Stevie Maher's All Bodyboard Charters Telo 2019
Legendary Wave Hunter Dave Crouch,
Justin Kirkpatrick aka The Wizard aka Oysters Kirkpatrick aka Doctor Inside, Mark paddock aka Paddy Cakes, Johnathan Brunelle/Johnno, Stevie Maher aka Steven, Rob Fisher aka Meat Missile aka The Scud, Jason Davies aka The Hand and
My good self aka The Drifter.
Day 1 The trip begins.... I was pretty nervous heading for my flight seeing as the last time I tried to fly to Indo the mother fuckers at Qatar refused my boarding due to my passport being haggered and worn, biggest bunch of bullshit ever but I’ve let that little episode of my life go as there’s no room to hang on to the negative in my life.
Out of principle I had not renewed my passport as there was sweet fuck all wrong with it and it was still valid to 2021..... Check in went without a hitch and I even had a whole row on my Garuda flight from Heathrow, was this Karma? I’m going take it .... 15 hour direct flight into Denpasar, which by the way is awesome rather than fucking around in KL, I must of slept 13 hours. I’m always nervous waiting for my board bag as all my shit goes in there, no boards for a Bodyboarding boat trip would be an almighty fuck up! Thankfully it showed and I grabbed a taxi to the holiday inn express Baruna Bali. I’d pre arranged to meet Justin there AKA “ The wizard “ and we sunk a few bintangs chatting about the current state of the contest scene both in Aus and the UK and about hopefully seeing him compete on the APB in Sintra in the DK, I’ve personally seen Juzzo tear it up and know he would smash it over in Europe. At about midnight we went our separate ways knowing we had to get back to the airport for 5 am for phase 2 of our journey to the Mentawais. Day 2 I met Justin in the lobby at 5 am and we jumped into his drivers car. We had two one and half hour flights first to Jakarta where we picked up Jason then on to Padang where everything went as smooth as it could, before we knew it we were sipping bintang with the boys in the Asia Surf Charters homestay. After a couple of hours a tropical storm rolled through reminiscent of last years and the chat turned to how horrific last years journey out was. We boarded the boat by 7 and by 8.30 pm we were cruising up the estuary towards the Indian Ocean.
I did my usual trick of popping 2 travel sick tablets and by 9 pm my eyelids were heavy so I retired downstairs. I woke a couple of time through the night when the boat was rocking but it was relatively smooth in comparison to last year. Poor old Paddy cakes had a rough night spewing his guts several times, he even tried sleeping on a wooden bench on deck. By 7 am everyone was awake and buzzing if we were hitting the Ments we would have been there by now but this year the decision was made to hit the Telo...... It was a good 14 hours this year. At about 10 am a shout came “dolphins on the port side” we all jumped up and sure enough two dolphins were swimming along side us swimming with the boat, pure magic.
Day 3 We rocked up to a spot called Bojos and it was a solid 4-6 ft and offshore, what a nice warm up wave, it was Jason’s turn to spew his guts this time so unfortunately he missed out. I was on the first boat out and I followed Dave to the take off spot, no one else was out so for the first 20 mins it was just Dave, Stevie, Mark and I. You could mark take off by lining up with a trio of dead trees on the beach. A set came through and Dave called me on, as I took off I freaked because this 10 ft wall of water wrapping in front of me looked like it would close out, it didn’t and I just chased the shoulder with the biggest smile on my face for about 30 seconds.... this was the reason for a 32 hour trip from London and I was making the most of every second.
The rest of the boys Justin, Robbo and Johnno soon joined us and we surfed for the next 2 and a half hours, we all had some sick waves including some nice cover ups until a clean up set came through and we had the first beat down of the trip.... thank god it was lunchtime I was bushed..... mmmm salmon and garlic mashed swede. After Lunch the boat headed over to a wave known as Skate Park, we moored up but behind the wave in the bay so you couldn’t see it, we knew it was on though because you could see 6 stand ups Bobbing around occasionally throwing cutbacks with water spraying out the back of the wave with no sign of them, that meant it had to be at least head high. Out of courtesy we let them surf the peak and sure enough within an hour they had signalled their boat to pick them up so it was now game on for us. Stevie and Justin got the first boat and then me, Mark and Jason got the second, Jonhno finally joined us and Robbo sat it out.
The wave was sick, it came out of nowhere and hit a reef shelf which then jacked up forming a wedgey take off straight into a little barrel which then walled down the reef to the inside section, you then pulled off before it got too shallow. The faces on take off where around 8 ft and we just traded waves with just the boys again for the next 2.5 hours, I only got out because I was cramping up, another sick little session had by all.
Once back on the boat we cracked a few bintangs, had a nice chicken dinner and looked through the photos of the day, we pondered what tomorrow might deliver. All of a sudden no word of a lie a fucking fish flew out of the water and hit the top of the sliding door, it was a good 6 ft jump and it freaked the shit out of us, who knows what was chasing it but something lurked around the boat. Day 4 We woke up early to heavy winds, Dave had moored the boat back at skate Parks, you can’t control Mother Nature but the plan was to stay in the south of the Telos for one more day before heading north. By 9.30 am it was too hot to stay on the boat so we got the boat to drop us to the peak, Johno and Robbo stayed behind and the rest of us were happy enough, the swell was still there but the wind was crumbling the peak a bit taking the edge of what had greeted us the night before.
We all still scored nice waves, the English contingent of myself and Mark even had a few on the knee much to Stevie and Justin’s delight. Stevie thou owned this session.......
We traded waves for a good 3 hrs before heading back to the boat to rest and rehydrate, as we got back Dave and Johnno we’re heading for a wave simply called “The left” a super shallow wave 30 mins boat ride away. The rest of us were simply too knackered to join them so chilled on top deck for a couple of hours listening to “The Doors” At about 4 me, Mark and Justin headed back over to Skateparks and traded waves for the next two and half hours when a few stand ups joined the line up, we had had our fill and so left them too it.
Once back on the boat there was another sighting of dolphins, no matter how many times I have seen them they always fascinate me. As we cruised to where we would rest up for the night we watched another beautiful sunset, we cracked open a bintang put on Pink Floyd “Dark side of the moon” and chilled waiting for dinner. A few stories of War and shark attacks were shared that night whilst watching forked lightning illuminate the sky in the distance before one by one we all retired to our bunks to get some much needed rest.
Day 5 We woke up around 7, Dave had already checked skateparks and it was blown out, we were cruising north up the coast as we reached a point we cruised round and the boat started to slow down, in the foreground we could see a boat moving out from it’s anchor so we slipped in, the break was empty....... “Welcome to Jurassics” Dave said Looking at the back drop it didn’t surprise me it was called “Jurassics” it was the first time it wasn’t just palm trees there was lush foliage, big trees with their roots exposed just perched on rocks, it was fucking bizarre.... the jungle was in full flow here, I’m no wildlife expert but I’d say there was a large representation of most species of tropical plants on display. One huge rock supporting the tallest tree of the bunch looked like it was a skull, it had two dark eyes and there was a ridge which formed its nose, again the roots of the tree intertwined and twisted there way down the rock right to the ocean, it honestly felt that any moment Kong could have parted the trees and walked onto the beach. Dave said salt water crocodiles had been sighted in the area, something that Mark “paddy cakes “ Paddock was not happy about.
We wasted no time, we got our kit and all of us headed out in the boat, paddling over, the take off spot was easy to find and as I sat there on my board my flippers dragged across the reef, for that to happen you know it’s going to be super shallow on the inside and you need to show some respect. We traded left handers that rolled in at about 3-4 ft, this is the kind of wave that makes these trips. We were flying off the take off, sitting high getting a nice little barrel before pulling out onto the shoulder.
The whole way you could see the reef magnified in the water knowing there was only probably 2-3 ft of water between you and an accident, it makes the heart race. We were fucked after 3 hours and headed back to the boat for some food and to re-hydrate. We hadn’t even finished eating when someone shouted “Whale” no word of a lie a 30 ft whale had breached the water on the starboard of the boat. So typical my camera was not to hand but it was fascinating, I had only ever seen a whale once before and that was in South Africa and even then it was at least a km away and I only saw the water blow.
Stevie had been considering cutting his dreads, he had them growing for about 8 years so I felt very privileged when he let me cut them off.....
At about 2 pm we all headed back over to surf, the tide had pulled in a bit so we thought there would be more water on the reef, we were wrong the take off was deeper but the inside was even more treacherous. I had taken my go pro in this time, watching the boys go wave for wave was pure Joy.
I watched Robbo have a sick wave he came charging toward me in the barrel almost running me over, then Johnno tucked sweetly into one, Stevie was smashing the back hand drop knee and Justin as always was putting on a DK display worthy of a Sintra final.
Everyone was having a great session, confidence was probably too high and the shallow reef was a distant memory.
I took off on a screamer, I sat nice and high, I was sat right in the sweet spot, got barrelled down the line, all of a sudden the wave pinched and that was me getting sent over the falls. I was super careful last year and didn’t hit the reef once after my experience the year before for which I still have the scars. As I landed I thought ok just a beat down, I was getting rag dolled and my flipper started to come off, as I reached to grab it my left heel jammed into the reef then I got flipped over and just covered my head, I got rolled then my right foot got a reef kiss, thank fuck I had a lucky escape, a little reality check. We were miles from civilisation and the last thing I wanted was to be evacuated..... At about 5 pm we headed back to the boat, I got some lime off the crew to clean my wounds and once done threw the lime into the ocean.
No word of a lie an eagle appeared above the boat and swooped down to pick up the lime, it was the most bizarre thing ever, it was a beautiful brown colour with a white head, my feet were still pissing blood so Paddy cakes kindly ran down and got my camera, by the time he was back an even larger sea eagle had joined in and both circulated the boat taking turns to dive for the lime, it was almost magical to watch.