This year marks the 3rd annual Poker paddle held by the Wild Coast organization at the Coronado Ceys yacht club. WILDCOAST is an international conservation team that conserves coastal and marine ecosystems and wildlife.
The Poker paddle is a fun race that is an original way to get participants of all ages out on the water. With teams of 6 to 8 people each person would paddle from the dock in front of the yacht club to an anchored dock to retrieve a single playing card to return and ad to the teams hand for a game of poker. The team with the strongest hand wins. But, here’s the kicker, after the fun run there was an actual race between the teams strongest kayaker and SUPr and the winner received 5 extra playing cards to ad to the teams hand.
The Isle crew had a strong showing with a victory in the SUP race and strong finish with the 2nd place hand with 5 of a kind queens loosing to five of a kind Aces. All in all the purpose of the event is to just show up and have a good time for a good cause.
After the poker paddle the teams were all allowed access to the yacht clubs top notch facilities to rinse off the salt water and dapper up for the dinner party. The Baja Bash hosted four of the most unique and delicious dishes I personally have ever had from chefs from both sides of the border.
Drew Deckman of Deckman’s en Mogur and Deckman’s Los Cabos introduced me to potentially my new favorite dish, local smoked yellow tail roe. Javier Plascencia of Romesco’s Mexiterranean, Mision 19 of Tijuana, served amazing Lamb tacos. Flor Franco of Indulge Catering and Encuentro Guadalupe also highlighted some local smoked yellow tail and oysters.
Every dish was good enough that I will make a significant effort to order each of them at these vendors’ establishments when between surf sessions south of the border. To top off all the amazing food there was also be beer courtesy of Stone Brewing Company and Karl Strauss, an assortment of wines from Valle de Guadalupe and tequila by Nobleza Tequila.
After we had all overeaten and had a few cold ones we stopped through the silent auction to bid on a few Items on the way inside for the award ceremonies. The Isle Crew had teamed up with friends at Baja Bound for this event and between the two companies we were awarded for raising the most donations and received a plaque and a gift basket presented by some of the Wildcoast founders.
Special to this year the Baja Bash honored the late Don Pachico, known as the “grandfather of the whales” in Laguna San Ignacio, who past away in 2013. For his inspiring relationship with gray whales and his belief in the ability of wildlife and wild places to transform our lives and make the world a better place, Pachico was remembered by his son who was in attendance to accept this honor.
Though we didn’t win the poker paddle the crew was all very pleased to attend such a cool and original event all for a good cause. I can guarantee that we will be back next year and keeping an eye out for other upcoming Wildcoast events.
About the Author & Photographer - Jesse Wright spent the majority of his youth in the back country of Idaho and Colorado snowboarding and chasing the snowboard circuit. After the millennium he headed toward the coast and never looked back. A former pro snowboarder turned surfer hes an avid shortboarder and paddler and when he’s not running his German Shepard or working with his media company he can be found on foreign shores mixing it up with the Isle Surf & SUP Crew.