The Wild Cat is consistently in the right place and the right time for optimum surf conditions.
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 set.
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):
This is a softer pointbreak – like righthander. Can offer barrels at times, but usually long rippable walls with many cutback sections. When the swell is small this place has waves. As the size comes up it turns into a mush burger – hence the name. An extremely picturesque setting too..
This is a left just up from E Bay. Good for all abilities and works on medium swell.
This is a hollow super picturesque lefthander that barrels off the take-off with a short wall down the line. A great option when a lot of swell is hitting.
This is the right off the peak at E-Bay Usually a playful right that can offer some cover-ups off the take-off, but mostly a high performance waves with air sections at the end. Ends in a sandy channel.
A heavy righthander that barrels and spits. Usually larger than most spots in the area. Watch out for clean-up sets. Can handle a bit more swell than its neighboring wave, Nipussi.
A shorter right that breaks down the point from Bank Vaults. Definitely fun and rippable. Usually has fairly deep water from the takeoff to the inside. Ends in a riptide that sucks all the water back out to sea. Along with Burgerworld this is a good option when there’s not much swell, and usually the most consistent spot in the area.
A very hollow left that can be shallow at times. It comes out of deep water, then unloads on a shallow section of reef before barreling towards the channel. More dangerous at low tides.
A long barreling left that wraps around a small island. Usually very sectiony, but can line up on the largest of swells. Fast takeoff, pull-in and pump like mad!
Good with tons of swell. A mellower option as it is a softer wave than some of the other closer breaks. Mainly a right with a short barrel off the takeoff, then backing off into the channel. More shallow on the inside.
One of the best waves in the world when on, no exaggeration. A very long righthander that wraps around the other side of the same island as No Kanduis. Insanely hollow once it’s a few feet overhead, but usually more sectiony at smaller sizes.
Beautiful setting, lefthander – big deep water wave. A lot of punch …. another consistent lefthander for when the swell is smaller. Good snorkeling and spear fishing when surf is small also.
A perfect wrapping left hander. Long walls wrap around the reef with very few sections on larger days. Mostly breaks in pretty deep water, but on the bigger days it can get heavy outside and shallow on the inside reef.
Breaks off of an island just south of Telescopes. Good lefts but less predictable and shifty. This wedgy wave works best on a dropping high tide. Good snorkeling inside here also. Bintangs – A short and hollow right across the channel from Lance’s Left. As the wave approaches the reef, the bottom drops out before barreling towards the channel.
Long left walls wrap down the point before hitting the last section, which is the main take-off area. Great hollow section after the take-off. A bigger gun helps on the larger days. Watch the inside on low tide if the swell is carrying in there.
Hollow Trees (HT’s, Lance’s Right)
A great righthander that has been all over the surf mags and videos over the last decade. The main takeoff spot is up the point where most of the waves start barrelling and peel flawlessly down the reef. On larger swells it can be very shifty and hard to read. It can shift more to the end bowl where it can break, reform, then bowl again into the channel. The inside is very shallow and is often referred to as the “surgeon’s table” due to the many reef-cuts doled out to traveling surfers.
Bat Caves (Gilligan’s Island)
A righthander that breaks when wind favors only lefts. Sometimes enjoyed more by longboarders – usually funner than it looks from the boat.
One of the most perfect waves in the world. A very hollow wave with many shallow spots. Lefts start from way up the point, then gradually slow down as it approaches the channel. The further up the point you paddle, the faster it barrels when you take-off. After the initial barrel ride, this wave offers one of the most rippable walls for any maneuvers you can think of.
A heavy lefthander – Sick takeoff and then pull in quick. Beautiful setting but if you don’t make the takeoff, pull in fast enough, or straighten off you’re on the reef.
A great lefthander that can hold the biggest swells. It is very hollow and can often dish out some of the heaviest hold-downs in the island chain. Usually a bit more water moving around so a larger board can be useful.
A shorter, hollow right on the southern end of Rags Island. Needs higher tide now – a lot shallower after the quakes. Fast, short barrel …. better be on your game. Drop in, pull in, go fast, don’t be greedy, leave the inside alone and kick out. Be ready for the reef and scrapes – fall flat!!!
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.
A fast hollow left with quick take off and hollow end section. Ends in very shallow water, better for advanced surfers.
Get the picture? If there is a landmass poking up above the surface of the ocean in this part of the world, it probably has a coral reef protecting it and a perfect wave wrapping around one end or the other.
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.
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:
|Number of Travelers||Price|
|Peak Season (May – September)||Off Season (October – April)|
|10 Guests or Less||$ 25,000||$22,000|
|Number of Travelers||Price|
|1 Person||$ 2,800|
|Trip||Scheduled Dates||Open Spots||Booking Status/Availability|
|Trip 13||July 24 – August 4||0||Booked|
|Trip 14||August 7 – August 18||0||Booked|
|Trip 15||August 21 – Sep 1||8||Available for Individuals Only – $2,500.00 per person|
|Trip 16||Sep 4 – Sep 15||10||Open|
|Trip 17||Sep 18 – Sep 29||10||Open|
|Trip 18||Oct 2 – Oct 13||10||Open|
|Trip 19||Oct 16 – Oct 27||10||Open|
|Trip 20||Oct 30 – Nov 10||10||Open|
|Trip 21||Nov 13 – Nov 24||10||Open|
|Trip 22||Nov 27 – Nov 28||10||Open|