Thursday, July 12, 2007
"Tell 'Em I'm Alright."
I should have guessed that in a relatively undeveloped country like Nicaragua, high speed internet would be as sketchy as the dirt roads we bounced along to get to Playa Iguana. But like the trip to get here a week ago, I finally made a connection today.
There were near disasters though, starting at the Portland airport, when Continental Airlines told us that they didn't allow surfboards on flights to any countries but Costa Rica. We ended up transferring to a Taca Air flight in Miami that allowed us to bring our sticks. Note to Continental: Surfing is one of the main tourist attractions in Nica, so it would behoove the airline and the country to work something out during vacation months...
On arriving to Managua several hours late, we found out our rental car had been given away (even though we'd called Budget and informed them of our delay in Miami). Luckily, we begged the agent to rent us a 4X4 truck (in place of the little Suzuki SUV we'd reserved) and we were only held back one night by all the mishaps.
And then there was the lack of internet, which has really slowed down my Sissyfish posts and also given my headaches trying to get any "real" work done.
Now about the surf: We're staying very close to a swell magnet called Panga Drops that is kind of a right reef break over rock and sand. It looks like a beachie, but it breaks pretty damn far outside. The waves have consistently been overhead there since our arrival, pushing the head and a half range. The pics above are from there. I've managed to snag a few lefts there as well. You can always count on my trying to do that.
The next spot down is a beach break called Playa Colorado. Things started out pretty friendly there a week ago, with waves in the shoulder to head-high range. They were playful and easy at times, breaking right and left, with potential for the cheeky tube here and there. There were only five guys out and one was a dude I recognized from snapshots in the Surfer Magazine forum. He has a big beard, dreads, and rips on a Pavel Speed Dialer. He goes by the handle "Liquid." He was really cool, coaching me on how to get barreled. He told me that he looks at it like fishing: He'd rather see me get my first tube than score 10 himself. Liquid, if you're out there, thanks. I'm still working on it and when I do, you'll hear about it and be credited here!
A few days later, the real swell arrived.
Colorado was throwing head-high plus barrels with regularity. I got my ass handed to me with regularity. I saw a local kid get a full stand up tube and get spit out waving shakas in the air. There have been some special days, and we have two weeks left.
Though I have had my share of amazing waves, I've been struggling in the huge stuff. I have tucked into some heaving, dredging tubes and been swallowed up alive then sent over the falls and into the sandy bottom. My brand new Art Colyer-shaped rounded pintail is dinged to hell after a really bad wipeout at Pangas last night. Two fins are broken completely off and there's a massive hole in the deck and bottom. Out of commish. Pics to follow soon.
Tonight I'm taking a boat to Manzanillo, the famed left point break. I'm bringing my Mandala 2+1, which has been my daily driver down here. Wish me luck!
PS: To build some stoke after the humbling/humiliating surf sessions of the past couple days, I watched "Morning of the Earth" from start to finish this morning. That's where the title of this post comes from.