It was our first full day in Rincon, Puerto Rico after spending most of Friday traveling. The first order of business after cooking breakfast at the condo was to acquire a surfboard. Little did we know that the surf was cranking, but we’ll get to that in a moment.
Saturday, March 21, 2015 – Surf’s Up in Rincon
We headed up the hill on the 413 to Mar Azul surf shop. I rented a 6’4″ quad fin with some good width to it. We got some fresh wax on the board and headed down to check the surf.
Just a few minutes from the surf shop is Domes Beach. On the way there, we passed by Maria’s beach, which was packed. There was a Volcom surf contest going on and the waves were solid head high with 2-4 foot over head sets coming in. We checked the surf at Domes—it was big and washed out. There were only a handful of people out. It looked like there was a pretty stiff current and lots of water moving around. Not the type of surf I wanted to paddle out in for my first session here in PR.
We settled in at a nice shady spot on Maria’s beach. The high surf and the contest provided some great entertainment for the day. Zander was disappointed that he wasn’t able to get into the water, but the conditions were rough and we wanted to play it safe.
I grabbed my board and paddled out for a few waves. Even though the waves were solid six foot and a little bit bigger, the drop-ins were relatively easy and mellow. I didn’t catch a wave that was under six foot the entire session—the waves were fast, workable, and most of all, lots of fun!
I hung out with the family for a while and watched the surfers in the contest before heading back out for a few more waves. Merri Beth and Zander were also being entertained by a three-foot Black Tip Reef shark that was in a shallow area near our beach set-up.
I paddled back out for more waves. They were coming in pretty consistent, but then the tide started to drop and the surf backed off just a little. It really didn’t matter, because there were still plenty of waves coming in.
Over the hill to Sandy Beach
For lunch, we went to Red Flamboyan Restaurant. We were in luck because it was happy hour. Two Rum punches por favor! I got the spinach and strawberry salad while Merri Beth started off with the Gorgonzola greens. Then we split the Mofongo Relleno de Camarones (mashed plantains stuff with shrimp in a tasty broth). Zander dogged the Croquetas de Risotto Rellena de Escabeche de Pollo (Risotto balls with chicken).
Lunch hit the spot and we had a little siesta time on Sandy Beach. There was an onshore wind and the surf was big and rough. So we enjoyed the mid afternoon sun, with a nice breeze, and maybe snuck in a short nap before heading back over to Maria’s Beach. I wanted to get in a few more waves before the end of the day and managed a 30-45 minute session while MB and Zander sat on the beach.
The afternoon sun on the west side of the island was intense. Of course, our virgin skin from the winter in North Carolina was sensitive to warm sun rays, even with sun screen on. We headed back to the condo where we relaxed a bit and explored the beach out in front of our place. We took a walk along the beach as the sun was teeing up for a perfect sunset.
We setup some chairs on the beach and watched the sun disappear into the Caribbean Sea. The sun light was soft and warm. The crescent moon started to glow and the first stars of the evening started to appear.
We were debating a little about what to do for dinner. Should we get take-out or try to find a restaurant with NCAA basketball on? We decided to watch the first half of the NC State versus Villanova game in our condo, then walk over to Shipwreck for dinner.
Zander enjoyed some chicken tacos, MB had fish tacos, and I had the Snapper sandwich. The scene at Shipwreck was festive. Our waiter and bartender changed the TV channel for us so we could watch the rest of the NC State versus Villanova game. It was the third round of the NCAA tournament and the eight-seeded Wolfpack were up against a one seed in the East Region.
Our dinner arrived and the game was winding down, the Wolfpack were holding on to a slim lead that Villanova was chipping away at. The game was getting intense and we were trying to decide if we should just watch the end of it at the bar or head back to the condo. We controlled our emotions as best we could, realizing that there probably weren’t many Wolfpack fans in bar, much less the vicinity. But this is the Cardiac Wolfpack!
Our night was capped off by a 71-68 NC State victory, upsetting Villanova, and punching a ticket to the Sweet 16. Now, it’s time to get back to vacation!