Bar Trick Inside Dispatches from the Sea : Part ll
(Exclusive piece fromÂ solo global Sailor Max Mogren)Â
Party of the Month Letters to The Pothole
Contents Letter from the Editors Open letter to Local Fruit Guide Easy Bar Tricks Is it really Greener? How did they get here? Random Stats Volunteering? In Costa Rica... Pothole Wish list Party of the Month The Shade of Shades Letters to THE POTHOLE What to do while you are in Country? Tamarindo Quiz Find Ducky Cooking with Chef Sunson Introduction: “Dispatches from The Sea” Horror-scope Surf picture of the month
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Editors Mike Gerhard Lock Cooper
Graphic Design Veronica Rojas - Pixel
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Contributing Writers Steve Broyles Brijin Hales Max Mogren Kristin Frederick Mike Gerhard Lock Cooper
Photography by Thorton Cohen
Letter from the Editors
Well, if you’re reading this and it’s still March (of 2010), we’re officially a monthly magazine! As I’m writing this, at this point, our biggest worry is that the delivery guys will deliver us the magazine. You see, last month, while waiting for the delivery of the magazines, Lock and I were like kids on Christmas morning, waiting for their parents to get out of bed to open their presents. It was literally painful, sitting at FT’s, wondering where the hell they were. We decided to have a beer (or 8) to kill our anxiety. Unfortunately for the delivery guys, the beer only made us more intolerant of having to wait, so we started calling them every 30 minutes or so, asking where they were and if it was possible to meet them on the way, just so we could have it in our hands faster. Looking back, I can’t blame them for literally waiting to make our drop the last one. Once we got it, however, we were overwhelmed with a sense of accomplishment…finally having our blood, sweat and beers come together in the form of a magazine that we could actually hold in our hands. Then I wondered to myself why I chose such a bad picture of myself to put on the cover. …Then we started to panic when we realized our deadlines for the next month were already coming up, I was going out of town for a week, and on top of that, we had a huge launch party to put together. So, once again, we had to bust our ass to put the magazine together…and once again I’m sure there will be mistakes. Whatever…I don’t criticize your magazine…well, maybe I do. Next month, we promise to get a better head start and not do any partying… other than spring break (which is only 3.5 weeks out of the month)…and the Surfrider Pub-Crawl fundraiser…and whatever else comes up. Please enjoy!!!!!!!!! Mike Gerhard Editor of The Pothole Magazine Owner of FT’s Restaurant Recipient of multiple Little League Trophies PS. Please become a friend of ours on
Lock Cooper Editor of The Pothole Magazine DJ Lock Ice (sometimes pronounced e-say) Failure at Bocce Search for The Pothole Mag…NOW! Thank you kindly.
Open Letter to... “THAT ONE GUY” AT THE BANK… YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE… Seriously, why do you hate me? Every time I go into the bank and get your window, I feel like you sigh as if I just ruined your day. I don’t get it. I saw how the Tica lady before me approached you and I tried to do the exact same with a “buenas dias.” I definitely didn’t get the same response from you. Where did we ever go wrong? Was it because when I was a rookie in Costa Rica, I asked you if you could tell me my bank balance…which I now know is completely against the bank rules. Of course the bank tellers on the right side aren’t permitted to tell bank balances to people. I mean, what was I thinking??? It was a stupid mistake, but it only happened that once. Is it because after Semana Santa, I came in with a bunch of dollars to deposit from my restaurant and you had to painstakingly inspect each and every one, whether it be a $1 or a $100, to be sure none were counterfeit? I’m sure that was horrible for you and you’re the one that had to face all the glaring looks that were pointed at the back of my head as you took about 45 minutes. That would have ruined my day too, but I assure you, I haven’t deposited dollars since. By the way, do you do that with everyone who deposits dollars or just me? Is it because I always ask you to repeat everything you say to me because my spanish is still so poor? I’m really sorry and I assure you I do that with pretty much everyone who speaks spanish to me…not just you. Also, I feel as though I should be completely sure what you’re asking me, being that it’s all my money we’re dealing with…as little as it may be. Is it because you and I have dated the same girl before and you now despise me because of that? No, that can’t be the case. Well, whatever it is, I’m genuinely sorry. I promise that in the future I’ll try to never deposit dollars again, not care how much money I have in the bank, not care what kind of transaction I end up doing and keep taking spanish lessons. Maybe one day we can go out for a beer and be pals. You never know. Sincerely,
Local Fruit Guide Rare but rock-solid proof I’ve found a spirit of the kindred kind: we are sitting in the corner of a party, surrendering to the moment, casting out the rest of the world, and losing ourselves in…each other’s eyes? Umm, maybe when I was 20. These days, a simple three-hour conversation about fruit will more than suffice. Whether the exchange is a semi-friendly debate over which of India’s 1,000+ mango varieties wins top taste billing (give me dashehari over alphonso any day), exactly why Thailand’s fruit tastes 17 times sweeter than the same fruit elsewhere (gorgeously preserved soil mineralization), or why noni is absolutely worth swallowing despite its rotten-egg foulness (don’t get me started), these conversations and the adventures they’ve inspired have made my life—well, far more fruitful. And I’ve infused myself with enough natural fructose over the years to feel justified in twisting the Creole proverb from Tell me who you love and I’ll tell you who you are to Tell me which fruits you love and I’ll tell you who you are. Apples, oranges, and bananas? Gringo—born, bred, and likely unapologetic. Grapefruit only? Calorie-conscious diet type. Berries? One with an affinity for the delicate. Uvas? I bet you used to like Tidal Wave gum. Cocos and mangoes? An islander at heart. Bananas only? Phallic preoccupation. Crack open the Freud; seek help immediately. Of course, this kind of hasty generalization may seem superficial, even fruitless. But for my nearest and dearest, for the chosen few, I’ve crafted intricate psychological profiles stemming solely from individual fruit consumption and preferences. Yes, in uncertain economic times like these, it’s a comfort to know that I have this type of marketable skill on which to fall back.
Not quite so comforting is the existence of a frightening underground subcategory, consisting of those who claim not to like fruit—any fruit, of any kind— at all. This misguided faction has forced me to form an entire credo: Never trust someone who doesn’t like fruit. I ask you to consider the adjectival alone: Sweet. Ripe. Luscious. Mouthwatering. Juicy. Bursting. ¿Hola? What is not to like? How can I help you here? This kind of fruit fear does nothing short of hold the world itself hostage. I see vacationers in the Auto, hesitant even to touch the yellow pitaya, as if the dragonfruit with its scales might actually breathe fire. I say unto you: Unsheathe your sword, and become a fruit warrior! Slay not the dragonfruit but all qualms with regard to it. Truly, we have nothing to fear but fruit fear itself. Whatever your fruit penchants have been in the past and whether you are visiting or residing in Costa Rica, it’s likely time for some diversification, time for a celebration of Central America’s bounty. The hour has come to thrill the palate with a little of what one of the last true bio-diverse paradises has to offer up in the realm of fruitage. The reasons are manifold. Romantic: Fruit is a great partner—always sweet, always there for you. Offers itself readily and openly, needs nothing in return. Undeniably sexy. Super saludable: Skip the radioactive microwaving, heating, blackening, processing, artificial everything. Fastest path from tree to hand to mouth. Respect it. Tree-huggingly surreal: Broccoli has no central nervous system, but you’re still killing a plant when you eat it. Fruit begs to be plucked and enjoyed—you literally support the tree and help it to stand taller by lightening the branches’ burden.
CAIMITO Place: Downtown T-Town, Guanacaste, Costa Rica Caimito dealer: Eduardo Colones: 1/2 of asking (by way of españglish and a smile); if overpriced, not grossly Description: The fruit is known in English as the star apple, and its purple-gray outer side shines like patent leather. Its interior skin is a different purplish hue not quite reminiscent of the mangosteen’s, and the fruit itself is a somewhat bland but pleasant cross between a lychee and the inside of a grape—transparent and gelatinous. Definitely cooling after a long beach day. In season now. Must. Find. Tree. Or Eduardo the caimito nomad. Fruity etiquette extra: I offered one to Edwin, the cop who stopped me on my way out of town; he coached me not to eat the skin but instead to fold and use its glossy exterior as natural napkin for the wiping of my chin. In perhaps my best Spanish language conversation to date, we spoke for 25 minutes about fruit and life before he waved me on to Sleepy Brasilito with a grin.
HOLY CAIMITO, BATMAN!
PIPA Place: Playa Tamarindo Pipa dealer: Denis, El Hombre Pipas, legendary Tamarindo beach staple: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ByCHr1HeF5g Colones: 500; if you buy enough, you get one or two free (should you suggest this) Description: Denis knows how to tout his pipas, and his words are truth. Coconuts are good for the kidneys, good for the skin, good for the blood. Remember Tom Hanks in Castaway? If the need arose, you could live off nothing but coconuts. Coconut water is not only nature’s sports drink but nutritional liquid gold. Although it’s best to transition slowly for reasons gastrointestinal, in the end there is nothing finer on the planet except mother’s milk. Hmm, smurf-blue Gatorade or florescent orange Sunny D.? Purified water brought to you by the health-conscious people at Coca Cola Bottling Company? Neither and nah. Give me the trace elements and perfect sweetness of the agua de pipa.
POWER OF THE PIPA
Place: Downtown T-Town, pickup truck on the side of the road Caimito dealer: Dude with a pickup Colones: Three huge melons for one mil Notes: As Japanese haikuist Hattori Ransetsu noted in the 17th century: Melon—how well it keeps itself. Melons—they’re here. The sandia is sweeter than ever, the cantaloupe cheaper than ever, the honeydew as honeyed as ever, and the Juan Canary as bright and fresh as anyone could hope for. And yes Mister Ransetsu, what a tidy little package rife with cleansing power. Melons’ high water content make them the perfect choice first thing in the morning—they flush toxins, continue the night’s elimination process, and provide quick energy to jumpstart the day.
MANGOFY, MANGOFY, MANGOFY
MANGO Place: Country Day School Guanacaste campus Preferred mango dealer: Trees, if you please Colones: Free from the tree, how it’s supposed to be Notes: It seems that M fruits are in full effect in province G. at this juncture, and alongside the melons the mangoes continue to come, dripping their sap. You can cut one into quarters and devour every ounce of the flesh by sliding the skin across your teeth. The juicier types are sucking mangoes—bite the skin from the top and squeeze runny remains into your mouth for some straight-up pulpy juice. Or get a mango as big as your head, and cut half of it into peeled cubes in a bowl. Take the other half and rock it in your blender with some raw Costa Rican honey and fresh bee pollen. Pour the mango syrup atop the cubed half and bask in the multi-task—smiling and chewing.
Perhaps it’s enough—or more than enough—to convince. But just how to get your proverbial fruit on? Holly Gwee Rice and company host Zephyr Eco Market at the entrance to Witch’s Rock Surf Camp each Saturday from 11:00 to 2:00, featuring not only organic fruits but veggies, free-range eggs, goat cheese and yogurt, freshly ground peanut butter, and preservative-free breads. Another organic market takes place each Friday at Maxwell’s in Potrero from 1:00 to 5:00. The Santa Cruz market happens every Saturday and is worth the occasional jaunt. Although not organic, you can get your produce directly from the farmers themselves, who travel in from several provinces. There are incredible deals to be had at the Santa Cruz market, much more variety, and many more specialty items than can be found in local supermercados. Then, there are people in pickup trucks loaded with melons and more sweet treats. Finally, and not to be forgotten—there are trees. And there are life’s little challenges, even in puravidaland. But these challenges are no match for fruit’s pure panacea. Looking to get out of a speeding ticket? I say attempt a fruit bribe without shame. Need to add some flavor to your weekend? Perhaps a fruit pilgrimage is in order. Life getting hairy? Make it hairier with some rambutan. Do you live on an orchard? For the love of every goddess, befriend me on facebook. And are you feeling that the time is ripe to make each day más dulce? Ah, then without question, fruit is the answer. Brijin Hales
Easy Bar Tricks :
“LA TAPA IMPOSIBLE!” Fold a beer cap in half with your teeth or your incredibly strong hands.
neck of the bottle Place a bottle on its side and hang the off of the side of the bar or table.
Put the folded cap half-way inside the mouth of the bottle.
Bet anyone in the fine establishment that you’re in that they can’t blow that cap inside the bottle. Note: no touching the bottle, cap etc. This is just using your mouth to blow the bottle…
Is it really Greener?
There has been a lot of talk in the media of late regarding a new fuel cell technology that could power businesses and homes through the chemical conversion of various fuels into electricity. The reports are laced with hyperbole and one could find oneself carried away by the enthusiasm surrounding this “new technology”. Recently, several companies have developed technology that should allow an end user to generate their own electricity by pushing combustible fuel through a box and plugging that box into their building. “Wait a minute,” you might be mumbling around your snack, “Isn’t that what a power plant does?” Kudos to you for paying attention. It is exactly what a plant does. You put fuel in, you get electricity out. Which leads us to ask....
IS IT REALLY GREENER? For the impatient among you, I’ll tell you my conclusion: Yes. It is. Okay, now lets Tarantino it and head back to how we ended up in a hotel room with a bloody knife and a wig... oh wait, wrong story. Back to fuel cells. In a nutshell, it isn’t green. It is greener. And like so many things in life, it is the er that makes all the difference. For starters, fuel cells are more efficient. We get more electricity per unit of fuel. They are also cleaner in that they do not produce smoke and soot, but rather some sort of chemical waste that is usually just water or water vapor and CO2. That’s a lot better than what comes out of most combustion-based power plants. But the real benefit to technologies like this, in my mind, is that they are decentralized. Decentralization of the power infrastructure means that instead of stringing kilometers of wires across the countryside, zapping monkeys and birds, messing up my sunset view, and generally creating a spaghetti mess that will fall down at some point during the Papagayos; instead of all of that, we have the potential to increase electrical production right where it will be used. Without producing pollution nor noise nor ugliness. Pollution, noise and ugliness, by the way, aren’t green.
The lack of transmission losses isn’t unique to fuel cells. Solar and wind are also potential methods to produce electricity right at the end user’s location, but unlike solar and wind, fuel cells have a more predictable and constant power output, which makes them much more attractive to businesses and homeowners alike. Even if these new fuel cells did produce power at exactly the same rate as an industrial plant, with the same pollutants, we would still be ahead to have cells instead of power lines. But the truth is that they are cleaner, produce more power, and can be implemented quickly when demand increases- all of which means that any decentralized power solution is a big step in the right direction for Costa Rica to get off of the oil teat and move towards carbon neutrality. Let’s not forget that instead of spending Tuesdays drinking cold coffee and warm beer, with decentralized power we would A) not have to shut off the grid to fix it and B) still have power to make hot coffee or chill beer even if the grid did go down. Who doesn’t like that? -Steve Broyles
In addition to the visual and reliability improvements, we also don’t lose the nearly 10% of electricity that is currently blown off as heat on those wires. Ten percent may not sound like much, but noodle on it for a second.... if I told you that by losing the ugly wires in the street you would also get one free electrical bill each year, that would probably appeal, right? It sure appeals to me.
How did they get here? LATE NIGHT INTERVIEW WITH CHEF STEVE “Sooooo, how long have you been here?” Your response to that question here more often than not seems to put you on an imaginary totem pole amongst other Tamarindo locals. If you believe in that crap, Steve is pretty high up. “I got to town about nine years ago“, he says. So it’s understood that this dude has been here quite a long stint. Nine years in Tama time should be measured in dog years. So much has happened here in the last decade and Steve’s been here all along. Town expanded, more people came, businesses opened all over the place, we got condos.. It’s not as though he has an exalted sense of his importance to the town either, he’s just here, being Steve, chef Steve. This guy is out of his mind (in a good way). Where to start and how to fit a character like this into these two pages was a challenge that I’d been thinking about for quite some time. There is a lot there, so much hair, you just have to meet him yourselves if you already haven’t had the pleasure. He will make you laugh and usually a good hard laugh. Maybe that’s part of why so many people are drawn to him. Who doesn’t need a good laugh these days? We do the interview on a Wednesday night late after Steve gets out of his Kitchen in Kahiki, a very good restaurant in town. That is his real home, his baby, his playground. I have caught him in his ritual. Work, Bar 1. Not hard to pin him down at night, forget it during the day. He’s not at the bar to booze though, he’s just there to unwind and talk to us all. That’s what he does. He’ll cruise in, take off his motorcycle helmet and hop on a stool. In seconds, whoever is next door to him is cracking up. It’s good we have people like that our town. There are a few real comedians in their own ways here and we consider this one of them. There are also many stories he has of so many places and times…you could spend weeks listening to them. He can rattle off dates as if he was a war history professor. Chef Steve has been around and his spin on life is great to hear. He’s also a walking jukebox and has followed the likes of The Dead, Dylan, Zappa, Yes and so many others all over the states. You can imagine what that can do to ones psyche… It’s awesome. He’s got plenty of energy when he’s done with work. He arrives, floats over to the bar, shakes hands and we sit. He’s into the idea of an interview for the mag, so we jump right into it.
After I ask the most common and sometimes even annoying question that you hear all the time, I dig in a little more. Minutes into the chat, I find out something else very unique about this fellow. He’s had a life- long love affair with cars and has worked on them, with them, since he can remember. This second passion happens to also be in his blood dating back to his grandfather who was a mechanic back in Italy. This guy is nothing short of a car fanatic to the point that his same family at one point had to have a little intervention..yup..intervention. “My deal with cars got pretty bad. UPS came so much with new car parts to my house and my poor mom couldn’t carry them into the house anymore. Some were too heavy, I had waaay to many cars in the garage too! HAHAHA!!!” Steve’s got a great cackle and it rips quite a few times while we talk about all the cars and his admitted problem. He lists off ten or so models of cars that he, over the years, had souped up and drove all over the country chasing great bands in between culinary school in New York and home. Some of the cars I don’t recognize the specific model but most sound like fun. His enthusiasm for the cars matches his love for food. “oh man, the P1800 Volvo, the ’53 Volkswagen Beatle, the Jetta Wolfsberg edition, the Combi!!” The list went on and on. Besides food, I think it was clear what else lit him up. I think if he could cook cars somehow he would. Menu idea? Maybe, but after getting to know him more that night I think a sneak peek into Steve’s version of heaven might look something like him driving his BMW Bavaria through the hundreds of sections of Manhattan’s markets at 200 mile per hour grabbing any ingredients he wanted. He grew up there and you can tell as he speaks of it. He’s a city kid gone beach, but never stopped being the chef. “So why Tamarindo then? You could have gone anywhere?” “well, (sigh) I came to Costa Rica because a friend of mine told me in 01’, after 911 that this was the place to be. So many people left the city after that… Here is safe, and it has great access to fresh food and ingredients and plenty of opportunity for aspiring chefs!” He explains that they had put the whole city on Orange Alert after the towers fell, no one wanted to even dare to go out at night, the tourism dropped like a boulder and people lived in fear, real fear. On top of that, New York City was, and is, flooded with Chefs, so to get to open a place or even manage one in that setting seemed pretty unrealistic at that point. He had been spending lots of time all over Jamaica over the years as well, and even had thought of planting some roots there and cooking, but his friend convinced him this was a better deal. As always with many characters that wind up here,
Tamarindo isn’t the first stop. “Jamaica man, it’s too dangerous, Cahuita, awesome, but too rainy. Quepos, too rainy!” Steve wound up in Costa Rica, first working as an armed guard for a construction company in Quepos as a way to get some money in his pocket while he decided where to stay. That quickly wound up not being such a good idea when one nightwhile on guard some heavy sh#t went down. There must have been a reason why this place needed an armed guard and Steve found out pretty fast. The long and the short of it was that they got robbed. He bolted and moved on up the coast until he found Tamarindo. End of story. A lot of us just kind of
stumbled on this place. This isn’t a new story in that sense. Tamarindo has that power to pull you into stay. It has options. “There were plenty of places to go here, to cook, to create, to live here. It was perfect”. “I knew this was the place that I could flourish and do what I came to do.” He had a plan from the start. He was a chef when he came and he is a chef today. What seems like ages ago now, he, with the owners of the property came, up with Khahiki after thinking of countless names, but that was the one that stuck. He hasn’t looked back since. There was, however, I found out, a few stepping stones in between. He was also a chef at the famous Mar y Sol in Flamingo which is a fancy shmancy restaurant as well as Lazy Wave here in town. He even used to whip up food at the old Las Olas in town here too. It seems like everyone worked there at some point (Guchi interview- Feb issue).
“Anything else you want to mention about your journey here? Women? Other gigs?” “No comment, hahah!” “Come on!” I pry. More laughs. I leave it. We move on. “What’s next at the restaurant? “It’s always changing, I like to revamp old staples as well, when you are a chef here the possibilities are abundant and there are so many new things you can do because of the access you have to crazy food” “Do you listen to music while you cook?” “No but I put music into the food” “Heavy”. “What would you like to be doing 10 years from now and where? “Dude,” he smiles. “I’ll be in Tamarindo cooking”
By Lock Cooper
Volunteering? In Costa Rica... Part II Thus far... • Picked up late and missed my volunteer shuttle (public bus) to Samara from San Jose. Forced to walk around all day with program owner (short, fat, Thai lady named Meau) in downtown San Jose and help shop for women’s shoes and pick up dry-cleaning with literally 110 pounds of stuff I packed for the next 6 months (plus tons of stuff I brought to donate). • Told that I couldn’t have a beer with my lunch because the program owner is a recovering alcoholic. • Bought a pollo casado for dinner on the bus, which I put in the overhead storage space, which fell out of the overhead storage space and onto approximately 7 Ticos. • Bummed that I had been volunteering and had accomplished pissing off 7 Ticos and had only helped one Thai lady…shop. • Finally arrived at volunteer headquarters after midnight to find that volunteer headquarters was a tiny house deep in the forest, where I’d be sharing a 10ft x 10ft room with 3 other people. • The room had A/C, but fixed so that it was unable to be used (just there to stare at and wish it would magically turn on), one single oscillating floor fan which was impossible to feel from top bunk. • I had top bunk. • First thing the other volunteers informed me of is that the owner of the program was no longer allowed in Samara because a couple weeks prior, he had beaten his wife, Meau, in front of the entire town after getting wasted. Continuing... So I take the taxi to the volunteer headquarters and throw my 110 pounds worth of stuff onto my tiny bed because my designated 3ft long shelf simply wasn’t cutting it. I wondered where I’d put everything, but decided to worry about it later as the volunteers already in the house looked to be about 3 hours into playing drinking games…and quite frankly, I couldn’t wait to join them. I think drinking games are a great way to get to know what people are like…sometimes even a great way to get to know what people are like naked. The Guaro was flowing and my spirits were finally up, happy once again to have signed up for the program. The main thing on my mind was what the program was like and what kinds of things the other volunteers had been doing to help out. I was surprised, shocked and disappointed to hear that some of the responses were, “not much,” “nothing for the last couple weeks,” and worst of all, “I work for free at a library in the spanish school where Northern Americans and Europeans check out books while studying spanish.” Not exactly the kind of volunteering I had pictured. You see, before I had left for Costa Rica, my motivation to do something that would hopefully help out some people less fortunate in the circumstances they were born into was at a 10…however, after I spent the day forced to shop (can’t emphasize enough how much I hate shopping) with everything I had it dropped down to an 8…when I heard about the wife-beating the program owner gave his wife it fell to a 6…and now that I saw the program was looking to be a bit of a scam it was down to a 4. Still, even with a motivation rating of a 4, I was motivated enough to try to get something going, even if I had to do everything myself. Being a Friday night, I asked what kind of volunteering usually gets done on Saturdays…not surprisingly, they all said “none.” I was able to convince the group that we really should try to do something, even if it was only for part of the day. They, being pretty wasted, agreed. We started discussion options of things we could do and the best idea came from the girl that had the most legitimate job out of everyone. She taught english at an elementary school and she suggested we do something about the landscaping, which she informed us was completely overgrown with weeds and brush from the previous rainy season. We all loved the idea of an entire school getting there on Monday to the surprise of freshly cut grass and newly planted flowers. She also informed us, however, that we better start really early because the school is quite a ways off the coast and in a valley, so it tended to get pretty damn hot on a
daily basis. We had agreed to get there by 8, and landscape until 12pm. It was about 2:00am when we made that agreement. I’m not sure what time we finally got to bed, but it wasn’t early and we weren’t sober. You’d think that in my state of traveling and shopping all day and drinking all night, I would have slept like a baby (a really drunk baby), but that was not the case. I’ve been plagued by always being a favorite meal for mosquitos. If you have me sleep in a hot room in the Costa Rican forrest with holes in the window screens, no A/C, no deet and no fan, I’ll end up with no blood left in the morning. Those damn little flying vampires that do nothing other that spread diseases and pester every land animal on Earth, sucking their blood only to leave behind an itchy remembrance which you’re forced to scratch until you make yourself bleed were buzzing around me all night long. All I could think was that the sweet stench of the Guaro seeping from my pores couldn’t have helped my situation at all. I was awake still to see the sun peeking through the windows and contemplated just not sleeping altogether, but decided to stay in bed and somehow was able to dose off…just long enough for me to be that much more tired when another volunteer shook me and said we had to go because we were already late (surprise, surprise). I got out of bed with my legs feeling like I had just walked through poison ivy, my head feeling like I just went a couple rounds with Tyson and my mouth tasting like a cat peed in it. Not good. I looked down and started counting the mosquito bites all over me, which totaled 27. I took out my Blackberry, which had become attached to me in my previous business life in San Diego and quickly calculated how many mosquito bites I would receive if this pace of 27 a night continued for my entire duration as a volunteer. 3,240. That’s not good. I threw on my landscaping sandals (which also happened to be my teaching sandals, beach sandals, hiking sandals and bug squashing sandals) and least favorite pair of landscaping boardshorts and begun discussing what the plan of attack was for the school. Fortunately, one girl knew of a place we could purchase flowers to plant, but nobody knew where we could rent some tools. One of the guys had the idea of just purchasing a machete since they only cost about $4. I thought it was the most brilliant idea I had ever heard and quickly declared that I would buy the machete and take the responsibility of all machete duties. Like an 8 year old, I pictured myself in Costa Rica with nothing other than a machete, hacking away at overgrowth like some sort of explorer. I liked this picture. We finally arrived at the school at 12pm… the time we previously deemed to be when we would stop because it would be too hot to continue. Indeed, before even starting, it felt like some giant had a huge magnifying glass over our heads, burning us like ants. Undeterred, I threw off my shirt, that was already sweated through anyways and began hacking away at the weeds. Whack! Whack! Whack! I was loving my job. Best thing ever. If you’ve never swung a machete and cut a bunch of stuff down, you’ve got to go try it. Only problem is, the novelty wears off after about 4 minutes and after that you just feel like an extremely hard working gardener…working for free…in the unbearable sun…hungover…with mosquito bites everywhere. I looked over at the rest of my team, who had all chosen to plant flowers…in the shade. “I’m an idiot,” I thought to myself as I looked over at all the guys and girls flirting with each other, planting a few flowers here and there and sipping on sodas. “Why the hell do I have the mentality of an 8 year old?” I worked for a few hours, until I simply couldn’t handle the heat anymore, walked over to the girls and asked them if they were done. They said the were and asked me if I wanted a drink out of the hose. I told them to just spray me in the face instead, which the happily obliged me with. 2 days of “volunteering” down. That following Monday, we got reports from the school that although the kids never noticed all the overgrowth cut down, they loved the flowers…which they immediately picked. FML.
By Mike Gerhard
Pothole Wish list
The Shades of Shades “ITS 106 MILES TO CHICAGO, WE GOT A FULL TANK OF GAS, A HALF PACK OF CIGARETTES, ITS DARK AND WE’RE WEARING SUNGLASSES!!!....................HIT IT!!” -The Blues Brothers
People are funny. They really are. With all of our modern day trends and the “have to haves”, like those typing cell phones, newest Ipods, designer clothes, name brand everything, pugs…. One thing has withstood time for centuries as a fashion icon as well as something we seem to need in our daily lives, or at least we think we do: sunglasses. Yeah, you’ve seen them, you remember having some really “cool” ones, once upon a time, and you probably have some pretty good ones right now. If not, you are a rebel, and you have none and your eyes are too strong for the sun. Movie stars seem to always have a pulse on what’s hip these days in the shades world but have you seen some of the pairs people wear around these days? Wow. You know the ones that make certain women look like they’re auditioning for the next sequel of “The Fly?” Is it because they are also trying to protect their forehead and cheeks from the sun? Should we all be doing that? Whatever the time or place, Sunglasses are here to stay. This is how they got here. Ray ban, one would think to be the race leader with the “Aviator” originally designed for world war II pilots starting in 1936 and released to the public in ’37, but it was actually earlier when Sam Foster, the rad founder of the Foster Grant company sold the first pair of Foster Grant sunglasses on the Boardwalk in Atlantic City, NJ. By 1930, sunglasses were all the rage. BUT! Like so many other things we all think were created in America or somewhere in Europe, the Chinese were the true inventors. Many inventions, of course take several hundred or even thousands of years to develop into their ultimate goal much like the flyswatter… Sunglasses were no different. Early Chinese glasses weren’t used to primarily protect the eyes from solar glare. The first records tell us that in the thirteenth century, Chinese judges wore smoke-colored quartz lenses to conceal their eye expressions in court (pretty tricky). Apparently, a judge’s evaluation of evidence as credible or mendacious was to remain secret until a trial’s conclusion. Shortly after, the Italians also picked up the smoked lense practice for court. Who would have thought that on the closer side of a thousand years later, people would be using them in more or less the same fashion at the poker tables.. We’re also pretty sure, although there is no record of it, that Jesus had a pair of “Wayfarers” and that is precisely why they have made such an unfathomable comeback in the last few years. It wasn’t until the 60’s that shades really hit the spotlight hard with famosos and their trademark pairs like the “teashade” worn by Mick Jagger, Roger Daltrey, John Lennon, Jerry Garcia and Ozzy Osbourne. A new mega industry was born when the stars started showing off their iconic shades. People saw them and boom- everyone wanted to look “cool” irrespective to whether the sunglasses even worked or not.. It was fashion first, UV protection second. So here we are now. It’s 2010, a sci-fi sounding date and all kinds of new, cool lenses and shapes and sizes are floating around on our heads. Sunglasses have now become so defining in so many people’s looks. They have so many uses now and in certain cases have even become somewhat of a status symbol. Lame? Maybe, but the sun isn’t going anywhere (hopefully) and people will never stop wanting to look awesome. Jack Nicholson said “With my sunglasses on, I’m Jack Nicholson. Without them, I’m fat and 60.” It’s true as the blue sky; sunglasses have become a part of who we are now all over the world or at least for a little while until we find something else. Maybe next year Oakley will come out with a set that will analyze faces in order to see who’s lying to you or Ray Ran with a pair of shades with a camera in them that takes pictures with a blink... but we’re most definitely interested in the pair that will let us see through clothing (Pothole Wish list). We’ll keep our eyes open for them, protected or not. By Lock Cooper
Yourecycle.YouusereͲusablegrocerybags. Youonly plantnativespeciesinyouryard.Youcompost.You usesoyͲbasedsurfwax.Youwearclothesmadeoutof hemp,bananaandbamboo.Youusecompact fluorescentlightbulbs.Youdon’twateryourlawn. Youdryyourclothesinthesun.Youworktoreduce yourcarbonimprint.Youeatlessmeat.What’snext?
What to do while you are in Country? FLYING CROCODILE If my dream was to have a business in Costa Rica that consists of giving tours in flying gyrocopters all over the country, having my own hotel with awesome, custom rooms on an amazing beach, and owning a huge rancho house of my own with an elevator built into it (maybe the only rancho with an elevator ever), well, I’d have to tell myself to keep dreaming…However, I’m not German and don’t have 15 years experience flying for Lufthansa. A man named Guido Sheidt is, however, and it’s exactly what he did. The Pothole was contacted and invited to try Flying Crocodile’s tour which is based out of Samara. Of course we said we’d be stoked to go, so we got in the car and headed that way. We left in the early morning, too early even to get a coffee at FT’s. The plan was, of course, to stop at that shady little Burger King made out of a trailer in Nicoya, on the way down for breakfast. I tend to get a bit grouchy (mean) if I don’t have my coffee in the morning and Cafe Cafe was still closed at 7:30am, so I was hauling ass to get there. Unfortunately for me, when we did finally get there, the coffee at Burger King tasted like it had been filtered through some old, 80 year old prostitute’s stockings. Worst. Coffee. Ever. Don’t even try to drink coffee there. Just lick the bottom of your shoe…you’ll get the same effect and it’ll cost less. Diet Coke had to do for the time being (yes, I drink diet…big deal). With only 10% of my daily recommended dose of caffeine in my system, we drove the last 40 minutes it takes to get to Samara. It was a little bit weird going back there, but like any return to a familiar spot, it was fun seeing what had remained and what had changed. From living there, I had remembered seeing a sign, just outside of town, pointing down a road saying that the Flying Crocodile Hotel was that-a-way. Luckily, that sign was one of the things that had remained. We bumped and bobbed for a few miles down the dirt road along some absolutely gorgeous scenery with horses and cows on both sides grazing. It gave you sensation as if you’re in the real, old-school, genuine Costa Rica. We had absolutely no idea what to expect when we arrived at the hotel, and we were shocked and amazed when we saw what a beautiful place he had built over the last years!!!!!!!!!. You turn a corner and arrive at a beautiful reception area, decorated with fountains, seating areas and a restaurant. Unfortunately for me, the restaurant happened to be closed that day, so my headache and lack of energy would continue. Guido greeted us warmly and asked if we’d like to do a tour of the property. What I noticed first was how much detail there was everywhere…whether it be the flying crocodile logo built into the cement wall in the front or the tile mosaic of a crocodile at the bottom of the pool (which, by the way, also has a water-slide and the coolest, 15ft high diving board ever…I made the mental note that I WOULD be jumping off that diving board). We made our way along the paths, passing by a pool table, a ping pong table, a foosball table, etc. as we went from individually built and custom designed room to individually built and custom designed room. The rooms literally couldn’t be cooler…they were all designed and decorated by his wife, who thought of absolutely everything. Normally, being a straight male, I don’t notice decorations and other things like that, but these rooms were way too cool not to. Besides, they even had private coffee makers in each room...I was sold. The crown jewel of the property, however, was his personal house. It’s this giant, circular house underneath, as I mentioned earlier, a humongous rancho. Humongous enough, even, to have an elevator in the middle of it. I couldn’t believe it when I saw it. When Lock made the comment that he definitely WAS German, having the idea and wherewithal to engineer an elevator into his rancho, he smiled proudly and said, “yes I am.”
I was still dragging a bit, but got a little more excited when it was finally time to take a flight in the flying crocodile…a two seater gyrocopter plane, which is, believe it or not, a lot more safe and secure than you would probably initially think. A gyrocopter is an aircraft, which, just like a helicopter, uses a rotor to fly, rather than wings. The difference consists in the rotor propulsion. Whereas the engine drives the helicopter rotor, the gyrocopter rotor is driven merely by the wind. The propulsion is accomplished by a propeller just like a normal airplane. It’s also generally considered the safest way to fly, since it can land on a very short strip. Guido handed me my helmet with microphone built in, told me to hop in the plane and started the engine. At this moment exactly, I had absolutely zero need for any coffee. My adrenaline started flowing and we started cruising towards his private runway. As we neared the end of the airstrip, he, being the experienced pilot that he is, begun making the pilot calls out on the radio. As you can imagine, however, there wasn’t much flying being done at about 1,000 feet and below on the coast of Samara. Nobody but us in the air that day. He hit the gas and away we went, immediately climbing high above his property and headed down the coast. The day literally couldn’t be more gorgeous, and as you can imagine, the views were unmatched.
Something that really makes flying in one of his Gyrocopters special is that it’s open air, so there isn’t limited visibility as there is with small windows on planes or even fixed wings below you to obstruct your views. We headed down the coast and from that height, with unobstructed views, it was easy to see why Costa Ricans love their country so much and why I made the decision to move here. The water looked absolutely crystal clear and against the white sand beaches and lush forrest, I can’t imagine it gets much better anywhere in the world. Over the microphone, he said that more often than not, he sees whales breaching just off the coast…unfortunately for me, that day they weren’t. (stupid whales). We did, however, follow an estuary up and found a couple crocodiles. It was a bit windy that day and there were a few big gusts, but I was surprised to see how stable the flight was. For being such a small aircraft, it didn’t feel like we were getting blown around at all. I’ve been on both small, 4 seater planes and helicopters before, but for whatever reason, I actually felt more secure up there in the gyrocopter (maybe because the engine of the 4 seater plane I was on cut out and we nose dived for a while, then just a couple weeks later that same plane crashed into the ocean in Mexico). I actually had the feeling as though I could
easily fly the gyrocopter if I wanted to. By far the best part of the flight was when he skimmed the shore, hauling ass, only about 15-20 feet off the ground. I just wish someone had been out swimming that day. I would have yelled something out at the swimmer like, “WATCH OUT…WE’RE GOING TO CRASH!!!” After a trip by Mel Gibson’s neighboring property, a flight over Samara and a couple circles around his property, the trip was finally over and we cruised (reluctantly on my behalf) back down to the hotel. Lock gave me a look as to say, “you lucky bastard.” I got off the gyrocopter and exclaimed, “That. Was. AWESOME!” Lock made the point that the next time we’re invited to do something cool, he gets to do it. However, I never got the chance to jump off the high diving board into the pool at the hotel, which he did while I was up in the air, so I feel as though we’re pretty much even. We thanked Guido for being such a great host and made our way back along the bumpy dirt road, promising to return for an extended stay. For more information in staying at The Flying Crocodile or going on a flying tour, please visit their website: www.flying-crocodile.com
Find Ducky WIN another $50 Every month, The Pothole will place a rubber ducky somewhere in the Tamarindo area that, when returned, the finder of the ducky will receive a $50 cash prize. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org when you have ducky.
The following is the clue to lead you to where it may be: Word Key : 1k 2m 3n 4o 5q 6p 7s 8r 9l 10a 11t 12v 13u 14b 15w 16c 17y 18d 19z 20e 21f 22g 23i 24h 25j 26x Puzzle: (in Spanish and a letter mix) 10 7 11 20 24 9 4 11 20 20 23 3 20 11 9 20 14 8 20 2 3 4 20 18 3 13 23 8 4 17 5 13 20 23 16 10 16
Answers to February Quiz
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”DISPATCHES FROM THE SEA” PART II
Now that I’m back to ski bumming the days all blend together into one blurrily good time. Though I can’t remember what I did the day before yesterday, every moment of my recent 16 month sailing adventure still burns in my mind. Here, in the murky depths of The Pothole, I’m sharing just the highlights...
CHAPTER TWO: OREGON TO NORCAL Recap: After a summer of fun in the sun and occasional lazy preparations, the 27 foot sailboat “Sin Fin” was almost as Unprepared as her Captain for the voyage ahead. I had $2500 in the bank and Mack, an inexperienced but eager crewmember willing to split some expenses. We had a decent motor but it burned more gas than we could carry. We hoped to go as “Oil Free” as possible and intended to use it only in emergencies. Altogether, the boat, supplies, and equipment (dinghy, handheld GPS, radio, fish-finder, new batteries, liquor supply, etc.) cost about $9000. So far, pretty cheap, though I was already well aware that staying fed and keeping Ol’ Sinful afloat would be a painful financial enema. The loosey-goosey plan was sailing out the Columbia River to the North Pacific and hanging a Louie in hopes of reaching La Ventana, Baja for the winter Kiteboarding season. With luck, Mack and I could find work there, and kite our faces off while replenishing funds to continue onward into Central America. The Oregon Coast is known for terrible storms and rough seas so I’d been following the weather religiously, waiting for a window of goodness. Finally, in late September... long after I’d hoped to be underway... magicseaweed.com called for a solid week of high pressure. In four to five days of continuous sailing, we could cover the 450 miles to the California border and put one of the more treacherous stretches of the trip behind us. Kiteboarding the day before our departure, I fell hard and shredded my right knee. Instead of proclaiming it a bad omen, I took it as an ultimatum: there’d be no skiing on a fucked up knee so the boat trip had to succeed. The injury proved a blessing in disguise because I was forced to delegate tasks, and Mack learned to sail quicker than he would have otherwise. That night Dank Dave threw us a bitchin’ farewell party. Well-sauced, at about midnight Mack and I turned in for our first night together on the Sin Fin. I quickly learned that Mack snores loudly, erratically, and chronically. In the floating equivalent to a mini-van, that’s a pretty big deal. I couldn’t have done the trip without him, and he was great company, but for the next two and a half months we only slept simultaneously when I passed out from exhaustion or intoxication. Ironically, Mack’s snoring may have been a blessing in disguise as well: I rarely had trouble staying awake on watch. At 4:30 a.m., we checked the weather one last time and set sail for Portland. There we had a date with a boatyard for some last minute upgrades: slapping toxic bottom paint on and installing beefier bolts in hopes of keeping the keel attached to the hull. After 60 miles of fun sailing we arrived and found the boatyard doing unscheduled repairs to their boatlift. Stuck at the dock, Mack and I watched two days of perfect weather slip away.
Once they caught wind of our plan, all the yachties around the boatyard thought we were nuts and told us so. This didn’t make the waiting any easier. Only one of a dozen folks offered us any constructive criticism. Big thanks to him ‘cuz his advice came in pretty handy. The boatyard finally pulled Sin Fin out on a dreary Thursday morning, and we were informed we’d have to wait until Monday to put her back in the river. This would effectively close our good weather window, and I had to wonder if the boatyard was intentionally stalling us in hopes we’d give up our foolish plan. Nevertheless, Mack and I worked frantically on our projects in hopes of getting back in the water before the weekend. It started to drizzle, and the paint wasn’t drying, so we walked to the mall and bought four cheap hair dryers. We ran the dryers all night, and by mid-morning Friday the paint had dried and the boatyard reluctantly consented to put us back in the water. As soon as the straps were undone, I fired up the motor, and Mack cast us off. We didn’t hang around long enough to be presented a bill, and I still haven’t seen one. The boatyard had my email address, so I’ve never felt too bad about it. Plus, I knew I’d need the $450 they would’ve charged. It was early afternoon and we had 90 miles of river to navigate before hitting the ocean. At sundown, the current pulled us past a sailboat stranded on a sandbar... a good reminder to stay alert as we sailedthrough the night. Nevertheless, I almost hit a wing dam, and a big tanker came close to squashing us from behind. We couldn’t see shit and would’ve hit something if not for the detailed nautical charts I gangked off the interweb and uploaded to our handheld GPS. Big thanks to an aptly named website, thepiratebay.org! Shortly after dawn we could smell the salt as we tied up in Astoria to refuel, await for right tide, and hope the fog would burn off the intimidating mouth of the Columbia River. The largest river on the West Coast of the Americas dumps a lot of dirt into the rough waters of the North Pacific, and the ever-shifting sandbars there are notorious for eating ships. After a nerve wracking night, and now facing this, we were too gripped to rest so we said “fuck the fog” and got going promptly after paying for gas. After a close call with an Exxon tanker we broke out of the fog and could see a clear channel through the breakers and out to sea. As soon as we started celebrating I noticed six inches of water (and rising!) flooding the cabin.
We were sinking, but it wasn’t a big deal. The weight of our extra gasoline had put the bilge output hole underwater, and we faced our first of many technical problems with minimal freaking out. The next two days were amazing. We hung out with seals and whales as we drank, read, and fished our way slowly down the Oregon coast. Mack is a sushi chef so we had Salmon sashimi and caviar daily. I slept during the day and Mack helped keep me awake at night. NOAA Radio assured us that the weather would hold, so it was no worries, no hurries until our weather window slammed shut unexpectedly at dusk on day three. We needed to find a place to hole up until this blew over. As if on cue, the Coast Guard started hailing us over the radio. Mack’s Mom had, understandably, alerted the Feds that we were out there in rapidly worsening weather. After conferring with the Guard, Mack and I decided to battle upwind an additional five miles to scenic Bandon, Oregon instead of backtracking ten miles to an industrial hellhole called Coos Bay. Two hectic hours later we blindly squeaked between the jetties at the narrow mouth of the untamed Coquille River, slipped into one of many empty slips in the derelict Bandon Boat Basin, and celebrated surviving at the one open restaurant, a damn-good Mexican joint. What we’d just experienced later proved to be nothing major. The locals in sleepy little Bandon are as friendly as they are wary of outsiders, so the next day we had a stream of gawkers and the occasional unintentionally-standoffish visitor. We learned we were lucky to make it over the river bar alive: it’s only dredged a few times in the summer and most of the year it kicks up a breaking wave when there’s more than a few feet of swell running. We’d come in during a 4-6 foot swell that was certainly breaking across the river mouth. Had the Coast Guard mentioned the dangers entering (and leaving) Bandon we would have opted for Coos Bay. But there we were, gratefully trapped in Bandon as storm after storm and a growing swell battered the coast. We stayed toasty warm by running those recently-acquired hair dryers on shore power. The Port Captain, convinced we’d be stuck there until spring, encouraged us to save money by renting our slip by the month as opposed to by the day.
As the forecast worsened and the days went by, I began wishing I’d followed his advice. Fortunately, while we were stuck, those storms and 6-8 foot swells from the NW provided Mack and I with a week of the most exciting Kitesurfing we’d ever had. My knee felt a little better, and, wearing a beefy brace, I was willing to risk it. Gusty winds, confused seas, and well-overhead waves kept us on our toes, as did the obvious presence of Great White Sharks. Hundreds of cute little Harbor Seals live at the mouth of the Coquille River. Great Whites eat Harbor Seals. Circle of Life 101. One particularly cold and stormy day Mack and I were sessioning an ugly reefbreak near the rivermouth. The water was so frigid I wore two wetsuits, giving me the equivalent to a 8.6mm suit. The wind was ridiculously gusty, the water black as hell, and I had a bad feeling from the get go. Adding to the chaos were countless Bull Kelp stalks floating around after losing their moorings in the storms. I immediately hit one, ripping the left fin off my surfboard. Well offshore, while tacking upwind for another go at the break, I kited through a patch of bloody water and past the remaining HALF of a very recently chomped seal. After freaking out, falling, losing my strapless surfboard, and hyperventilating as I “trolled” to regain it, I did the only sensible thing and beelined for shore. Definitely done for the day, I landed my kite and scanned the horizon in search of Mack. He was nowhere to be seen. I ran up the dunes and from a lofty 50 feet continued searching the boiling sea for any sign of Mack’s big, bright yellow kite. It definitely wasn’t airborne, and after ten long minutes I assumed Mack had been eaten, his kite popped and sunk by a curious shark. I ran to the road and flagged down the only car I’d seen all day, a rental driven by a young British couple on vacation. Apparently, they hadn’t gotten their fill of cold, dreary beaches back home so they’d come to check out what North America had to offer. We scanned the horizon together and eventually spotted a yellow speck way too far from shore. Forty minutes later and two miles downwind we greeted Mack as he scrambled ashore. About a mile offshore, Mack had been hit by a strong gust which broke one of his kite lines. After an hour in the frigid waters he was severely hypothermic and could barely speak because his blood sugar was so low. Mack is a Type
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Introduction 1 Diabetic. Fortunately, he hadn’t encountered any sharks during his long swim to shore and the Brits had a few candy bars to spare. Once again, we celebrated survival (and our one week Aniversary of being stuck in Bandon) at that damn-good Mexican restaurant. Now disinterested in Kitesurfing the waters around Bandon and much more respectful of the Ocean in general, we contemplated giving up, but that evening’s forecast offered a glimmer of hope. The currently pumping swell was expected to drop to the 3-4 foot range the following afternoon, which would make the river bar passable. That same afternoon, the storms were supposed to temporarily abate, although a weak cold front was set to make landfall throughout the following night. The next morning, a 12-15 foot swell from a storm off Alaska was predicted to accompany building North winds as high pressure filled in. By noon, those winds were expected to reach Gale Force, and NOAA had issued a Small Craft Advisory for the following several days. If we left the river when the swell dropped and held our own through a moderately stormy night, we’d, hopefully, ride the downwinder of our lives to what looked to be a very safe harbor just across the California border. That night we prepared ourselves and the boat for what would be, best case scenario, a very rough hundred mile run. Well, we assumed it would be rough: we had very little prior experience to compare predicted conditions to. I’d sailed a few times in 40+ mph wind and five foot chop on the Columbia River, we’d both kited safely when it was gusting to 53, but neither of us could imagine how 12-15 foot swells rolling through that sort of sea would feel. If we stayed put, the extended forecast called for a week of big swells and a return to stormy weather. Mack would have gone home and I’d have been stuck in Bandon for the winter. After a fitfully sleepless night, I ate five Tums and walked through town to the jetty at dawn. For the first time in a week, the sun shone through the clouds. I sat there and watched the water for a few hours, timing the sets in search of a pattern and trying to decide if things were getting smaller: three to five wave sets every 12 minutes and seemingly growing in size, which I attributed to the outgoing tide. We ate and slept the rest of the morning in preparation for the trip, and at two pm we agreed to give it a shot. After idling in the channel for 20 minutes, we decided the bar wasn’t breaking anymore and went for it. A few folks on the jetty cheered as we crested a not-quite-breaking but too-close-for-
comfort swell and motored out into the Pacific. Returning to Bandon wouldn’t be an option once the BIG swell arrived so we motor-sailed as far offshore as we could, gaining sea-space while the getting was good. Shortly before sundown the clouds darkened, a nasty headwind developed, and the ride got real bumpy. The worse it got, the sicker I got and soon I was puking over the side. I threw up and dry heaved countless times that night, staring into the phosphorescently inky depths. Our chintzy autopilot couldn’t possibly handle the conditions, so Mack steered almost all night. The few times I composed myself enough to try steering, I threw up all over the cockpit and myself. Fortunately, the rain and spray cleaned things up pretty quickly. We were soaked, frozen through, exhausted, and pretty damn scared when we stopped making progress and hove to at about 3:30 am. We went below, laid on the floor amidst the clutter, and tried to block it out. Thankfully, the front passed shortly thereafter and by twilight the winds dropped to nothing and the sea slowly settled. We fired up the motor and dropped the hammer, hitting our 7.5 mph hull speed once the wind waves dissipated. By nine am we were motoring through an eerily flat sea under crystal clear skies. A gentle North wind arrived and slowly built in intensity. Then sets of big, fast, gentle, gorgeous rollers began arriving from behind and helped push us towards our still distant destination. For a few hours the sailing was perfect. We sailed straight downwind at or above hull speed through smooth seas. Each time a big roller gave us a gentle push, we’d hit 9 or 10 mph. I ate some fruit snacks and promptly threw them up. Though it was now smooth sailing, I still couldn’t keep anything down. At noon things started to get exciting and we began steering by hand again. By 4 pm it was hectic. We were regularly hitting 13 mph, almost double hull speed, during descents, the wind kept building, the swells kept growing, and the wind waves started breaking. By 5 we were sailing under the power of a small storm jib alone. On a broad reach, we covered the last 30 miles heading into Crescent City in just over three hours. Our GPS clocked a top speed of 15.8 mph, more than twice Sin Fin’s hull speed. When we rode things just right, it was an amazingly smooth ride. When we misread the seas overtaking us, things got real scary real fast. Our biggest fears were getting pooped by a breaking wave or auguring the bow in at the bottom of a descent and “pitchpoling”, aka,
“going-ass-over-tea-kettle”. The last hour was especially hairy as it was after dark and we had to take the seas at a disconcerting angle to sneak around the rocks six miles of protruding rocks and into the protected bay which shields Crescent City. Thanks to our trusty GPS we navigated a maze of rocks and made it through the jetties to an empty slip at the Port. Too exhausted and nauseated to sleep, I crawled up front and marveled at the swirling hallucinations over my head. A few hours later Mack shook me awake. A marina security guard had arrived. The Port charged $25 nightly for visitors, and he was collecting now in case we took off early the next morning. “My friend,” I said, “here’s $50. We’re not going anywhere tomorrow.” Fifty bucks though, right down the crapper…. Tune in next time for the next leg of the journey. See you in April.
Sorry for the bad news...
Your drinking problems will continue as you continue to ask your boss if you can drink while at work and he continues to say no.
Don’t take that trip to Afghanistan that you’ve been planning. I mean, what...are you crazy?!?! There’s a god-damned war going on over there.
Your identity will be stolen in the next 5 days. The identity thief will quickly realize that your identity is so miserable, he will immediately return it to you.
You will be propisitioned to audition in a feature film this week. They will promise you fame and fortune and just about everything you ever dreamed of. Dont go unless you’re willing to do midget porn.
The more money they have, the more they’re willing to pay you off with. Remember that. The Pothole takes the strong stance that we don’t negotiate with terrorists, however. Remember that too...and that we don’t have any money.
“The sign of the crab” is a bit ironical since people of that sign are least likely to get crabs. It just means you’re not getting laid as much as the rest of us though.
It’s always good to take someone’s keys and drive them home if they’ve had too much to drink. Don’t offer that to a pilot before a flight, however. They don’t think it’s funny.
We wish you lots of luck in all of your endeavours this month...they’re all really bad ideas and you’re going to need it.
Huge advances will be made in your love life after you’re given a blow up doll as a gag gift. Try to restrain your excitement when you open it up.
Your lucky number this month is 22. Avoid playing blackjack...you’ll just get confused and lose a bunch of money.
A really nice guy named Frank will approach you at the bar. Go home with him...you’ll enjoy the night. If you’d like your name inserted above for next month, please contact The Pothole and send us $50.
People say that you create your own luck, but they don’t mean that you should carry around a sign that says “Please give me money.” Make it funny, like “need gas money for my UFO” or “need money for alcohol research.” Those tend to work better.
Surf picture of the month
Submit your photos to email@example.com and if we pick your picture you receive $50