The swell that was supposed to kick in yesterday begins to fill in by the next morning. We are ready and champing at the bit. The funnest wave in the world awaits us …
The routine we set on these early days becomes the everyday ritual for the trip. We wake at 5:30am, eat, and hit the water by 6am. We return to the boat between 8am and 10am depending on personal lineup strategies, fitness levels and crowds. Upon boarding chef Juli instantly makes us an omelette that would make Nadia Lim envious. I add extra chilli and Juli smiles each time he hands me my second breakfast, the spice increases daily.
By 11am we’re sunblocking up again to endure the midday session for as long as we can. Lunch is served whenever we’re ready and it is top-shelf gourmet. It’s so good that we eat more than we should. I tack on a 26-minute siesta and am ready again by 3pm for the afternoon session. We don’t get out of the water until the last light has drained from the west.
Dinner is another feast that blows our minds. I furiously download the photos from the day and after our meal I start to do my first edit with the images projected onto the TV in hi-resolution. Each surfer, whether they ask for it or not, has to consider my constructive criticism of their technique. Usually it’s arms, eyes and head direction … the low-hanging fruit.
By 8:30pm we’re toast, falling asleep and struggling to maintain conversations. It has nothing to do with the 2-3 beers most of us manage to consume each day (apart from a few stars among us). We’re spent from eight hours in the water, the tropical heat, the tropical sun, and an overload of good times. The bunks are roomy and welcoming. Falling asleep gets easier.
In the water today we are visited by Hina and Kaylin – a couple of attractive, young 20-somethings travelling the Mentawais and making us all wish we were still in the prime of our own youth. They can both surf well and have the knack for catching a lot of waves, which will only bode well for their surfing prowess.
I’m quietly chuffed that they both try to talk me into stowing them away for our journey south. I soon find out that they had asked nearly everyone aboard during the sessions we surfed with them. They know the swell is dropping and that where we’re headed will be the best option. It’s kind of like hitching a lift from one reef to the next.
One of the highlights of the day was seeing Bones pigdog into a long winding tube. He was in it for ages, just ahead of the foamball and when he eventually came out he ran straight into Dazza, whose pathetic duckdive gave Bones little option on line choice. Bones unweighted on impact and somehow they both emerged unscathed.
When a good window emerged Sugud took to the surf and showed us what growing up surfing Nias meant. He was ripping on a few set waves. Scuzz joined him and was once again masterful in picking the eyes out of the scraps, and heading up the reef.
By the end of the day wed all felt like we had finally found our Indo legs. That’s a good feeling at the world’s funnest wave. Tomorrow: our Roxies adventure awaits.