About three weeks ago, I saw on Facebook that an old acquaintance was going to be travelling through Central America and he had mentioned surfing. I hadn't seen him since high school.
I sent him a private message, letting him know I would be in El Salvador and would be happy to show him around. I figured nothing would come of it, but he hit me up for the info.
He arrived today.
Aaron had decided to surf Sunzal on his own and Mac and I paddled out at La Bocana. The tide was high and the surf was movido. The best way I can put it in English is it was as though it was having morning sickness in the afternoon (afternoon sickness doesn't sound right plus it doesn't have the cute pregnancy pun its AM counterpart does).
We paddled out and it took me about A HALF HOUR to catch my first wave. It was a right and when I bottom-turned, the wound from this morning's Punta Roca section reminded me of its existence by screaming into my nervous system. I did an ok turn, recovered, and kicked out.
The sun had been out all day and the wind had stayed down to probably about half the usual speed. There wasn't chop in the water, but the waves were very shifty and had bumps in them, making them very hard to read.
I looked back to the north and eyed this incredible in scope thunderstorm off in the distance, the white flash of visually encumbered lightning barely visible.
All throughout the session, I kept looking behind me to take in this amazing natural beast, inching its way toward us. The hidden-from-view lightning strikes began to reveal themselves. The thunder claps' bass reverberated from the coastal mountains into the sea. I licked my chops in expectation of the offshore wind that could very well salvage this session.
I caught a left which had some steepness to it, and not just on the drop. I snapped once, came back down, then snapped a little more critically. I made the same mistake of many waves past, letting my arm go towards the wave on the end of the snap rather than away.
I paddled back out and stared straight up. The clouds were varying smoky shades of gray. I looked to the left, still upwards, and admired the pastel blue and pink. I looked upwards, but to the right this time, and took in the menacing thick black clouds making their way into the sea. I liken the colors to the early- to mid- 80's. The pastels are very reminiscent of the time, while the dark brooding storm could be likened to the looming AIDS crisis.
I paddled for a left and kept on paddling. I could not get into it, but once I did, it looked like a closeout, so I let the board go.
I caught a right that I hit well once. It was a tricky wave that had its various hittable sections broken off into slivers of vert. I was able to descend again, but kicked out because I sensed a set.
I didn't get too rolled, and paddled out just in time to see Mac catch a sick one.
The wind was turning a bit offshore, but I was hoping for more so I could get some barrels.
A steep left arrived, I caught it, already behind a breaking section. I mini-pumped twice right where the water on the wave went from horizontal to its first taste of vertical. I covered some ground, but not enough. I dove into the foam.
Another steep left came and I was on it. This one had quite the wall. I raced up to the top and laid into a sick, unmakeable-by-me turn. I threw a ton of spray and got a little bit of hope that I might make it. I didn't, but Mac said it looked like I was ripping that wave from the back.
Yet another left came and it had no shoulder. I bottom-turned as steeply as I could. I was hoping to make this wave a training wave so I can begin to b-turn more steeply on future waves. There was no wall, so I kicked out with a lot of speed.
The lightning strikes got closer and people started tripping out at the beauty of it all. It was getting dark. I saw a perfectly spherical and brilliantly yellow object rising to the east and I said to Mac, "What is that? That's not the sun, it sets on the other side." He told me it was the moon. I'd forgotten about the moon!
Pretty soon, Mac and I were all alone out there. I caught a left and felt the offshore as I descended. It was hard to judge because it was pretty dark. I felt with my legs and pumped. Lightning struck horizontally above me and the wave was lit up with its reflection. I let out a guttural, unthought-out, primal yell. I realized the wave was going to barrel, so I attempted to snap-stall. I was too high up on the wave and my board dropped down without me as I got hung up on the lip. I didn't go over the falls though.
I was beginning to tell Mac where to go in but a wave came and disrupted our communication. I didn't see him after that, so I was officially all alone. The small fluorescent lights along the coast provided a little light, as did the moon, but the frequent, sporadic lightning really helped me find my way back through the rocks.
This session was without a doubt the most scenic one I've experienced. The lightning striking up in the sky, reflected in the wave was the highlight of what turned out to be quite the spiritual experience.
You know this session had an effect on me because we went out to dinner once I got in and I PAID!!!!!111!! On the way back we got caught in a pretty nasty rain storm and was almost chilly for the first time on this trip.
Here are some shots Aaron snapped from the Hotel patio. Mac and I were in the water at the time.