Posted by Rick Civelli | 04.07.2010 | Adult Surf Camps
British Virgin Islands Journals – Jason
From our Camp Director Journals
Besides being one of the most idyllic beaches in the world, Pirate Bay* serves as the perfect “surf until you can’t move” spots I’ve ever traveled to. I’ve been a lot of places in the world, but seriously everyday was as good as the day before. Perfect sunshiny weather, crystal clear water, ridable waves, fish jumping everywhere, the best veggie burger and beans & rice plate on earth, mango smoothies on the beach, and a great group of people made for an incredible time in the Caribbean.
I always stand by the fact that no matter where you go, the people you’re with make the trip. This was no exception. With my co-director Steve by my side we flew threw two weeks of sipping coffee, strapping boards, surf instruction, snorkeling, and under water boulder sprinting. Our clients were just as great. Between the the incredible amount of water time and extravagant dinners at our favorite local haunts everyone was glowing by the end of each respective week…and not just from their sunburns. With a diverse mix of men and women from the Midwest to the Atlantic and Canada, it was great getting to know so many awesome people and personalities. The most inspiring part about the trip was the progression and encouragement that happened with everyone. Our groups were both super supportive of one another and the camaraderie and bantering that went on both in and out of the water was great. You get the feeling that these people have been friends for years or may even be brothers and sisters.
Everyone pushed each other to advance their skill levels, and with the video and slide show reviews we did our surf campers could visually see what they were or weren’t doing. It was a great way to affirm and coach everyone in their techniques and meeting their surfing goals. With goals being met and the skill level going through the roof we were blessed to see a real fresh swell fill in the bay the first week. Each day got steadily bigger with the best sets coming in as the sun set each evening. We even dawn patrolled the biggest day. Unfortunately the wind never came around offshore. The yellow lifeguard flag indicating the helpful rip current along the rocks hung limp on the pole all day. So the morning sickness continued through most of the day. The big sets bounced off all the cliffs down the beaches and back washed creating a tricky take off. The more experienced of the group attempted to catch some and managed to drop into a few. The swell backed off slowly, but still pumped in through the first day of our second week.
It was a little tricky getting the new group of beginners comfortably into the bigger swells, but they all managed to catch a few and stand up. The next day was perfect as the swell dropped to a decent size and the sets were spread apart for an easy paddle out. The best part about the bay was even as the swell diminished the occasional sets came through. It also made for great snorkeling along the rocks with 4-5′ tarpon swimming around you. Steve and I then decided it was time to train like Laird! We found a good sized boulder and attempted to run it across the bay. Once we hit the 12′ deep water half way across my body began to scream. If I wasn’t wet I would have been soaking in sweat. We managed to run it in to beach having made it about 3/4 of the way across. It was pretty awesome, especially when you knew Miss Naomi had a killer lunch waiting for us on the beach.
The food was amazing the whole time. Naomi’s provided the perfect lunch on the beach, and Joyce (Naomi’s niece) even made us extra beans and rice when we needed it. Though everything moves pretty slowly, the dinners were always well worth the wait and the waitresses were always full of personality, with the exception of breakfast. She kind of had the personality of snail; slow and not very helpful, a hard shell but probably soft on the inside. As long as you keep in mind that it’s all part of the trip, it can actually become quite fun/funny. I just made it my goal each morning to try and make her smile and/or laugh, cause it looked like she didn’t do either very often and when she did, they probably came across as frowns and grunts. Getting back to the dinners…Fish, pasta, and pizza were the staples that kept my mouth watering every night. Fresh Mahi and tuna, gourmet flat bread pizzas, and a good portion of linguine and gnocchi provided the fuel for being in the water all the next day.
All in all it was an amazing trip. Two weeks working in paradise, was two weeks working in paradise. The only things missing were Rick and my wife. Otherwise, the weather and waves couldn’t have been any better. Can’t wait to go back next year!!
*The name has been changed to protect the paradise