life, drums, family

The Stevie Story- The Boomerang Effect in Costa Brava!

Costa Brava Jump Shot

Costa Brava Jump Shot- By Danilo Maia

One of the Sundays that the EPIC pulled into Barcelona, Members of the Legends in Concert show, the Cirque Show, and a few from Blue Man, including myself met a privately chartered bus in the parking lot of Terminal A.  Stevie, from Excursions Barcelona (pictured above, second from the Left), met us in the parking lot.  An outdoorsy-type with a British accent, Stevie was easy to get along with from the start.  The group was in good spirits because we were heading to Costa Brava for a Kayaking and Snorkeling Tour.

The day was awesome!  I have very little pictures, because, well, we were kayaking in the ocean-  so I didn’t want to take my phone out there.  There were some GoPro’s in waterproof cases that made it out there, but I haven’t gotten a hold of any of those pics yet…    

The water was a magical emerald greenish blue, the likes of which I have never seen before, and it was surrounded by beautiful rock formations.  We kayaked around, and took turns going in 1-kayak-sized ocean-ocean-wave-slurping caves, and made our way to the snorkeling zone.  It was beautiful-  we tied our kayaks in a little train, and were ready to head out for some serious snorkeling.  Except…  “Oh NOOOO!!!”  Danilo dropped his GoPro.  The ocean floor was what looked to me to be 40-50 feet down.  I swam around, looking for it, in hopes of spotting it…  the water was deep, but it was amazingly clear, so we could clearly see to the bottom.  The problem was that it was so far down, the GoPro camera, which is only about 2 inches cubed, was easily hiding down there.  I looked for a while, but gave up on the seemingly impossible task.  Despite feeling bad for Danilo’s bad luck, I put the thought out there that “if Danilo is meant to have that GoPro, then it will find it’s way back to him.  I call the Boomerang Effect into action.”  So I swam off to enjoy the beautiful snorkeling views.

Now, what is the Boomerang Effect?  Let’s take a little tangent and explore this:  It’s something that I learned about from Rob Kurtzrider, one of the other drummers at the Orlando Blue Man Group show.  He’s told numerous stories about how he seems to have this thing in his life where things that he’s lost will always make their way back to him in mysterious ways.  One such story has him riding in the back of a truck through the mountains of Hawaii, when his favorite hat blows off…  “Ah man, say goodbye to that!”  And he simply dismisses it.  Let’s it go.  They keep driving and enjoy the scenery.  45 minutes later, when they finally stop at another traffic light, a truck pulls up behind them with a guy waving his hat out of the window!  “Hey man, you lost your hat!”  The Boomerang Effect.  I think his friends actually began to notice this with Rob, and dubbed it the Boomerang Effect, because his stuff would always just magically come back to him.   Since learning of this, I’ve decided to sort of adopt it for myself.  It seems that one critical part of it is the zen practice of detachment.  Once said object is gone, you just kind of have to say good bye to it, and let it go.  This, in opposition to the drama of being completely torn apart because you lost something, and will never see it again— oh, the agony!!!   And for me, either way this goes, I’m in a better place.  Even if I never see the thing again, I’m just OK with it, and that’s that.  No drama.

So back to Costa Brava…

While snorkeling, we saw scuba divers below us, tons of fish ebbing and flowing with the currents, and I even spotted a baby octopus!  I know this isn’t much for people who are regular scuba divers, but it was cool for me.  To watch that octopus swim, and be one color, then to land on a multi colored background of plants and rocks, and to instantly change colors to where he was nearly invisible…  it was simply amazing!  I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.  I’ve seen videos of stuff like that before, but it’s a whole different thing to see it in person!

We snorkeled, jumped off rocks, and finally met up with a surprisingly ecstatic Danilo…

“Dude!  Stevie dove down and got my GoPro!”  Whoa!  This guy’s amazing!  I spoke to him afterwards, and apparently, he just knows how to “free dive.”  He’s been scuba diving for so long now that he can just dive down, with nothing but a mask, and all he has to do is wiggle his ears and they know how to de-pressurize themselves.  He’s also got amazing breath control if he can swim down that far with no air tank.  So that was Stevie’s first act of heroism that day… and the the first Boomerang Effect.

Soon, we all kayaked back, as we were on a schedule to get back to the EPIC.  Excursions Barcelona provides a lunch of sandwiches, which we all inhaled like we had never seen food before.

Bus ride back, more fun with the crew, then we got dropped off at Terminal A, where the EPIC was parked.  Good bye bus, thanks for a nice ride… wow what a day!   …

wait…   where’s my phone?   oh shit!!  not in this pocket…  not here…   oh man, I left it on the bus!  I was in a funny state at that point.  It had been such a great day, and I was so invigorated by the experience that I wasn’t that panicked about leaving my phone.  I knew it was on that bus, we would just have to figure out how to get a hold of them.  The trick is that none of us have cell phones that work in Europe.  So we quickly go back on the EPIC, and got ahold of Inez.  She was Shakira in the Legends in Concert show on the ship, and had gone on the excursion that day.  She speaks Spanish.  Lucky for us.  So her, and the bass player from Legends, Bill, were so gracious as to call the excursion company, where Stevie speaks English, but everyone else there speaks only Spanish, and Stevie had gone home for the day.  Through a series of phone calls, Inez was able to get ahold of the right people, and finally Stevie, who lives in Barcelona.  Fortunately, the bus company was in Barcelona, so Stevie said he would go to the bus company, and get my phone.  I wouldn’t be back in Barcelona for a week, and so wouldn’t be able to get my phone back for a week, but at least I knew it was in good hands.   Somehow, through all of this, I was able to be pretty calm about the whole thing.  I just trusted that my phone would make it’s way back to me, in classic Boomerang style, and knew that stressing about it wouldn’t do any good.

Over the next week, I got ahold of Stevie through email, and we arranged to meet at the Barcelona Cathedral at 11am that coming Sunday.  Great.  I would have my phone back again.

For some reason, I “chose” that Sunday to be the one day of the entire contract when I would oversleep.  I was woken up at 10:45 by Danilo.  It was at least a 30 min bike ride to the Cathedral.  We rode out anyway, but to no avail.  Stevie was meeting a tour group there to leave at 11, and when we rode up all sweaty at 11:15, there was nobody there.  So, this meant another week without the phone.

The next Sunday I did get my phone back.  I keep my iPhone in a wallet case.  So all of my credit cards were in there too.  Fortunately all of that stuff was safe, and there were no extra charges in my bank account.  There was 50 Euros in there that didn’t make it back to me, but by the time it did get back to me, it had changed hands at least 3 times, and so I just called that phone carrying tax.

At the time, the main bummer for me was that I had 2 weeks of no pictures.  But in hindsight, two weeks of my 4 months out there wasn’t too bad, especially considering that in Barcelona, which is known as one of the pickpocket capitols of the world, my phone made it back to me:  the Boomerang Effect was in full effect!  Plus, it was kind of nice to just enjoy that 2 weeks without ever stopping to take a picture, and just taking the time to enjoy the moment for what it was.  There was a certain freedom to that which I liked very much.

It’s funny, but I just went back, and was cleaning up my blog page, and some of my older posts, and remembered a post that I wrote about when my iPhone got washed with my costume at Blue Man while I was on tour.  There’s something nice about a break from technology for a while.  The endless wormhole of Facebook will forever be spitting out entertaining content, people are making more and more videos, and can post stuff at any hour of the day or night.  Social media is awesome, but it’s also dangerous.  That’s why I like blogging.  It sort of feels to me like a quiet place off the main highway of social media, where you can stop in and listen to someone tell a story without a million distracting ads and “THIS JUST IN!!!” banners.  So for those of you who take the time to stop in, and listen, I appreciate it.  I enjoy writing my stories down, and re-living the experiences, and I hope you enjoy them too!

thanks for reading-


2 responses

  1. Mom

    A well written interesting blog. Loved it.

    December 6, 2014 at 1:46 am

  2. Danilo

    Dude! my GoPro! lol, Nicely painted picture, I replayed this experience in time lapse in my mind as I read along. I can relate to the boomerang effect in many occasions from my experience on the epic. One thing you forgot to mention, maybe cause it didn’t have to do with you but with me…the go pro batteries! I think it was an extra 2 weeks or 1… not sure that I went without them. Then Pato, graciously met up with the petty cab driver and got them from him. I was skeptical I would get it back so I let it go, the bam, Pato sends me a facebook message: “I have your three batteries”. WOO!

    This just in.

    I forgot my watch in Barcelona at the quicksilver store. I believe you were with me when I dropped it off to change the battery.

    Well my memory is not the best sometimes and I had forgot that I actually dropped off my watch! So in my mind as I went by the store after the date they said the battery would be ready, I thought: ehh im so close to going home that Ill just do it when I get back.

    I thought my watch was somewhere in my room and I would eventually find it…nope.

    So we sailed away from Barcelona one final time.

    At this point I had no idea where my watch was, until I received an email from the quicksilver store claiming they had my watch! haha oh man.

    okay…um…..oh yeah! Pato!….


    Pato again goes to the rescue, gets my watch…and check this out. Stephen Wendt from Blueman in Orlando was STILL IN BARCELONA! met up with Pato and now he has my watch and will hand it back to me when he gets back in the states! talk about a boomerang!

    Thats just one of my stories,,,there was the time when I almost missed the ship… but thats a whoooole other adventure that I don’t have time or space to write in this already-too-long-of-a-reply!!! 🙂

    Good Times. Cheers.


    January 1, 2015 at 11:50 pm

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