In the past year, I’ve experienced a few events which got me thinking a lot deeper about things going on in my own life. I’ve always thought about things like that even throughout high school but recently, it’s been hitting a little harder. I won’t go into the boring details, but I will say that life is truly much shorter than you realize.
I’ll tell you a short story that I went through while we were at the Mexilogfest (@mexilogfest) in Sayulita this past May. It’s not an amazing or awful story, but a simple story that made me think and appreciate the people around me. Rekindling old friendships and making new ones, is what the past year has thought me to keep more of an open mind. Naturally, I’m an introverted person, so continuously reminding myself to open myself up doesn’t come easy. But, the more and more I reminded myself of this, the more “serendipitous” experiences I encountered. It’s exciting for me because my camera isn’t usually too far away and photographing these moments into memories is what I live for.
Anyway, the Mexilogfest had ended and I had a couple of lay days to kill. I bumped into Mahina Akaka (@mahina.akaka) who was running errands around town like everyone else trying to get on flights back home. Mahina’s one of the most positive and kind-hearted people I know, and every time I see her it always feels like we’re continuing the last conversation we had the last time we saw each other. “Mike, what you doing tomorrow?” she said. “Nothing planned..” I said. “You like go on one boat?” she replies. “We go!” I said without hesitation. Mahina had organized a boat trip with her shaper Ricardo Garcia (@rgarcia_surfboards) and Tranquilo Surf (@tranquilosurf) in Punta De Mita.
The next morning, I walked to Mahina’s hotel with my gear. She came out the front door. “Everybody sick, you know anybody who like go?” she says. No one knows if it was in the water or food, but everyone we knew on this trip got either food poisoning or covid at some point. I was like “umm, I can make a few calls??” Five minutes later, Luluhia Blomfield (@luluhia_babe) walks up and says “I can go now..” 20 mins later Kaimana Banes (@kaimanabanes) and Marissa Miller (@marissamiller) rushed over to load their boards in the van to take us to the harbor. As they were loading their boards, Greyson Messier (@greyson_messier) and his Dad were walking right past Mahina’s hotel, probably out organizing coffee and covid tests. “What you doing today? You like go on one boat?” asks Mahina (yes, she can turn her Pidgin on and off like a switch. Pidgin is the local language of Hawai’i, yup it’s an official language). We had our crew in about 30 minutes; well if you’re offered a boat ride to multiple surf spots, you’re probably not gonna turn it down!
It was a beautiful morning. Not a cloud in the sky and the wind was light offshore. We launched from a small port in Punta De Mita about a 40-minute drive from Sayulita where the Mexilogfest was. The first spot we anchored was at La Lancha, left-hander off a reef break. Sets were slow but there were a few sets to satisfy a few cuttys and noserides.
After a couple of hours, we checked a few other spots but the crowd and winds were starting to pick up so we decided to head back to the port and grab lunch. We ended up at this place called El Cafecito. They got pretty good smoothies there. The crew was feeling up for another session so we grabbed the logs and walked through a bunch of shops and hotels to a spot we paddled out to called “Stinkies”. This spot was a very slow wave but it peeled across this bay. You could get an easy 200+ yard ride right to the beach from the line-up.
The water was unusually cold but the air temp was really hot, but after being in the water for a few hours, the crew had to warm up the blood with hot rock therapy.
The day turned out to be one of my favorite days of the 2 weeks we were in Mexico. Spending the day with this crew was one of those serendipitous times that I’ll never forget. It will always remind me to try and break out of my shell, make new friends and take chances together to chase the good vibes. Thank you Mahina and Ricardo for the invite and hospitality.