Cool Friends in La Cruz, Mexico

April 15, 2015

Merle
Magnificent Merle

Saturday April 11th we met Merle McAssey, a friendly yachtie accomplished in many individual sports: sailing, surfing, wind surfing, kite boarding, kayaking, and his favorite, mountain biking. He performs most any sport well.

Merle kite-boarding in La Cruz, Mexico
Merle kite-boarding in La Cruz, Mexico

During his mountain biking experiences as a guide in Canada he suffered many broken bones, mainly his collarbones. Over four years he broke at least one collarbone (once both at the same time) every 6 months. His most intense injury was breaking his back while hiking to get help during a kayaking expedition. Over several careful months of healing treatments, his back miraculously healed without medical intervention. To say the least, Merle is a very daring and active person!

The following Tuesday, Merle offered to take us surfing if he could get his car working. He explained that his car had been in a crash and his required Mexican insurance wouldn’t pay to fix the damage, so he didn’t repair it. He called it his Afghanistan car because it was so messed up, like a war zone.

Afganistan Car
Afganistan Car

La Cruz, Afganistan Car 2

Merle got it working so Trent, Dad and I tied our surfboards to the top of his beat-up car and jumped in. This was the first time going surfing without wetsuits. I was very excited to surf in warm water. As we were driving along, Merle told us his surf plans. He explained that he was going to drive us all the way to a surf spot at the very end of the road called Punta Mita, but if the waves weren’t good, we would go to Burro’s instead. When we arrived at Punta Mita and checked out the waves, Merle decided it was okay, so we paddled out to the wave break and waited for a set; it took almost 20 minutes before a set eventually arrived. Everyone including my dad (who doesn’t even surf) caught waves, but they were pretty small for Trent and me.

Surfing Punta Mita
Surfing Punta Mita

After a bit, we got out of the water and walked over to an outside restaurant and ordered lunch. Merle ordered only guacamole and chips with fresh coconut water to drink. Everything tasted mighty fine. When we were done, we packed up our stuff and headed back to the car so we could hit up the other surf spot, Burro’s.

Hiking through the jungle to get to Burros surf spot
Hiking through the jungle to get to Burros surf spot

This surf spot was excellent. We all had a great time. It was very fun to have my dad out with us catching waves. We planned to go back to this spot again.

A few days later, Merle’s sons, Shandro and Matero, and wife, Allison, returned from vacation in Canada. Since we liked Merle so much, we were excited to meet his family, who we suspected were also cool. We were not disappointed.

Trent, Matero, Shandro, and me at Mexican fair.
Trent, Matero, Shandro, and me at Mexican fair.

We had a lot of fun hanging out with their entire family, getting the inside track of things to do in La Cruz, including aerial tissue workouts.

Working on skateboard after recovering from sea floor
Working on skateboard after recovering from sea floor

They showed us the best tacos and how to order the best combo of aqua frescas, homemade Mexican fruit drinks.

Home-made Mexican ice cream after a day of surfing
Home-made Mexican ice cream after a day of surfing
Open-air taco restaurant overlooking La Cruz's central square.
Open-air taco restaurant overlooking La Cruz’s central square.

Shandro, Matero, Trent, and I slept overnight together: once on the dock behind their boat, another time on the beach in front of the marina’s club house (we had a bonfire and danced like crazy wild guys), and again on our boat at Paradise Village where we slid all day down the resort’s huge water slides.

Dock camp out sunrise
Dock camp out sunrise
P Nuevo P Village Pool Slide
Paradise Village Resort’s pool in the morning before we can play.

We hope to see them soon in the Marquesas. They said they would be following us in a year. I looking forward to showing them around this time!

Bryce Rigney and Leslie Rigney

2 thoughts on “Cool Friends in La Cruz, Mexico”

  1. Loved this La Cruz account and the pics. Loved the dock campout where the lined-up kids were still asleep at sunrise … on their bogey boards (I think that’s what they were on.) All those perks of travel – meeting that neat family, yay. (And that’s what he said about your family, I’m sure.)
    We are currently finishing our 13th day in Hawaii – first 5 were at Makena Beach on Maui with Scott and fam, then off to the big island of Hawaii for another 8 on our own. Read read read. Beach beach beach. Bucking bronco ATV riding, hike volcanic craters, coffee farm tours … you get the drift. We feel a kinship with you from afar on our island in the Pacific with you on your island in the Pacific. Continued love from us – Mahalo!

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