A terrible day for Tamarindo – a brutal day for surfers

We have had a couple of terrible days here in Tamarindo and I guess living in a small town really puts an emphasis on how close we all are here.

No matter our differences, we are a tight knit community that is effected by things both good and bad.

A good friend and member of the local surfing community lost his baby daughter a couple of days ago.  And we are talking about one of the greatest couples in the world.  He is someone here in town that makes every person feel like a million dollars, and when I first moved here, was one of the few locals to make an effort to get to know me out on the territorial breaks.  Our prayers go out to his family.

Then this morning, I heard two fire trucks race into town at 6:00 am and 6:30 am.  Well, we don’t have fire trucks or real EMS here in Tamarindo, so they had to come from the towns of Santa Cruz and Filidelphia; each an hour’s drive away.  I dressed quickly and drove into town to see the firefighters battling to put out Sharkey’s Sports Bar and Costa Rica Surf.  By 730 am as the smoke cleared, it was a no brainer.  They were gutted and will have to be leveled.  I had to get away from it because the acrid smoke of 200 burning surfboards was choking my throat while the sight of seeing good friends in tears made me feel nauseous.

Sharkey’s was a relatively new place that opened a couple of years ago with Ben & Katie at the helm.  It was a place that featured every sport possible on their giant screens, making it the only sports bar in town (not including Langosta).  It was the kind of place that was small and intimate, so no matter how many people were there, it seemed busy.  And most importantly, they showed hockey.  Of course, karaoke Tuesday was always a time to see ‘everyone’ in town make an ass of themselves.  Not only is a business lost, but it also displaces those who worked there, and whose families depended on it.  Even the parking attendant was there and one could only sense the feeling of dread he had knowing that the few dollars he eked out were now gone.

Costa Rica Surf was the place that I first rented a surf board when I came here five years ago, and then was the first place that I ever bought a surf board.  Owned by Sabrina and Diego, it used to be called Banana Surf and the place was always a welcome home to both locals and tourists alike.  I still take my boards there to get dings fixed and bought a custom made quad there in July.  And let’s not forget the schwarma’s and falafels that were sold there.  Costa Rica surf has a second location near Aqua, which doesn’t make it easier, but does provide them with some hope now.  Knowing Diego and Sabrina’s Argentinean strength, we’ll see them smiling on the break at Playa Langosta in no time.

Finally, although not from Tamarindo, Andy Irons died yesterday at the age of 32 from Dengue.  A great surfer and three time world champion, he commented once that I try changing my surfing, which is the absolute worst thing you can do. Everyone surfs their own way. If I try to surf like someone else I look like a dork.  What brings this close to home besides the obvious surfing connection is that he died from Dengue; something that is a problem here in Costa Rica that has struck most everyone that I know here.

Anyways, typical of the infrastructure here, we now have no internet or cable.  And I am trying to send .5 MB files by uploading them to my blackberry external disk, then emailing on the 3G network.  (Which actually works at about 1G on a good day.)

Let’s hope tomorrow is a better day here in our small communities of Global Surfers and Tamarindans.

Pura Vida

November 3rd, 2010  in Uncategorized No Comments »

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