Lon had me at the promise of another Blue Bottle.
I am referring to the announcement of the huge hullabaloo on the beach at Los Barriles, in Baja, Sur. This is on the alluring east cape of southern Baja along the Sea of Cortez, with La Paz to the north and Cabo to the south.
The event was the first annual international Lord of the Wind competition, which included kiteboarding, windsurfing, and standup paddle boarding, the key word being was. It was held this past weekend.
For those of you not into high-wind water sports, the east coast of Baja—especially the southern half—is renown for ass-kicking high winds during the winter, known around the world as Baja’s El Norte winds.
I have a “history” with those aforementioned high-wind water sports in that part of the world; a history that almost ended for me on December 31st, 1999, as the conditions on the water exceeded my ability by about 1.0 × 10100, otherwise known as “ten to the 100th power”.
Or in non scientific terms, WAY the %#@& over my head.
The result of my extreme adventure is that I am no longer allowed to windsurf on any body of water where the opposite shore is not clearly in sight, as enforced by family and friends who spent a lot of time and mental consternation getting my ass back to the beach that day.
In case you were wondering, the only difference between a great extreme adventure and a really stupid activity is the ability to make it back in order to tell the story with great embellishment sitting around the campfire while downing massive amounts of tequila.
My good buddy, Lon, who is currently down in Los Barriles, called me with a heads-up for last weekend’s event. By then, it was a little too late to get down there, but that may have been on purpose, as Lon was one of the family friends who was crucial in getting me rescued from six miles out to sea, with huge waves and big winds pushing me in the wrong direction.
As a windsurfer—at least on closed bodies of water—I would have loved to watch this event. In addition, the high wind kiteboarding is fantastic to witness, but seems more oriented to the skateboard and snowboard crowd, as you can tell from the picture showing one guy using a wrecked sailboat hull as a “terrain park feature,” as well as the YouTube video below.
And, according to one blogsite, I guess there was quite the personal competition between the windsurf crowd versus the kiteboard gang, which in some ways, may have even transcended the $3,500 for the individual top winner in the showdown.
But, what really got my attention was the beautiful blue bottle of alcohol that was created for this event. While my mention of the Blue Bottle is usually in reference to my beloved Bombay Sapphire Gin, there is definitely room in my liquor cabinet for this new prize. Hopefully Lon—if you are reading this—will have snagged one for me.
Speaking of a bottle of alcohol produced especially for some kind of outside event, the old guy with the white beard in the poster kind of reminds me of the old guy with the white beard in the Ullr Fest poster, which replaces liquid water, in the former, as the medium for the activity with the frozen variety, in the latter.
Is there something about fancy bottles of booze that attract god-like looking bearded fellows?
O.K. I know the real question all of you have been dying to ask: “How in the hell does anyone attempt to standup paddle in those high winds and big waves?”
My answer, “it sure beats the hell out of me.”
I am not sure I could stand up on one of those boards, even in the parking lot.
Of course, I guess that all depends how much I was imbibing in the Blue Bottle du jour, prior to my attempt.
But at my age, I got to stay loose to protect my lower back. The looser the better, right Doctor E.?