- Words by Richard Edy
It's early on a Tuesday morning around the end of July, the first day in a long while I'm not surfing because it's onshore and the swell has died. Playing serious catch up on the work front with a few strong cups of coffee, my mind starts to drift to the last boat trip I did six years ago!
I have been fortunate to go on plenty boat trips in my life, mainly to the Mentawaii Islands in Indonesia and must say they are hard to beat, for many reasons. The first must be the shear beauty and tranquility of the place, it will blow you away, truly amazing. The waves of course, would be the reason everyone books a boat trip in the first place, they are as perfect as you can get! A point often overlooked is to get to spend quality time with mates, away from the hustle and bustle of life, cell phones, jobs and the rest of the stuff that consumes our daily lives.
Having a business that offers surf trips, has certainly got me thinking even more. I've drifted away from the dreamy waves and cast my mind back to one of the very first trips I'd done and oh man am I getting excited! You see it's not just about the boat trip, it's about the entire process, the idea, putting it out there, who wants to come, the options, the quality of waves, what boards and who will you book with.....?
One thing I have really learnt over the years is that a boat trip is a big deal, a very big deal!! It culminates in the trip of a lifetime, getting shacked with your mates and having a few beers watching the most spectacular sunsets in the world!!
So where the hell to start..........
In my opinion and as I play it over in my mind, the below steps will help you lock down your dream boat trip and ensure it is everything you imagined it to be.
Choose your destination wisely
Think about where you want to go and ensure you are choosing a location that will suit, not only your surfing ability but that of the other 8-10 guys on the boat. This will ensure there is common ground and something for everyone when deciding on spots to surf. If everyone is stoked the trip is always a success.
Choose your operator wisely
Once the destination is locked down the next most important decision you will need to make is choosing an operator that services the area. Although there are DIY options available some of the locations you wish to visit are extremely remote and you don't want to be stuck out there alone on a dodgy, rust bucket. For a few extra bucks a reliable, recognized operator that has someone you can contact 24/7 is more than worth the few extra rand. The established operators such as ourselves and World Surfaris only represent boats that they have been on and are comfortable to send their guests on. You are safe, your money is safe and you are taken care of 100%. No transfer issues, no worries and complete peace of mind is what you want when you are traveling to remote destinations.
Choose your 10 friends wisley
So with everything set from the operator and prices at hand, throw it out there to your mates. Remember 10-14 days on a boat is a fairly longtime so want to try and ensure that everyone gets along, easy going happy individuals are a solid bet. This ensures that on the days the waves are not pumping they will be happy and relaxed enough to go fishing, explore the local village, snorkel, dive or just chill.
It's actually not that easy to just round up 10 guys for a boat trip so you might want to call on another group of surf friends to take up the slots. Not often done but 2 families could also be an option as some of the boats are very luxurious with great scuba options.
Travel with an open mind
So it's been a few months everyone is locked in and in a few days you will be off. The best advice I can ever give anyone at this point is to travel with an open mind. Lap up what you see with your eyes on the flight over, on the small charter flight, the taxi ride or while in transit. This stuff is priceless!
Once on the boat don't over froth!! The waves might not be the exact picture you had in your mind but paddle out and enjoy regardless! Remember at home it would have been onshore and you would have had to go to work. On the boat all you have to do is figure out which board to ride or how best to enjoy the ocean and surrounds for the day!
You will be able to surf everyday regardless, the skippers are dialed in to get you as much water time as possible! They know where to be on any given day, so trust them and sit back and enjoy the trip of a lifetime and surf your brains out!!
That's sort of it in a nutshell and now I really want to go another boat trip! If you have any questions or want any free info you welcome to contact me or our charter specialist Debi anytime:
Oh yeah did we forget to mention that you should drink huge amounts of water to ensure you are properly hydrated :)