San Carlos Vacation
Visa Run

Early January 2016

What happened…

Amanda writes: Since our last update we’ve been throwing around ideas about where we are going and when we are going there. As Andrew mentioned in his video update he had an incident on New Years Eve afternoon that really made us think about what we were going to do. I was sitting in the hot tub watching the kite race with my binoculars. I was in the hot tub because it was super windy and cold. I noticed that Andrew was quite a bit behind the other kiters and my initial reaction was well that’s not very safe. I later learned that he had hoped to ride out with someone who didn’t end up racing. In any event I was watching him kite through the binoculars and saw his kite go down quite quickly which is rare for him. Then I watched the kite tumble from right to left, numerous times, completely tangling the lines. I knew right away he was in trouble and I wasn’t sure anyone else on kite beach could see him because he was about a mile off shore. I quickly shut down the hot tub and dragged the kayak out to sea. I knew it was risky because the water was so rough and the swells about 6 feet high, but the alternative was to sit back and wonder when he would wash into shore. It was an easy decision to battle the water to try and get to him before the sunset. After making it to shore in the dark we went to our friends for New Years Eve and learned the trouble they went to for the rescue. Apparently they had seen Andrew go down and then saw me go out in the kayak. Their rescue efforts turned into rescuing a kiter and a kayaker. They went to the marina to try and get one of the boat owners to go on the water to save us before sun down but none were too keen to set out in the rough waters. Our friend Julie with the help of her Dad called their neighbour Bob and he braved the waves and dark with Julie in tow to try and find us in the water. I’m so grateful for how friends and neighbours banded together to help out.

After the incident and celebrating New Years Eve with friends we sat down to figure out where our adventure goes next. We had a few considerations that involve other people, which isn’t normally a consideration for us. Usually we just have Andrew and I to worry about. The last few weeks we’ve had the pleasure of house sitting in a beautiful home that two very wonderful people have opened up to us. When you have a beautiful beach front property to have over your head it makes relaxing very comfortable. That makes leaving a hard decision. Combine that with we could help out our friends later in the month to take care of their dogs and the fact that his Mom is coming to Mexico to see us. Try and balance those two things, with a comfortable home, lovely friends that you end up wanting to stay longer. Then throw in a curve ball of Andrew’s kiting incident and our belief that everything happens for a reason and combine it with the reminder that we want to see the world; and we’re in a bit of a pickle.

I’ve been fortunate enough to be reading some pretty spiritual materials right now that have helped us just roll with the decisions. And so we’ve decided to stay in San Carlos and help out our friend and with that came leaning on other friends with help on places to sleep until our next house sit begins. We’re so incredibly fortunate to have met amazing people last year when we came down and we have numerous people welcoming us into their homes. And so we made the decision to stick it out.

Andrew writes: It was 1700hrs on New Years Eve, and I was participating in a friendly kitesurfing race between friends here in San Carlos. We were going out and around some big islands near Playa Algodones, which left us open to head-high swell, and gusty winds. As I came past the islands, and was turning to come back in towards shore; a strong gust of wind pulled hard and snapped the end-cap off my bar and so the steering line went with it. I was out near Splash Rock when it happened, having come around Deer Island hot on the heels of the rest of the group. The wind and swell were working with me to get me in to land, slowly but surely, yet it was with a sense of relief that overcame me when Darren showed up for a tow. We left everything in the water, confident that it would wash up eventually. Amanda showed up in the kayak and we went back and grabbed the board, just in case everything sank. By the time we got in to shore it was after 1800hrs, and despite the warm water, I was pretty cold. Jules and Donald had tried to get a boat out to rescue me, but I was already in by the time they rallied one together. Twas a kind gesture, for certain! Greg and Elizabeth showed up at the house to make sure we got back OK, and helped carry the kayak back. Thank you!

The next morning, a little the worse for wear, having celebrated the new year until the wee hours, I brought out the binoculars and quickly spotted the kite, still floating, over near Marina Vista. Amanda and I hopped in a double-kayak and set off to retrieve it. A line had gotten snagged on a rock, just off-shore. After a bit of a struggle I managed to free the kite, but then it was so heavy and full of water, it took me out as I dragged it towards shore. Kyle showed up to help me land it, and drain the water out (couple of hundred litres), and then Amanda and I took it back to the house.

As an aside, I still have confidence in the foil-kite for self rescues. I was able to use the bridles to help propel me to shore, and I could float on top of the board, and kite, and I also wear a PFD. The user manual suggests wrapping up the kite ASAP when it is in the water, and gradually the kite began to get heavier and heavier as it filled with water, which led to us ditching it…yet it never sank completely. For an area like San Carlos with the enclosed ecosystem we have, I think it is still safe to fly one of these..yet now that I have experience with the foil-kite, I don’t find it has man advantages over the LEI kites that everyone else here flies.
Everything happens for a reason…it’s just a matter of listening to what the Universe is trying to tell me here. A part of me wondered if that meant that it was time to hit the road, or to give up kite surfing. If anything though, the response from Amanda and my friends in the rescue efforts has made me realize my place in the community, which is something I seek wherever I go, to be part of the community. I’m so grateful to be able to enjoy this one for awhile longer.

Today’s Photographs

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San Carlos Vacation
Visa Run