Live to Surf – Surf’s up! Those words are not only spoken in Beach Cruiser terms but the natural order as well. The surf’s up because winter just kicked in and there’s been no Winter on-shore for a good 2 months. Winter’s a great time of year to dive & surf. There are a good half-a-dozen places to ride the waves throughout the year. I recently went to once, but no longer have waves to work the point. No worries! I continue to dive the point. If only the water were warmer. This past winter, the water temperatures were in the low to mid 40’s with fairly strong offshore winds, so it felt like a warm summer. In reality, the water warmed faster than the air temperatures. Anytime the water gets below 72 degrees, I’m heading to the beach.
Live to Surf – This past winter was miserable by tropical standards. The water was cold, the winds were brisk, and things weren’t exactly looking up. But on the upside, Spring was just around the corner. Come Spring, the windier the better! With inhabitant temperature, it felt like a warm-weather window of opportunity was closing.
There were a few nice days to dive and surf in the few days before the door was forever slammed shut on the Beach Czar. I headed west early on Sunday, where I planned to spend the bulk of my time in Puerto Vallarta. I scored a two-for-one deal from Club Med and headed straight down to Los Cabos after work. The drive there was uneventful and the one good thing about the entire vacation besides sightseeing on the boat was that it wasn’t the typical reservation-only affair. I had the option to book a whole week at a time and I took it. The dinner was quite reasonable, considering the amenities. There was a pool table, a big-screen LCD television to watch sports, a pool to swim in, a boat bar, and a kitchen/ soups/sandbars for dining.
Live to Surf – The liveaboards offered incredible value compared to day trips. The boats range from seven to 40 feet and can boast of everything from doubles to a singles bar/nightclub. There are no strict weight restrictions (for obvious reasons) and some spots have the option to ensure a relaxing ocean cruise with a full-frontal deck – just the ticket for the salty dogs. The boats cruise out from Puerto Vallarta all over the Baja Peninsula, offering fantastic views of the Pacific Ocean, the extraordinary attributes that make this trip priceless. The distances involved cover over a mile to Cabo San Lucas, up to a seven-mile drive between brother Juan and Los Cabos, and back to Los Cabos itself. The boats cruise at a steady speed of 14 to 18 knots, and we’d best be ready to make sure our luggage doesn’t get lost at sea! Or we can always just rent a dive center in the area.
After an exhausting 18 hour drives through the mountainous terrain, the pilot dropped us off in 377 feet of water – the deepest point in the Baja Peninsula. We planned on making seven dives in all, but we only needed to make five first. Once we tasted the waves for the first time we felt right comfortable and released the adrenalin. The 5th dive was a day dive to a depth of 49- providence – and a very special one at that. This dive marks the beginning of a journey that will take us to many great Baja Surfing/surfing spots in the future. The morning brought strong north-westerly winds, which are a daunting challenge to face in the surf. But no heartache here, just a few rolling shoulders and scales of Global Windows. The five of us made an excellent crew and rolled along enjoying the tightly packed groups of “Tuna” and “Talas” on the surface.
Live to Surf – I had missed well over a dozen days of diving Mother Nature’s iron-woman’s day, but I did manage to shoot a photo of a “Tuna” that I was lucky enough to see at O’Neill’s. He was about ten feet long and was flapping his wings in his “skull cave.” And remember, at the time I was busily Pearling with friends. It is bookmarked “reel- Race” – keep an eye out for him this winter.
A day and a half later we took the boat into Puerto Vallarta, a sparkling clean beach resort but a serious threat to the local economy. We caught two buses back to Los Cabos for some food and fun before we headed back to the marina. Times were good for Los Cabos, and life was really enjoyable. But after our food and fun on the beach, we decided to move inland, to a part of the Baja that’s called “The Sierras.”