Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Nica: The Boom (Part 1)

The Boom.  It stretches to the south of the point upon which Rise Up Surf camp is situated.  A mile long stretch of extremely fine, dark sand that lies wide and bare when the tide is low (-1 foot) and fully covered when it's high (+9 feet).  Perhaps not a pretty beach, but the waves make up for it.

 We reach it by walking 100 yards down the green-lined, rutted dirt road from the entrance to Rise, opening to the view (at low tide) above.

I write about it first because it's not only where I surfed the most, but it also had, for me, the best waves and best sessions of the trip.  Here we found the peeling and peaky waves I love most.  

The actual break, The Boom, lies about 1/3 of a mile south, marked by a small, low, frond-covered structure called a palapa.  Here, an undersea canyon channels wave energy into greater size and force, a similar effect to Black's Beach in San Diego and El Porto in LA's South Bay.  While the best, and strongest, surf is there, when the swell is decent, we found excellent, peaky waves right below the camp (I'm referring to as "Boom North"); waves that were a little more forgiving when The Boom, proper, got gnarly and nasty.  The remainder of this blog contains scattered photos from The Boom and Boom North.

Julie at The Boom - Photo: Bill Schildge

I surfed The Boom or Boom North some nearly every day, including afternoon sessions in low tide and onshore winds, creating pretty small and sloppy conditions.  But four sessions in the Boom area stand out.

First Session
I begin with the first morning in Nicaragua.  Having slept little, lying awake since the first rooster crow before 4:00, I wandered into the common area of camp a bit before 5:00, to find it deserted save for one of our two surf guides, Melquing, and a fresh, hot, pot of coffee.  Shortly, Drew came in, bodyboard pack on back, raring to go.  Drew had been in Nica for several days already, and wanted to head down  to south of the palapa.  

A breeze blowing from inland carried the smell of burning trash fires, as to our left the sun rose a deep, red ball in the early morning smoke and haze.  Walking on very fine, dark sand, squishy - almost mud-like - from the receding, extreme high tide, I was already sweating as I accompanied Drew south to the palapa.  My first view of Nica surf was of abounding peaks, maybe shoulder-high, groomed by the offshore breeze.  

Jody at Boom North - Photo: Bill Schildge
 Drew wanted to explore further south, so I turned back to see if I could find more of the pod, and encountered Melquing, leading Bruce south to the palapa, and joined them.  Though most of the group would wear bodysuits, or at least rashguards, to protect against jellyfish/sea lice as well as sun, I chose to wear trunks only, unless forced to add on.  At The Boom, in front of the palapa, the surf was an extra foot or two, but somewhat faster and more closed out than the peaks I'd seen walking down.  A small group of sticks - board surfers - worked the peaks as I waded into almost enervatingly warm (mid-80's) water.  

Much longer than those I'm accustomed to in Newport and San Clemente, the swim out wasn't as tough as I had feared, and soon I found myself out in the shoulder & sometimes head high line up.  It was a bit too fast for me, so there were no long rides, but Bruce was getting some nice ones a bit to the south and Melquing was having fun on his board.  It was the first time that Melquing had seen "real" bodysurfing, and he was finding it intriguing. 

In the middle of the session, I kept getting fouled in the fairly strong rip that shifted around the edges of the underwater canyon that created the extra intensity at The Boom, demanding some extra swimming.  After an hour and a half, I ended what was to be the first of three sessions that day, tired and satiated.  Returning up the beach toward camp, I found the rest of the crew had not bothered with the extra walk down to the palapa, but instead were scattered across those many peaks that I'd first seen nearby camp.

The Boom (Part 2) will be shorter, presumably, and cover the three other, memorable sessions at The Boom and Boom North.

No comments: