Sunday, May 22, 2011

Surf Safari, El Salvador

Although it only lasted two days I think this weekend qualifies as my first surf safari.

Eight of us set of on a weekend of being water men. Saturday morning we set off to Barillas for boating, surfing, kayaking and otherwise enjoying life. I came well prepared with my new surf board, kite, kite-board and wake boarding rope.
Boat loaded up with the boards

After unloading at our houses it was time to set off for the boat to head to our first surf break, Punta Mango. What we didn't know getting in the boat is that we had a rough two hour boat ride in order to get there. There was plenty of surf and wind to battle on our way to this world class surf break. Our boat captain expertly navigated the rough seas and get us there with only slightly sore butts.
On Our way out

Once we arrived at Punta Mango, the captain dropped us off a good distance out from the break, before heading to the deeper calm waters to anchor and wait for us. It was the first time any of us approached a wave from the ocean side, rather than the beach side. If you have never done it before, it is awkward. The wave was a little blown out from the onshore winds, but still breaking overhead. Finally we found where the waves were breaking and one by one took waves.
Punta Mango as we ride by in the boat

My first wave I buried the nose of my board when I tried to pop up. I accepted my fate and let the wave toss me. As I washing machined, I felt the leash pop off my board because I didn't connect it right. When I finally picked what way up was and broke the surface, I had to chase my board. My new board was heading to the rocky shore. Just as the next wave was coming I caught the nose and was able to hold on through the beating with only a cut to the knee. I finally made it out to the channel, and began my long swim against the wind out to the boat to. By the time I made it out to the boat my arms were pretty dead. Despite that once I got my leash back on, I headed right back to the break, but did not take any more waves. After a while I headed back to the boat just in time for the captain to start the motor and head in to pick everyone up. A nice 500 meter paddle against the wind for nothing.
Almost back to the boat from the shore

Once everyone was loaded up we headed to break two of the day El Espino. We didn't stay there long because the wave wore everyone out. It was a shore break and had no channel. So you had to fight the wave out every time. After a few waves we headed back to the marina against the rough seas again. Again our captain expertly got us back with only a little more beating than the trip out there. I was hoping for a short stop off at the sandbar so I could get my kite up, but a storm rolled in right behind us as we approached the marina.

We got back to our houses just before the main storm hit. We hoped it would blow over and we could head to the pool to cook up dinner, but the storm never let up. Instead it stole our electricity. We moved a grill up to our patio and started to prepare and cook dinner by candle light. After dinner and a few rum drinks we turned in.

One of the rum drinks

After breakfast we explored the mangroves in kayaks. They were full of fish, crabs and water fowl. Being there in channels that are just wide enough to fix the kayak through with alligators and other life all around was a little intimidating.

The pile of kayaks

Sunday, May 15, 2011

What I do when I'm bored

I have a playground across the street from my house, so this is what I do when I'm bored.