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  • Writer's picturejvaine1

A Downwinder in Puerto Rico.

A boat ride to Coffin Island.

Friends all around. And water so clear the wave created lines in the white sand below stands out. As if it was only a few inches below the surface.

About thirty minutes before. Seven of us. Loaded our boards, paddles and gear onto Blackbeard. A boat that brings visitors from mainland of Puerto Rico out to Cardona Island, just a few miles off the shores of Ponce.

But today. It was our ride to Coffin Island.

We were heading out on a downwinder. Where we use the ocean and wind to surf our way. From one point to another. Or in this case. From an island back to the mainland. It is one of my favorite type of paddles. And this run, has world class bumps and winds.

The boat ride out. Is a unique experience. The Puerto Rican waters have a special feel to them. And to be able to see the land from a boat is always extrodinary. Especially when you have tour guides from the WaterLand Adventure P.R.and Captain Alejandro Santaella at the helm. Then add in the Lexus SUP Team and their local knowledge of the tides, ocean and weather. It put an exclamation point on the trip out.

As we arrived. The water caught all of our eyes. It was as blue as the sky. And crystal clear. Providing the perfect invitation. To leave the boat. And enter the pristine waters.

The Paddle Back.

With everyone on the water. And feeling a bit anxious. We drifted with the current and maneuvered so the wind was placed perfectly at our back. And in a matter of minutes we were gliding down the ocean. Cheers. Laughs all filled the air. As the conditions delivered for the paddle back.

We covered over 8 miles on the trip back. The winds and bumps working with us and pushing us along. Some of the bumps were waist high, sending us cruising down the face of the open ocean wave. And the smaller ones delivered just as much fun.

Many would think being 2 miles off shore would be a crazy thing to try and tackle. But with Blackbeard and their team trailing behind us. And the winds guiding us directly back to the yacht club the experience becomes a surreal one. And is one of the reasons I continue to come back.

The Escape from Coffin Island.

Next Saturday I’m heading back down for my second Escape from Coffin Island race. I’m excited about the projected conditions and the downwind run. But more so about hanging with my friends.

Paddlers from around the Caribbean and the states head down. It is more than the paddle I’ve been describing. It is a full day event. Lots of laughs. New friends. And the best Paella by Waldi Giusti.

For those that want to stay inside of the harbor their is a course that is challenging but a lot of fun. Adding something for everyone.

Flights are pretty easy as all the Major Airlines head to Puerto Rico. I’m flying into Aguadilla this time. But I did San Juan last trip. Both are just over 90 minutes from the airport to Ponce.

The Experience Video.

If you’re wondering what the full experience is about. Here’s a better look at why I love this event. And place.

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