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Saturday, June 23, 2018

6.23.18 Luxuriating in the Low Tide at Wyoming

After the swampy session this morning, it was a bit of a shock seeing the bombs rolling through.

My neighbor Barry, who is down here for two months from Oceanside, of all places, volunteered to watch Chucho AND he lent me his bike.  I was living the dream not having to worry about the dog and the mosquitoes.

The crowd was less pronounced than the most recent seshes I've had.

My first wave was a meaty left which I almost didn't go on because I was so late.  I surprisingly didn't airdrop and pulled in to a barrel on which I didn't have a shot.

I had another smaller version of the above with a similar result, though I was in there for a little bit longer and got a nice albeit abridged view.

I pulled back on a right because it was basically breaking over me and I went over the falls!  That hadn't happened in close to four years and man did it humble me.

A left opened up, a little on the smaller side.  I did some longer pumps on which it felt as though the wave was going to cavitate.  I laid into a meaty cutback once I saw a chance and really laid into it.  The wave shut down and I rode out of it as it did so.

This really nice, a little over head-high left came in.  I was paddling for it, a bit on the shoulder.  This girl who was MAYBE 13 was paddling in position for it, her eyes bugging out.  I immediately stopped paddling and yelled for her to go.  She got a sick one!

The next wave was all mine.  I got up awkwardly with too much weight on my back leg.  I thought I'd blown the take-off and resigned myself to the requisite beating.  Then my front foot stomped down a bit towards my frontside rail.  I was able to recover, then I swooped down, pulled up, set my line and got a little barrel over me.  I chandeliered out of it and almost lost my balance before the thing shut down and I kicked my board out.

6.23.18 Hampered by the High Tide at Wyoming

I asked the cleaning ladies to watch Chucho while they cleaned our condo so I could surf without being anxious about his anxiety.  They agreed.

I walked down and was excited for the bump in swell.  It had easily doubled in size.  Unfortunately, my timing was coming up on the summit of the high tide.

I had a mosquito-free walk to the beach, thanks mostly to the briskness of it sans Chucho.

The high tide and the swell had locked horns and the high tide seemed to be dominating the match.

The bigger ones would barrel a little but they were few and far between.  So when they went away most migrated to the inside or they'd sit for a half-hour before another set came.

I caught a couple on which I had to shuffle up to stay in play on them.  I did an arms-behind-the-back soul-arch-almost-cheater-five on a particular fat one.

The highlight, if you can call it that, was a right.  I bottom turned nicely and hit it hard but not too hard and e k e d back onto the trough.

Friday, June 22, 2018

6.21.18 Much Smaller Low Tide Wyoming

I knew the bottom of the tide was ambitious on a low swell day like today.  I was optimistic that it would be bigger than expected. 

It wasn't.

I caught a good amount of waves.  My highlight was probably the first right I caught.  I thwacked it nicely but pussed out when I felt nothing but air under the front half of my board.

I had two similar attempts at frontside off-the-lips which I botched similarly.

I also pulled my first floater in a while.

Chucho started barking.  When I tied him to the tree in the shade I waved at him every fifty feet or so and then tried waving at him from the water.  My thinking was that maybe he would know where I was in the line-up and he wouldn't freak. 

He did.

This morning he got out of bed at about 3:45.  I happened to already be awake but pretended to be asleep so he'd leave me alone.  He licked me right in the face, a sign he had to to a) urinate b) defecate c) both of the preceding and so I took him down.

When he came up he was walking wonkily.  His cheekbone grazed the door jamb of our condo and he looked spastic five seconds later.  His legs were wobbly and were starting to give out.  I asked him if he was ok and he wagged his tail a little, but it looked like he was going through a small seizure.

I prescribed him strict bed rest today and he has been sleeping 95% of the day, twitching up a storm.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

6.20.18 Much Smaller and Mellower Playa Wyoming

I got my Merrick back!  The surf was coming off the low so I was hoping for some consistency and possibly some hollowness.  Unfortunately, the waves were so small that finding room in which to fit in a cave would be a challenge.

I got Chucho wet with ocean water to prepare him for his stay in the shade.  I told him "Stay" and waded out.  There was a long deep patch before I could continue my wade out to the line-up.

I hadn't even perched when my first wave came.  It was a right and it had more juice than I'd expected.  After an elongated bottom turn, I absolutely smashed it right on the vertical lip.  I came back around and couldn't hold on after the tiniest of air drops.

Another highlight was a left I caught on which I was able to pump to connect to the inside section.  I slapped it decisively and almost hung on.

I pumped quickly on another left and got in the tiniest of barrels for the shortest of times.

Chucho's barking took longer to start today, but not by much.  Since the tide was low, it was quieter so maybe that's the key?

The situation in Nicaragua has gotten worse and I will likely have to charter a plane to get Chucho and me out of here.  I'd like to sell the car before we leave, but if I can't, I'll have to put it in storage and come back for it...

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

6.19.18 Short High-Tide Mission on the Tomo

The girls are gone and it's just da boyz.  The power went out early this morning and Chucho and I waited for the sun to come out and we headed down.  Things started off poorly as I slid and fell down a short but steep grassy hill.  I got up laughing and after a quick surreptitious check I confirmed no one saw.

I wasn't excited about the session as Chucho, when left alone, freaks out and barks.  It's happened at the grocery store in Rivas.  I found a tree trunk to which to tie him.  When I first paddled out, he was fine.  About ten minutes later, he started barking.

 My first wave was a left. I bottom-turned a little too sharply (given the twin fin/small center fin) and that scrubbed some speed off my attempt at a top turn.  Once I got there I tapped the lazy wave and had no shot at coming back down.

I caught a right and immediately went into cutback mode.  Unfortunately I lost it in the wash.

My last wave was my best wave.  I did a nice cutty but once I reset I couldn't get anything going off the through.

Chucho's barks became more labored and shrill so I caught the next closeout in.  He languidly wagged his tail and was ready to walk back.  He is now passed out next to me sleeping off his separation trauma.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

6.17.18 Crowded and not Quite Throwing at Playa Wyoming ~ NEWS ~

Wow, the view towards Colorado was littered with bobbing heads, or maybe that was my more-sensitive-to-crowds baseline talking.

There was no one out at Playa Idaho and I saw a smaller right barreling slowly and spitting so I decided to paddle out there.  Unfortunately, I didn't get the chance to even perch before I had company tailing me.  Guess I wasn't the only one who saw the spitter.

I bailed on my initial perch spot and headed southeast to Playa Wyoming to bet on its higher consistency.  I had the following song in my head and worked on rearranging the lyrics so as to make fun of my cousin.

First wave, a left:  I dropped down and saw it wanting to throw.  I took a chance and tucked in, then immediately kicked my board out.

I caught another one and I was trying to stall for a barrel that may not have been there.  It probably looked like I kept trying and failing to manual.

A lot of sick-looking ones were rolling through.  And I missed out on a couple because guys just couldn't catch them.

I caught  a left after a local couldn't catch it and he told me to go in Spanish.  I pumped once, bottom-turned harder than I normally do, and went into a half-assed layback (where half your ass goes into the water).  I managed to pull it, then I jumped off my board so I wouldn't hit one of my neighbors.  He came up smiling.

My last wave was yet another left.  I bottom turned arguably harder than I ever have and uncorked at the top, and threw a flume of spray.  I bottom turned again but my board began chattering and I lost it.

As I pulled my board toward me my fingers touched a divot and I'd somehow managed to ding my board pretty deeply on the bottom below the tail pad. My best guess is I put my heel through it when I had that incident pulling out of the barrel a few days ago and I just now saw it.  It's at ding repair and I will be on the Tomo...


The situation in Nicaragua has gotten to the point where we don't feel we can safely stay here with our girls.  The hospital in Managua was 2.5 hours away two months ago.  But the people are trying to oust the guy in charge and are putting pressure on his government by blocking off roads.  If one of the girls suffered an accident, we would be hard-pressed to make it to care in time.  This is on top of concerns about gas and food shortages, both of which we've been through on several occasions in the past month.  

If it was us without the girls, we'd probably stick it out.  Property values have plummeted and it's a great time to buy.  There is some concern about land-grabbing, which is happening by squatters staking out on large plots of land in the northern part of the country, though I don't think it would be an issue where we are in a private development.

Because of Chucho, our next stop will be El Salvador.  Things will open up when he keels over, though we're squabbling as to our next possible station.

The girls are leaving today bound for their grandparents' house in CO and we'll reconvene in ES once I am there.

I am posting this today because today is the 22nd anniversary of the date on which I found out I was going to live in the US permanently. 

Friday, June 15, 2018

6.15.18 Hamstrung by High Tide at Playa Colorado

I had the go-ahead and access to a bike so I decided I'd surf even though I knew it wouldn't be great.

There was plenty of swell still in the water.

The paddle-out on the rising tide was brutal.  Towards the end of the barrage I considered going in after I got sea lice in the arm pit.  This would burn on every other paddle which further sapped my mojo.

Eventually I made it out.  The water was still really clear although the surface of the ocean was textured, muddying things somewhat.

I had two lefts in a row, though they were twenty minutes apart.

The first I had to wait for it to develop, like a college guy with a high school girlfriend.  Once it did, I pumped twice (which was once too many) then went in for a roundhouse cutback.  I ran out of steam on it unfortunately but my spray trail left a decisive line at least.

On the second left, I didn't have to wait for it to steepen at first. I did a mellow top turn throwing some spray.  Then it fattened up as it hit the inside deep section.  I choked up slightly on the board, then pumped and overdid it as I hit a flat spot.  I went over the handlebars and knocked some of the wind out of me when I painfully landed on my back in front of my board.

About halfway through the session I realized I should keep my eyes open underwater so I could see the tumult of the wave coming down.  It was wild seeing the underwater space darken once the wave broke and seeing these clouds of turbulence coming for me.

It took a long time before I caught my last wave.  It was a right and this guy paddled for it on my inside.  I was definitely going and his paddling/waiting to see if I would truly go caused the wave to snowball.  I had the idea to foam climb the snowball and I did successfully, despite the fins sliding out a bit on almost knocking me down.