Sometimes we’re so focused on all the new stuff happening at Witch’s Rock Surf Camp, we forget to mention the classics…like the whole reason this place was founded in the first place; taking surfers out to Witch’s and Ollie’s by boat to experience stunning waves in pristine nature. While these trips may have become normal for Witch’s Rock Surf Camp, there’s nothing standard about the classic boat trip to Witch’s, and I was stoked to be able to head out there with my old friend Dave Ferrone, his friend Claudia, Mark “Bon Jovi” From Jersey (c’mon, you know you belted it out at Karaoke!), and Andres from WRSC. Here are a few snapshots, no epic action (sorry, see explanation below) but still they might give a taste of how bewitching a place Witch’s Rock really is.
Sorry I’m not a braver photographer. If I was, I would have strapped the big orange dry-case on my back and paddled into the beach through the waves with a bunch of expensive equipment that Rafa was silly enough to entrust to me. He must have figured I would punk out and just shoot from the boat, since he didn’t seem too worried about all that gear ending up in Davy Jone’s locker. If I had been willing to risk a couple of Nikons and a few body parts to play surf photographer, I could have gotten some great shots of Andres tearing it up, Claudia dropping into some hero waves, Mark scoring epic lefts that went forever, and David…who stayed out in the lineup well past the point where everyone else was completely exhausted, just to get a few more sweet rides.
You give love a bad name
Throughout the day, we were blessed by slightly overcast conditions and a few drops of occasional light rain–just enough to keep it glassy and limit the amount of sunscreen required. The conditions did seem to bring out the fish, and the term “teeming with life” took on a whole new meaning. The amount of sealife in the Santa Rosa National Park is just jaw-dropping, even for those used to the ocean. Flying fish, sting-rays, a five foot mahi, a sea turtle…and these were just the critters sharing the waves in the lineup. We didn’t spot anything resembling the dinosaur crocs that are known to enjoy the neighborhood, but can’t say the thought didn’t cross our minds whenever schools of fish skittered by just a few feet away…”I wonder what’s chasing those guys?…nevermind…”
There aren’t many short boat trips in the world that transport you so quickly from relative civilization back to the Jurassic Period. The handful of pangas anchored beyond the break do little to dispel the realization that you are in Real Nature, just like it was for hundreds of millions of years before we crawled out of trees and started putting our opposable thumbs to work. Thank goodness Costa Rica has been smart enough to protect these vast areas so we can drop in occasionally.
Andres paddling back to the boat
As you can see from the shot of David all alone in the lineup, there were some good sized sets rolling through, and crowding wasn’t exactly a problem! There’s a lot of beach at Witch’s, and after scoring an empty morning A-Frame directly in front of the Rock, a few more boats showed up, so we just moved down to another spot and had it all to ourselves until we couldn’t paddle anymore. Admittedly…that moment came for me well before everyone else…but someone had to shoot a few photos right?
Our driver, Randal, loading up the boards
With Costa Rica in full green-season bloom, we soaked in the Technicolor panoramas on the boat ride back to Coco, but nobody lasted long in the van drive back to Tamarindo. Soon, we were all napping, exhausted and happy. And that’s what it’s all about.