March 6, 2012
Best it’s Ever Been: Hunting for Waves in Baja California Sur
“You should have been here two weeks ago. Twenty-foot faces,” a voice behind us said. Standing in the sand looking at the ocean, Dan, Trevor and I immediately turned to see a tan, fifty-year old man in a hooded sweatshirt leaning casually against a palapa. He popped a can of Tecate stuffed into a black neoprene wetsuit glove.
“Best it’s ever been.” 100% Emphatic.
Dan and I looked at each other as if figuring out whose turn it was to clean the dishes.
“No shit, really?” I said, answering the void.
“Yup. A buddies coming by later with photos from the day. The wave connected all the way to the beach,” he said motioning from the point left towards the beach with his beer in hand. The fingers of the glove-turned-koozie jiggled in the light wind. ”I’ve been surfing here for thirty years, hands down the best I’ve seen it.” He took a chug of the beer and wiped his mouth on his sleeve.
“Damn, we rode that swell in California. It was pretty fun there too.”
“How were the waves this morning?” Dan asked. ”Does it always blowout like this in the afternoons?” Dan nodded towards the ocean.
“Yeah, pretty much. It has its days though. Sometimes it holds off all day,” he said looking towards his wind chimes made from beer cans and broken surfboards. He took another swig of his beer. ”The waves were fun this morning. A little crowded though, ‘cuz it’s the weekend and all.”
Pausing for a second, I looked at my watch. ST stands for Saturday. After three weeks camping, the days blend together with no functional difference between a Tuesday and Sunday.
“You boys staying the night? I hear the swells building.”
“Yeah we are thinking about it,” Dan responded.
Three benches with a view of the ocean.
A deserted lighthouse.
A cacti forest.
Red, white and blue in Baja. The man with the neoprene koozie’s boards.
Two tents and a van.
Rocky coasts on the Sea of Cortez.
That night, the swell built as the man with the glove koozie had predicted. Waking to take a piss a few hours before sunrise, the pounding waves shook the ground and the moon light reflected off white water. Debating if he was full of shit or not, I lay in my sleeping bag watching the occasional satellite work its way through the clear night sky. He didn’t seem like a bullshitter, but Baja sure does attract a wild bunch of people. “I guess the photos would leave little to debate,” I thought to myself before slipping back to sleep.
We never saw the photos of him surfing, but the next morning, he was out in the lineup. After kicking out of a double overhead right, he paddled by. ”Twice this big, and perfect.”
Grinning ear to ear, he kept paddling.
Looking over at Dan, I conceded, “Maybe it was as good as it’s ever been, but who cares. This is as good as we could ask for.”
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