If you love waves, you gotta love a wave projection map like this : The west coast looks to be gifted by the first major swell of the season.
Good friends Cynthia & Cal have reason to be stateside for the summer, and are offering their wonderful San Juanico home for rent. It’s a fabulous 2 bedroom main house with rooftop view deck and bar – perfect for entertaining. There is a separate casita with private bath and lovely gardens. Lucky the person who gets to spend time there. For more details : http://www.scorpionbayrentals.com/Site/Rentals/Pages/Casa_Baja_Luna.html#grid
.. and sometimes there aren’t .. and sometimes, there are wondrous swells with seemingly nothing in between .. the magic of the ocean is never lost upon me .. nor her beauty, her wealth, her immeasurable value in protecting life as we know it ……..
Figures that I’d meet friends for the ‘rest of my life’ in sleepy towns south of the border. On a surfing safari to San Juanico, a beautiful blonde approached me at pizza dinner, claiming that for sure she knew me. I was taken aback, but she was so emphatic – almost as sure as I was that I’d never met her before in my life!
After a few go-rounds of questions, we figured out that she had been the neighbor of my sister, Claudia, in Sun Valley, Idaho … and since my sister and I look very much alike, the mystery was solved.
Cynthia Wagstaff, as I’d come to know her, lives for most of the year in San Juanico. She is a talented painter, writer (her blog : baja luna) , gardener, designer and explorer of life. Which barely touches on the fact that she is an incredible chef! She has the ability to create a gourmet meal out of whatever happens to be in the icebox or the cupboard – and no matter who drops by, she finds a way to create a feast that leaves everyone raving – and wanting more!
Cynthia’s ‘mom’ to Pancho & Chica – two adorable rescue dogs – who dote on her as she dotes on them. Ball play and stick chase .. long beach walks and adventures. While not a surfer, Cynthia’s an avid swimmer, snorkeler, butt boarder and stand-up-paddler.
You can find her easily cruising the cliff tops and beaches in her bright yellow Volkswagen or her streamlined Subaru. She’s the one with the sparkling eyes and the big broad smile.
…. so i’m not in mex .. and it’s always weird .. buds are spread all over this summer … cynthia’s been in idaho putting fine touches on the best kitchens .. george has been trying to catch up to both daughter’s weddings … carol was here to help me pack up stuff .. alexander was up .. val was in alaska with husband, barry .. on pam and kent’s boat chasing BIG fish .. jeanne was north for a bit .. then in SJ with Mark .. he and i played in the surf .. mikey’s left for brazil (lucky dog) .. martin is building a new palapa in todos santos .. norm is spending the summer in bandon and SUP’ing his heart out .. dennis has been in/out .. hopefully catching some waves … james has been passing on real estate info .. and the world keeps spinning …
During my ‘second’ surfing session in San Juanico in 2009, I had the pleasure of meeting James Seixas who has another ‘home’ in San Pedro. He was kind, encouraging .. and a whole lot of fun in the water. I was able to catch a few stills of him at second point, and have turned them into this short kind of funky video.
The full moon rises slowly above the mesa and grants her colored shine to blue waters of the bay. Warm offshore breezes hold up the edges of the waves born thousands of miles away.
A few surfers still paddle out to catch what remains of the light. Later, another group will ride in full moonlit waters.
My arms are spent. While the swell has not been as large as predicted, I’ve been thrilled to ride overhead waves in warm water and clear skies. Water temp = 74°. Air = 88°. (I’m told back in California the weekend water was a balmy 54°- UGH!)
There’s a lovely reverence at this close of day/start of night. Several locals, a few surf travelers gather at second point to watch the moon and the last of the surfers. We chatter about waves, sets .. How many hours we spent in the water .. the diabolical currrent that kept us paddling non-stop simply to stay in position. How tired we are – while noting when we’ll get back in the water. There were crowded moments – and then there were moments with only three surfers in the water and more waves than could be ridden.
The waters have been a delightful mix of short and long boarders from San Juanico, Cabo, Canada, Austria, Brazil and the U.S. Languages blend in the water. Waves are shared. Stories of other waves wrap around our amazing glee at finding ourselves in one of the perfect spots at a perfect moment.
I am thrilled that Armando, Manuel, Marta, Jessie & Juan remember me. “When did you get back?” Armando asks as I wait for the next set. His bright red board and his broad smile are hard to miss. He makes me feel apart of the local family, and it’s a feeling that I like.
San Juanico has lodged itself in my heart….. and a sense of its essence and beauty travels with me.
One of the treats in San Juanico is the Friday/Saturday night dinners at Dan Alacran Pizza. The food is great, and the proprietors – Dan & Jackie – make the place almost feel like home. In such a small community, it kind of is like eating with your family & friends. And the possibility is great, that if you didn’t know someone when you came in, you will know them when you leave. Such was the case a year ago when I met/got to know Cynthia Wagstaff, who is now one of my best friends.
Cathy, Pat & I were definitely ready for a shift from fish tacos. After a fun day of surf and hanging out at the beach, a pizza and cold beer were on the agenda. We watched surf videos – a staple of the pizza house – always hopeful to catch a shot of ourselves (ha ha) in amongst the hot doggers with fabulous rides from second point all the way to first. Perfect SJ friendships.
After dinner, we walked the short dusty street back to Cynthia’s house for ‘movie date.’ Another great end to a great day!
One of my all time great DUH moments .. Caught in the midst of fin attachment when my friends looked over at me and start laughing uncontrollably.
I look down and yep – fins are all snug in their boxes – backwards! No counting for Mexican brain – and I don’t think I’d had even one cold cerveza yet!
Wonder what this might do to nose/tail riding? Should I take off with the board backwards????
With the kind guidance of my friends, the fins were ‘righted’, the board freshly waxed, and great fun was had on San Juancio’s amazing wave machine.
Warm warm water! Surfed in a bikini for the first time since last summer. Just how good can it get????? Oh yes .. days on end better 🙂
Countdown to Friday departure as the Baja Peninusla lures me south once again. This trip, I’ll again have the joy experiencing the extraordinary and diversified beauty of the long finger of desert, rock and mountainous terrain. If you’ve never done the drive, then you don’t really know Baja.
Cathy and Patrick are packing their respective bags. This will be Cathy’s first road trip, and I’m excited for her to experience the open spaces. We’re still jockeying between one or two cars .. but in any event, the clock is ticking and soon the open road will be under our wheels.
Plan is first night at El Jardin, the most serene motel tucked off the road just north of San Quintin. The gardens surrounding the motel are amazing – even a small grove of orange trees fills out the back. Early Saturday, we’ll book it for Loreto, checking into “Casa de Catalina” for a day’s road rest. Supplies will be gathered and a joy trip to the Tiligues (Sunday open air market) to fill out the fresh veggie/fruit part of our food group. Either late Sunday, or early Monday – depending on surf and social life conditions 🙂 – we’ll make the drive to San Juanico, surfboards and suntan lotion loaded on the Explorer.
The last two days have been registration, insurance – and the procurment of a sentri transponder for my car – the second in the ‘fleet’ – for easier crossing back into the United States. It’s part of the Trusted Traveler Program of Homeland Security and it’s nice to be a vetted American.
Promises to self this trip : Stop for more photographs. Take time to sketch and to paint. Surf ’til you drop!