Day 34 - Mentawai Islands, Island Time
After being warned about cockroaches and rats on the ferry, Rian found himself waking up with serveral roaches on him during the night. I managed some how to keep them off me, either that or I just didn’t wake up.
The ferry pulled in at 4am to early for my liking, we chose to sleep in and wait for the speed boat to pick us up. I was woken up by Rian who had wondered off the boat and met a man who claimed that he could take us to Katiet Village in hjis speed boat. Not knowing where we were on the map, the only thing we knew was the name Katiet, we decided to go with him.
We paid the man 1 million Rupiahs each about (200US), very expensive by Indonesian standards but in the Mentawai’s everything is expensive, mainly fuel. So we are waiting at the docks, everything is fairly quite, waiting for the man to bring around the speed boat. Now Rian and I are thinking fiber-glass boat with twin 70hp engines on the back will be jetting us across. I’m afraid not, around comes the boat, a 7m wooden canoe about half a meter wide with a 15hp Yamaha on the back. This tree trunk will be taking us on a 4 - 5 hour ride from one end of the island to the other in the ocean. Fingers crossed.
About 1 hour into the ride we hit some rain which mixed with wind was extremely cold. Rian was able to lye down flat behind the bags to get out of the wind, I converted my Buff into Ninja mode which kept me warm and the boat driver had his trusty broken umbrella.
The rain squall passed while hugging the east coast of the island. Out came the sun which dried everything out in 10 minutes. We came around the last headland and in the distance we could see a few boats. The water was the cleanest I have seen, absolutely tropical. We pulled into the reef pass, between some awesome wave and about 3 charter boats looking on. On the boats had many surfers watching the action with cameras and beers in there hands. We glided past onto the beach where we met Jessy and the crew. Rick had sent Jessy (Owner), Taj (Cook), Mee-Mee (Masseuse) , Micky (Marketing Man), and Flur (Film Director) to the islands to get it back on track after the wet season.
We didn’t have our boards with us as we put them on the supply fishing boat the night before and it was supposed to have arrived before us, but had not shown up. By now it was 11am and we were both reasonably tired, having only eaten a pack of noodles on the ferry, we were both feeling it.
After waiting around for the supply boat with everyone’s food and our boards, Ali eventually arrived with the goods. It had taken him 24 hours to motor across the strait, apparently they hit very strong currents, that saw them doing 2 - 3 knots. We all helped get it to the kitchen and now with the boards in hand Rian and I hit the water to surf the famous right hander known as Hollow Trees (HT’s) all by our selves.
Day 35 - Hitting HT’s and then heading around to Lances Left.
Well today see’s us waking up to a perfect paradise island setting. We slept in A/C comfort which means no annoying mozzie nets. Straight to the bar/kitchen area for breakfast, one of the 3 meals we get everyday. Breakfast included fresh fruit salad, cereal and pancakes, I basically had all 3.
Jessy then organized the speed boat (this time a real speedboat) to take us around to the other side of the peninsular to see if Lances Left was working. At HT’s which is directly in-fornt of the resort there are 5 surf charter boats all with 10 - 15 guys onboard. This made it impossible to catch any waves.
So just as well we went to Lances Left, no one was out. Perfect 3 - 4 ft waves breaking about 100 - 200m down the line all to the 6 of us. I sacrificed the first session and filmed Rian for 40min, he got many good waves. I then jumped in and got a good few waves. The conditions were perfect, this is what the trip is all about, surfing perfect waves with good people. Taj kept saying that we are really lucky to have those waves all to ourselves, usually there are 10 - 20 guys in the water. So what a great way to start off our 8 days of surfing the Mentawai Islands.