Charter Sep 15 – Sep 28 (13 Nights)
I was a little nervous leading up to this trip, I had never had my mates on the boat before. After looking at a couple of charts and reuniting with Kadir, things soon came quite familiar, and I felt right at home.
We started our trip in Tua Pejat area, a more northern part of the Mentawai island chain. We were on the tale end of a big swell. It was a great warm up and we had some really rippable waves 4-5 feet, trending down over the next two days. We stayed in this area and had the first of a few pirate parties, and caught our first fish of many (mackerel) to a setting sun. On the third day we sailed south and had an afternoon surf at HT’s.
The next two days were absolutely pumping. This swell was on our radar before the trip and the direction looked good to get some proper waves breaking right up in the office. There was some amazing surfing going down and the vibe in the water was awesome. It was 6 feet with a few 8 footers breaking on the outer reef and doubling up.
That afternoon stoked, we headed south again towards the Sikakap area. The next day was really fun. For most of our trip we had strong south trades blowing. Though on this day there was a lot of moisture around and we had almost no wind up till the late afternoon, a classic Mentawai day.
There was a second pulse in the swell and a few of the lads were dying to get to Maccas. We got there in the dark and the boys jumped over the side. The winds weren’t great, but it wasn’t hard to see how good of a wave it is. One of our pirates got wave of the morning and it was one of the best barrels of his life. Unfortunately, the energy in the water was, well shit really, a lot of angry heads. We lifted the pick and got out of there. We headed south again for around 3 hours. There was a building swell and quite strong south winds. This limited our options. However, when we came around the corner and this wave was wrapping around to offshore, we couldn’t believe our eyes. It was pumping, it was big and there wasn’t another boat in sight.
Each day the swell got a little smaller, but we just ducked and weaved and managed to surf waves by ourselves for the rest of our trip. There are the classic waves in the Mentawai’s, and we did have two or three great surfs at Thunders, but with a bit of knowledge, and adventure tucked into your shorts, it could be worth a look around the corner.
There is a bunch of mates doing boat trips all the time, so why was this one so special. I guess for us Sean has been part of our lives since we were kids, some of us were even in nappies. He was always the one that pushed us to go harder go bigger, in everything. When he had his accident 12 years ago and hit the reef surfing, it was a life changing experience for all of us. But we weren’t leaving him behind, and he wasn’t leaving himself behind.
Having Sean on the boat with us was one of the most inspiring and courageous things I have been a part of. The response from guests on other boats, in the water, in the street, even the local people, was really positive. There was just people stoked everywhere.
To the crew Kadir, Besta, Awang, and Hotman, they were amazing, and really stepped up to the task and responsibility. Kadir was awesome in helping us rig up the pulley system to lift Sean in and out of the water. Kadir and the crew had come a long way since I was last on the boat. The Nomad had had a lot of work done and the improvements were great to see.
“Cruising out into an empty, perfect, peeling reef line-up was one of the most memorable and emotional experiences of my life. A big thanks to the ground staff, Captain Kadir and crew of the Nomad for making this possible. Every day on the Nomad was amazing.”
– Captain Jono