Looking at Dome's Beach from El Faro Park

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Let the Preaching Begin....

While I was in Los Angeles for a week, Cyndi volunteered at a Surfrider beach cleanup here in Rincon. They worked at Maria's which is a beautiful spot where we take the dogs often. They picked up at least 15 bags of trash; bottles, glass, cans, straws, clothes and all other sorts of trash that people take with them to the beach or that the wind blows onto the beach from the nearby road.

Surfrider held this beach cleanup day as a worldwide event, so beaches all over Rincon, the Caribbean and the rest of the Earth were made cleaner on this single day by volunteers like Cyndi. Obviously the cleanup makes the beach nicer, but so much trash effects the animal and plant life in and out of the water. I recently saw a documentary where oceanographers were tracking a giant cluster of plastic in the Pacific Ocean. It was hundreds of miles long and wide, made up of water bottles, fishing line, 6-pack holders and small plastic globules that are used in industrial plastic manufacturing. It was disturbing to see the amount of trash that had made it's way out to sea and the effect it was having on the sea life.

It seems pretty obvious that we need to take care of our oceans, but apparently not to everyone. At the risk of sounding preachy, next time you're at the beach, take a few minutes to pick up any trash you see; even if everyone doesn't do it, for those that do it will make a huge difference, and it makes you feel good.

The Rincon chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, is headed by Wes Merten. He held a meeting on Thursday, so we went to see what they were working on. There were only about 8 other people there, which even though a lot of people from Rincon are out of town this time of year, seems like a very low amount considering it's such a wave-loving community. The next project is installing 24 new trashcans at some of the beaches around Rincon. It's great that Surfrider has the money and the connections to be able to do this kind of thing as it makes keeping the beaches clean a little easier if there are less excuses not to.

Cyndi and I are both looking forward to being more involved with Surfrider and a few other organizations here in Rincon that make the town a better place to live. We're setting our roots here and it's important for us to work toward improving our environment and not leave it up to someone else.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

How Can I Makes Some Money in Rincon?

The move to Rincon, came before knowing if we could make money here. Cyndi sold her massage therapy business in Laguna Beach and has started doing sports massage here in Rincon. It should work out great for her. As I've written before Rincon has plenty of athletes; surfers, mountain bikers, kayakers and divers and as far as we can tell only 3 or 4 other massage therapists, none of them just specializing in sports and deep tissue massage. She started by getting a website,, and added a free business listing on Google business listings, part of Google maps. She joined the Tourism Assoc. of Rincon (TAR) and got a listing on their website,, and a spot on the map of Rincon that is sold for $2 at many of the TAR locations. By becoming a member of TAR, you are also entitled to place your business cards in other TAR businesses. She spent the first couple of months here doing just that as well as meeting various operators and owners of inns and guest houses that can recommend her services to their guests. She has also joined a concierge service,, that is a one stop-shop for services for the Rincon tourist. All this marketing work was done before the true tourist season starts in November and Cyndi has already done a few massages.

I had no plans, but a few ideas to make money in Rincon, so when we got here my agenda was to work on the house and get as much information as possible on what's going on in Rincon. There is still much work to be done on the house, but I also need to start having an income. My experience is in the restaurant business and there seems to be plenty of opportunities for employment either as a bartender or waiter at any of the hotels and restaurants around town during the season and that may be my best option for the first year we are here.

There are also roadside foodstands all over Rincon, roasted chicken, pinchos (bbq'd meat skewers), hot sandwiches, hot dogs, burgers and even pizza. It seems to be a good cash only, low overhead business that allows you to control hours and location, but the key is to cook what works and I will not know that until I've lived here through the tourist season.

The town of Rincon is small and other than restaurants, hotels, surf related business and services, has only the basics of stores; hardware, pharmacy, grocery, a few gift shops and art galleries. There really isn't much else. Any store we would open would have to cater to the swell of tourists who come during the high season and hope for some business from the locals during the off-season. A bike shop would be succesful here, but I really don't have the capital for such a large enterprise. We've thought about a pet supply store and several different service business', such as pool cleaning, but once again, the need to know what we're dealing with here is the key to any success and that will take some time.

I think of Rincon a lot like a new frontier, there are plenty of opportunities, but we have limited resources and the key to success will be using those resources wisely. Rents are relatively low, as are wages, but it's a seasonal town. Almost all the restaurants are closed for the whole month of September. For now, I'm meeting a lot of great people and getting some good advice about what to expect, but I also believe that Cyndi and I have a different and fresh perspective on the town and that is our biggest advantage.