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Monday

Saving a Beached Whale..... Mantanchen Bay, Nayarit Mexico

Friday afternoon a large group of surfers from Stoner's Surf Camp left San Blas for an overnight camping/surfing trip to Platanitos.  There were over twenty of us in the group.  My english speaking friend 'Gomez', asked me to go with them three different times Friday afternoon.  I almost didn't go because my back was hurting and I was a little tired.  Man.... I am soooo glad Gayle talked me into making the trip.

As it turned out, the nature of the trip was to have the first meeting of the San Blas Surf Club.  The club was actually organized years ago but the 'elders' who ran the club had to stop due to their businesses requiring more of their time.  Eight or ten years ago the club dissolved as a result.  Now, there is a group of men willing to give their time and money in order to guide and help the young surfers in our town. Years ago, the surfers of the San Blas Surf Club dominated the competitions they entered. Now, only a couple of surfers can afford to travel, pay entrance fees, or afford to compete.  The San Blas Surf Club is going to make it possible for the surfers of San Blas to dominate competitive surfing again.  Believe me when I tell you.....there are some really good surfers here!!


  As we were gathered around the campfire, the men of the surf community spoke of their experiences as members of the club from years past.  They spoke about the rules that were established for the members and the importance of having a strong mind as well as a strong body. I'm sure some of the teens were a little upset that they could no longer skip school or be goof off's and remain in the club. However, everyone understood what it takes to compete and all the guys were excited to have this opporunity available to them.  If you are able to donate please contact me as this is a costly venture. I wouldn't want to know that someone working hard in school and in the water was unable to compete due to lack of funds or a crappy board. So what does this have to do with a beached whale??

On our way back to San Blas, Pompis, the owner of Stoner's Surf Camp, took a side road that I was not familiar with.  Looking to our right all we could see was a wall of rock from the cliffs above.  On our left we had a beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean as we drove closer to the beach of Mantanchen Bay where my surfer friend Toro works for Juan Banana Bread.  As our caravan pulled on to the beach, Pompis abruptly stopped his 4 wheel drive Jeep Grand Cherokee, opened his door, jumped out pointing toward the water shouting Ballena....Ballena which is Spanish for Whale.


We all stopped our trucks and ran down to the water where we saw the beached Whale. She was being pushed closer to shore with each incoming wave. It was all we could do to keep her stable and prevent her from being pushed completely ashore.  As the larger wave sets rolled in we would attempt to push her out into the Pacific.  Although we were making progress, it seemed as though it wasn't enough.  As we were in the water  helping the Whale, the police were on the beach watching our efforts.  We didn't know the police were there since our backs were toward the beach and our focus was helping the Whale.  Without our knowledge the police radioed to the Marine base in San Blas and asked them to send a boat out to help us.  As we continued our efforts, the Mexico Marines pulled within 30 or 40 yards of us and threw a rope out to us from their twin engine patrol boat.
 

My friend Roberto took charge of the rope as we all tried to properly wrap the rope around the Whale in such a way that the Marine Patrol Boat could tow the Whale into the deeper waters.  The trick being that the rope needed to be attached in such a way that they could pull her out into deeper water but yet release her when she was able to swim.  Roberto got the job done and the Marines pulled her out to safety.  Put your hands together for The San Blas Surf Club who saved this Whale along with the help of Marines from the Marine Base located in San Blas.  You rock San Blas!!  You constantly remind me why I love your town.... it's quit simple actually.... it's the people!