Wild Cat Surf charter
Built in 2000, Wild Cat is a 70 foot long surf cat powered by twin 420 HP Cummins diesel engines and has been retrofitted specifically for Indonesian surf charters. The Wild Cat motors with a top speed of 15 knots, a day cruising speed of 10 – 12 knots and a night cruising speed of 8 – 10 knots.
With a range of approximately 1000 nautical miles she does not require refueling in the course of a trip even with significant motoring throughout the Mentawai chain. Due to the fact the hulls draw only three feet, Wild Cat skims over the shallows and puts travelers closer to those perfect reef breaks.
Overall this catamaran is a modern, clean, spacious, air conditioned and comfortable vessel that gets surfers to the best spots with speed and safety in mind.
Wild Cat is a 70’ x 22’ power catamaran custom made in 2000 for surf charters in the Mentawai Islands. She was built with an emphasis on speed, stability, safety and comfort. As a result the boat is fast, light and strong with a large canopied deck out front to protect travelers from the intense tropical sun.
The main salon provides panoramic views of the surrounding islands and the entertainment center has a flat screen TV, DVD player, and the stereo plays CDs and is I-phone compatible.
Wild Cat has two indoor heads with salt and fresh water showers plus two freshwater showers on the stern swim steps. All ten sleeping berths are air-conditioned, the floors are carpeted, and there are views from every berth with plenty of space in the twin hulls.
All catamarans are very stable at speed but also at anchor and Wild Cat is no exception to that rule being one of the most comfortable and affordable charter options in the Mentawai islands. Surfers are transported from the boat to the reef and back in one of two tenders. One is a 12 foot inflatable with a 15 HP engine and the other is a 15 foot inflatable with 30 HP engine. These two tenders offer travelers great flexibility in exploring the various breaks the Mentawai has to offer.
Wild Cat features a custom surf rack that holds up to 30 boards out of the sun along with plenty of storage for diving and fishing equipment.
Wild Cat is equipped with an array of safety and navigational equipment including GPS, radar, depth sounder and SSB radio. She has a Satellite phone on board and remains in constant communication with the stateside partners for regular swell and wind updates provided by Surfline.com, Lola and Buoy Weather.com.
The boat also has an extensive medical kit, a backup electrical generator and multiple anchors. Americans with many years of exploration in the Mentawai, the owners of Wild Cat designed their catamaran with the most modern cooking equipment. Meals are served in an open-air dining area in the aft deck which where guests take breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks while keeping an eye on the tides and wind, or watching the sun
Eat. Sleep. Surf. But also: read, dive, fish, watch DVDs, listen to music, sort photos, edit videos, drink, play cards, relax, stretch. Wild Cat is a big, stable, air conditioned, well-stocked surf cat with lots of room for R and R, big screen TV, modern sound system – a floating island of comfort and convenience in an archipelago of elements that can be brutal.
Wild Cat is equipped with fishing and diving gear to explore what lies beneath, and when the 12-foot tender isn’t going back and forth to the reef, they use it for diving and fishing expeditions – and also hiking around on land through the jungle and visiting small villages.
Scenic day trips include:
• 11 nights / 10 days of surfing in the Mentawai or, as pre-arranged
• Three family style Meals per day + unlimited extra servings upon requests by our private chef.
• 500 Free Bintangs Included (Beer)
• Tv and Dvd Player-Air Conditioning
• Fireworks Available Upon Request
• Stand Up Paddle Board, Kayak, Snorkeling Gear,
• Fishing Gear, Board Repair.
• Massage Guns, Foam Roller, Workout Supplements,
• First Aid Kit, Safety Gear, Liferaft, Tender
What’s not included
• Airline tickets
• Fuel Surcharge (if applicable)
• Travel Insurance (compulsory for all guests, including med-evac coverage and coverage for lost charter days)
• Use of satellite phone (charged at applicable rates, not available on all boats)
• Tips for the crew.
The Mentawai Islands lie roughly 100 km off of the west coast of Sumatra in Indonesia. They consist of 4 main islands with many smaller islands scattered throughout. From north to south, the main islands are Siberut, Sipora, North Pagi, and South Pagi. These islands block most swells from reaching the mainland on Sumatra, but they offer some of the most perfect surf in the world. Access to the islands is by sea only with regular ferries to the main trading ports, but by far the best way to access the surf is by charter boat.
From up north to down south the following is a list of better known spots from which to choose (leaving out some semi-secret and un-named spots):
• Ebay – A perfect barreling left that needs a bit more swell. Very scenic.
• Kandui – A very fast, challenging, barreling lefthander that breaks from 3 – 12 feet, but is Triple Black Diamond over six feet.
• Nokandui – A long, hollow freight-train left hander, that needs size and perfect conditions to be makeable.
• 4 Bobs – Short right well protected from most winds, shallow reef.
• Bank Vaults – Right hander that can be a little shifty, but serves up backdoor barrels. Very heavy board snapping power with size.
• Nipussi – A very consistent short fun easy right.
• Scarecrows – Just another world-class lefthander that will satisfy your wildest dreams – and occasionally match your worst nightmares.
• Telescopes – A long, beautiful lefthand reef pass that is out to sea and exposed, so prone to the wind. A spectacular wave.
• Lance’s Left – Quality fun long left, very consistent, best with southeast wind. Can be a series of lefts if you want to push further up the reef.
• Lance’s Right (HT’s) – One of the best right hand barrels in the Mentawai with a couple take off zones. Best with no wind or Northwest wind. Be careful of the “Surgeons Table” and inside area of shallow sharp reef.
• Macaronis – Voted the best wave in the world by Tracks Magazine and “funnest wave” by Waves Magazine, this left hander is the star of countless surf videos. A hollow but manageable take off followed by a long wall that is often workable, or hollow. Makes the average surfer feel like a super star!
• Rifles – One of the best rights in Indonesia, a long hollow wall with multiple tube sections. To make the length of the wave you must commit to riding the tube, likes the south swell and light northwest winds.
• Thunders – A swell magnet and “go to” spot when the swell is small. This can be a fun long walled left with multiple tube sections, but when big provides a “Sunset” like drop that sometimes gets a bit fat and shoulders off down the line.
• Rags Left – A long barreling wave that turns on during large southwest swells and has been surfed up to 15 feet.
• Rags Right – This wave has been described as “a formidable opponent to your health, safety, and well-being.” Low tide is out of the question, but on a high tide and the proper swell, this is one of the thickest, hollowest tubes in the Mentawai’s.
• The Hole – A fast hollow left with quick take off and hollow end section. Ends in very shallow water, better for advanced surfers.
Seasons & Weather
The Mentawai are in western Indonesia, just below the equator, so these islands are generally wetter and more lush than Bali and the islands further southeast.
The Indonesian archipelago stretches along the equator between the hot, dry Australian land mass to the south, and the hot, wet Asian land mass to the north. Indonesia’s climate is tropical and in the Mentawai there is little difference in the length of a day year around; but because of those land masses lurking above and below, Indonesia’s seasons divide in two: wet and dry.
The wet season begins in October and lasts until March, with the peak rainfall measured January and February, when high pressure flowing south from the Asian mainland combines with humid air from the Indian Ocean to bring rain throughout the archipelago – although the northern and western islands get more rain than those in the south and east.
March/April is the beginning of dry season, when high pressure over Australia pushes air north to blanket Indonesia with warm, dry air. The dry season peaks June through August, which is also in the heart of surf season.
Prime season for swell in Indonesia is the southern hemisphere winter – March/April through September/October – when low pressure systems off Antarctica and the Indian Ocean pulse ground swells toward the equator. These ground swells travel for thousands of miles, allowing them time to “unwrap,” organize and march onto the reefs of Indonesia as perfectly groomed lines.
Winds are also a factor to be considered. May through Aug/Sept typically sees easterly trades which are favorable for many of the main breaks. November through February generally sees northwesterly winds, which may not be favorable for the big name breaks, but there are waves that favor this wind direction. The shoulder or transition months of March/April and September/October will experience light and variable winds due to the changing of seasons. These months often experience glassy conditions and can be the best time to sample a larger variety of waves.
Although most of the rain falls during the wet season, rainstorms can occur at any time of year. Air temperatures range between 75° and 85° year around and water temperatures are always in that same range.
So, when is the best time? Like with so many questions the answer is: “It depends.” It depends on your desires. If you want big surf with favorable trades, May to September is probably best. If you want to experience some glassy conditions and get a few more rights and less people (but possibly sacrifice some swell size) March/April or late Sept/Oct is probably best. If you don’t mind rain but good surface conditions and smaller, clean surf with nobody else around: give the off season a try, from November to February.