Back in Jakarta I scored a one year service contract to provide diving support for 8 drilling rigs using the Indies Trader. The only problem was that we only had 4 berths on the boat and the contract specified that I accommodate 8 divers. I figured the only solution was to make the boat bigger!
I cut her in half amidships and added 6ft. the original Naval Architect Rick James did all the design work. We removed the small wheelhouse and replaced it with an aluminium wheelhouse 4 times as big. We added 2 new larger cabins, rewired the whole boat installed, extra generators, a new engine, and air conditioning.
Meanwhile in partnership with my new Indonesian Partner Budi we were refitting a Cray boat in Fremantle. The idea was to do dive charters to the Mentawais and Sunda Straits.
I figured that I could sneak off and go surfing whilst the other guys were diving. I was determined not to do surf charters as I considered it exploitive and uncool. My first real discovery One Palm Point was being blown apart by the Surf Travel Company after being betrayed by one of the original crew we had taken there in 1982.
The new dive charter boat “Volcanic” was an immediate success, we advertised in the Asian diver magazine and we received numerous bookings.