29 January 2007

My 5 Minutes of Fame

No surfing over the weekend because it rained both days, and I'm not looking to get sick from dirty water. Unfortunately I won't be able to surf during the week either as the tides are all wrong (high high before work, low low after work). Sigh...
But I just came across a link on the Pura Vida Adventures surf camp website to a New York Times article that has three pictures of lil' old me (unnamed, hence I figure I only used up maybe 5 minutes of the 15 I have coming).

I had a great time at Pura Vida surf camp, in Mal Pais ("bad country"), Costa Rica, in early July 2005. I'd definitely recommend it. There just happened to be a NYT photographer there when I was, taking pix for an article on vacations combining yoga with surfing and other activities.

27 January 2007

Pavones, Costa Rica, 23 Jan 2007

Another beautiful dawn in paradise, riding a more manageable 9'2".

Had a private lesson this time because the only other woman at the surf camp decided to sleep in instead of surf. Not that she would've surfed with me anyway; perhaps she hates vegans, or she's one of the few remaining Bush supporters and took immediate offense to the American Traveler International Apology T-shirt I wore on the flight from San Francisco. Also had a late morning sesh on an 8'6" (no pix), but the tide was getting low with a long wait between sets.
~ ~ ~
Best line overheard at Venus Surf Adventures
Surf camp owner, to a beginner who dropped in on my wave:
"I would never do that, because I'm a nice person."

Pavones, Costa Rica, 22 Jan 2007

Dawn patrol on a 10'2" log. Catches nearly every wave but hard to turn.

This boat is Swell, which is being sailed around the world, sometimes alone, by surfer Liz Clark.

Welcome to Surf Camp

"Welcome to Pavones, Costa Rica, the 2nd longest left point break in the world, and to Venus Surf Adventures, aka Venus Surf Camp for women, although you may come to think Venus Boot Camp more apt. Please be at the beach house by 6:25 am tomorrow, because we will leave for the beach precisely at 6:30 for your surf lesson. If you haven't yet reset your watch from Pacific time, that's 4:30 in the morning. It's an 8 minute walk from your hotel, so plan your departure accordingly, and add extra time if you need to apply sunscreen, etc, once you arrive.

"We'll be exiting the water by about 8:10 because breakfast starts at 8:30. Yes, our website does promise a 2-hour surf lesson per day, but you don't want to be late for breakfast, do you?

"Now that we've finished breakfast, please hurry back to your hotel to shower and change. We will leave for our 2.5-hour long jungle hike in half an hour.

"Too bad we're running late. Did you really have to make the 5 minute walk to the only landline phone in town to call home? I'm afraid now we'll have to skip swimming in the waterfall pool. Well, maybe we can squeeze in a quick dip, just in and out, then we have to get walking again, because we must be back for lunch at 1 pm. Too bad we only saw some cows, no monkeys or sloths or other forest mammals. No, I don't think it's because sensible creatures are sleeping during the hottest part of the day instead of traipsing about under the blazing sun.

"I hope you enjoyed lunch. You now have half an hour to relax before we collect you to walk to yoga class. After yoga, you will have a whole hour to yourself! Then it's on to dinner at 5 pm. Don't dawdle or we'll miss the sunset.

"What a nice dinner. Here we are back at your hotel, and it's only 7:30 pm. No TV, telephone, or other people around to bother you, and no noisy bars or restaurants or anything else nearby to disturb the solitude. Really, you should have thought to bring a group of friends with you, as we can't guarantee there will be anyone else attending our surf camp during the week you chose. Please do enjoy sitting in you barren room alone, reading a book until you fall asleep. You'll want to get to bed early anyway, since you need to be at the beach house by 6:25 sharp tomorrow morning. Don't be late!"

26 January 2007

Things I Learned at Surf Camp

  1. Forget turtle-rolling. The best way to get through whitewater on a longboard is to paddle hard almost into it, then push up onto your hands and knees so the water passes freely between you and the board.
  2. Turn down the face of the wave as soon as you pop up, but don't ride all the way to the bottom because you'll slow down too much. Instead, make small turns up and down the face to stay near the middle of it.
  3. Turn your head and point your arms in the direction you want to go, because that will turn the rest of your body and help to shift your weight to make the turn.
  4. To end a ride, turn all the way up the face so you go over the top and out the backside, or, if it's too late because the wave's already closed out, dive off the board over the whitewater to the back. Looks better than just falling off...