Thought I'd let ya'll know how the annual Baja windsurf-migration
went for us this year.
We (my girlfriend and myself) left Portland Or. on Dec. 26th
with the boss's blessing to be gone up to 6 weeks. They did point
out that 7 weeks would equal no job, and that 6 weeks was pushing it,
but the blessing was there .. kind of. I had to finish a product
up and talk some poor sucker in to baby-sitting it for me, this
kept me busy right up to 2 pm the 26th. Packed from 2-3, and hit the
road at 3:30. Kept asking each other if we had everything... decided
that since the entire garage was piled on the floor of the camper we
probably did. We packed according to the "see it, add it to the pile"
principle. Well, i did. Kim had all these really neat lists, but
since we only had 1 hour to pack neither one of us wanted to find
the lists .. apparently they were in a safe place.
Drove to San Francisco, said hi to my parents, hit the road
again trying to beat a storm, but it caught us. Winds were throwing the
camper all over the road, so we pulled in to Rotten Robby's truck stop
and slept the rest of the nite. This was the first nite in the camper
.. the camper is another story, but let's just describe it as a house
with a poor little GMC 3/4 ton peeking out from underneath. I bought
the truck/camper combo in October, and never started working oin it
until the last minute. Luckily the truck was in good shape to begin
with(a '78 GMC 4x4, new engine with 12,000 and new *** with 1500
on it) Lots of little tune up things had to be done, and a full
parts supply to take down( water pump, fuel pump, thermostat, hoses
belts, etc.) but it was in good shape. The thing that sold us on
the camper was the fact that it had a hot-water heater in it ...
Back to the trip. Hit San Diego in time to watch it really rain
there. Slept a bit, did the annual trek to Kahuna's Surf Bar in
Pacific Beach ( a sleazy surf-rat bar ). Spent the next day underneath
the truck pulling out wires that ran from nowhere to nowhere. This
was kinda scary, but the the truck still ran when we were done.
So, we finally cross the border on Dec. 31st. We had an extra
passenger by then, a friend from Portland flew into San Diego
and rode with us to Quatro Casa's .. a surf break about 5 hours
south of San Diego. Inside the cove there's a little right that
is about 100-150 yards, supposedly a great ride. We never saw it,
cause another rain storm came through and turned the ocean into
stormy mush. We played alot of cards and drank some beer for a day
or so. The group of guys who were supposed to give Bob a ride back
to the border got all whiney and left cuz their boats leaked. Gordie
owned a boat at the Boat Ranch, an area where a bunch of old derilict
boats are up on blocks, surfers can then live in 'em while they surf
there. Gordie's boat leaked all over the place so he got whiney and
wanted to go home ... of course as soon as they left the sun came out
for the next 3 days.
We decided that Quatro Casa's wasn't gonna happen, so we drove farther
south to a beach just North of El Rosario. Kind of a beach break, but
we surfed there for the next coupla days, it wasn't great, but then
i'm not that great a surfer. Surfed my new board( the Fish) an 8'6"
long board that I built this fall. It worked !!! ( for that read , it
floated and I was able to catch some waves on it)
The day before Bob's plane left San Diego we decided he better try to
get back to the border. Drove into El Rosario, which has a bus station.
Filled up at the PEMEX station, after twenty minutes found a windsurfer
van pointed north. Offered to pay his gas to the border, so Bob was off
... nice guy to meet, Bob told me that this fella was stinkin rich, has
houses in Newport Beach , Hawaii, and Los Barriles. Hate it when I
meet people like this... He was so rich that he told Bob to forget about
buying the gas.. totally cool.
Kim-n-I drove south. Spent the nite at the airport in San Ignacio.
It was real quiet, only disturbance was a burro at 3 am .. he walked
around the camper about 10 times and then woke us up with some incredibly
loud noises .. (it don't sound like "HEE HAW" .. more like a foghorn).
Next day we stopped in the south part of Bahia de la concepcion ..
about 20 miles south of Mulege. We stayed at a beach called Play Armenta,
a beach I slept on 5 years ago. In the intervening 5 years a house was
built, burned down, and 5 palapa's(wood and palm thatch structures) were
built. An old Indian maintained the pit toilets and kept the beach clean
for a mere $2 a nite. (by the way .. along the highway almost all of the
tourist facilities operate in dollars, not pesos).
We ended up staying here for over two weeks. The wind blows kinda on-shore
there, but it's a beautiful spot. I got in 5 days of sailing ..
2 on my 6.7m^2 and a 9'2" Fanatic Bee, and 3 on 5.0m^2 and my
8'6" Gorge Board. It was great .. the days that the wind didn't blow
we slept, went for hikes or runs .. bartered with some fisherman for
galleto's(sp?) a type of local scallop. We thought about driving farther
south, but the farther we drove south the more we had to drive on the way
home. Ran out of beer a few times, but not to panic, found someone
who was going to town and got 'em to exchange my empties for me. Towards
the end of the time we were there Raul(the old Indian) got a bad cold
so me-n-Kim ran to town a few times to get them medicine and supplies.
Raul was a pretty neat talkative old guy .. he was 80, his wife 79.
He used to work in the copper mines at Santa Rosalia .. it was pretty
fun talking with him. We were pretty worried about them when they got
sick. By the time we left they were back on their feet and healthy again.
On the sailing side of things .. met a nice couple from Idaho (John
and Kathy) who were(get this !!) potato farmers, John was sailing from
a beach about a mile north of me ( near el Requison) , we'd see each other
out there and then talk about the sailing over a campfire at nite. Got
some really good port-side jumps, but couldn't seem to do anything on
starboard.Pretty frustrating, but hey that's the way sailing is. Made some
more lay-down jibes .. a way cool feeling. Missed some lay-down's with
spectacular results ;skipping across the water wipeouts; a great time!!
We only brought the two shortboards, so Kim started sailing a short
board for the first time. She got her beach starts wired, and got
a few water starts. Way Cool !! She never got hooked in, but she
did get the Bee scooting across the water. It was great.
After two weeks of laziness and fun we really had no idea what day
it was. Dug my watch out to see what day of the month it was. Decided
that we would meander north.
Drove to Bahia de Los Angeles. It was really pretty. Saw a bunch
of finback whales .. they're huge. the snorkling was great, but the
water was pretty cold (60-62). On the third day there it got really
windy. I expect that in the channel a 3.5 - 4.0 would have been right.
In the bay it was 5.0'sh. The next day we headed north again back
to the Boat Ranch. The surf was pretty clean the first day so I got
some surfing in there. The next day it was stormy, and the next day
we headed back to San Diego.
We stayed in San Diego for two days doing the tourst thing. The Zoo
was incredible .. I really liked an exhibit there called Tiger Valley.
I have a friend that works at Seaworld, so we got in free there, and also
got a tour in the back where they keep beach rescue animals, sick animals,
and those that don't fit in anywhere else. Learned the the Commersons
dolphins have the attention span of a hyper-active poodle. The trainers
have been working with them for about 2 years, but still can't rely on
'em to do the performance. Watched the Killer Whales catch a
seagull. After their erformance they took a piece of herring that they
didn't eat and brought it to the surface .. then waited while the sea
gulls went nuts. As the pack of gulls came close to the water one of the
whales came up and caught one. Then the 3 whales kinda played with
the carcass under water ... talked to one of the trainers, and she said
it was a trick that one of the whales came up with a few months ago,
they've been doing it ever since.
Got back to Portland on Feb. 1st.. It was a great trip. You can see
that windsurfing was the excuse, but vacation was the goal. Got to sail
a little, but got to vacation alot. Hope you enjoyed the report.