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Saturday, June 30, 2018

6.30.18 Wading then Waiting at Wyoming

In essence this wasn't the most fun session.

I took advantage of the ladies cleaning our condo (and most importantly, watching Chucho) and got out there.

It was the abyss of the low tide.

My first wave was a left.  It looked super wedgy as I was catching it but as I was bottom turning there was nothing there so I sailor dove off of it.

I pulled back from SOOOOOO many closeouts for about an hour with the odd would-have-gone, dude-already-on-it wave sprinkled in.

Eventually I caught a right and tucked in.  I was immediately surrounded in the barrel.  I felt it pinching shut and I corrected my trajectory a little towards the wave, being careful not to touch it with my leading arm so as not to stall.  The thing was tight and I overcorrected into it and got slammed over the falls.  I instinctively bellowed gutturally and covered my head with my arms.  My top half was left unscathed but I did get a decent shinner from my board's rail.

About fifteen minutes later I caught a right.  This one I was able to pump on and get tons of speed.  As I bottom turned I got a similar feeling to that barrel wave from half a month ago and felt like I was running out of runway to make my turn.  I transferred my weight brusquely as the lip hit my board and I got hung up.  I started to descend, nose-down and nothing but air in the way of a two-foot drop into the detonating trough.  I bailed but didn't kick my board out enough.  I had a quick vision of face-butting my board but somehow I didn't even touch it.

About a half-hour later I caught another right, did a quicker bottom turn and didn't go all of the way up the wave as it surprised me by breaking sooner than expected.  I pulled out of that just fine and the wave closed out.  As I jumped off my board I made the mistake of contorting my body in such a way as to land on me nutsack.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

6.27.18 Drop in Swell Leads me to Panga Drops, Bonus SUPER SESSION 6.27.98

The ladies were cleaning the condo today so I took advantage of the opportunity to have them watch Chucho.  Unfortunately, the swell had dropped precipitously and the tide was at its apex.  This combination has but one cure and its name is Panga Drops.

I walked down there and as I got to the sand spit, noticed the sky was an explosion of varying shades of gray.  There was one dude out.  I paddled past him so we'd each have our own peak.

The swell was small but it was still overhead, which is a nice thing if you're strictly a size queen, which I am NOT!

I caught a bunch of waves.  One one of my first, I tried doing an elongated cutback just before the flat section and was bounced off my board by the chop.

A dude on a log paddled out and now there were three of us.  He gave me a "Buen Dia" and proceeded to sit deeper.  I saw him blow a lot of waves but the dude was charging.

There were zero waves on which I got to ride which made a connection with the inside/shorebreak.  It just wasn't happening today but that's common.

The guy who had been out when I paddled out was looking at a left and I told him to go.  After a too-short ride on the right, I paddled back out and he took the time and had the chutzpah to say thank you, which was really nice of him.

It started raining pretty hard as a massive cloud came overhead.  Then the sun broke through and the water was a murky turquoise color.  It was a very interesting color combo with the sun making the sea shimmer.

I eventually went in and went for an off-the-lip on a shorebreak close-out.  I was a bit slow and I half-made it/half fell off after initially having semi-stomped it.

~SUPER SESSION~
Dateline: June 27,1998

I had graduated from high school just fifteen days prior to this.  This was the first summer my mom had allowed me to spend the night at her ex-husband's rented beach house (which he used only on Sundays and holiday weeks).  This was in El Salvador at a beach called San Blas.

I'd been surfing a little over ten months and had never gotten barreled.

Pando and I woke up early and it was going off.  Barrels were rifling off in both directions at the beachbreak almost right in front of the property.  It wasn't big, M A Y B E a little overhead on the sets.  I was riding this massive board I'd received in a trade from my older cousin Ed in 1994 (he got my Game Boy and all of my games).

It was just us.  I'd never been out in waves that barreled like this.  I got three lefts in quick succession and got barreled on two of them.  My first one was especially good.  I dropped in, posted up and the thing threw over me.  Unfortunately I made no barrels on this day.  But I popped my tube cherry and that was a big hurdle to get over.  I remember on both barrels I got pitched and ended up scraping my back on the sand.

At one point the tide kicked into high gear.  Seeing as to how I was on this massive thick board, I had a bitch of a time getting out.  I probably wasted forty minutes of the session sprint-paddling and doing my damnedest to duckdive this behemoth with my 125lb high school body.

I did see Pando get barreled going in both directions but I don't remember seeing him make one.

Monday, June 25, 2018

6.25.18 Heebie-Jeebies at Playa Colorado

I had a real uneasiness set in as I paddled out.  There were some bombs coming through, but nothing outside of my wheelhouse, even on my 5'11".  I can't explain it, but I just got this feeling in the esophagal area of foreboding doom.

The swell was easily a foot bigger than I'd anticipated and there was almost no one out.  The right at Wyoming looked good but there was a pack on it so I opted for Colorado.

After a couple of spankings, I made it out and perched.  Chucho was running amok in the sand, leashless and fancy free.

A left broke down the way and I sprint-paddled to meet it.  The one nice thing about waves which break quickly is you can bullshit your way into catching them if you're really far down the line like I was.  I did so and there was a wall of pain coming for me so I hit the eject button and sailor-dove out the back.

Quick glances toward shore revealed Chucho was being coaxed north; the sight of each beaching surfer beckoning him further from me.  This, together with the queasiness from my uneasiness, made me take the next one in.

I have little shot at a decent session unless I can get someone to dogsit him.

6.24.18 Short but not So Sweet at Playa Idaho

The doggie and I trudged south to the beach.  He walked with the gait of a riding horse walking towards his saddler with a heavyset rider-to-be looking on in anticipation.

We made it to the beach and I took off his leash and hung it on a tree.  I told him to stay where he was on the sand.  I stole glances at him while paddling out and he had his gaze and antennae fixed upon me.  I made it out quickly and kept looking for him over my shoulder.  I'd see him about 80% of the time as sometimes he would be chest-deep in water and I couldn't see him.

My first wave was a right, as was my second.  It was a quickly breaking wave and I aborted through the barrel I'd entered Quasimodo-style.  I got a painful pat on the back as a penalty from the wave.

There were lots of big beautiful barrels breaking.  I didn't see anyone make one.  They were all getting either swallowed up or pinched.

My last wave had a really critical takeoff.  I got hung up on the lip ever so slightly.  I was committed and I pearled hard.  I half-jumped/was half-catapulted and comically felt my legs trying to run out of it (as one would when one blows it on a skateboard).  My non-messiah status was proven by my painful introduction into the water.

The dog had been trotting along and I heard a warning bark.  I was worried he was going to bail and run away as he did once while here in Nicaragua.  As I caught a wave in, he was about fifty yards away from me investigating this portly older man.  This was presumably because he thought it was me which made me take a long look in the mirror when we made it back to the condo.

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...



~NEWS~ 

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.

6.15.18 Close Calls at Dropping Tide Playa Colorado

The bike I've been borrowing from a soon-departing neighbor was being used by said neighbor so i hoofed it barefoot to the beach.

Paddling out I was stricken by how glassy the water was.  The water was crystal clear, I could see individual grains of sand tumbling around in the current.

This was a session of almosts in various ways.

My first wave was a left.  I zoomed around the initial section, snapstalled and got barreled with a view. I was ALMOST in there for 1.5 seconds.

I had another left on which I tried to do what I've seen guys do on surf videos.  It happened without thinking.  I went around the section and really had to slow down.  I snowboard pumped (picture trying to get going on a snowboard from a standstill) backwards so as to let the wave catch up to me and try to get into the barrel I ALMOST fit in.

I caught a right and tucked into a pigdog. It was a late drop and I must have gotten hung up on the lip.  I dropped straight down into a decent line for the barrel but I must have been weighting too far forward and dropped down into the drink.  I instinctively put my hand up and ALMOST had the nose of my board hit me in my face hard.  I had a nice red mark to show for it.



I had a look at a really nice left.  I unfortunately set up too far away from the wall and got smooshed down into the water.  I ALMOST got really barreled and would have likely made it out.

My last wave was another pigdog attempt.  I was successful in getting in the barrel and then the thing closed down on me.  I tried to pull out the back and was ALMOST triumphant.  The wave was jacking hard in its closeout ecstasy and I went over the falls, but half in the barrel.  I was still grabbing on to my board, I think, and it flipped up and I landed awkwardly on the fins with my feet.  It hurt so bad but luckily I hadn't injured anything. 

Thursday, June 14, 2018

6.14.18 Smaller Playa Colorado Sucking Out

When I rolled up, it looked nearly unsurfable.  It was smaller than I'd seen it in weeks.  Part of this was being near the depth of the low tide, and the bigger part was the receding swell.  Also in play was no sets breaking as I took in my first impression of the ocean.

There was a healthy crowd out, relatively speaking.  I briefly thought about going down to Panga Drops but I really didn't want to get back on the borrowed bike.

I got an ok-looking left and made it around the section after having pumped. I set my line and contorted myself in what resulted in a comically miscalculated spot, right along the lipline and way too far from the wall.

I took a right and pivoted into pigdog position but it wasn't throwing over so I cut down and went for a floater which I botched.

A lot of paddling, being too deep, and telling people to go, later...

A good-sized right came.  I immediately pig-dogged and was in a great spot in this massive round barrel.  I saw it going vert out of the corner of my right eye so I *think* it counts as having gotten barreled, but definitely counts as at least a cover-up.  I could feel  the air sucking me back into the pit of the tube.  I definitely wish I'd stuck my arm in more to stall though...  I got up and with ssssoooooo much speed, laid into a bottom turn and didn't turn quickly enough at the top of the wave.  I mistimed my top turn and did it too far past the top to salvage it.  Still super amped though!

A couple more forgettable waves and I did a nice smack on a really vertical section, even hitting part of the breaking lip. I ended up losing it when coming back down though.

The barrel (?) wave got me amped to get another and I stayed out for over two hours but eventually the crowd put the kibosh on my chances.


Tuesday, June 12, 2018

6.12.18 Onshore and Lumpy Playa Colorado

The prevailing wind pattern is so ingrained here that when it switches the waves become a ghost town.

I paddled out and was one of three people out.  One guy was my neighbor and the other person out was a lady in her 40s.  Eventually my neighbor went in and it was the lady and me.  We gave each other plenty of space.

I was catching wave after wave.  My first wave was the best wave.  I managed a top turn and a slash on it before it fizzled on me.

Another highlight was a right I caught.  I managed to do a top turn on it but blew it on the second one.

I was then alone for the last twenty minutes of my session.

My last wave was a right and I got a little zip out of my cutback, hit the whitewash well and came back  around.  I pumped around a section but there was nothing there.

It was a lot more manageable/makeable than yesterday but there was still plenty of power out there.  I got my ass handed to me on a couple of occasions.

Monday, June 11, 2018

6.11.18 Beatings Galore at Playa Idaho

The swell was supposed to be huge today.  I was expecting to see double overhead plus. My rare no-board-in-tow surf check revealed it was about the same size as yesterday.

I waited until the tide dropped a bit as it was still a bit chunky and then the swell bared a bit more fang.

There were some beastly waves rolling through, not one of them makeable.  I saw one in the distance that was a little smaller than the sets and a dude got into the barrel and it kind of sat there spinning.  I thought for sure he was going to make it as it was almost waiting for him to exit but something went wrong.

Unfortunately for me, after a paddle out I had a session of waiting with some beatings sprinkled in.

I was just on the wrong side of a nasty closeout and the couple I had a shot at it I was too inside for.

Case in point, I paddled for a big right and the section right in front of leapt up.  There was a guy paddling for it and I told him to go, given his premium positioning compared to mind.  I then watched in horror as the massive section clamped down on him.  He floated up and for a split second caught him holding the top of his noggin as he went over the falls.  I was unsure if that was a protective hold or an ouch, that smarts hold.

I caught one left and I was in awe at the power behind it.  The thing paused, then pounced.  I looked ahead and saw the right coming towards me so I pulled through after about three seconds up and riding.

The worst beating happened late in the session.  I duckdove as a macker bore down on me.  I was immediately flipped over and shoved down so hard and so fast I was shocked at how quickly the inside of my eyelids registered no light.  I was determined to hold on to my board and come up with it but a second surge came and ripped it from my clenched fingers.  When I came up they were aching from the battle.

I got caught inside on a set and the sun was close to setting, so I went in.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

6.10.18 Healed and Hopeful at the Beachbreak

During my last session, I managed to exacerbate some skin irritation on my lower ribcage and it started looking infected.  I elected to not surf and not grind my board on it, so as not to make it worse.  Then about five days ago I was swimming in the pool with our eldest.  She was trying to catch me as I headed over to the edge of the pool.  She was almost to me and I pushed away.  I felt something yank on my toe.  I grimaced and looked back towards where I'd pushed off.  As I did so, I could feel the skin off my toe flapping around the water every time I kicked.  I'd somehow managed to get part of my toe pad wedged between the wall and the underwater light fixture.

I grabbed Lucia and limped upstairs, leaving a trail of blood as I did so.  It looked pretty grisly and at first glance it looked like I needed stitches.  I got in the shower and cleaned it up with soap, unsure if I was just adding to the pathogens by using the shower water.

Today was the first day I put it in the water after waffling yesterday.  The swell was building and tomorrow is projected to be the biggest day of the swell.  It could push double overhead and I wanted to make sure I didn't throw myself into that completely rusty.

The unrest in the country has diminished the crowd by easily 75%.  I counted thirteen of us spread out across the peaks at one point.  This number would likely have been in the fifties on this day last year.

Not many waves were ridden today.  Part of it, I imagine, is people can afford to be more choosy with less competition.  But the biggest part of it was likely how nasty these closeouts were on the building swell.

I paddled for a wave, decided to abort, then was caught inside as one of the biggest sets of the morning unloaded.  There was no question on this one.  The wave detonated and the whitewater shot up to twice the size of the wave at its peak.  My arms immediately initiated board-ditching sequence and I got hammered.

My first wave probably took me about a half-hour to catch, after the current had shuttled me to River Rights from Wyoming.  It was a decent-sized right and I stood up and immediately realized it was going to run on without me.  I watched in admiration as it threw over into a solid barrel and continued to do so at a breakneck pace.  I kicked my board out and took the next one in, then walked west past Playa Idaho.

I saw an older grom catch a left and get slotted as he pigdogged, then grimaced as he was helplessly slammed shut by a budding section.  Yep, with a camera and proper framing/timing one can make a lot of these waves look perfect.

I eventually got a look at a left.  I swooped down and it was pretty foamy.  I was a little off in my positioning but if I'd slammed my arm into the wave I might have been able to get covered up into a small one.  I didn't and kicked my board out as the wave rifled off without me.

The wave of the day wasn't all that great, but it was about head-high.  I caught, pivoted into pigdog stance, yanked hard but not hard enough on my outside rail.  The lip hit me in the head, I closed my eyes, continued in the barrel for a little over a half-second, then got obliterated.  I went into a fetal position while covering up my head and waited for trauma that thankfully never arrived.

Another big set came and I had to hustle to try to beat it.  I started smiling thinking it was going to be one of those by-the-skin-of-my-teeth escapes.  I duckdove and immediately was flipped over and destroyed.  It wasn't so hard that it left me stunned and overrode my brain's signals to my hands, but it did take the board away from me after a beat.  I got that panicky feeling after not knowing which way was up but thankfully surfaced before it got too bad.

The rest of the set had its way with me, playing the part of the pinball fans and I Jodie Foster in The Accused.  On the last one I came up a little too fast and the board happened to flip over onto my surfacing shoulder.  The result of the collision was painful but not so bad that it prevented me from paddling. 

Nothing of interest came in the twenty minutes after and in I went.

The pain has gotten worse but I should be ready to roll for tomorrow's beatings.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

6.2.18 Windy and Tricky Playa Colorado

I didn't want there to be another mosquito massacre so I began running when the first swarm attacked.

It looked like a weaker version of the previous afternoon's session, but with less water. The crowd count had about doubled but it was still  manageable.

The waves started baring their teeth as the tide dropped.  There were so many great wedges that turned into horrific look-away-from-the-grisly-car-accident closeouts.

My first two waves were at the beginning of the session and were awkward in that they were a little too fat to barrel but a little too run-ny to get around the section.

The dance went like this:
  1. Oh, look!  A wave
  2. Paddle to where it hopefully stops closing out/sectioning off
  3. See if it's worth paddling any further to see if there is a sniff of a chance of making it
  4. Check to see if there's a local who's taking a remote chance at backdooring and getting the wave of the season, to make sure you don't burn him.
  5. Check ahead of you to see if  there's a local or Brazilian who is going to go either figuring you won't make it or not caring 😂
  6. Pray you're not too early or too late and make sure your chance of making it is worth the possible collision if someone is in front of you.
  7. Eye lipline to anticipate strategy
  8. Pop up and pray you don't get hung up on the lip.
If you paddled for any first wave of the set and you either missed it or decided to pass, prepare to pay the piper!

I did have one wave on which I could have conceivably double arm-stalled and if I could have somehow fit in the tight barrel I might have doggy-doored it.  The tide was still a bit high so it would have been a tight fit.

My lone right was my last wave and I got a good smack in, got hung up on the lip, descended and ate it as the wave broke just inside my backside rail.

I didn't see anyone make any barrels though I did hear of a guy who did.

Friday, June 1, 2018

6.1.18 Syrupy Smooth but Swampy Playa Colorado

I was stuck at the condo today on daddy duty with Chucho while the girls attended festivities where dogs aren't allowed.  The pictures looked good, some barrels here and there but for the most part unmakeable unless you luck into the perfect spot at just the right time.  One guy did get a sequence and I saw 5-6 frames of him pitted where the wave just waited for him to get out. 

One day?

I was going to borrow our neighbor's bike to ride down as the mosquitoes are extremely active in the afternoon.  Unfortunately, it had flat tires from lack of use and so I hoofed it barefoot.  The rains have helped in making the trek sans shoes palatable, my guess is the river of water washing down the washboard roads takes the loose gravel off the top.

The mosquitoes were buzzing around me and at one point I felt a couple of itches on my back.  I looked back and with my bad eye I could see two perched on me.  Two quick slaps led to at least one kill as evidenced by my visual inspection on my hand.

A former neighbor was driving and we chatted as he drove slowly about the deteriorating political climate here.

I caught a left very late and I stomped down setting up for an unlikely high tide barrel.  The wave jarred me and my front foot was in the wrong spot so I went for an unplanned swim.

I was in the perfect  spot for a set wave and so I had to go even though it didn't look worth the paddle back. Sure enough, after the initial lazy wall there was nothing there.

I passed up a wave on which I could have gone and behind it was a macker.  I watched as it jacked up and threw over while thinking about how royally screwed I was.  I duckdove and panic-kicked my legs just as I got underwater and somehow blasted through.

I had two duckdives on which I wasn't as lucky and I ended up facing shore, which is pretty rare.  I also had one where I got absolutely crushed underwater and was 'wrestling the crocodile', holding on to my board with a death grip as we got blasted about.

Another crappy wave with nothing to it and I was ready to go in, dejected.  I was frustrating at having missed the window, again.  I looked towards the sea to see if I could get a ride on some whitewash but it was completely flat.  I thought about Shaun Thomson's Surfer's Code about how you should always paddle back out when you're feeling down and over it.

This led to the wave of the session and my only right.  Keep in mind that it's the wave of the session only because the other waves were so crappy.

I caught a steep right and stomped down in a diagonal angle so as to maximize efficiency.  I swooped around the first section, smashed the lip, came down and watched as it closed out.

I was dreading my walk back, closer to sundown and with more mosquitoes but luckily a neighbor in a golf cart spotted me and gave me a rid on the back.