My stolen surfboards have been found.
The caper was solved by a stroke of luck and my quick-thinking, levelheaded and on-the-ball, not to mention beautiful, wife. She sent out a series of text messages to friends and surfers first thing we discovered the loss while I cursed the thieves who entered my garden and made off with my boards. She then fielded replies while I drove hopelessly around town looking for any trace of my boards only to come home depleted and empty-handed.
A friend got the SMS from my wife and then heard word that the kids of a friend’s brother had found two surfboards (a shortboard and a longboard) while playing in the dunes in the forest not far from my house. The conclusion was that the robbers had stashed the boards for an opportune pick-up time to take them a more secure storage place before selling them on, probably in a town down the coast or in Mar del Plata. This friend of my friend took the boards to his ranch a couple miles outside Pinamar and called me and said, “Hey, I got your boards.” I was out there like that. Skip my work as a freelance reporter and the breaking news of yet another development in a new political crisis in a country prone to crises. Keys, kiss my wife, get in the car and off I went down a sandy lane to a roundabout and the highway and out to the old train station. Pulled out my notes on how to get to the ranch. Stopped a couple of times to call for clues. And there he was, the man who helped recover my boards. He had them in a tool shed in the forest around his house. “Here they are.”
I couldn’t believe it.
I have been burgled twice in Pinamar and there have been three attempts, we think. Never has anything turned up, not the stereo, the iPod or the pushchair, nor the jewelry or the kids’ toys. Nor have the police been a help, instead making you suspicious that they’re in on it somehow (may they never read this, of course).
At the ranch, the savior of my boards showed me his house and a huge garden stretching into a lake filled with weedy plants. We chatted for a bit and then I put the boards on my car and strapped them down, and he bid me goodbye and said, “You’ll have to teach me to surf one day.”
I said, “Anytime.”