Whale sharks and lager, quintessentially refreshing

Issue: BCMJ, Vol. 59, No. 3, April 2017, page(s) 144 Editorials
David R. Richardson, MD

As these words leave my shaking fingers, I can feel my blood glucose slowly normalizing. It has been a few weeks since my calorie balance has approached anywhere close to zero. One could argue that my tremor in part might be due to alcohol withdrawal, but I would deny it. I am hopeful that my fellow airplane passengers are ignorant of my shakes and sweats, and the fact that little tiny aliens are piloting tortillas (foreshadowing) around the cabin. Our flight has just departed San Diego, where I recently disembarked from the cruise ship Azamara Quest, having completed the 12-day BCMJ-hosted primary care refresher “Quintessential Mexico” cruise.

This is the journal’s fifth CME event, and for those of you who missed it, don’t despair; it’s possible that another one of these world-famous conferences might come along in another 2 years or so. Please diligently scour the BCMJ pages on a monthly basis, because you never know when the next function will be announced.

After exiting San Diego Bay, the ship headed down the coast and around the tip of the Baja Peninsula into the Sea of Cortez or Gulf of California, depending on which side of the wall you are from. Ports of call included Mazatlán, La Paz, Topolobampo, Guaymas, Loreto, and Cabo San Lucas. Attendees enjoyed many excursions, including whale watching, swimming with whale sharks/sea lions, kayaking, a train ride to the Copper Canyon, and many more. The friendliness and service of the ship’s staff was outstanding. In addition, the Quest’s amenities were top notch and the food was superb, while perhaps a little too abundant. Highlights included the outdoor White Night dinner and dance and the Dance of the Dead performance in Cabo San Lucas. It will be difficult to return to the harsh reality of serving myself and having to pour my own drinks. I was puzzled, however, why I could get a German lager as part of my fare but had to pay extra for Mexican beer, seeing as how Mexico was visible from my stateroom for most of the trip. 

The CME sessions were excellent (although, I could be biased—the journal did organize the conference sessions) and covered a wide variety of topics in neurology, gynecology, pediatrics, emergency medicine, critical care, and workers’ compensation. As the ship gently rocked (and not so gently one day), valuable information was shared in an informal and collegial fashion. The attendees reflected diverse practices from across Canada and even Australia. Good friends were made, and many evenings of laughter were shared around the dining table.

All in all a great way to network with colleagues, update medical knowledge, and enjoy some rest and relaxation.