In the middle of August I had the pleasure and privilege of joining a group of mates jetting off to the remote Mentawai Islands, roughly 100 miles off Sumatra. It’s the first time I’ve done a boat trip in the Mentawai’s in 2007.
The islands sit in the cradle of the most perfect surf scenario on the planet; directly in line of the powerful, consistent, long period South-West swells of the Indian Ocean and on the equatorial band of slack winds called the doldrums. Their remoteness and location on a very active tectonic plate add extra elements of risk but for those willing, the rewards are some of the best and most challenging waves of your life.
Our Captain and surf guide for the trip was legendary boatman and surfer Tony “Doris” Eltherington. There wouldn’t be too many places in the Mentawai Island’s Doris hasn’t poked his bow sniffing out new breaks and fishing spots; he’s been there helping out after tsunami’s and rescued overboard survivors.
If dodging other surf charters and trying to second guess the Island’s fast moving micro weather systems was an Olympic sport, Doris would be a Gold Medalist. During our 12 days out in the Island’s we covered hundreds of nautical miles surfing breaks from 2ft glassy fun peelers to double-overhead heavy barrels and we barely surfed with another boat.
The photo’s on today’s post are from just a sample of our 12 days on the Raja Elang – I’m still going through them. Cheers to Doris and all the fella’s for having me along for the ride!
If you’re keen to join us on a trip somewhere in the Ment’s next year, flick me an email and I’ll add you to the list.