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Tamryn Sims

Lockdown Love with Jaco & Caylin: Kingfisher Resort

Kingfisher Resort is a gateway to a world of freakishly perfect waves, fascinating culture, diverse surroundings and endless adventure. Jaco Steyn and Caylin De Reuck have had all of this and more to themselves this year due to the global affect of Covid-19, and we’re insanely jealous! 

 

Shiieessh guys! You’ve been in lockdown for 8 months now. What has the average day looked like for you?

Jaco: My day always starts with checking the weather and the waves. Even though we are in lockdown, our movements still revolve around surfing and fishing! I'll usually hold a meeting with the staff to set some goals and objectives for the day too. We are constantly working during lockdown to improve the resort. We want to make sure the place looks better than ever when we open for international travellers again. So far, we’ve built a new pool and a new beach bar! The afternoons consist of surfing or going fishing for dinner, followed by sunset beers.

Caylin: I like to start the day with a jungle run to get some exercise, followed by some social media work I do for Kingfisher. After that, I join Jaco and his business partner, Brock, and help them with the renovations we’re working on. I’ve recently been appointed as the cook for the boys (Jaco and Brock are useless in the kitchen), so I’m usually on lunch duty around mid morning. Afternoons are for surfing, fishing or spearfishing!

 

We’ve seen endless photos on Instagram of perfect, uncrowded waves… what are the other perks of living in paradise during a global pandemic?

Jaco & Caylin: During the heat of the pandemic it felt like we were almost living in a “bubble”, a place where Covid-19 doesn't impact your every day life. This was one of the main reasons we chose to stay on in the Mentawais. We could still go about our day as normal, surf when and where we want, explore, and fish. Experiencing the Mentawais in such a unique way is something we will always remember. Rocking up to beautiful beaches and empty line ups with not a soul in sight and surfing perfect waves with just us out was mind blowing. It almost made us feel as if we were the first people to discover these waves, and surf them!

 

What challenges have you faced while in lockdown?

Jaco & Caylin: The biggest challenge was the remoteness. Kingfisher is the only resort at Lances Left, and for months we saw no new travellers come to the Mentawais. So for a while it was literally myself, Caylin and Brock. Day in and day out. Cabin fever definitely set in and we could've all done with some new faces and conversations. A little over the 2-month mark, one of our friends sailed past on his private boat, we were soooo happy to see him! We ended up inviting the whole crew to stay the night and we had a big party.

 

With so much spare time at hand, everyone seems to have a “Lockdown List” to get through. What’s on yours?

Jaco & Caylin: This year we set a goal to try and live a more sustainable life, and live off what we could harvest from the land and the ocean. So, we made some veggie boxes, planted some trees, and started to sharpen up our spearfishing skills. After a couple a months, Caylin was shooting big Dog Tooth Tunas and we had tomatoes, chillies, lettuce and more in the veggie boxes. It was quite rewarding to eat a plate of epic fish and veggies that was completely harvested by us, and did not cost a cent!

 

What are your plans for the rest of 2020?

Jaco & Caylin: Currently we are in Bali on a much needed holiday. We are planning to stay in Indo till next year when Kingfisher re-opens. Fingers crossed we can welcome some international guests soon and share some perfect, uncrowded waves with them!

 

Accommodating only 9 guests, Kingfisher Resort offers the ultimate surf trip, set against a backdrop of idyllic palm fringed beaches and turquoise waters. Enquire now for 2021 with World Surfaris!

Moments & memories from lockdown in the Mentawais. All images by @leo.visuals_

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