Surfers and Weather

If you’ve read any of my blogs you can’t miss the many references to weather and it’s effects on waves, wind, and well….the weather. Surfers are the consummate arm-chair meteorologists. We speak in terms of  low pressure systems, buoy readings, wave periods, latitude and longitude, wind direction. It’s all part of it. Surfing can expose you to many cool things: travel, culture, photography, yoga, fitness, meteorology!
Herbie Fletcher once said, “surfing’s a trip, better pack your bags.”
So back to meteorology. The offshore winds have been honking down here for almost two weeks running. This phenomena is explained by the non-stop cold fronts plunging south from the northern hemisphere, resulting in a ‘Polar Vortex’ that  pushes the subtropical jetstream deep into the Caribbean, creating pressure inversions, and hence these winds.

You may have seen the news about giant swells hitting Hawaii, and now California. These big storm swell events up north can and do send swell our way. Generally they are not as big and strong as the Southern Hemi swells, but due to swell direction the north swell energy can get into little nooks and crannies and light them up. I surf a spot I call “Riddles” because the waves peak up all over the place and can confuse you, especially the newbies. A little north in the swell pulls the take off spot further up the point and the waves can be perfect little  southbound runners. It did this yesterday. Looking for mire today!

Smooth Mile on a southbound runner

My sweetheart Emily connects one down the beach.

More Swell Getting In Today!

MEANWHILE AT MAVERICKS (just south of San  Francisco):

I talk weekly with my dear Dad who has been on the planet for 93 years and lives in Florida. He’s had a storied career in the Air Force and  was the meteorologist navigator aboard B-24 bombers in World War 2, and relied on a sextant and a slide rule to get his crew there and back time and again.  After the war the Air Force sent him to M.I.T. where he earned his masters degree in meteorology and worked in many  capacities , including  being one of the original Hurricane Hunters flying modified B-29s out of Bermuda.
So you see I had a head start with this meteorology habit. And  man does he love the beach, ocean, bodysurfing, sandy shoes. The man is pure Salt and Light!
My Dad Colonel Bill Lewis (Ret.) – still bodysurfing at 93

Olas Verde Update

Our new sustainable “surf resort” project is set to break ground very soon. There have been ground clearing crews hard at work all week, and our excitement builds as we anticipate the creation of this state of the art project. The design and construction team of Loria/Guanacaste Builders is one of oldest and best in all of Guanacaste – you’ll  see! The buildings have been designed and placed to minimize tree removal as much as possible–we are removing small Jobo trees, palms and some shrubbery, but the large Guanacastes and Pachotes have been saved to retain their beauty and shade qualities for generations to come!
We plan to take daily photos of the  project following the progress, lets call it “Countdown to Olas Verdes”.

Old World Tree Cutting Techniques!

Nosara Fiestas

It’s that time of year again! Nosara’s legendary Fiesta takes place from Tues-Mon this week with rodeo events, horse shows, mystery food stands, lots of alcohol, and live music and dancing into the wee hours (3am nightly). Every town in Costa Rica has a fiesta, which is essentially a celebration of cowboy culture. A favorite attraction is always watching blind drunk campesinos jump into the bull ring in a mini ‘running of the bulls’ show of foolish bravado. It’s wild, raucous and rootsy fun, worth a check.
The Tope is my favorite part of Fiesta week. Best described as a ‘horse pageant’, the Tope brings  together dedicated horse lovers of all descriptions for a kind of macho “show and tell’ of their horses’ skill and derring- do. Its full of passion, fueled by ego and alcohol, and not to miss!
Without a doubt, Guanacaste’s greatest (animal) hero is a bull named Malacrianza.
Translated to ‘Bad Manners’ or ‘Bad Ass’, Mal has enjoyed a long, storied rodeo career throughout Costa Rica. Riders greatly feared this cantankerous creature who dominated the rodeo scene for over two decades. He is known to have killed several vaqueros over the years, giving him the moniker “El Toro Asesino” (The bull Assassin). I’m glad (relieved) to report that Malacrianza is now ‘out to pasture’ and enjoying his retirement and legend status in a finca (ranch) very close to Nosara. We see him all the time, pretty cool link to the soul and history of this place.
If you want a great laugh you have got to watch this:
Excellent article on The Legend of Malacrianza:

Thanks for Coming

Every week we have the marvelous pleasure of welcoming new and returning “students” to our little world down here. These lovely folks, men and women, kids and families of all ages make up the soulful atmosphere that is Safari. Thanks for coming guys and see you next year!
Laura and Emma Guitar (cool name or what!) – Multi-year Safari Alumni from Florida
Erin and Valerie escaping a COLD Canadian winter

Scott and Kate from Toronto
Brian and Jamie,  educators from Chicago (on both ends)
Jessie Witherspoon from Boston (middle) – another cool name!
Pio, Chad and Sarah (from Atlanta) – the grandparents are watching their two boys!
Alumni Ben and Ellie from Toronto
The word for ‘smile’ here is sonrisa… There’s a beautiful metaphor there.
Until next week, Salud!