that are destroying your right to find an uncrowded wave.
Don't feed the fucking bears!

Island Bay's picture
Island Bay's picture
Island Bay commented Monday, 25 Jan 2021 at 6:44am

Can I add The Dumb Uberfrother?

- Jumps off the boat in the pre dawn before it's anchored, because xxx left looked sooo good motoring past.
- Clocks up 39 surfs on an 11 day trip.
- Manages to not finish his beer allowance.
- Falls asleep at 8pm.
- Up at 4.30 with a kopi susu and a Sampoerna listening for the swell.

gggiiibbbo's picture
gggiiibbbo's picture
gggiiibbbo commented Monday, 25 Jan 2021 at 4:41pm

Only did one boat trip - Bali-Sumbawa 2001. Skunked except for a glorious 2nd last day at Bangko Bangko. 8 guys all day, 3-5ft. I am too impatient & old to sit out there with 80 surfers now. I would be lucky to get a set wave if I did. The memories, however, will last a lifetime.
Land camps all the way - last one Ujung Bocur 2018. Don’t go, the waves are shit. Ha ha!
My favourite character on any trip is the ‘late bloomer’ - trepidatious in anything over 3ft til they get their noggin/boards sorted, then mid-trip, into it & by the last few days, the penny has dropped and they are smiling wider than anyone, having a dig & bringing the stoke. These surfers are the least likely to be ego-heads who carry on about ‘wrong fins for this wave’ when it’s pumping. Pure gold, they are.
If you are unsure of camp/boat ownership, just sling a few rupes at locals who help you out. Petty for the scooter, fishing tips, ding repair, silly-good local food joints, etc.

benjis babe's picture
benjis babe's picture
benjis babe commented Tuesday, 26 Jan 2021 at 3:56pm

haha love the breakdown on the personalities,, so true, its what makes an epic holiday

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Tuesday, 26 Jan 2021 at 4:29pm

Crossy blurring the lines between Shred Lord and Hard Charging Mad Bastard . October 2003

Pottah's picture
Pottah's picture
Pottah commented Tuesday, 26 Jan 2021 at 9:04pm

And if anyone is wondering, Indo is lovely without you all, and especially lovely without karnts from the Sunny coast snaking and hassling the whole time.

I'm Australian. I travelled to Indo in last year. It's not that hard if you have some initiative, and don't be sheep.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Wednesday, 27 Jan 2021 at 7:41am

30,000 expats !!!!!!!!!!

clif's picture
clif's picture
clif commented Tuesday, 26 Jan 2021 at 11:29pm

I do not think I will do a warm water surf trip ever again. 3 suits (to interchange). cold water. people snuggled up in bed because it is too cold. absolutely perfect waves reel off and you are too tired to paddle for another one. more of a gamble than indo as cold water locales but the hiking and fishing fill time. and a roaring fire.

cold water indo.

"Don't try. That's very important: not to try." Charles Bukowski

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Wednesday, 27 Jan 2021 at 12:27am

Hey Clif, little secret- missed ya'.

1173

Supafreak's picture
Supafreak's picture
Supafreak commented Wednesday, 27 Jan 2021 at 9:36am

Haha had to laugh at the comments in the link udo put up . Spoke to mate in sanur the other day he said there are heaps of European tourists at the moment , not surfers mainly yoga crowd .

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Wednesday, 27 Jan 2021 at 5:49pm

Bali seems to be THE place that Euro babes go to get themselves stretched nowadays.

Supafreak's picture
Supafreak's picture
Supafreak commented Wednesday, 27 Jan 2021 at 8:57pm

Yeah blowin they must’ve got in before borders shut and enjoying life in Bali and escaping what Europe is going through , my good brother from a different mother Agus got into yoga about 5 years ago as at first a hobby but quickly fell in love with it He already had successfull business in bungalows and restaurant but is now a sought after yoga teacher and does classes most days . His business is struggling now but the yoga instructor pays bloody good money.