Tag Archives: nathan gibbs

Surfing along Baja: The Big Wave at Todos Santos

Let me begin by saying that I have not been to Todos Santos,  a pair of islands about 12 miles west of Ensenada, and that I don’t surf.

But surfing is a big part of Baja’s appeal  to sports-minded travelers. So I was glad to come across a recent travelogue posted by Nathan Gibbs on his blog – Nathangibbs.com –  of the  the Todos Santos Big Wave Event. Apparently, surfers wait out the appropriate wave conditions during the month of February until someone makes the call that the contest is on. In this case, the event took place Feb. 28 after forecasters predicted waves would get between 18-20 feet high.

I once interviewed some surfers (when I was a reporter) about what draws them to Baja California. Several told me it was the ruggedness and isolated atmosphere – the sense of what California must have been like before the urban sprawl and the knotted shoelace freeways.  The chance to have a wave all to themselves.

Or, as in this case, to simply ride some pretty impressive waves. To get a sense of the Todos Santos area’s alluring waves,  I’ve embedded a video (above) that Nathan made of his ocean excursion. But to get a more comprehensive sense of the event, do check out Nathangibbs.com to see some amazing shots of the surfers and waves that day.

And feel free in the comments section to suggest links to other videos or photos taken from that day.

YouTube video from NathanGibbs.com

Tijuana at night

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                                                Photo by Nathan Gibbs

There’s something I find remarkably peaceful about Tijuana at night when you look at it from the nearby hills. The effect is particularly strong as you drive from the plateau of Otay Mesa downhill towards the city’s center, a sensation that is comparable to coming in for landing by plane. From around a curve in the road, the sparkle of city lights becomes a glittery sea. It’s as if millions of stars have fallen from the sky to rest on the ground. Perhaps I find it so stunning because I am aware the calm is illusionary, interrupted by the evil deeds of drug traffickers and other criminals who operate in the city. For a brief moment, however, the lights snuff out the darkness and bring a sheen of magic to the city’s doorstep.

My own photography efforts have failed to capture this mood, so I’m posting a beautiful Tijuana night photo by Nathan Gibbs, per the stipulations of his creative commons license.  Go to this page for the full effect of a street time-lapse that can also be found directly on his blog, http://www.nathangibbs.com