In the Mentawais, perfection is on tap. This extends to the quality of the food. Being stuck on a boat thousands of kilometres from the nearest food hall might lead you to expect a somewhat lower-than-usual quality of grub, but Robbie, the boat's Australian chef, is a culinary Dr Who, capable of conjuring miracle meals from a Tardis-like kitchen: tandooris, pasta, poisson cru. The only thing that excites Robbie more than the prospect of fantastic surf is when we catch a tuna or Spanish mackerel on one of the trawl lines. "Waa-haa!" he yells, filleting the fish on the back of the boat. "Fresh sashimi tonight!"
It's difficult to explain the exquisite privilege of surfing such a world-class wave by yourself. It's a little like turning up in the French Alps resort of Chamonix under three metres of fresh powder with no one around, or you and a mate playing the Old Course at St Andrews all day, completely alone.I surf for eight hours - a personal record. I could have surfed for more but it was getting dark and the moon was rising, huge and pearly blue.
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