Last weekend I took a short little vacation to write and surf down in Baja Mexico with my buddy who has a house in Puerto Del Mar. It’s a private community nestled against a bluff overlooking a glassy ocean bay about 30-40 minutes South of the San Diego border. The drive in is pretty painless and once you get through the gates of Puerto Del Mar its breathtaking vistas overlooking the Pacific Ocean with a barrier of sea weed paddies about 300 yards out that protect the entire bay from wind.
Needless to say there is pristine surf, solitude and lots of opportunities for siestas (naps). A recent swell had brought some head high waves and we were itching to get out, but timing is everything in surfing so we decided to wait for high tide and the few people who were in the water to leave.
Our first paddle out at sunset was magical… not a soul in the water except for us and glassy water enabled us to propel ourselves like waterbugs across the ocean, gliding effortlessly into wave after wave after wave. Well to be honest, I was catching waves, my buddy Mark is still learning the craft, but still managed to pull into a couple of beautifully shaped 6 foot pearls.
Only a surfer can explain the incredible rush of gliding down a silky smooth wave of water and turning left or right at their unhindered discretion. There are no words for it and the feeling usually manifests itself as a hoot and hollar like… wouuuuuuu or yeaaaaaaaaaah!
After our first surf session and a hot shower, I grabbed my songwriting notebook and sat down in the living room couch that faced the north west point of Puerto Del Mar. As I wrote, all that would come out of me was the sensations of floating down glassy columns of water and the blissful, weightless feeling it created. Song-worthy? Perhaps, but food and chilling out would prevail with some grass fed beef, asparagus and salad.
The next day we awoke to another beautiful day, checked the waves, but decided to hold out and save our strength until sunset again. With plenty of time on my hands I picked up the acoustic guitar and began to sink into a few new ideas I had written down, but nothing that fantastic was coming out. After two naps and a little frisbee on the beach, we sat down to prepare for the upcoming evening glass off. I brought a small marijuana bud I had in my freezer which was the remnants of a bigger bud a friend gave me over a year ago. My intention was to see if getting high could pull out any melodic gems from my imagination.
This was pretty powerful stuff and within minutes I had melodies pouring out of me like a cork being removed from a barrel full of steam. I hadn’t even picked up my guitar when I started just singing this song “I wanna be with you forever.” I figured out what the chords would be and began to play and sing. It was quite catchy and will definitely be developed further. About 5 minutes later another melody just flowed out of the cosmos and out of my mouth, its unofficial title: “I and I”… a song about looking within for answers rather than outside yourself.
Ok so does this mean you should get high and create or can you create magic without it?
Well basically, after coming home and listening I can say that part of me was litterally ritarded and part of me was genius when I recorded those two ideas. I sounded way out of key and could barely hold my guitar, but the melodies were undoubtedly genius. Now I must also say that the majority of my greatest ideas have not come when I was stoned, they actually came when I was just simply in rhythm, feeling good, flowing and energetic.
Like all things in life, moderation is key here. Smoking weed has some really negative side effects like lack of coordination, lowered white blood cell count and even cancer, so it should be used sparsely and wisely. Listen I’m not a big smoker, I smoke like 3-4 times a year and typically those are to spurn creativity, but there are no denying its benefits, like relaxation, pain reduction and creativity. I’d have to say the most interesting thing is somehow THC in the marijuana opens up pathways to the right (creative side) brain and allows us to access new views of life, ideas and interesting perspectives. And we all know some really uptight people would could really use a hit. You know who I’m talking about, people who complaign a lot, people who spend their lives trying to pull others down. Sometimes you just want to say: “Have a hit man! Life is good! Chill out!”
Well, after my writing session we headed out again for another epic session of clean glassy waves, but this time we had company. No not people, dolphins… a pod of about 6 dolphins decided to join us in our surf session. They were literally within a few feet of our boards and when I tapped on the water one came right up to me and poked her head out of the water as if to say “surfs up dude, lets do it.!” The next thing I knew a big wave came and I paddled into position, got up and hit mock 3 going left, when I turned back the dolphin had gone right on the same wave, it was almost like a dream.
After getting my fill of waves and being bathed in the medicine of Puerto Del Mar Bay we celebrated by eating out at Ciellos where they cooked us fresh caught sea bass with butter and garlic garnished with fresh vegetables and rice.
We hit one more surf session in the am before we headed back and by that time I could barely move my arms from paddling so much. This is where wisdom comes in. In the past I’d have just pushed through and caught another 30 waves, but I would have paid for a few weeks, perhaps even re-injured by recently broken arm, but I didn’t. I caught about 10 glassy barrels and called it a day. We packed it in, took off and grabbed some whole made tacos at a local taco restaurante to top it all off. Couldn’t ask for much more in three days. Puerto Del Mar, I love you!
Stay tuned to find out how those songs turn out. And as always feel free to comment or ask questions below.
Lots of Love, Chad