San Juanico Dreaming

perfect wave

Dropping down the face of a perfect wave

Swells hit the points in the sleepy Mexican village – at least that’s what my girlfriend, Cynthia emails to me.  My  mind drifts to turquoise waters and waves that wrap around the points across the open bays.  Some of my most fun surfing – ever- happens here.  For the most part, everyone in the water is friendly, no one is too agro about sharing waves, and the energies of the sea, the sky and the desert all come together to make surfing bliss.

When I’m stuck in the states, my heart wanders… to the waves, the friends that are shared.

Last trip I met the “La Ventana” Group .. Irene & Ron, Norm, Kento & Jeff .. all who camped above second point and spent their hours on the water on their SUPs – Stand Up Paddle Boards.  The boards are a new addition to the SJ waters – and not loved by all.  What they can do is surf during the tides that are not conducive to normal surf.  Waves that are too slow .. or don’t ever really get around to breaking.

As with all journeys, there were high points and low points.  Good times at John Fields house ..of Juan & Juan .. I’ve never met the other Juan, but John and his wife, Carol are the sweetest folks.  He started with a garage, expanded it to several, and it makes up his ‘play box’. With a prime location overlooking the surf, parties at John’s house are always fun.  He cooks a mean hamburger – but watch out for his margaritas – or so I’ve been told.

Donn Stein – who had first loaned me a surfboard a year ago and sent me down my re-surfing passage – was already in town with his girlfriend and her daughter when I arrived.  Ran into them at Pizza Friday – and then again in the water.  Donn always wears a big smile.

Spent some time in the water with Dennis Choate.  Fun to surf with him both north and south of the border.  Still waiting for that promised surfboard 🙂

The waves came up .. the waves went down.  George Granger had been in town with his to-be-inlaws – his daughter is marrying a sweetheart, and when the party-goers left, George stayed to surf for a few days.  I gave him a ride back to Loreto and the airport.  It was a nice chance to get to know him better.  He spent a lot of time in Laguna when he was growing up – and we were able to share stories about old times, old houses, and old surf 🙂

Now .. three weeks later, I’m jonesing for some SJ surf.  Coming up!  I’ve got a trip planned for the end of the month  … Going to celebrate my birthday -and with good luck, the wave gods will be with us, and all the folks who said they’d show up will actually make it down and over.

Yep .. San Juanico dreaming ……………

Wild Trip to San Juanico and Beyond ..

ROAD TRIP~  with stove, parties, friends & whales.

And I mean – road trip!  Left Laguna mid-morning with overnight in Guerro Negro. Great dinner – as always – at the  Malarrimo Restaurant.  Got up before the sunrise and headed east.  Watched the sun slip over the lip of the Sierra as we dropped down the grade toward Santa Rosalia.

With great luck and no traffic, we pulled into Loreto around 11 AM.  Got the truck unloaded, and on call – Carol’s connection – Richon – arrived to look at the stove and what I need for installation.  No one believed I could get a stove installed in one day.  This IS Mexico. But I was driven and committed.

Val Wilekrson

Val Wilkerson

Barry and Val came by to chat – and stayed 🙂  That’s how it works in Loreto.  Richon brought Juan.  Alexander came over.   Jeanne stopped by and brought her girlfriend, who was fresh from fishing with Chris & the boys.

Steve was deep into rum & cokes until he realized that all the orifices on the stove needed to be converted from natural gas to propane.  Sobered him up (grumpily) fast .. and the job was done.

In the meantime, Jeanne kept saying she wanted to go to sleep and have tomato soup .. but now Steve was grousing about dinner.

Carol & Lee Boyd at Meditarraneo

Carol & Lee Boyd at Meditarraneo

We were supposed to eat at Mediterraneo, Carol & Lee’s excellent restaurant on the Malecón, but now it’s after 8…. and cranky is a good word to throw out. .. So.. with grand and gracious spirit, Jeanne opened her freezer, found ground turkey and a meat loaf was created.

There were potatoes at the house from Boots & his wife Arianna who had been staying while they searched for a place to live.  We mixed russet and sweet for mashed, crafted a salad of cucumbers and tomatoes.. and celebrated a feast.  Alexander had gifted Jeanne a bottle of tequila for her birthday, and this was the time to enjoy.

Wild night and tired, Steve and I crashed down.  Woke early for sunrise and a morning of client work – while we had DSL internet connections.

Catharine Cooper, Dennis Choate, Steve Kawaratani, Bill Clute

Catharine, Dennis, Steve, & Bill

We made an overnight stop in San Juanico where we partied – is there a theme song here? – with old friends and new. We were the guests of Dennis Choate and Donn Stein in their hacienda complex. Donn lent his palapa for the night .. sheets were hastily changed and the party began.

Dennis had good friends, Bill and his daughter, Cathy, staying in his guest house.   Once upon a time, Dennis and Bill had been arch sailing rivals, but now, spinnakers aside, they are best friends.  Dennis builds boats – Transpac and more – at his shop in Long Beach – Dencho Marine.

It might have been the case of wine we brought down for the boys, or maybe it was the fabulous food of the local chefs, but the evening was one of great revelry and memories were created out of deep laughter.

Sailboat racers, surfers, bikers ….. and thank god for the morning after – coffee drinkers.  Bill – you are forever my hero for the espresso!

We all drank too much, ate too much, and laughed harder than we imagined possible.  Dueling iPods provided music and Bill, CC & Steve traded iPhone tricks and info.  I woke up next to my vitamins .. Cathy in her clothes.  Too much fun …………..

Quick check of the surf, not much happeing, and Steve and I jumped back in the Hummer for the drive north along the salt flats to San Ignacio Lagoon.