Friday, August 28, 2009


Hi there everyone! These pictures take you from our late afternoon sail from Drake's Bay out to Isla Cano at sunset, and our arrival the next morning in the Golfe Dulce, Golfito, including the little Land Sea Services Yacht Clubhouse and dock, and Mandy and Sidewinder out in the Golfito Bay. (There are only two double bays like this in the world.) It is a cloudy day so far, and we are doing chores. I am going on a hike later this afternoon with some beautiful French women who are cruising on the yellow yacht in the last picture.

We're here in Golfito getting stuff done and meeting some great people. This Land Sea Yacht Club is a welcoming little clubhouse established by a couple from California. Tim grew up in Newport Beach and is a diver, and Katy is the one who really makes it all happen. They have a house across the main street going into town, and they are now building a place next door to their house for some rental income. The yacht club has a kitchen, which is theirs mostly, but we are free to come and go as we like, using the bathroom and kitchen. There is a cute deck downstairs, and upstairs is a huge space where we girls did yoga postures two mornings ago. There is a huge shower upstairs, and the deck is where I am with my computer. There are always beers, soft drinks, and water in a big refrigerator, and we record what we take on a whiteboard next to it. Sidewinder is on a mooring, safe and sound, which only costs $8.00 a day.

Last night we had a delicious potluck and barbecue, which reminded me of the cookouts at home. There are a couple of cruisers in the marina next door, Eric and Cheryl from the boat Sarana, who wrote the cruising guides we have been religiously following from Mexico down through Central America. Eric surfs, so it has been fun following his pointers on special surf spots, although we have yet to find the right surf so far. Lynnie and Brad know just how hard it is to look for surf while sailing the coast. What you have to do, if you are serious, is stop somewhere and paddle in if the waves allow it. That way you can really see the break, which looks very different from the backside.

Our most recent plans are to take Sidewinder and sail across the bay with Mandy to check out some very special botanical gardens near Rincon. Richard and Virginia are checking out of Costa Rica tomorrow and will take off after Sunday for Panama; they have just realized that they have a very limited time to go through the Canal and get to Cartagena and eventually find a safe place to leave Mandy before the marriage of their daughter, Daisy, occurs in New Orleans. We will come back to Land Sea, leave Sidewinder in safe hands, and travel by bus to Balboa, meet them at the harbor, and go with them through the canal. That will be a wonderful way to finally say, "Adios" to our special friends until the next time. We will miss them so much. We have a 90 day visa which started in July, so we will begin our journey through Panama by the end of September. I can't believe how fast the time has flown by! We may make our way to Ecuador after that, and then we will be home for a couple of months. YOW! I think it is time to find some reasonable tickets home. We do look forward to seeing all of our loved ones sometime in November or December. Love to all. Gotta go: the fruit and veggie truck just pulled up! Love you. Suz

Sunday, August 23, 2009

From Golfito

I didn't have a chance to read Kris's sailmail response to our adventure in Drake's Bay, but David mentioned that it reminded her of the Sudsy/Suzi adventure [when they were missing in the deserts of Baja for several hours]. The big difference there was at least we didn't have a big group of people worrying about us and waiting for us. An added part of that adventure was that the next day, just before we departed from the landing during daylight hours, a big croc slithered out from under the dock. YIKES!

I did get to go on a long hike through the jungle that day, watched for a long time a scarlet macaw gorging himself with tasty fruit from a tree and a black hawk sitting close by watching for prey. There were small waterfalls along the trail and wonderful sweet-smelling flowers.

Yesterday, we got ready to leave the bay early and make our way to Golfito; when David checked the oil, once again, it was way high and full of saltwater. We were lucky to be able to turn over the engine manually several times after much effort and got the salt water out of the engine; we changed the oil and oil filter, and then changed it again, and made our way down to Golfito. I have a hard time writing about this cause there is so much more to say but it is all quite boring. We are ready for some fun, that's for sure! Mandy is here, and we are looking forward to being with them for a while before they depart through the Panama Canal. They went on a great hike today, so I hope we can do the same sometime this week. We also will be addressing our mechanical difficulties. I am able to get internet from the boat. [This means people can email them at the gmail address.] It is time to let David play on the computer for a while. Love you mucho, Suz

Friday, August 21, 2009

History & Adventure in Drake's Bay

This beautiful bay was so glassy and pristine when we arrived yesterday, we thought we were in paradise for sure. The surrounding jungle is at the edge of Parque Corcovado and the Oso Peninsula, probably the single best wilderness area in Costa Rica. Many guide books say that Francis Drake landed here in 1579, hence the name, but he actually anchored out at the Isla del Cano to do some maintenance on his ship, the Golden Hinde, after surprise attacking and stripping a boat named Nuestro Senora dela Concepcion, in Esmeralde, Ecuador. According to our guidebook, Drake sneaked up on the ship while disguised as a slow merchant vessel, dragging pots in the water under full sail, and the fight was over quickly. Queen Elizabeth scored a fortune in gold, worth 350,00 British pounds in 1580, about $140 million in today's dollars.

When coming into the bay we hailed Mandy on the VHF radio, and they were headed toward Matapalo and the Golfe Dulce; we will catch up with them in Golfito. Yesterday afternoon we took Worm into the small river with a dinghy dock owned by a beautiful eco lodge. We met some great people there, walked into the village on a ginger ladened path, found a nice restaurant and enjoyed some down time, finally. Unfortunately, this placid gorgeous bay is also known for it's rain storms and the skies unloaded. Typical of our adventures, we ran out of daylight and made our way back through the jungle by flashlight, said our good-byes to all at the lodge and found Worm full of water at the dock. Luckily we were able to bail out enough water and her engine started. We were extremely lucky once again to make our way across the sand bar at the river, only hitting the bottom two or three times and then got broadsided by some waves. We did make it back to Sidewinder and swore, once again, never to come back at night again. Sidewinder welcomed us with dry towels and warmth inside. The rain persisted into the night, but all is well. We will explore the area further today, hoping to catch the scarlet macaws we can hear and see some wildlife. It is so good to be back on our cruising journey. Love to all.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Engine Woes, Part ???

So, here we still are, in Punta Quepos bay with no starter :( As we enthusiastically got ready yesterday morning for our departure, we tried to start the engine and instead had a smoke alarm caused by the starter shorting out, causing some burning. Very alarming, I might add. Anyway, we spent the entire day taking the starter out, disassembling it, trying to put the spare starter in but couldn't because it was a different configuration, and David, bless his gentle soul, tried to put the new guts into the old body and discovered something wrong with the spare starter as well. He is in Quepos right now, and fingers and toes are crossed for a simple solution. This boat maintenance stuff is getting to both of us big time. We are very bummed with Brown's Engineering, who rebuilt our engine with all old parts. Que lastima!

Mandy left on Sunday morning; Virginia has not been feeling very well and they wanted to get to some calm water to rest. We will catch up with them but now it might not be until Golfito. We did go snorkling over here by the rock and it is exquisite! Beautiful fish, colorful coral, and pristine clear tourqouise water. I've tried for about an hour to connect to the internet but no luck. So, sailmail it is. Love you mucho, Suzi

P.S. from David- I was able to fix the spare starter with some help from a local mechanic, and we got it installed and working so should be leaving here this morning. We only have a few parts to go before we will have replaced everything on this FUC---- engine. But we do know a lot more about it???? David

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Punta Quepos

Just thought I would test out the sailmail here and say hi as well. This little bay is beautiful and I look forward to snorkling in a short while. Richard and Virginia were skyping from here yesterday, so I was hoping to say hi this morn, but I tried to connect and couldn't. I'll try this late afternoon. I hope your weather is still beautiful and trust that all is well. We are staying today and plan to leave for Domincalito tomorrow morn. After that is Bahia Uvita for some snorkeling and down to Bahia Drake for adventures. Our ultimate goal is to end up in Golfito and stay for a while; it is supposed to be a great place to hang, and it is close by Pavones, another well known surf spot. We are with Mandy and hope to continue traveling with them down through Panama. So far the weather has treated us oh, so fine. Cross your fingers for more of the same.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

We are in Quepos, Costa Rica, reprovisioning for our next adventure with Mandy, down the coast to the Osa Penninsula. We hope to stop at a few places along the way and catch some surf, snorkle, and see some of the wonderful wildlife. David and I honeymooned in this area in 2000 and it brings back some great memories. The weather has been cooperating so far and we do hope to catch some gentle, easy going 12 knot wind to help our venture smile. We may be out of touch for a while; the internet is less and less available as we move toward more wilderness areas and our ultimate destination is Golfito, inside the Golfo Dulce, southern Costa Rica. We will be there for a while before heading to Panama, and we will send pics of all the awesome adventures we are about to encounter, then. Our love to all.
To all of you who know of my fishing expertise this may come as a shock but I have caught a few fish while cruising along. But lately I've been beseiged with the "Small fish syndrome". I have been using a jig called a "Cedar Plug" which is about 6 inchs long and I have been catching little bonita that are about 12 inches long. I can't imagine how they get the thing in their mouths let alone why they would want to. They say that little bonita are great bait for marlin but I"m not into catching marlin. Way to big for us to eat and getting the thing aboard could be a real hassle. Might be sort of cool to be able to say I caught a Marlin but not that cool !! I'm fishing for yellow fin tuna but so far they don't seem to like what I'm offering them. But I'll keep trying and maybe sometime soon we can use some of that wasabe we stocked up on to add to the sashimi experience. So wish us luck and if any of you have any suggestions on how I may lure one of thos tastey critters aboard please drop me a line. Until then, I'll be fishing so don't bother calling.....

Friday, August 14, 2009

From Herradura

We had a fabulous sail across Gulfo de Nicoya two days ago with Mandy and celebrated the fun with some of the last bottle of tequila hidden in our bilge from when we left home. Mandy left early morn for Quepos, and we stayed to take care of the last of the boat issues (perhaps a little salt water in the oil from the former leak, so that it registered too high). We pumped out the old oil and added new, and today we are going into the very expensive Los Suenos Marina for fuel and a free oil change with purchase of the oil. I am sure that will take care of the oil problem (my job is to smile, you know :)), and we are hoping to go around the corner to Punta Leona to catch some waves at Playa Escondido and do a bit of snorkling. We may even leave this evening for Quepos to get the best of the weather and wind overnight. Love to all, Suzi and David

Couldn't get this sailmail out this morn, so I am trying tonight, one more time. We did get everything done and went up to Playa Escondido, and, although there were some surfers out, the waves were not that great and not frequent enough for the effort. We had a really nice afternoon, swimming and reading, and now we are back in Herradura for the stormy, thunder and lightning night. Leaving early morn. Bye.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Still in Bahia Ballena

Our editor in chief is on vacation and this is the first of my real blog entry. Wish me luck! We are at an internet cafe and it is closing in about 15 minutes. Yesterday my blog entry was lost due to a glitch in the power during the afternoon storm we had, so you can see, this is not an easy task. We´re still here, with a newly repaired raw water pump and looking forward to a hefty, newly repaired staysail which David is picking up tomorrow in Puntarenas. He´s becoming quite the expert at getting to Puntarenas from hour bus ride early in the morn, a ferry ride across the gulf of Nicoya, and a taxi ride to wherever he needs to go. I am left watching our trusty boat and trying to enjoy projects of my own. Besides all of the things on the To Do list, David so diligently created early one morning, we managed to enjoy the awesome wildlife at the golf course while David played 18 holes with me cheering him on. I know he would have loved to have been golfing with any of his buds, many of you who are reading this right now. Wish you were here; this 9 hole course is really nice. There are scarlet macaws being sent back into the wild here, big iguanas, beautiful birds and gorgeous flowers. We also went driving into the countryside and visited a new friend´s house. The pictures of the monkeys are from the hike I took when David first adventured to Puntarenas. Soon we will see Mandy sail into the bay and we will continue our journey with them down through Costa Rica and Panama. Love to all of you and hope all is well with everyone. Thank you for following with us on our adventure. Suzi and David (Jean Stevens, email us cause I have lost your email. Thank you for all of the comments. Massage Michael, we both miss you! Hope all is well.)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Bahia Ballena + Puntarennas

David's trip to Puntarennas was muy successful, and we will have a new sail by next Saturday and a fixed raw water pump by this next Wed. We will probably go somewhere else after the new water pump is installed but who knows where that will be? My hike was very fun, and I did find the monkeys! Lots of them! We howled at each other, but unfortunately I couldn't jump high enough to get into the trees with them. Tomorrow morn we are investigating the golf course, and I am looking for the scarlet macaws that live there. The organic market came to me and I have tons of green food that is so yummy. Love, Suzi