Currently there are over 1200 deliberate light bush fires burning threw the Indonesia . Mainly on the islands of Sumatra but also Borneo.
The smoke has blanketed most of the Mentawais and even stretches further afield to Malaysia , Singapore and other surrounding countries. Making air quality unbearable for most and impossible for people who suffer with respiratory diseases like asthma etc . Respirators and face masks are the "norm".
In Southeast Asia most often the fires are started by farmers who want to clear land to make way for crops , like "palm oil".
What is "palm oil" (Elaeis Guneensis) a product that the world has gone mad for ? Production has quadrupled in last 25 years and expects to quadruple again in the next 25 year. You can find it in your shampoo, soap , cookies ,ice cream etc etc ,even can be used to make plywood.
Grey skies and green water.
The other eeriness that has manifested in the Mentawais over September is the fact you don't see the sun , moon or stars. Nope never, just this weird grey monotone skyline of low lying cloud from dawn till dusk,but it rarely rains and sometimes a glimpse of the sun may appear but its only fleeting .
The wind also has been uncharacteristically howling southerly for two months , normally this close to the equator , weather patterns are local often storms blow up then disappear creating , onshore , offshore random winds which can groom the south west swell lines into magic time for surfers who know where to go. However the relentless south wind has also brought a cooler current and brackish green coloured seas, filled with jellyfish and lice . The local Indonesians jest the cooler water is from "Australia" maybe ?
The right type of Orange Glow "Sunset Time" aka "Golden Hour" in Sumatra.
Could the enormity of the fires be creating its on micro climate ? Or is this just a seasonal shift and a "windy" tad odd Indonesian surf season ?
Nevertheless the waves still pump if you know how to escape the wind and the Bintangs still taste the good after a few barrels ! And for sure October will be blue skies and pumping in the archipelago !
Sumatran Sunset , pure gold for a "surfer".
Here is "Another Informative link about Palm Oil here" from Stylist in the UK.