Archive for October, 2009

Golfito, Costa Rica

Posted in Uncategorized on October 27, 2009 by issycf

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So this is our first post from Costa Rica. We have been enjoying our stay here, anchored outside Land and Sea marina, a small marina which is the home and business of owners Tim and Katie, the last place in Golfito, Costa Rica, which charge decent rates. For $5 a day, they provide a dinghy landing, coffee in the morning (which hasn’t helped my addiction), wifi access, a place to escape the boat for a while, laundry service and tourist information. Katie and Tim are being pressured by both of the million dollar marinas along side to sell up, give in to the dark side you might say, which would mean that sailors would have to pay about US $80 to &100 a night for all the same services which Tim and Katie provide.

The other day, out of interest and in an effort to expand our knowledge of the local area beyond the long main street of Golfito, we went on a 7-hour hike up the mountain bordering the main road and back down a small rain forest track. It was an amazing hike, beautiful scenery, much wildlife, although James was disappointed we didn’t see any ‘big’ animals like the famous local Jaguar! There were heaps of lizards, butterflies, insects, and frogs. It made for quite an adventure.

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A view of Golfito Bay

The path down through the rainforest was so off the beaten track that it was difficult to find. After walking for about 5 hours, we weren’t sure if we had passed it or not. We had no idea whether or not to turn back. Had we missed the path and were we just walking further away from Golfito now?- we asked each other. But we both felt we should keep moving forward. Eventually James’ keen senses settled on a foot wide trail of red clay which turned out  to be the start of our path back to Golfito. Above us was the constant canopy of the rainforest where all of the trees and plants were battling to get their share of sunlight. Nature was thick around us and it felt so… right. We heard the gush of a waterfall and came accross a stream rushing over the boulders and rocks of the mountain side. For once, we couldn’t hear trucks or cars or speed boats. It was really a great experience. 

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And then, after hours of greenery, it was all over, as if we had walked through a door into the land of humans again. Just like that we were in Golfito. It was like stepping into another world.

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We had thought we were going on a two hour hike and so by this time, we were ravenous! We sat down and enjoyed a meal of Snapper, plantains (a staple of Central America, a bit like bananas but less sweet and starchier) and salad.

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Bahia Honda

Posted in Uncategorized on October 15, 2009 by issycf

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Bahia Honda was a lovely, quiet, secluded anchorage we found in the southern part of Panama.

A beautiful harbour, well protected from the ever present swell outside. Surrounded by forrested hills and moutains. Abundant in fish and bird life. Fed by fresh water streams and waterfalls.

We soon made friends with Senor Domingo and his family, who came by seperately, wishing to trade fresh fruit, vegetables and some fish, for fishing lures, batteries, pens, gasoline or even a little cash.

This is an idyllic spot. Maybe what Sydney harbour would have looked like before being ‘discovered’ by white man. It certainly has million dollar views, but Senor Domingo has it all for next to nothing, plus fresh air and no crowds!

James

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Whales

Posted in Uncategorized on October 15, 2009 by issycf

IMG_2288 (Medium)On our way from Ensanada del Naranjo to Isla Cebaco we saw some whales doing impressive tail slaps in the distance.

We altered course towards them and kept a cautious distance, not wanting to incite any defensive behaviour, especially after we discerned that they were mother and calf.

It seemed that the mother was teaching her calf how to slap it’s tail in the water.

After a while they disappeared and we continued on our way, thinking the show was over, when suddenly they surfaced almost alongside ! They must have been shadowing us. We thought that was pretty good and then they both diverted 90 degrees to cut right under our bow! It was very exciting. So close and personal with these amazing creatures.

We’ve seen a few more since then, even one breaching, that is, jumping far up, almost out of the water and crashing back down. Unfortunately, or fortunately, it was from quite a distance.

James

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Where are we now you may ask

Posted in Uncategorized on October 5, 2009 by issycf

It’s been a while since our last update, so we thought we’d better let everyone know how we’ve been getting on.

After coming through the Panama Canal, we stopped at Balboa for a few days to provision for the up-coming trip to the Galapagos Islands and further afield. While we were there we had some engine problems, with the starter motor failing to engage, and the our newly purchased outboard also decided to not co-operate. A few days later we had both sorted out thanks to some encouragement and advice from some of the other cruisers anchored there.

Everyting seems to take longer than expected and we didn’t end up heading off for our intended destination, the Galapagos until the 22nd of september.

Three days out we were flopping around with no wind, lots of waves, Isabelle was suffering seasickness and I was re-considering our time schedule. We weren’t really going to get much time at the Galapagos, and have to do a lot of sailing, to get back up to Mexico, where we intended to leave the boat to head home for Christmas. We had thought we’d be able to head back to Equador after the Galapagos and cruise up the coast, but there just wasn’t sufficient time.

So, we decided on a new strategy. Head back to Panama, to somewhere calm as soon as possible for Isabelle, and then cruise leisurley up the Pacific side of central america towards Mexico.

As soon as we made our decision, we put the engine on, which promptly  died 😮

Thankfully a breeze sprang up and we were able to make good time back to land and a nice anchorage off the village of Bocara.

Since then, we have been enjoying quiet anchorages, quiet villages, where the main ‘road’ might be a narrow, flower bordered concrete path amongst the houses, and everybody smiles and greets you.

At the moment we are at Santa Catalina Island, heading for Bahia Honda, and then on to Costa Rica.

James and Isabelle