“There is nowhere else on earth I’d rather be right now.”
This was the first thought running through my head as I lay in my bunk in the pre-dawn darkness. The sun rose to reveal clean rights peeling along the shallow reef just inshore of us. After a fun surf and our first class – a two hour introduction to surf journalism – we pulled anchor South to yet another perfect set up. There are flawless waves around every bend, but I’m sure you’ve heard it all before. What separates this expedition from the usual “surf and destroy” Mentawai boat trip, is the spirit of education and adventure. We are here not only to surf the waves of our lives, but to learn, create, and share in our experiences.
Along with the all-Indonesian crew, surf guides John and Ainslee, legendary surf journalists Matt and Sam George, we are also privileged to be accompanied by two Padang locals Patra and Mega. These amazing Muslim women join us as interpreters and cultural ambassadors, as we sail through these islands.
After only two days, it’s becoming evident that this will be a unique and rewarding surf trip. One in which success is not only measured in empty lineups and offshore winds, but also in the smiles on the faces of those we inevitably touch and the lessons and experiences that will be with us for life.