Packing up for winter. 

“Who is going to look after Sam all winter?” That was the question that came from most all the guests that heard him asking for attention throughout their stay. The stock answer was “Mark will.” Most thought it was a joke, but last week as the last of the visitors set to the sky on their way back home, the reality of spending the winter here in Punta San Carlos came true. All the equipment has been de-rigged and packed away until the guests start arriving again in April, there are no tents to distract the sun rising over the mesa and the waves crash on an empty beach enjoyed only by the odd dolphin or three.

Sam Carlos.
After travelling for seven months and still no idea of where or what next the opportunity arose to take on the role as winter watchman for the Solosports camp, I thought when does one ever get 5 months to do with whatever they please and I had to accept. What is that you say, I have just spent seven months doing whatever I please, how is this different? Well for starters I am not going anywhere, I can’t. I am in a camp two and a half hours by dirt track to the nearest town with no means of transport. I have no commitments or schedules to keep and the only means of communication is the internet and even that is limited to 400Mb a day. The only things that demand my attention are the wind, the waves and Sam.
Those who have heard that I will be here all winter have asked but won’t you get lonely and bored. To them and those who are reading this I thank you for your concern and offer up the solution of my wishlists page.

Actually I am not completely alone, other than Sam there is also another human here, Tony. Tony has spent 12 winters looking after camp, mostly on his own with only the occasional visitors chasing the winter swell to distinguish one day from another. He seems to have modelled a good existence for himself, working 7 months of the year and having 5 off, I aught to learn how he has achieved this. He will be here until early February when the temperature drops and the winter storms which bring in the big swell start to wane. From then it will be Sam and myself for a couple of months until we reopen the camp to guests. If I survive the winter and haven’t turned entirely feral I’ll stay on next season to play barman again.

Tony enjoying the waves to himself.

From the few days that have passed since the camp shut down, I think my days will look something like this: Wake up to crashing waves, warm sun on my bed and the incessant begging of Sam for his breakfast. Before I can finishing preparing breakfast for myself, Sam has wolfed down his and is asking for more. By the time he has realised he is not getting more and gone to sleep on his chair the conditions will have been assessed and the decision made as to SUP or surf. After a good morning session a coffee or tea will be in order as the wait for the tide to turn and wind to build is spent enjoying a book or photographs. If a windsurfing session doesn’t happen in the afternoon it will be replaced by a bike ride or a sunset surf, perhaps even yoga. In sync with the sun disappearing over the horizon Sam will start begging for his dinner which will prompt me to think of mine. After dinner, the darkness will have convinced me that it is far later than it actually is and I’ll turn in for the night, sometimes with a movie to aid my dreams . Wow sounds like I have already got a routine, welcome to ground hog day.

After living in a tent for two months I decided something a bit more comfortable was needed for winter

After 5 months I hope to be a decent waterman and to have completed a number of personal projects that I am working on. One of which I have already started and that is my photography portfolio which can be found at www.luckybeanz.com or on Facebook. Another is trying to convince someone to sponsor me a soloshot so that I can track my waterman progress and get some more footage to hone my video editing skills.

Pondering over a beer.

Most evenings I watch the sunset and ponder to myself how the hell did I get here, in this position? I still haven’t quite worked that one out, maybe it is the why not philosophy, it doesn’t really matter, I am just grateful to be able to live these experiences. I came to Punta San Carlos for a month of wind and waves and to figure a possible way into the windsurfing industry. Two months on I am still here, I suppose one could say working in the industry. I am excited to see how this shapes me and where the experience will take me, so keep an eye out for the occasional update on life as a beach bum.