After little over a week in the States waiting for the van to be ready, it was time to head back to Baja to spend the next two months as winter watchman in Punta San Carlos.
The week in the States had left me wanting, well to be honest it wasn’t just the week, more the whole trip and the stain of a year spent in Punta San Carlos. I found a change within myself, a change that has left me wanting more connection with people, not just interaction, but true connection. I’ve found a more spiritual side which was hidden behind a scientific mind, ironically it is in part through reading quantum theory that I found this side. The reading and through interaction with a different type of individual over the past year. And maybe in part to this place, Punta San Carlos, it is difficult to describe the effect it has on people and I think it can only be experienced for oneself. Regardless, I think that is the reason I see this blog evolving into something more personal, more raw, as if I am no longer talking to a stranger but to you.
So it was with some angst that I sat in the van, spying each Baja break as we drove down the coast. Thinking that one day I’ll take it slow and be surfing those breaks perhaps with a friend, maybe even you? We hit the dirt road just before sunset and as I tried to wash away the angst with a beer, I was struck by the beauty of this place. It is simply astounding and since we were in no rush to make it in to camp with supplies, for the first time I was able to get my camera out and try capture it. I didn’t have a tripod so decided to expose for the colour, silhouetting the details.
I could spend endless golden hours out on the road, there are just so many photographic opportunities. It takes me back to my travels in Namibia, a place I travelled purely to photograph. There I saw hoards of photographers hitting the road before dawn for the opportunity to photograph dead trees under a unique light. The cactus garden for me meets if not exceeds the desolate beauty I experienced in Namibia and has me wondering why not add that to the offering here, photographic tours?
As the colour started to fade into the dusk we passed one of the signs plastered with stickers of vendors leaving their brand marks over the years. The sight of them boiled the excitement in me and I took a moment to appreciate how fortunate I have been to come upon this place, a shrine to all things adventure. Not only has it allowed me to develop as a photographer, a person, but it has also introduced me to a lifestyle and the people that live that lifestyle. People who not distinguish between professional and beginner, they all live for the same experience of wind and waves. Mounting the next rise and Joey pointed out the marine layer, the excitement rose another notch at the prospect of wind the next day. Once we passed the Punta San Carlos sign at the turn to the fish camp, I felt a sense of home coming. My familiarity with the various breaks. Like visiting an old friend. After spending a year out here I do feel like a local, a strange feeling, home a strange word, for a gypsy soul like me.
We stopped on the Punta to watch the glistening peaks roll in under the early evening and all agreed, tomorrow is going to be a good day. We passed the only campers on the bluff, Satellite Mike and Val; and Jim the crepe man Souza. A comfort for me knowing a few familiar faces would be around to provide some company on the loneliest of days.
Night had just fallen when we entered the camp, so it was no surprise to find Tony watching a surf movie as we crept in. It was Big Wednesday, we must have watched it at least 5 times last winter, I wondered what number this was for him. Popping open another beer I watched it with a different set of eyes, studying each wave, the way the video was edited, I was no longer watching it as a movie about surfing, I was watching it as a surfer and a surf photographer.
Sam joined me on the floor in the media room that night, cuddling up affectionately, telling me he had missed me. I had missed him too, I had missed this place. It was good to be home.