Originally published in Santa Cruz Waves Magazine.
Maybe I should bring a gun. The thought crashed through my mind without warning, dropping uncomfortably into the pit of my stomach. I glanced at my blue backpack and the fake yellow daisy tied to its strap. The idea of packing a gun into it, or more importantly, pulling a gun out of it, seemed ludicrous.
So: a moment, but, I believe, a crucial and revealing one, because it was neither a beginning nor an end, but a middle, a time that felt close to the fulcrum of history, a time when all things, all possible futures, were still (just) in the balance.
-Salman Rushdie, The Jaguar Smile
Celia went to San Juan del Sur to meet up with Lucía and Loretto, and I got a ride from Greg at Surf Tours Nicaragua to Leon. Headed for a wave called the Boom, located in Aserradores, I was looking forward to surfing the notorious beach break and also visiting my friend Cydney, who lives in the area.
We aren’t the things we collect, acquire, read. We are, for as long as we are here, only love. The things we loved. The people we loved. And these, I think, really do live on.
-Gabrielle Zevin, The Storied Life of AJ Fikry
The contest at Popoyo was rapidly approaching, the waves becoming increasingly crowded with rippers preparing for their heats. Celia, Lucía, and Loretto made plans to go to Miramar, and invited me to come with them.
“The ocean is at its most seductive, don’t you think, when it’s most dangerous?”
-Alan Brennert, Moloka’i
Alex and I left Ometepe in time to catch the swell, which arrived as promised with overhead waves and clean conditions. On Saturday morning, I surfed Popoyo, alongside all the rippers in town for the upcoming contest, as a crew constructed a massive tent on the hill in front of the break.
The individual soul touches upon the world soul like a well reaches for the water table. That which sustains the universe beyond thought and language, and that which is in the core of us and struggles for expression, is the same thing.
-Yann Martel, Life of Pi
After a few days of meager surf in Popoyo, I was starting to get restless. A substantial swell was forecast for the weekend, but it was days away. In the mood for an adventure, I considered going to Ometepe, an volcanically active island in the middle of Lake Nicaragua.