Down and Out in PR -- 12/7,8/96

12/7/96. Dawned it to the spot near Pinones. It was very choppy with strong trades blowing, but we made the most of it. We were the only ones at one peak before deciding to check out another, with some locals.

However, the most notable event of the session came when we paddled in after four hours. Our car got broken into!

I lost over $400 in gear, including my little travel camera. It happens in Hawaii, it happens around the world, it happened here. Sick, sick sick! Sadly, no matter what happens for the rest of the trip, this will probably be the thing that will be most remembered.

12/8/96. Woke up late this morning—needed the recup period. Went out to a new spot called Toconos. Already had a decent crowd at this left.

The takeoff area is remotely like Half Point (Sandys), with a suckout over a shallow reef that’s exposed on the inside. The rest of the ride is like Full Point (Sandys)—disjointed and without direction to the beach.

The locals were sitting more on the shoulder, and I decided to paddle deep and try and make the section. Got some really nice waves despite windy conditions.

Also had to contend with a local surfer who kept dropping in on me throughout the session. He seemed to be the local bull, so he had to assert his dominance over the foreigners and keep his rep up.

It’s one of those politics things that you have to deal with in a new lineup. Accept it, and your session will be better. Eventually (after about two hours), he eased off and didn’t drop in as much.

Jerry struck up conversations with a few local kids. Tomas and Angel were friendly and helpful to us. It’s always interesting to talk a bit with the locals to get an insight into their life.

Caught some decent waves, with a few coverups. My most memorable one, however, was a spectacular wipeout. Saw a great peak coming in, and was in perfect position for takeoff. Paddling into it, the wave suddenly jacked up out of nowhere, with me at the precipice. I had an instant to decide what to do, keeping in mind the exposed shelf of reef yards in front of me. I bailed my board and launched my body forward. Did a half flip and landed on my back as the wave pitched over. Did the full rinse cycle, but fortunately didn’t touch the reef.

Came back to the car—it wasn’t broken into this time. However, there was a ticket tucked under the wiper blades. "Estacionado obstruyando el transito—parking partly on the road ($15.00). As we were driving home, we noticed that over half the cars parked on the road in the area were parked on the road. If you been to Puerto Rico, you know how people park in town.

Later, we tried to check out Old San Juan, but got caught in parade traffic. Ended up spending over an hour without even stopping there. Then we went to find a nearby laundromat—closed on Sundays.

Hey, we got a decent surf. The other things are pretty trivial in the grand scheme of things.

Salud de Paradicio,