Memories of the last decent surf session had faded long ago and daily entertainment was focused more towards onboard activities than the wide expanse of the tropical surfing playground that is the Indonesian islands.
The Ocean was lazy and the wind was strong and relentless from the south for the first few days of this all-star trip and as anyone with more than a boat trip or two in Mentawai under their belt will tell you- this often means a few days at Thunders, and more often than not, with a few other like-minded charter captains and surfers around.
Thunders is an amazing wave magnet that will serve up overhead groomed Indo perfection in conditions like this, the only problem- Mick hates it! just not his cup of tea, but being in close proximity to one of his favourites Greenbush!, he was prepared to wait it out for better conditions.
The main time filler for Mick was fishing trips in Mango’s legendary sidekick speedboat Foxy Lady often for hours and hours on end, and often resulted with an empty esky on return. Other activities included beach footy, wake surfing behind either Mango or Foxy Lady, whatever the alternate activity it always ended the same way….with an empty esky on return.
Our third day at Thunders had coincided with a big birthday bash for a well known and pioneering captain on one of the other vessels also carrying a myriad of legendary pro surfers that got particularly out of hand at the luxury charter boat’s third deck bar and once all bodies were accounted for and returned to their respective vessels by about 0900hrs the following morning the call was made to move on.
With winds still relentless from the south and options limited Mango sailed north in the hope of surfing “anywhere else but Thunders”.
As Mango steamed into the bay hiding one of Mentawai’s true world class gems in Greenbush for a fly by look, it was totally clear that the relentless southerlies were still blowing it to pieces and was totally un-surfable.
As Mango turned out of the bay to belt back into the 3-4ft onshore whitecaps and ocean slop to continue searching for greener pastures Mick bundled out of bed and up to the wheelhouse. “Let’s wait. It’s the best wave out here. The wind might stop later”.
After a quick team meeting the anchor went down, the crew went down, the passengers went down and the Mango rocked and rolled in the onshore mess for hours and hours waiting for as Mick puts it – The best wave out here, to miraculously turn offshore.
By about 4pm the impossible was starting to look possible. The storm clouds had built up over the jungle and were starting to fend off the relentless southerly trade wind. It was glassing off and going offshore.
This epic session kicks off @ 10:10 on Matty Gye and Shagga’s epic flick Fitty Fitty below and clearly shows the turning conditions- First Dingo sneaks out as the wind eases and the glass off starts… shortly followed by Joel, then Mick and the others as the wind turns true offshore.
As Mick states at the end of this amazing afternoon of surfing:
For more epic surfing images from many epic trips on the Mango and from around the world check out Swilly’s Instagram Click Here.
Massive thanks to Tracks as well, grab yourself the Surfers Bible. Click Here.