I wrote this a couple days after i got back from my first trip to CR.
I went on vacation to Costa Rica last week and surfed the majority of time at Grande, we had planned on camping one night at Witches Rock, but time was running out, so last Thursday after a morning sesh at Grande I put my foot down and said to my two friends who had stayed out all night, that I was going to Witches, whether they were going or not, so my one friend bailed, luckily my other friend was game, we strapped the boards on our rental and started heading out, we ran into our Tico friend, Spider who we had met the first night there and he wanted to come along.
I didn't want to take a boat, if I was going I was driving in myself and that's exactly what we did. It took 45 minutes to drive some cool ass 4x4 and rock crawling and we made it to the bottom where the bridge is, the park ranger told us to park off to the side of the road out beyond the bridge because the tide was filling in. We grabbed our boards and walked through the jungle, I saw the estuary that Wingnut, Pat O'Connel and Robert August paddled across in Endless Summer II, and due to the over-infestation of crocs, that route is now closed.
We made it to the beach, at 3:15...perfect timing, the boats were gone for the day and there were only 5 locals out...the waves were overhead and barreling, just beautiful! I stretched for a couple minutes, rubbed some wax on my board and paddled out, as I was paddling out I realized how black the water was, from the waves breaking and churning up the black sand...I said a prayer, I always do whenever I get myself into sketchy situations, and this was definitely one of them situations considering there are huge crocs, bull sharks, tiger sharks, manta rays and who knows what else...
I caught a couple nice rides, but 1 stood out, not my best ride ever, but one I won't forget, when I was paddling for waves, the locals were cheering me on, yelling "Go Gringo, Go Gringo!". It was amazing how welcoming and friendly these guys were, I was so amped! The sun started going down and we figured we better paddle in, so we got back to the beach and we just standing there watching some more sets roll through and my Tico friend pointed up to the sky, there was a break in the clouds shaped like an eye and the sun aligned itslef directly in the center, he said "that's the eye of God".
We watched probably the most unbelievable sunset I have ever seen, red, pink,orange streaks disappearing behind the mountains...it started getting dark, real dark and real fast, so we walked up the beach and headed back to our truck. We got back to the bridge and it was literally in the middle of an estuary, the water was only 2-3 feet deep, but it was about 25 yards across with the bridge in the middle.
One of the locals went first and I followed, we crossed the first section to the bridge and then proceeded to cross another long section of water, not a big deal if there weren't crocs and cayman, but in this case kinda freaky considering it was dark and it was feeding time! We made it across, and I thanked the locals we had met for allowing us to share their break and strapped our boards on the truck and backed out onto the road, started driving and after about 10-15 ft...
...We came to another area that had filled in with water, and there in the water was a 8-9 foot crocodile, he saw our headlights and started crawling away and we hurried up and turned the truck to follow him with our lights and we saw him slip into deeper water and swim away. Best experience of my life, without a doubt...I can't explain the feeling I have now, renewed confidence, inner peace and a no fear approach to life...definitely the best day of my life...so far!
in 91, I went on the cheap the 1st time in CR. hitch hiked because we had no credit card. Stayed at the Cabinas Vista Hermosa. Met 2 Aussies. They had met a guy from Fla., there on his honeymoon, with a truck, going to Tulin. We went with them sitting in the back of a 4x4 pick up. we went thru the pig farm after the little kids opened the gate, then to the rivermouth. It was high tide going out and we got sucked out to the line up with zero effort. the waves had 18+ faces, would wall up, then the top couple feet would flip over pushing us into long wally lines . the wave would let you do a couple turns then really start breaking. It was the best time I ever had.
On the way back, the couple were in the front and 4 of us in the bed. the kids weren't at the gate, so I got out to open it. A giant goat, with spiral horns 3' long, and cajones the size of mangoes, walked up to the back of the truck and could stick his head in without leaving the ground. The Aussies screamed like little girls and jumped on top of the cab. My buddy, who's familiar with farm critters, sticks his hand in the goats mouth. the goat tastes the salt and goes crazy, making weird howling noises. The groom had his camera out so my pal started hamming it up, letting the goat lick his face and head. the goat stopped, got a strange look on its face(as far as goats go), then sneezed. He blew a quarter sized green booger on my buds chest. the guy gat it all on tape. I always thought I'd see it on America's funniest home Video. I might have if I watched it more than once.
Last winter I had just finished a sesh on a small day at Kammyland and had made the long paddle back to the beach where they were setting up the stands for whatever the next event of the season was going to be. I had to walk back to my Auntie and Uncle’s place over on the point and I was tired, so I was keeping pretty close to the high water mark since the sand is so soft and gets so blazing hot there. There was some skinny, hipster looking dude taking a picture of some pretty blonde gal, using the point as a background. I stopped and waited and after a minute asked, “Do you want me to take your picture together?” The dude kind of sheepishly mumbled, “Nahman, it’s okay.” So I started walking again and there was something bugging me, that guy looked really familiar. So I stopped again, turned and asked him, “hey man, do you surf around Encinitas or Carlsbad, you look really familiar?” He kind of shrugged into his shoulders and gave a little, HAHA grinand said, “no, I don’t really surf down there.” That’s when it clicked, “Hey, I know you! You’re Dane Fvck!ng Reynolds. Hey, I saw that turn at Haleiwa, that was awesome man! I’m [zaGAffer]!” His face kind of fell at being recognized, at which point I stuck out my hand and flashed him the dentures. He had a shake which had the exact opposite amount of confidence and strength that his turns exhibit, I think I might have crushed one of his little, bird-like bones. I gave him my best sh!1 eatin’ grin and said, “Shaking hands with the legend, now I got something to tell the grandchildren.” Poor kid looked like he’d just peed his pants in front of the whole school bus on the field trip on the way to the zoo. I wished him “good luck at your next contest” and walked off.
So yeah, I embarrassed one of the best surfer of his generation, in front of his girlfriend just by recognizing him. Oh well.
i was smoking a reefer on the beach one day in spring lake in the late fall.i think it was 2009,we had a 6ft swell im sitting on the beach.an undercover cop walks up,talks a little shyt for me smoking,and told me how he was a bigtime surfer back in the day so I let him use my wetsuit and board and he caught 1 wave that looked like andy irons in indo.i resumed my session afterwards..and about 3 months later,i got pulled over by that same cop and when he seen me he started laughing.nothing happened or anything.then like another 2 months later,i went to meet my cousin whos a home remoldler at this house he was doing work.about halfway there a unmarked car clearly a cop is following me all the way to the neighborhood,i pull into the spot and the guy gets out and says hey get out my spot.it turned out to be the same cop and it was his house I drove to.turns out my cousin and this guy went to school together and he was building a bar for the dude.the cops like u still smoking that shyt,i said no I quit for work which was true,he said bullshyt nobody ever quits.small world lol,the guy is still a cop to ths day even tho I havnt seen him or my cuz in a few years
I was sitting out on a point break in El Salvador, actually off on the shoulder a bit just chillin waiting for a set and for everyone to get pinched off one by one until it gets to me. I hear someone paddling up behind me and look over to see a friend and surf shop employee from home paddle by and say hey "hey Ron" . I had no ideal he was in El Salvador at the time, and it was really cool to see a friendly familiar face so far from home.
Heres another one, not surf related. I lived above a general store in Califon Nj was I was first married. They had a town wide garage sale going and we signed up to sell some stuff. I had some exercise equipment and this cheesy stepper machine with car shocks for resistance. I was asking $40 for it. About mid day this big dude walks up and says will you take $25 for it? I said no I paid $100 I think $40 is fair. He says common work with me, just then I realize its John Amos, the father from the tv show good times, and kunnta Kinte on the tv show roots. I know younger guys won't know who this is but at the time he was pretty famous. He walked away angry only to return at the end of the day and buy it for $40, lol.
I'll give it a go....posted this one back in '08...
My buddy Eric & I stayed at a brand-new place just outside of San Juan del Sur in Nicaragua. (In fact, this place is currently housing the entire crew & cast of 'Survivor' as the series films in Nica.)
First day in-country, we surfed it up pretty good. By evening, we were both wiped from the Central American sun & lots of clean waves. We called it an early night. Eric downstairs in the bedroom just off the kitchen, me in the upstairs loft-like bedroom.
Around 1230am I kinda slowly become conscious to someone yelling. I figure that it's someone outside the unit, drunk or something. I vaguely become aware, through the haze of sleep, of my name. How strange is that, I'm thinking. Someone's bellowing my name.
WTF, that sounds like Eric. I jump out of bed & go out to the top of the stairs & look down on a surreal scene going on in the living room area.
Eric is standing up & grappling with some dude. The dude looks like a local Nica, he's dressed in dark blue pants & a white long-sleeve collared shirt. He looks almost like a security guard or something, at first glance. WTF. He IS a security guard ! I see his gun & radio on his belt as he's pushing & shoving Eric.
As I run down the stairs to get into the action, the dude sees me coming & moves backwards from Eric & starts to unholster his gun. F*** that! I smash my fists into his face, repeatedly, knock him down, blood flows (his).
I'm tangled up with the guy on the stone floor, hollering at Eric to get his gun. Eric grabs the gun. Gives it to me. I'm holding the gun on the guy, asking WTF is going on here ?
Eric says he was sound asleep & woke up to a shadow figure in his bedroom, going through his wallet & taking money. He jumped up & grappled with the guy, and they end up in the living room & Eric's hollering my name to come help.
Weird(er) moment. While Eric is gone to get help, I have an almost overpowering urge to shoot the thief in his knee. Just to see what that feels like to shoot someone, just to feel the power. Like I said: it was a strange night.
So I'm holding the pistol on this guy & he's bleeding from the mouth where I clocked him & he's pleading in Spanish for us not to call the police. F*** that. Thievin' prick. Eric goes out & after 20 mins finally gets the manager to get his fat arse up to our unit - the developer happened to be there too & he came up to see what was going on.
Here's the (really) sketchy part. We explain what happened. The developer takes the security guard away. Then brings him back to hear the guard's side of it. And the guard has his gun back! And we demand to get moved to a different unit. Developer moves us. He asks what he can do for us. We say, bring us beer & rum. And we're def not paying for the condo stay. No prob.
So we stay up all night in the condo, drinking rum & beer & laughing & me icing my hand where I must have punched the guard in his head when we were going at it & my hand is swollen as hell.
We had a restless night....we feared that the guard, being a local Nica, is gonna bring in the extended family & wipe us out. We barricaded the doors & windows with couches & chairs & we dozed off just before dawn with large knives at our sides. Just in case.
Dawn finally arrived. We threw our gear in the 4wd & prepared to get the hell outta Dodge. No way were we sticking around to see what this dude's relatives were gonna do to the 2 gringos. The developer saw us as we were leaving & pleaded with us not to post any bad reviews or reports of what happened to us on his property on the Internet. We just shook our heads in disgust & split.
Eric went over to the Corn Islands to check it out. I went back home to get my hand checked: broken thumb. It was the end of that surf trip.