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Rincón, PR - Feb 17-25, 2005
"Paul and Rod Eat Lot's of Comida Borinqueña, Surf a Few Waves"
(No wave pics on this trip - not enough good swell)
Summary Report

Everyday was sunny except for the next to last during this 12-day trip and the water stayed around 80F, two to three degrees above normal. Suffered about 4 flat days, the first two and another two around Christmas (Xmas is becoming a flat day trend!). Our first swell brought in two days of classic 6-8' at the Maria's area breaks. The second northwest swell was messy and disorganized in the Rincón area on day one with only a few spots like baby Tres somewhat organized, but some spots in the NW, like Slaughter House Point were smokin' at 6-8'.  After a few hours there, my son and I played around in smaller Gas Chambers, on the inside 2-4' zone, for some classic suckout dry cylinders that quickly proceeded to suck you up, suck you over and plonk you (remind me to wear a mouthpiece next time!). The second day of the swell was our getaway day so we arose way before sunrise and headed up to the day before haunts, but the main break had subsided to 3-4', so we headed back south. Some of my favorite spots in-between just weren't working cleanly. Ended back at Maria's where it was pumping a clean 8-10' with 12' bombillas straight out. A number of people were also riding a nice 8-12' at TPs.

My only regrets on this year's trip: no pasteles, lechón or amarillos. :(   The tropical storms really ripped into the island's plantain trees with lot's of imports from Venezuela and the DR. Beth had a couple of pasteles I brought down from Cafeteria Borinquen, in Aguadilla (I had opted for the huge rotisserie borinquen style chicken, arroz y habichuelas). Nonetheless, did manage some good pernil, cubanos and media noches, along with the other great comidas criollas, especially the empanadillas on the curves after descending the hill on the road to Jobos from Ramey Base.

A full moon on Dec 26th found many bolas of Dominicanos flowing to points north (Camuy) through Cabo Rojo, Mona and Desecheo. Increasingly, Cubanos are heading to Mona for make dry ground claims for legal residency.

Looking forward to the return trip in late Feb.


When:
Wed/Thu, February 16/17, 2005 - Travel Day

Vamos!  Wednesday Night Getaway: Drive to Philly. Got lost one mile from the hotel. Nothing special. Pop a beer and leave out some crackers and sugar should keep the bugs away (we're almost in NJ!).

Fly Day to PR. 7am flight. Full-on security search of Rod's body via wand and pat-dwon and full clearance of my knapsack -- the TSA had no idea what they were getting into! Ate up 15 minutes. Flight runs smoothly, San Juan is warm (yes!). Upgrade puts us in a Buick LaSabre - hope it handles Ramey Base beaches. Might need a minivan or 4WD type vehicle next time - the road at Wilderness is yet worse. Lunch stop at El Buen Cafe - Cubano for Paul and Media Noche for Rod. Check-in at Villa Cofresi. Sandra gives me a big hug and says to look at the beach - a nor'easter type storm washed away the sand the previous week. Windy and small surf but Paul is itching so we end up at Domes for waist high slop. I put in as well to clean off the travel dust. Grab empanadillas plus a papa relleno for Paul at The Brothers for dinner.
<cofresi pics goes here>


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Friday/Saturday, February 18-19, 2005
Wilderness area
Sunny, windy and early surface chop, trunks, lycra shirt and SPF45.
4-7' w/no current
Hadn't thought about them
Tens of cars are stack three rows deep

Nada Mucho.  Windy. The water also seems cool. The watch thermometer says 76F... that is chilly for these parts especially when combined with the wind. Surf is small in the Rincon area so we hike up to Wilderness after checking some other spots - wind is a factor everywhere. Paul is the first to makes the plunge. After coaxing myself and drinking soem more coffee I pop in my contacts and paddle out. Surf is in the 4-7' range, mostly all rights, sectiony and on the sloppier side. I look for the lefts but they just are not happening. We surf mostly in the cove area. Lunch at Cafeteria Borinquen: pollo rotisserie, arroz amarillo y habichuelas.

Back at the Villa. The owner of Surf Zone in Rincon is leaving after lunch as we pull in. Greetings are exchanged. I mention something about coming down to Rincon on the wrong week but he says it has been windy all month, "muy malo, mucho viento." Hanging out late in the afternoon on our mini-veranda and a familar face appears exiting Cofresi. It is Leon Richter, local Surfrider Foundation organizer. He introduces me to Miguel, the lawyer on the Sandy Beach project, and invites me to the "Sandy Beach Doners' meeting" that eveing. Paul and I attend, drink some wine and hear Miguel and Leon explain the terms of the legal agreements. SF did a good job. Grab sandwiches at The Brothers.
<add links>

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Sunday, February 20, 2005
Rincón area
Sunny and light offshores, clear blue water (trunks & short sleeve lycra)
6-8' with fun clean-up sets, no current
Tides?
Alex and myself plus about 100 others



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Monday, February 21, 2005 - Dia de Los Presidentes
.
Sunny and mostly glassy conditions (trunks & short sleeve lycra)
.
.
Myself
.




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Tuesday, February 22, 2005
Rincón to Camuy
Sunny and with light-to-medium on/side breeze
Small and semi-junky everywhere

Nobody





 


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Wednesday, February 23, 2005
No Where Really
Near Perfect
MIA

Shopping, Movies, Dinner.  That about sums it up... can't remember much else.

Foon, one of my fellow co-founders of our local surf club in Maryland (Annapolis Surf Club), and an accomplice on the usenet's alt.surfing, posted to our club's listserv:



When:
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Thursday, February 24, 2005
Wilderness and Cassie's Place
Sunny in the 80s, trade winds late in morning
3-7' with frequent sets in the head to o/h range
Hmm... not a factor
Brian, Cassie, Alex, myself and a good crowd 

Santa Surf Patrol.  We cruised Wilderness trip day. Three great waves, and three boo-boos. Lost car key in surf, dinged board tail on inside reef, and Alex's flipper strap broke on the paddle out. I was smiling from the 3-7' lefts and rights, Alex was frowning from a 2-stroke paddle out session BLINK. Luckily, we were riding with a friend so the key loss was manageable... replacement should be in tonight or tomorrow morning. Alex now a proud owner of Tech2's. My board will receive a sticker patch job... 8 months
for the first ding... a record!?

Similar surf forecast for tomorrow and then some real swell fills in Wed p.m. and Thur a.m., our getaway day.

P.S. Foon... were ya reading? Oh yeah, water still 80F, air hits low to mid 80s. Back to my siesta and palos of Barrilito.


When:
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Friday, February 25, 2005
Wilderness and Cassie's Place
Sunny in the 80s, trade winds late in morning
3-7' with frequent sets in the head to o/h range
Hmm... not a factor
Brian, Cassie, Alex, myself and a maxed-out parking lot 

Caught some fun 4-7' in the Wilderness area this morning. Could not believe the 20+ cars in the parking area when we arrived at
7:20am - Alex counted about 45 people in the water at one point, spread between the eastern peaks and the cove. My buddy and his daughter and I lined up in what we'll call Cassie's Place and picked off several very long rights but only one left today. The waves started out kinda crappy and rolling over and sectioning but after about an our started to produce some really long rides with a sweet inside section producing the occ cover-up teaser.

Maria's was showing 3-5' by mid-afternoon so expect the 6-8'+ swell to be for real tomorrow. Of course, the coconut wire is running wild again with predictions of 2x o/h. (if so baby Tres might be in play).

Swifty, from my local surf club in Maryland (Annapolis Surf Club), is down in PR for some work duty during roughly the same period as we are and checks in with an update on our club listserv:

Trip home was eventful... at least the plane was flying between SJU and MAZ (unlike for Alex and our friends).


 
Picture or Rincón surf on 12/23,
courtesy of The Crossing.
Wrap Up:  Surf was not as consistent as the past couple of years but it can't always be nirvana! On the very last morning I finally paddle out at Maria's Beach for a total of 8 different breaks on this trip -- not bad!  Two of the spots were the best I've caught in quite awhile so that was a real treat. Wilderness proper was not at it's best but some nearby reefs were breaking very nicely. Most notable were the yet increasing crowds -- chalk this one up to GWOT.  The comida was as good as ever!

A very special treat on this trip was reunited with many classmates from yesteryear. I plan to post some pics in the next few days.  God Bless Mike Lopez-Fresquet... wish he were here to share a few with me... I thought of him often between the waves, visit to the old plaza in San German and our school reunion.

Photo dump.



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Last updated on 05/21/05