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23 Nov

drunk_man_traffic_sign_by_greyhoundog-d2zxp03Mathew

This one deserves a blog of it’s own and it really has nothing to do with Matthew McChonaughy, who apparently got drunk in Nicaragua once and the photos made it onto the net…so when I searched for a random photo for this blog and entered “drunk Nicaraguan” into google search, most of what I found was Matthew..often with his shirt off of course, but I digress…

So we took a Rooooaaaaaad Trip to Gran Pacifica and it was awesome of course, but on the way home something more awesome happened. We were ambling down the road just after sunset and we came up on a beater of a car swerving this way and that along the road. I mean, this was not your normal buzzed driver or even drunk driver…this was a wasted driver. Of course we do not condone this kind of behavior so we put on our hazard lights and followed. I must admit I was hoping the idiot drove off the road into a tree. He was only going about 17mph and of course he had his seatbelt and airbags to save him (yeah right!) We really didn’t want this person causing injury to anyone and so we followed, as I honked and flashed the brights at oncoming traffic. The boozer was on the shoulder one second and then swerving across to the other shoulder through his inebriated reactions. I kept on him by flashing the brights and honking the horn…and then a good thing happened. He stopped. So I pull up along side, I’m in the right lane and he’s in the wrong (left) lane. I jump out of the car and stick my head in his passenger window and ask him if he’s all right. I did not understand what he said, but I did stick my arm in the car, I swiftly pulled the keys out of the ignition, I pulled back and let the keys fly into the dark bushes on the side of the road…I did say good luck to him. I jumped back in our truck and sped away leaving the inebriated individual parked for a questionable amount of time…probably enough time for him to sober up…hopefully. I woke up this morning wondering if he’d found his keys yet? Good deed for the day done!

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21 Nov

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They’re like waves, but smaller, so get out the longboards! Our guests from New Jersey and England were fired up on these small waves. While this is less than what I dream about, today would have been a 4 star day on the east coast (or west coast of England). Still pretty nice though…warm water, hot sun, enough energy to longboard at least..working on the cross step, cheater fives, spinners etc… Supposedly the swell is supposed to pick up…let’s hope the forecasters are telling the truth! Out front it looks pretty flat (if you’re checking the Surfline cam). That happens here though…it will look flat out front and then we go to Salinas Grande and it’s overhead. Something about the period, direction just doesn’t let the small short period swells into Punta Miramar. Plus it’s low tide which is not the best time to surf Miramar when it’s small. The one thing I hope for though is that we don’t get the beginners up to Salinas Grande and find out in fact it is overhead and they are in fact ‘in over their head’! :-)

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20 Nov

spearfishing

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We love the fishies, but they don’t love us! Probably because when they get too close we shoot them in the face with big spear guns! The waves have been typical small wintertime waves…waist high and better for long boarding than anything else. Of course that often means the water gets a bit clearer and even though it wasn’t swimming pool clear it was just right for some spearfishing. Sometimes when it’s a little less vis’ it allows you to sneak up on the poor buggers. We wound up with three trigger fish, 5 parrots and a mackerel. It’s not easy to shoot mackerel as they usually swim very fast and they’re very wary…but I got off a lucky shot and added to the mixed bag. The trigger and parrot are both have very firm flesh and you can do just about anything you want with them. They’re great for the grill, fish tacos, ceviche, or just with butter and a pan. The Mackerel is a little more delicate…but it tastes amazing any way. My favorite is just raw, sashimi style with some hoisin/soy/lime and wasabi. It just tastes good for you too…certainly the fish are good for our health, but we’re not so good for theirs;-)

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16 Nov

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Head’em up and move ‘em out….that’s what my dad used to say when it was time to get in the car for a road trip. We were ready, “loaded for bear” to use another old adage.
2 Cars
13 Souls
2 Coolers with a total of 52 Tonas, 8 Victorias, 8 Cokes, 11 Gatorades, 3 Frescas, 5 Diet Cokes, 6 Fanta Oranges, 2 bottles Flor De Cana, 2 bottles of water, a bag of Toreaditos (chips), a bag of yucca chips, and a bag of Doritos snack mix.
3 Stops planned
4 unplanned bathroom stops
3 Traffic Stops
0 Cops stops (yeah?!)
152 Miles
11 Hours
Tons of fun…

We took the whole crew to Massaya, Catarina, and Laguna Apoyo and made it a huge production and a very long and exhausting outing. This was partially to get me out of the house so I didn’t have to slaughter a pig for a party on Saturday, but also just to get us out of the house on a day with some small waves and some awesome weather. To say we had a blast was an understatement…It was a truly memorable outing and we’re so glad, that despite the work to execute, we ventured to make the effort. We might even have to do it again next week…and the next…and the next…

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16 Nov

I can’t believe that I had such a lack of love for Salinas Grande. I mean it’s just a beach, it can’t really be held at fault for being closed out a lot of the time, but for some reason I thought of Salinas Grande as a spot that we went to when we had to because there was nothing else going on wave wise. Lately though, I’ve grown love for the place. It picks up swell as good or better than anywhere. It’s a long desolate place where you rarely see another suffer and it’s never (ever) crowded. There aren’t any rocks or hazards other than the occasional stingray or big set to catch you on the inside sandbar. It does have an annoying current and some wicked rips, but lately it has been producing such good waves I can’t think about anything else except going back. Even on the days when the reports are calling for 2-3 foot poor conditions, Salinas is putting out peaks and barrels that would make you think we’d found paradise…then again…we did find paradise didn’t we? Thank you Salinas Grande for rescuing us. You have a place in my heart as long as I have a place in your barrels.

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13 Nov

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We took off pre-dawn and headed south this morning and it was worth the dash. The roads are better these days as the government is throwing some money at reconstruction. That doesn’t mean it’s all nicely paved, but it’s smooth enough. When we arrived only two guys were out and they got out to head for errands in Managua as soon as we paddled out. That left the four of us trading off in small rip-able waves and having a ball. Pretty amazing that in November we’re still pulling some good barrels out of the hat.

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13 Nov

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Wow! I wasn’t expecting much for my birthday, mainly just another day of work which is typically fun enough. As the sunset there was a knock on the gate and in walked our good friend Dona Luz Marina. Luz is locally known as “The Lobster Lady” and she runs a humble restaurant down the way that we like to call our local favorite. Despite her humble resources she arrived bearing three homemade pinatas that were stuffed with candies…she also brought a bevy of family to help us with the festivities. If that wasn’t enough, shortly after that, good old Marvin and Jose showed up with a truck load of Mariachis! What I thought was going to be a quiet evening at home turned into a full on fiesta before you could boil a nacatamale. Luckily the guests were all into it as well and they were embraced by the locals as warmly as I was. It was pretty special that they got over on me and went so far out of their way to make my birthday night such an awesome occasion. I tend to try and ignore my birthdays the older I get. There was no ignoring this one…there will be no forgetting it either.

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10 Nov

Finally got the camera on the beach at Salinas Grande and it was good timing. Once again Salinas Grande was doling out some killer barrels and some rip-able walls for the guys. We had four learners that were able to spend some time on the inside taking advantage of the relatively safe whitewater to hone their “pop”. It was a great opportunity to have the mixed bag of guests all enjoying the same spot despite the widely varied levels of ability. In fact it was so good we’re going to do it again today!

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7 Nov

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For a bunch of beginners they sure are getting better. A combination of good fitness and some natural talent are adding to the success. With such good student I feel like a proud papa.

I looks like we’ve got the issue worked out with our water housing. Salinas Grande has been going off like I’ve never seen it before. Unfortunately it’s not a place where we can take a camera that’s not in a water housing. Hopefully the swell will cooperate and keep sending us some more amazing waves. It truly has been an amazing week at Salinas Grande. In the past I’ve been skunked there by closeouts many times…the combination of crossed up swells and good sand bars have made for some amazing barrel sessions. We’ll try to bring some photo proof tomorrow!

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4 Nov

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If you lived in Quebec you would want to be here too. Fall in Quebec is like winter elsewhere. Winter in Quebec…well it’s fucking cold. For the Quebecer and/or the Quebecois, it’s a good time to take a vacation to the tropics to learn how to surf. Lucky for us these are some good students. Julie, who has never tried surfing before, stood up on her first day on only her 5th or 6th try. Adrienne, who has tried surfing a few times learned how to go left and right like it was easier than shoveling out a parking spot in downtown Montreal… and in truth it probably is. Either way, surfing is way more fun than shoveling snow.

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