Eighty feet long and built in Sibolga, North Sumatra in 2007, Melaleuca is a custom-built surf explorer framed around the keel and bones of a traditional Indonesian cargo boat.
Possibly the best value of any charter boat in the Mentawai Islands, the Melaleuca is 80 feet long and built locally in 2007 in the port city of Sibolga in North Sumatra. She is a custom-built surf explorer framed around the keel and bones of a traditional Indonesian cargo boat.
She is powered by two Mitsubishi 320 HP inboard diesel engines and two Mitsubishi PS100 250 volt generators providing electricity and light and sound and A/C.
This traditional boat frame has all the modern conveniences from bow to stern such as Furuno Radar; Furuno GPS; Furuno Echo Sounder; Kenwood SSB Radio; Icom VHF Radio; seven fire extinguishers; a 20-person capacity life raft; 20 life preservers; SSB and VHF radio communications; one EPIRB, flares, smoke and emergency alarms.
Two, three person cabins, three two-person cabins and one surf guide cabin provide plenty of space for larger groups and all sleeping areas are individually air conditioned.
The A/C cooled sitting room complete with flat screen television, digital video disk player and sound system gives plenty of space to spread out in addition to an open party deck space up top with outdoor speakers. With all of the air-conditioned living space and large shaded outside deck areas, the Melaleuca feels much larger than other 80 foot yachts.
The Melaleuca sticks mainly to the Mentawai but will cruise up to the Telo Islands and Nias under special arrangement. During any given charter you may surf 5, 10 or even 15 different breaks, but there is no way you’re surfing them all. From north to south the following is a list of better known spots from which to choose (leaving out some semi-secret and un-named spots):
Rockstars – On the island of Nias, in the neighborhood of Lagundri Bay – just another barreling, world-class right.
Nias (Lagundri Bay) – During the 80s, the spot that the world knew as Nias was actually the right at Lagundri Bay. This is the wave that inspired more exploration into these islands, but it’s still a crazy-perfect wave after all these years, ruler edge and wrapping into the bay.
Telo Islands – There are a number of spots around the island, including the long, bowling Max’s Left, the fun, bowling Max’s Right, a hollow right at GT’s, the longboard-perfect right at Pinnacles as well as Schoolyards, Le Ba, the Bubble and the E.R.
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.
The Mentawai are in western Indonesia, just below the equator, so these islands generally see more rainfall than Bali and the islands further southeast. Indonesia as a whole has a tropical climate and in the Mentawai in particular, there is little difference in the length of a day any time of year. Indonesia’s seasons divide in two: wet and dry.
The wet season begins in October and lasts until March, with the peak rainfall measured in 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 receive more rainfall than those areas in the south and east, it can rain at any time of year.
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 during June through August, which is also in the heart of surf season. Prime swell season for Indonesia is the southern hemisphere winter months from March/April through September/October when Low pressure systems off Antarctica and the Indian Ocean pulse ground swells toward the equator. 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 northerly 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 transition months often experience glassy conditions and can be the best time to sample a larger variety of waves. Air temperatures range between 75° and 85° all year and water temperatures are always in that same range. If you want big surf with favorable winds, 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 then March/April or late Sept/Oct is probably best. If you don’t mind rain but want good surface conditions and smaller, clean surf with nobody else around: give the off-season a try, from November to February.
Eating, sleeping, surfing are the primary activities on the Melaleuca. Napping, drinking, BSing and catching up on reading and movies are also popular. But one of the other fetishes of Mentawai living is diving on the reef, or fishing. The Melaleuca is fully equipped with dive gear and fishing gear.
The sturdy tender can be used for exploratory missions on land. Some of the coves and bays you will be anchored in are empty, some have native villages, and some have luxury resorts. All are worth a look.
On/off site activities include:
Or if this is too much chill out in a hammock with a book or relax at the full service bar and take in a movie.
Not Included: $3 per person per day Mentawai Island Tax, Alcoholic beverages
|1||March 1 – 105||Open|
|2||March 18 – 29||Booked|
|3||April 1 – 12||Open|
|4||April 15 – 26||Reserved|
|5||April 29 – May 10||Booked|
|6||May 13 – 24||Booked|
|7||May 27 – June 7||Booked|
|8||June 10 – 21||Reserved|
|9||June 24 – July 5||Reserved|
|10||July 8 – 19||Reserved|
|11||July 22 – August 2||Open|
|12||August 5 – 16||Open|
|13||August 19 – 30||Reserved|
|14||September 2 – 13||Reserved|
|15||September 16 – 27||Reserved|
|16||September 30 – October 11||Open|
|17||October 14 – 25||Open|
|18||October 28 – November 8||Open|
|19||November 11 – 22||Open|
|Charter Type||Peak Season Rates
Charters 5 – 15
|Off Peak Season
Charters 1 – 4 & 16 – 17
|Exclusive Charter (10 Passengers Max)||$ 22,500 per charter||$ 20,500 per charter|
|Non – Exclusive Charter (14 Passengers Max)||$ 2,250 per person||$ 2,050 per person|
|Deposits must be received within two weeks of booking to Guarantee rate. ($500 per individual charter, $5,000 for an exclusive charter)Open charters need 8 passengers to guarantee departure
On exclusive charters, the 11th & 12th passengers are an extra $1,000 each.