Monday, January 30, 2012

Surfing Video

So GoPro videos are probably way overdone, and I found that this one video has burnt me out on the video for surfing. But I did one. I'm sorry if it isn't any good. The waves were fun to play in, and I have been surfing sometimes twice a day. The most I have surfed in the last couple days was an 8 hour day once, a dawn patrol session for 4.5 hours and an evening session for 3.5. So much surfing!
So I am still in the Puerto Vallarta area, and I'll probably stay here if the waves stay good, but sometimes I am thinking about going back to Tenacatita and some of the places I saw last year.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Back on the mainland

I made it into Puerto Vallarta again. The wind wasn't really there for the crossing, and I just got in after 12 days. But I spent 4 days at Isabella, so it wasn't too bad. The water has really warmed up since I've come over this way. In La Paz it was cold enough to get you even though you were wearing a wetsuit, and the visibility wasn't great. At Isabella, I noticed the warmer water a little bit, but since I was diving, I still got cold. Then yesterday I got to Punta Mita and went surfing and it was fantastic! I was so warm I had to pump cool water through my suit in order to maintain my "cool". Of course it is easy, when you're a surfer, to be cool. Even if you catch a wave and promptly wipe out crazy style. I had some really nice wipe outs, because I was by myself out on the waves and I wanted to try some new things. I have a decent bottom turn and I can keep speed up with it, but my top turn isn't as fast and snappy as I'd like. So I was trying to do a big snap on the top, but the waves are small and that isn't easy. I did do a nice rail slide on the top once, and there is a place where the wave speeds up and I really like it there, since I can't usually make the section, but I have to try and go as fast as I can. If the swell picks up a little, that spot will be a barrel.
For a lot of the trip across there wasn't any wind. Often the wind would come up until midnight and then die, and I had a few nice sunrises with lots of things in the water at the surface-little wormy things that wiggle in the water and eat plankton or something. On such a morning I had a nice little (well, not so little) visitor who swam along with a dorsal fin out of the water and a tail swishing gently. He (sharks are always he) came sneaking along up to the back of the boat and then looked at my rudder. I think he was going to bite it or something (a sea-lion bit it once, just for fun) and I could see the cold calculating (or not) eye looking at me through the water. I am not sure if it was a Mako or not, because I didn't see the teeth. But it was smooth and graceful until it saw my fishing lure and then darted away.
I arrived at Isabella in the night, at around 1 am. There are a lot of Humpback whales lurking around the island, so I had to try and dodge them in the moonlight, but I couldn't see them and then suddenly I would hear the breathing so close and it was quite scary. But I made it without bruising the beasties, and then got some sleep. The time at the island was great, as always. I love that place. I shot a really big barracuda, one of the biggest I have seen, and a few Pargo, or sea-basses. The water was really murky and I was feeling sick so I only dove twice. The first time I had a blockage in my nose somewhere, so I kept on having a funny and then not funny pain in the nose as I dove down and then came up with a weird noise. Then it started to bleed and it wasn't funny. The snot is crazy colored when it is bloody and you are seeing it in front of your mask with a blue watery background.
So the nose thing was painful and I pushed it way too far, but I think its over now. I left and had a simple one night overnighter to get to PV, which was good, except I came very close to another boat in the morning when I was taking a nap. After sunrise, I figure, the other guys can look out for themselves, but this guy wanted a closer look. I woke up after about an hour (or maybe only 45 minutes) but the little tiny sail in the distance was suddenly just past me, and it looked like it might have been close. I hate doing that. I feel so irresponsible when I sleep for a little bit (and there isn't much wind) and the boats come close. But it is hard with the coastal sailing, and being alone. Its easier if you are farther away from land and therefore the other boats. So I'll probably not do many more of these close to the land passages anymore.
Anyways, I'll be in Puerto Vallarta for a while, I think, since the waves are great and I need to surf as much as I can.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Another year on water

Happy New Year! I got back to Mexico safely and soundly, but I think I managed to pick up some sort of bug on the plane so I am taking it easy right now. I went out to see the Whale Sharks again yesterday, but didn't get any pictures. The weather in La Paz is the best I've seen it, with warm days and a light wind. Usually it is too much wind or nothing.
Before I left to go to California, I managed to lose my sailors hat. It was one of those stupid things that I really like, despite that it's dirty and kind of broken. I still love it. The departure was a mystery, since I couldn't figure out how it managed to escape, but I searched everywhere.
Well, not exactly everywhere. I just found it! And amazingly, I feel much better, like my sickness is lifted. So I just climbed the mast (twice, since I forgot something the first time) and did some wiring work I was putting off for a long time, and I'm also working on a backup for some of the shrouds (that hold up the mast).
Altair is feeling her age, and I noticed something that needs some love in the not so distant future, while up on the top. I think it will last for a while, but I need to keep my eye on it.
In a few days I will sail on over to the mainland and then surf some more and the work on going to Hawaii. I don't exactly have a plan yet, but I'll work on it, now that I've got my thinking cap back.
This is always a hard time of year for me, with the sun being so far away, and I'm starting to get lonely again, but I think the trip across will do me good, and maybe I can spear a big wahoo or something at Isabella.