15/09/2013
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Derek and Clark patching the sign
Somehow I always knew I would end up back here during this time off but I had hoped it would be under different circumstances. I would have liked to be working here to pay for my stay though when I contacted Kevin from Solosports and he told me all positions were full but he could give me a great deal on a month’s stay, I couldn’t resist. So after a month in America I met up with Clark and Derek in San Diego for the long drive down to Punta San Carlos where I have already been for what seems like an incredibly short week.

By the time I got to our meeting point at Brownfield airport I had already been travelling for 4hrs by bus and train from LA so for the best part of the journey down here I was asleep on the back seat of the van. By the time I had cleared the sleep from my eyes and got my bearings I realised we were already a good few hours into our trip and would soon be hitting the dirt road that would lead us to the Solosports camp, it was around this point that I found I still had a present in my pocket from my stay in LA. For a country that started the “war on drugs” it is refreshing to see how many states are legalising “medical” marijuana or as I like to say; admitting defeat and conceding that the whole idea of making a naturally occurring plant illegal is a daft one anyway; California is one of those states and my present took the form of a watermelon flavoured lozenge. About an hour later we were standing in the evening light touching up the Punta San Carlos sign and cracking open our first beers readying ourselves for a bumpy ride.

The next couple hours were as surreal as they come. The road had all but been washed away and torn up by the rains a few days earlier, though having driven it countless times before Clark was enjoying bouncing us from rut to rut with his eclectic selection of tunes filing the van. I sat in the back at just the right level of stoned, staring out the front wind-shield watching as dusk turned to dark and thinking to myself as classical music filled my ears, “this is what makes life such a fun ride.” It felt as if I was in some surfer movie.

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My home for the month

I crawled out of my tent the following morning to join the rest of the guests already there for breakfast. I recognised some faces from my previous stay while others required introduction; regardless everyone came here for the same reason, some of the best down the line surf in the world. The discussion that morning was on how there had been a severe lack of said surf, though as the day wore on a few little bumps appeared and it turned out to be perfect conditions for my first day back on the water. I survived the session to enjoy the soothing properties of a Baja Fog (Beer, Tequila and lime) with only a cut foot and a bruised cheek bone after missing a top turn and connecting with the boom.

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Enjoying a fog after a good session

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Joey making the ankle slappers look fun.

The rest of the week has seen conditions get better and better and with them my confidence on the water. Yesterday being the best yet with some logo high sets coming in and despite a good rinsing out back at the bombora, I feel my sailing has improved significantly in the first week and plan on attempting the chilli bowl this afternoon.

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Derek making the most of the small swell

Windsurfing is not the only thing on offer here, with the wind only kicking in around lunch time the mornings are being filled up with surfing, stand up paddle boarding and mountain biking. My focus will be on the surfing as I have always regretted not learning to surf properly when growing up near one of the best breaks in South Africa. Ye sure I can catch a wave on a long-board, but having Sunny Garcia stay a couple of nights during the week and seeing Derek surfing the point makes me want to use the opportunity I have now to get comfortable on a short board. The time off the water has also allowed me to write a few more blog updates and go through some of my photos from the past few months, though at some point I am going to have to use it to figure out what my next move will be as right now I have no idea where I shall be once my month here comes to an end.