Puerto Big Wave Challenge Weekend

First stop on the 2016 ASP Big Wave World Tour: Puerto Escondido!

Friday, June 24, 2016

The much anticipated weekend of fireworks came in fast with people filling the streets all week long ready for some crazy surfers surfing some crazy waves. The night before the contest started, we were blasted by a huge storm walking down to see the sunset and ran quickly for cover downtown at a Restaurant we have't been to yet called "Sativa". There we witnessed the biggest storm of the year so far, lightning pounding all around us, thunder shaking tables and everyone's drink, and rain flooding through the streets like rivers. It was an amazing site and we were super happy to be under shelter. We sat down for tacos right next to a couple surfers and I quickly noticed I was sitting right next to Strider Wasilewski, a retired professional surfer and commentator for the big wave world tour event. Cboo and I quickly started conversations about the structure of the surf event happening in the morning, the surf in Puerto back in the 80's and 90's, and a grip of other interesting things about these surfers who have traveled around the world since they were grommets (young surfers). We shared some laughs, fish tacos, and tequila toasts for the upcoming swell in the morning.
The next day you could here the surf throughout the whole town it was so big. We scattered quickly down the beach to see a huge scene of people, cars, electronic equipment, policia, and 6 surfers out in the lineup. The waves were better down on the south end of the beach so we just parked it and watched the action. It was difficult to know the scores, which surfer was in what color jersey, and where the best waves were. It made it all the more fun because you had no idea what to expect on every wave. There was little consistency on both days of the contest with the shape of the waves. Some sets were completely closed out, while others sets broke down the beach, and then their would be cleanup sets where all the surfers would barely make it through or over the 30 foot walls of water coming towards them. Their was an amazing amount of water safety and help throughout the ocean, I counted at-least 10 jet ski's in the water patrolling every inch of a crash or a surfer needing a tow back out to the lineup. Many times it was impossible to paddle out without the jet ski assist. The surfers caught plenty of waves because the heats lasted i believe, 75 minutes long, which meant you can easily find a huge wave before the horn blows.
The first day was 24 big wave surfers in 4 heats, the next day had 3 heats with 12 surfers left; 2 semi-final heats and one final heat at the end. The second day we watched a spectacular final with by far the best surfers of the whole event. Every surfer was taking off on huge 30 foot walls of water to find the best score, there was little doubt of fear in the lineup because every surfers was fully committed to not only win the event and a $30,000 but to be on the top of the rankings for the start of the year.
At the end we saw the title go to Grant "Twiggy" Baker, a South African 2x Maverick's champ take home first place. He came on to the contest as an injury wild card replacement and decided to steal the whole show with a ten point ride in the Final (pictures below!) Congrats to Twiggy and to all these guys for putting on an amazing show and risking their lives in some of the biggest surf I've ever witnessed. No one was hurt or injured and In my eyes I feel like they all won something here in Puerto Escondido!

In cased you missed anything feel free to watch the event here:


Life at Casa Mocha

Our new home in Puerto.

Friday, April 15, 2016

We were so excited to start our long awaited lease at the new pad called "Casa Mocha", and paid for the first three months in advance. We got an amazing deal from the owner/landlord Luis, that we couldn't pass up. For only $450 a month we could stay in his amazing houses, get a deluxe breakfast every day, and have our clothes/room cleaned; it was too good to be true. The only way that this was possible, was because a woman had paid for three months in advance at $900, and decided to bail. Luis felt guilty for taking full price on the room, so we totally lucked out! We were warned however, that our room "Estrella", would not be available for a couple of weeks. So we'd have to settle for some of his others until it was ready. We didn't care; his places were ridiculous, and were all nice in their own way.

The first spot we moved into was called "Casa Azul", which was a humongous house right on the beach. We were shown to our room by a guy named David, who was pretty much Luis's right hand guy. The room was set up with flowers everywhere, and was absolutely immaculate. We were dumbfounded by what we had been given. There was also a fun common area with a pool, a large open kitchen, and hammocks up on top of a deck overlooking the ocean. When David left, I grabbed Nick in excitement, and threw him on the bed as we both screamed and laughed. We were like two giddy school kids that had access to their parent's summer home.

Since Casa Azul, we've been moved around to other rooms like "Estrella", "Tortuga", and "Bugambilia; always being shifted into an available spot that wasn't filled by Airbnb. It's not too bad; you just have to be open to the new space, and hope it's big enough for the two of you.

Just an side note on the space issue: I'll tell you something about what I've learned here; if you're not comfortable with your husband or wife seeing/hearing all of your personal moments, this place gets you used to it. In my early days of dating, I would never let any guy even enter the bathroom if I was doing my makeup. Now I have to shit, shower, shave, and god knows what else, with him right there every day! The bathrooms/rooms are open concepts, so you have any privacy. Plus with a guy like Nick, who wants that kind of intimacy, it's been pretty impossible to escape; he gets excited when I let my guard down. I don't know if funny things like that have helped or hurt us, but we definitely feel a lot closer to each-other. You'd think that being in such a close proximity to someone would get annoying, but I can't say we've ever felt that; well at least I haven't.

For the most part, our days at home are mellow, and include us working online, laying around in the AC filled room, working out, or playing games. Our rooms are like a sanctuary from the outside world, because they shield us from the heat, mosquitoes, and sweating our asses off. We do have to get motivated to leave sometimes, as it's hard to want to do anything when it's so hot. But it's nice to look out the windows, and see the lush green trees; it at least makes you feel like your apart of the outside world.

Our biggest perk, which is our daily breakfasts, have continued to be totally filling and unique. Every day we are served with coffee, fresh juice, fruit, yogurt, and some kind of crazy Mexican specialty. It's so much stuff, your pretty much fat for the entire day. I have to watch myself, because I don't want to pack in on while I'm here! Occasionally, Luis will bring out some crazy concoction with Mezcal, that I'll reluctantly cave in for.

There have been numerous people working in the kitchen, and doing the maid service while we've been here; all of them have been super nice. Most everyone does not know a word of English, so we've been trying hard to learn as much Spanish as we can to get by. Often times at breakfast, Nick will quiz the girls on their English, and tries to teach them new words or phrases for the day. They mainly just look at him and laugh.

Everyone here feels like a family now, and they all treat us as one of their own. We couldn't have imagined living at a better spot, and it will be hard to eventually leave when our time runs out. I guess when that day comes, we'll have to evaluate our next step.