Indo (by Boat)
If it’s flat, you've just dropped four grand on a fishing trip
Charly Martin, boat trippin'. Photo: Alex Laurel
Yeah, yeah, you are not there for the fishing, or the sunsets, or the girls, or the massive double beds. No, the reason the very reason boat trips exist is that no other type of surf trip offers the potential for surfing such quantity of quality waves. Boat trip charters (well the good ones) tend to operate in wave rich zones that offers a large variety of world class waves all in close proximity. Be it in the Mentawais or the Maldives (where 97 per cent of boat trippers head to), you know that within a short sail you have a ridiculous number of world class waves at your fingertips. A change in the wind, a shift in the tide or a nudge in the swell may close one door, but it opens up others. On the other side of the island, or over the next straight lies further potential. On a boat trip you always have options, always have somewhere better to go. That is if there is a swell of course. If it’s flat, you have just dropped four grand on a very expensive fishing trip.
Traveling by sea is a wonderful experience. Now we don’t want to go all Joseph Conrad on your ass, or shove a dose of Ernest Hemingway up your date, but living on the ocean for two weeks does tremendous things to your soul. Out on the sea, surrounded by horizons and lifted gently by the motion of a long period swell, most of the petty irritations of normal life (wives, girlfriends, kids, jobs, money, that wart on your penis) have the tendency to retreat far, far back in the distance. A life ruled by tide and winds, not emails and bills, can put life’s responsibilities and worries in perspective. Or at least postpone the inevitable. That is of course unless you suffer from seasickness or claustrophobia, in which case you have just blown three mortgage payments to suffer your worst ever hangover, one that lasts for 12 days.
Ah yes, a boat trip should be as much about the waves you will surf as the good times you will have onboard. A boat trip is a 12 day free pass. There should be just you, the ocean, a bunch of your good mates and a fridge full of free beer. Societies norms and general rules of behavior can be left behind on the jetty, a boat trip providing a special time out for man’s natural instincts to take truly charge. Farting, swearing, masturbating, wrestling, surfing, burping, spearing, fishing, farting, swearing and masturbating become
acts that are not frowned upon, but actively encouraged. And by sitting up till late, in a safe anchorage on the back deck with three of your best mates, a bottle of duty free whisky and 12 cans of Pringles, it is entirely possible to solve most, if not all, of the world’s problems. Sure you will never ever remember those profound solutions the next morning, and can sometimes wake up with a pineapple shoved up your arse, but that’s not the point, is it?
Jumping Off A Boat
It’s a well known fact that there is no better feeling of anticipation in surfing then jumping off a boat with the prospect of surfing Indonesian perfection ahead. Sure the jungle walk to G-Land say, with its peeks through the trees to the reeling lefts, provides a thrill of expectation. Or the final swooping bends and the drive over the Padang bridge on the way to Uluwatu can make your penis dribble urine with excited suspense. But even those fail to measure up to the rare pleasure that comes with jumping off a boat, a favourite freshly waxed stick under the arm, and a short paddle to a grinding reef break. It remains one of the most cherished and hard earned of pre surf I rituals, and one you can’t get paddling off the beach at your local rip bowl.
Do 50 of those, and at only 80 euros a pop, it’s money well spent.