We met that guy standing at the beach with two shortboards under his arm, a yellow happy sunshine umbrella and picnic basket under the other while the surf just crushed on the beach of Doniños. “Hola, mi nombre es Carlos Bremón Junior and this is my beach!” he stated, grinning proudly.
“I’ve been surfing here all of my life – also because my father, Carlos Bremón Senior was a pioneer of surfing in the area.” Since these early days Doniños became one of the most frequented beaches around, localism got pretty bad over the years, “but it’s getting considerably more relaxed again. You know, people grow up, they become wiser and finally we started to realize that it’s better to share than to be angry all the time. We are pretty calm now.”
Then again, big waves mean more than mere fun for his life. Working as a percebeiro - a collector of percebes, goose barnacles – waves and the moods of the ocean have a real impact on Carlos professional life. The barnacles live on the rocks that get exposed during low tide – usually where the waves continously crash against them and waters are white and rich of oxygen. Percebeiros are abseiling themselves from the cliffs and submerge into the boarder between the rumbling sea and sharp rocks to collect the delicatesse. It’s known to be a dangerous job only a few dare to do.
“When it’s stormy and the waves become bigger, the barnacles become more profitable immediately: a Kilo can cost up to 120 Euros! Plus I get to surf after work. So I love bigger waves. When the sea is unleashing it’s power. Then, on the other hand when there are no waves, it’s less dangerous but I don’t earn money. I live and depend on the moods of the ocean, everyday. Either for surfing or barnacles.” he says.
His tatoos – a crab and urchins - represent inhabitants with whom he shares his hunting fields and with them he endures the power of the waves which hit the rocks. “Like them, I can’t live without the ocean. Impossible. I would die within three days, for sure.”
In the end the dude had a message: “Surfing is a healthy sport – so keep the ocean healthy and we can continue.” Our message: Listen to the dude.
Update: We received a friendly yet serious email recently in which we were told that Carlos has never ever taken part in one of the multiple beach cleanings at Doniños organized by the Surfrider Foundation although he is talking about keeping the beach clean. We can’t judge on this or proof it right or wrong. We believe that participating in a beach cleanup is only one of many things you can do to keep the ocean clean. But hey dude, beach cleanings are a sign to the public that there is people who want to see change. So why not participating in the next one, the one after and the next one?