Day 12 and 13 – Surfing till the very end

Day 12 and 13 – Surfing till the very end
Day 12 started with a very rainy morning and conditions were small.  We continued our trek North and passed a few breaks already occupied by a few boats.  We made it all the way to Lances rights about an hour before dark.  I was catching up on work, editing photos and backing up photos.  Christian was the only surfer to go out in the smallish conditions.  Lances get more gnarly as it gets smaller as the inside reef, nicknamed the Surgeons table lives up to its name during this time and not just when its big.    It still looked really fun!  We continued on after dark to our anchorage about an hour north into a very calm bay.  We all slept like babies!
Day 13 began at 4 a.m. when I awoke to the bright lightning outside.  I tried to get my gear out and ready in the darkness to shoot the lightning but the pooring rain prevented me from getting any decent shots trying to stay dry under the over hangs.   This morning was the first day of it being truly a dreary day.  Soon after a couple of us and Martin headed out in the tin to explore the inlets and bays for over an hour looking for waves.  The are a lot of breaks that never get surfed and if they ever did, Martin was the first with nearly every one of them in the Mentawai Island chain.  We eventually ended up at Lances lefts and radioed in to the Trader 3 where we were and had them meet us there.  It was a long left breaking on nearly 1 ft deep sharp reef at the end of the wave so you really didn’t want to over welcome your visit on the wave!  I went out and surfed in the cloudy waist to chest conditions for a few hours before coming in and distributing all the images to the guys one by one.  Had some lunch and stayed busy until the Trader embarked back to Lances rights again for an afternoon/ evening session.  The surf was small and once again breaking on very shallow reef!  Everyone started to pack as some of the guys were leaving early in the morning.  Packing meant taking out fins, packing boards, finding your luggage, packing it and so on.  The sun made and afternoon appearance and I set off to get some more images on land and below the water on the reef.  It was great to get in the water again!  Once I got in the boat we set off on our way back to Padang about a 12 hour trip.  We all sat down for one last dinner and cheered in salute of the great fortune we had of getting great waves on the trip with great people.  It was once again a pleasure to come along and photograph the trip.  My casualties were minimal but expensive, with a broken 1d mark 3 and a nice hole on my foot from a blister on day 1!  Skip is nursing a pretty bad sciatic nerve injury in his back and felt so bad with his pain he was going through.  Other than that, there were a couple of damaged egos, reef cuts and 3 broken boards.  Tomorrow most of us will all go separate ways but I am glad I was there to provide the memories for years to come of another great trip for all the guys.  Once again I appreciate all the support from my readers and stay tuned for more adventures to come!

Ben Hicks

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