Traveling and Day 1

Traveling the Mentawais (AKA the farthest place from Florida)

What is worse than traveling 50 hrs across the world? Being sick doing it! As I came into my last day before leaving on this trip I had gotten a stomach issue, putting me nearly out of commission trying to leave. Going into the trip I was ready and things were going great but the morning I had to say by to Cristina, my wife, was not an enjoyable one for many reasons. Met all the guys at the airport and all I wanted to do was turn around and die from stomach pains. There are hurdles in life and then there are mountains. This was a two day mountain trip! Our flight from Chicago to Hong Kong was 16 hours. Thankfully I found an Eco First class seat ( Economy empty row ) and was able to lay down the whole trip. This saved me! We slept in Hong Kong where after 21 hours I finally ate something, some toast. Thanks to Frank for letting me sleep in his room but not in his bed! This trip was similar to my last two years in the Mentawais on the Indies Trader 3 boat but with a totally different crew of guys. All are from South Florida, and were giddy like girls on the way to the mall. Rightfully so! A couple rookie mistakes were made on the way, like Noel leaving his passport and wallet in the hotel bathroom for two hours and returning to find it in the same place! There is some luck! We finally arrived in Padang, Indonesia where the Indies crew picked us up and drove us out to the docks to board our mother ship for the next 12 days, the Indies Trader 3. The Queen of the Mentawais charter boats below the king the Ratu Motu, previously the Indies 4. I am honored that these guys requested I join them on this trip and document this journey of a lifetime. They welcomed me in on their trip as I hope to fulfill their expectations with memorable imagery (along with comedic commentary).


Day 1 After our journey finally ended we were greeted with an awesome Indies crew and another killer dinner from Tim our Chef. I was able to eat a small amount as my stomach slowly improved since three days prior. We picked our bunks and were all off to sleep during the 10+ hour journey out to the Mentawai Island chain off the coast of Sumatra. We would awaken the next morning (day 1) to Lances rights. A smaller day but ripable, (not south Florida ripable). Most of these guys have not surfed the Ments with only Pat and myself having been on the Indies and Scott to Kandui in the Ments. The feeling of going to a whole new spot and world class one at that is all about the stoke factor. It was great to see how 45+ year old men can be just as stoked as a 20 year old grom to go surfing. The first surf of the day lit that fire inside. The action started off quick as Dr. Scott Mccranels came in with a bloody forehead picking up his first souvenir of the trip. Wait…, Scott should be the last one getting a boo boo! He was a pioneer in Florida Surfing being the first guy in South Florida to make the tour back in the 80’s ranking 12th in the world, and still ripping to this day as this trip will be Scott giving us all a clinic on how to shred a wave. Well a board rolling around in the white water can hit anybody and it was his not so lucky day. The rest followed with small little reef cuts from the Surgeons table, yes that is what the inside reef section is called at Lance’s! Scott ended up with a nice shiner to the eye, improving his potential at landing the “meanest barrel shot of the trip.”


My condition improved as I shot inside of the peak on the tin boat, (18ft aluminum center console). Taking it easy was the name of the game for me dealing with an annoying stomach pain. I just try to phase it out of my mind focusing on hydration and some nutrition.


As the swell was nothing special and the wind had switched we pulled anchor and moved on the Lance’s rights around the other side of the island. It was once again on the smaller side 2-3 ft or chest to an occasional head high take off on the sets with cloudy conditions. I waxed up my trusty Kechele thumbnail and paddled out to get a few. One all the guys were out I traded my board for my camera and fins and shot the virgins popping their cherry on the reef. Respect was given and everyone was reminded that good waves can come with a price if your not careful. That session ended and the boat moved to Bintangs where the mooring was a bit smoother to relax and have some lunch. Siesta time followed with everyone taking a nap. I geared up and headed to land to explore the beach break and talk to a couple locals. Its always interesting and humbling to see these people living off the land so far from our rat race. All smiles and little teeth! The day eventually came to a close and we all had our share of salt and mother nature. Andy decided at dinner to give out some awards. Scott took the best injury, Doug took the highest wave count, Dave took the best wipeout, Andy had the best barrel (that I saw on camera), I took the best bowl movement (and hopefully a photo), Frank came away the cleanest from the reef, Skylar took the award for charging it while living the furthest from an ocean the past year (studying abroad in Swiss), Noel took the most well prepared image taker without being the photographer on the trip and Pat did the best snake of the day!

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Thanks to my awesome supporters! – Providing me with the best travel bags and gear – Sun Bum – Protecting my skin in the sun! – Making the best Water Housing for my iPhone!

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