Monday, January 7, 2008

Punta Carenero

Today we took a boat to surf at Punta Carenero, on Carenero Island. Apparently Christopher Columbus careened his ship there in 1502. It's only about 10 minutes away, and the kids who took us there in there boat charged a few bucks more than they should have (we found out later). Anyway, Allie got dropped off at this restaurant that is like a little tiki hut out on a dock, and I had the driver take me up to the point, which is only a few more minutes by boat.
Carenero point is an excellent left, maybe better than Pavones in Costa Rica, but very crowded since it's the closest wave to Bocas. Water taxis take people out there all day long It kind of seems like how Fiji might be, and the water is crystal clear with lush jungle as the backdrop. There is an inside point and an outside point, and I surfed the inside to begin with. there were about 30 guys on it, and it was so tricky to get waves. It was about 5-7 feet. I paddled out to the outside point, but not quite all the way, and I surfed this elbow section right in between the two waves. It didn't seem very good at first, but then it got really fun. I finally got to make some turns on that board, and it is amazing how much speed you have throughout your whole turn, and even after the turn is done. I got one left that was about 8 feet and after I bottom turned it got really bendy and got a really nice backside tube. Then I paddled out to the outside point, but there was just too much jockeying for waves. It was really disappointing how may Brazilians there were hogging waves out there. I have had similar experiences on other surf trips, where groups of 10 Brasilenos will show up, start yelling in Portugese, and take every wave in sight. The Panamanians who were surfing did not seem to fond of them either due to their bad attitudes.
I also sliced my foot a little on the coral reef, but it's not too bad. I surfed for about 3 hours altogether, then paddled in and hiked through the jungle to find the place where Allie was staying. Everything was really muddy and the jungle was thick, but I asked a few people where to go, and finally got there after about half an hour (the island is very remote and lush). When I got back to the restaurant I found Allie sitting with another couple. She met this girl when I was surfing, and they realized that they were both reading while they waited for their boyfriends to surf. They were nice people, and it was fun to sit down and talk with some people we could relate too. We shared a water taxi back to Bocas town, and now we are going to go explore a little on our island (Isla Colon). Panama is cool and the Caribbean people are very friendly. The weather has been so -so, and it seems like you have to take water taxis if you want to go anywhere. It feels great to be be on vacation!

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