Puerto Rico wrapped up

Rincon, Puerto Rico

Sandy still sending swell to San Juan, Puerto Rico

Day 5:
Our last day we fly out at 3 p.m. which translates to one session since we are 2.5 hours from the airport and have 14 dudes to organize.  Cheyne, Ricco, Lance and I are on the road by 6, heading to town where the swell is more manageable but hoping to not have a big crowd.  After checking a few spots we settle back to where we were the first day, Schoolgrounds.  There were about 8 guys out there and also 8 at bridges which also looked pretty fun at about head high, clean and glassy rights.  We paddled out ( I surfed!) to find it a bit faster than we thought from our vantage point on the beach.  After getting a few we moved over to bridges ( I paddled, they walked/drove) The wave was more fun and rippable but the crowd was unforgiving chaos.  So Cheyne and I paddled back to schoolyards and ended our session there.  Coming in there were pretty much rocks everywhere, with no beach.  Urchins inside every crevice, which Lance was the chosen one to get some jabbed in his heel.  Loaded up and speed back to Rincon where we met the others at the bakery for a quick breakfast at 10 am.  We then all headed back to the crib to pack, organize and load everyone up in the vans to head to the airport.  Overall the swell on the trip was too strong for Puerto Ricos spots.  Many of the locals were saying there was just too much water moving to make it all time.  We did score a few sessions that were pretty good but not as we expected.  Which is in some ways a shame, as there was so much to compare it to back home.  If we were here and Florida was flat our mentality of score value would have been much higher.  Throughout the trip I kept getting reports of the damage of the northeast, where our main concern should be and all those people that lost their homes, businesses and nearly their towns.  The bachelor party was a success: There were injuries: broken hand (in a cast by the time we left), a few urchins won their battle with peoples feet, a damaged bumper and taillight on one of the cars, many beers were consumed, shenanigans where given in many ways.  In 3 days our good friend Matt will be married, congrats to him!

Sandy in PR day 4

Aguadila

Gas Chambers from a half mile away

Cheyne turning at bridges.

Tres Palmas

Aguadilla.

Waking up in the morning I found Doug.  If you were going to pass out…… doesnt that couch look a little nicer.  Oh, and its a pull out bed….

Power lines falling on cars in a thunderstorm….

 

Day 4:  As bachelor parties go, there are some specific criteria that interferes with charging epic hurricane swell.  Partying hard and dawn patrols don’t really go together.  So this morning’s wake up call led to only 4 of us getting up and heading out at dawn.  Where we stayed in the Rincon area it was maxed out completely, bigger than the day before and really only towable, like Florida was for the first couple days.  So we headed east to the lesser exposed breaks, eventually to Aguadilla.  The storm surge hadn’t been that high for 20 years a local came to me and said.  There were perfect barrels all over but no one was out because of the size and amount of water moving.  Its not that it doesn’t get that big here but it just never has this much water moving around.  Cheyne paddled out by himself at bridges in town and eventually Shane McIntyre, from PR, (originally from San Diego) joined him.  They struggled to get a set with the shifting peak.  Eventually they swam up the point to another spot where it was more manageable, but had to join 25 other body boarders.  The wave was firing though.  A reeling right we had checked earlier in the morning.  After his session we headed back to our place where we gathered the rest of the crew, refueled and searched for more.  Straight out to Gas Chambers we went and the 2 van crew of 10 split up to paddle out at Crash boats and Gas chambers.  GS was wonky, drifty and not really rideable although it looked pretty good from the beach.  Crash boats had a few coming through but everyone had to pick em from the crowd, who actually weren’t too bad.  All the spots weren’t  really swimmable for me to shoot from the water so I creeped up into the bushes and along the hillsides in the nearly 90 degree temps to get shots from land.  Everyone got a couple before the lighting storms moved in and we were off to go back to town to check it there.  Going back to town, we noticed the beach road was suddenly closed?  So we went around and parked in a lot while the pouring rains made it hard to see the break.  Soon a suburban was in front of us flashing his lights?  We looked behind us and saw four huge telephone poles snapped and in the road. One crushing a car!  Wow, omg here I go again with lighting stories on surf trips again.  The power lines above our van were super tight.  It must of happened moments before we got there.  Really kinda creepy knowing that the van the telephone crushed most likely killed the driver since there were transformers atop the pole.  Really intense.  We booked it out of there and scraped plans for a third session.  Went back to the east side of the island and found the swell was still maxing out.  There was one tow crew out whipping into 15ft face waves.  No one had brought any guns or semi guns to ride so going out wasn’t an option.  Back to the crib for dinner and stories to tell the non surfers in the crew.

Tuesday

Another big day of Sandy surf mixed with a little cold front bounce swell. Super high tide killing most spots this morning but there are a few outside sandbars and reefs holding it. Above photos are from North Broward.

More Photos:

Sandy Hits Puerto Rico, Day 3, nearly too big and most spots

Near Aguadilla, Puerto Rico

Near Aguada, Puerto Rico

We start the day out in Rincon rising at 5 am.  Gather 8 of us, pack two vans and start the long process of checking a lot of spots.  In fact nearly every spot from Rincon to Isabella were checked.  Somewhat frustrating but a similar situation as many of you have been experiencing in South Florida with the exception of a few spots or you own a jet ski.  Ending up in Aguadilla surfing a spot where no one was out, half the crew surfed and the other watched, as it was large barely manageable rights.  Cheyne got a few out of the session, along with Matt, Skeeter and Jye.  Following the session we ate and then continued to research the eastern end of the island where it is not washed out to surf.  Going back to Rincon, a handful of us paddled out at spot near out place.  Its was about 8-10 ft, double to triple overhead.  I paddled out with Cheyne and made it out.  Got a rest before a 10 ft set decided to tax me.  Took a few and then headed in to get a few shots before calling it a day.  Tomorrow we chase it again and hope it gets a little smaller for the breaks to handle it.

Sandy Beach, Puerto Rico.  Much bigger than it looks.

Cheyne Cottrell boosting on a little inside wave.

Monday

Car surfed A1A from Pompano to Delray this morning trying to find a manageable wave with some size. Nothing!

The size is dropping fast in Pompano. Heard it’s still 10′ in Deerfield. I guess you’ll have to do what I did. Dive around and pull your hair out or Just suck it up and paddle out.

More Photos:

Chasing Sandy during a bachelor Party, part 1 Florida-Puerto Rico

Saturday morning view many of us will never forget.

Deerfield Pier loosing against mother nature.

There is an inlet somewhere here.

Chasing Hurricane Sandy Day 1 and 2
As I am completely booked with no time to cover hurricane Sandy sliding past us on Friday it starts to become clear this is going to be a major storm in the Atlantic for waves.  With reports of Miami being the place to go I wasn’t too concerned about missing a day of shooting since the currents and squalls make it hard to cover a storm, with the best conditions still to be had.  Late last night after finally moving everything I race over to Matt Oberman’s house as we all prepare to pack boards for the mornings flight to Puerto Rico.

Checking boards in FLL on our way….

The flight isn’t until 11:30 a.m. which gives me a little window of shooting the swell this morning (Sat).  You might ask, why are we leaving the swell of the decade?  Matt’s bachelor party.  14 of us from around the country are flying to PR the weekend before his wedding and now to also chase the swell.  Conditions look to be pretty good in a couple days when Sandy sends her love to PR. This morning:  Well it was big, clean, and clear skies.  Those ingredients don’t come too often so I had to make work of it in about 1.5 hours.  I waited for the sun to rise and reveal Sandy’s offering to South Florida.  Here are a couple from the Deerfield Boca area.  An impressive site to see as many of you witnessed what could be the best swell to hit South Florida in 20 years.  We all meet at the airport and wait as Matt arrives with only about 45 mins before our flight takes off.  Half the crew had some hope that if we missed the flight we charge south florida.  In reality though we are heading to Puerto Rico where the forecast (when I write this on Sat) is 10-15 ft, and can handle it unlike most of south florida.  As I depart over South Florida I get a few aerial shots from the plane.  We get to PR and plan on the first night to party while we wait a day or so before the swell hits.

In San Juan the day starts out with little waves but by night fall….

The Sandy swell starts to fill in at…….. Sandy Beach, Rincon Puerto Rico.

Inside Sandy Beach, Rincon, PR
Day 2
We all slowly rise from the dead and find that long lost Danny made it back to the hotel sometime in the night.  Gathering all 14 guys in 4 hotel rooms in the morning was not an easy task but was finally achieved about 12.  After a quick dip and shorebreak photo session while the rest packed I got my salt water in for the morning.  We headed west to Rincon about 2 hours away and arrived at our house where we were staying.  We all called beds and rooms in the 3 story house and then grabbed the boards, slid some fins in and headed out at Sandy Beach, right out front for our first session.  The Sandy swell was just hitting and was about head high on the sets.  A fun session.  I ran in after a bunch of waves and switched for my water setup and shot some shore break photos as the sun dipped into the evening sky.  We meet after dinner and discuss the mornings plans.  It is suppose to get 10-15ft and according to some locals, all time.

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Saturday, Hurricane Sandy

Sandy’s delivering the goods to Southern south Florida again today. I hope it’s more manageable in Broward tomorrow. It’s been Unrideable at most spots in Broward and PBC. It’s just way too big and drifty for most breaks to handle it.

Photo  #12 is of the outside reef in Pompano. If it wasn’t for the 10 Knot drift it would be epic out there. Maybe tomorrow?!?

Check back in a couple of hours for more photos. Had some technical difficulties with the cameras today. That’s why we are updating so late.

More Photos:

Hurricane Sandy Friday

I don’t know if you caught my phone update this morning from Pompano but it was big and messy so we headed south and scored some of the sickest waves ! Hope you found some too.

Check back later for more photos.

Thursday Hurricane Sandy

Kinda weird out there this morning. Not as big as expected and the sheltered spots aren’t really working. Actually, some of the beach breaks were looking better. The incoming tide this afternoon should help.

Afternoon Gallery Update: Still a little funky out there but there’s a couple fun ones to be had.

Sandy’s a Cat 2 and heading North. Winds are forecasted to go offshore sometime tomorrow. Need I say more!!!

Wednesday

Some fun windchop out  there this morning in the waist to chest high range. Some of the sandbars and outside reefs are giving up overhead sets. This is just the gradient squeeze from Sandy. Looks like it’s going to get big over the next few days as she heads our way.

Here’s Da Buh’s Forecast on Sandy.