Jeff Ugarte, Nicholas Ugarte, Mark Fitzgibbons, Gary Fitzgibbons, Mark Sydes, Paul Deurse, Stuart Wishart, Ben Biggs, Tim Ayliffe, Paul Pratt
We were on a bit of a mission this trip to take a tonne of rice and a heap of matches out to the villages that had not seen any aid since the earthquakes. Everyone was happy to do their bit. It meant going South into the Southerlies. The trick was to combine a surf charter with a some real aid work.
The surf was pumping and we did score some extra large lefts. One set worth mentioning took out the Captain, who scored a board up the bum and had to put 5 stitches in as no-one was that keen on helping. The same set took out Fitzy, who at first thought he had a strained muscle, but ended up fracturing his femur. Young Nick was charging well beyond his 14 years and the West Aussie were surfing true to form in the big waves.
We eventually did get down the bottom end and did our rice drop. Amazing to see how much the reefs had risen. The locals were scared and were camping in the hills each night for fear of tsunamis. The aftershocks were continuing and their reefs were very different to what they had known. Every right to be scared. No-one was injured, and we assured them to get back on with their lives. Via the email, we reported back to Surfaid, who were sending vessels to the area that were better equipped to deal with the villages in need.
The Capt fixed a GPS at one of the villages. This would show how much the reefs had moved during the two big earthquakes. The scientists were very appreciative.
Even though the wind was still strong, we kept a wary eye on new potential. Some we found, others will have to wait till the wind swings and the swells change. There is definitely some improvement in some of the more popular spots.
The Fitzy brothers ended up, with Tim, taking the record for biggest Dogtooth Tunas.
All in all a bloody amazing trip. The Capt catching up with his old mate, Jeff. 24 years ago they had run the Uluwatu track on their first trip to Indonesia. Hmmm, time, tide and tectonics wait for no-one.