Location: Macaroni’s Surf Camp, Mentawi Islands
Another great stay at Maca’s! This was my first time to the Mentawais in March and I wasn’t sure what to expect. What I found was smaller but still consistent fun surf. It’s really a great time of year for family surf trips if you have younger kids. My 8 year old Angus and 6 year old Ivy were charging at Mini Macas and claiming their first proper reef waves! The guests were diverse in age and surf experience as well as nationality. It made for a laid back family vibe.
The staff treated us like family. Many thanks to Guy, Jemma, Nev, Novi, Victor and Lucy for all of your various talents and kindnesses to our family. And of course thanks to all the local staff, you are all amazing people.
Compared to July, trauma was down to a dull roar. I never needed more than 3 or 4 skin sutures per laceration. Two of them were for me. My veterinarian wife popped a few in my noggin for me on our deck while the kids gave me a hard time.
A British guest was good enough to let our surf guide and GM Guy practice his knots on a small laceration on his arm. It turned out great and payment was received in the universal currency of dark rum.
Unfortunately one of the local staff cut his head charging Macas on a foamy. He was a great patient and he taught me the Indo words Sakit (pain) and Kepala (head).
I think the most interesting injury of the trip was a stingray envenomation of a local fisherman. The poor bugger had been wading in the lagoon and was stung through his heavy rubber boot on the ankle. I had never encountered this before but after a quick read I got him into the hot water treatment. In the end a healthy blast of local anaesthetic around the wound treated his pain nicely. In his words “Bloody Bagus!” I sent him home smiling with bags of antibiotics and strong anti-inflammatories.
My family and I went to the Village again with some of the other guests and brought along a pile of dental hygiene supplies that a dentist from my home town donated, along with a soccer ball. My kids gave them a little tutorial on flossing, maybe they will use it more than I do.
Despite the mellow waves and minor injuries I had lots to do everyday. I treated many common ailments: traveler’s diarrhea, dehydration, sinusitis and of course lots of wound care and cellulitis. I learned that fibreglass casting material hardens at a crazy fast rate in the Indo heat and humidity and had to redo a cast for a possible scaphoid fracture on a lovely lady from California in a room with cranking AC.
I had many talks with the guests and local people about the Surfing Doctors presence at Macas and there was a lot of positive comments and support for more consistent coverage during the surf season. Most guests commented on the peace of mind that having a doctor on site provided them during their vacations in such a remote place. Thanks to Mark, Andrew and Julie for their work and support of Surfing Doctors. I think there is a great future for the Macaronis – Surfing Doctors relationship!
Some other highlights from my trip were: getting to surf with Rizal Tanjung and his son, Tanzanian hunting stories from James, and 1970’s awesomeness from Nev. It was also a pleasure to hang with Gabe who won his trip to Macas at our Margaret River raffle! Gabe showed us all how layback barrel riding is done and kept us all laughing. The prize couldn’t have gone to a better person. Thanks also to Guy for the surf lessons for my son Angus and the free haircut, I think the “reverse sideburns” look is going to catch on in Canada.