About Us

Welcome to our blog, describing our voyage aboard Bravo, a Kelly Peterson 46 sailboat with homeport in Seattle, Washington. We headed south in 2010, destined for Mexico and beyond. Cheers, Adam and Cindi

"As for me, I am tormented by an everlasting itch for things remote. I love to sail forbidden seas, and land on barbarous coasts." -Herman Melville, 1844

Monday, June 25, 2012

Adios, Central America

We'll start this post off with one of our "Mystery Photo Quizzes".  Identify it, and claim the prize!!!  (answer at the end of the post)

Well, we've completed our paperwork cha-cha with the authorities to clear out of Costa Rica, and with exit "zarpe" in hand, are preparing 'Bravo' to head to Ecuador later today.

The past couple of weeks have been most enjoyable, hanging out in the little towns of Puerto Jimenez and Golfito, both located on the calm shores of the Golfo Dulce (sweet gulf).

Daily storm clouds gathering
Here at Golfito, we've been anchored in front of Land and Sea Services, a funky club house hosted by Tim and Kate, former cruisers themselves.  With a great exchange library, an honor system beer fridge, comfortable chairs on the shaded deck, and 5 friendly dogs (well, actually 4 friendly, 1 not so!!!   sorry little guy, we call 'em like we see 'em), we really enjoyed our stay here.

Golfito itself is a unique spot.  The town, once a United Fruit banana company town, was abandoned in the 80's when UF pulled out.  Now subsisting mostly on exporting palm oil, fishing, and a tiny bit of tourism, it has a real local small town flavor in a spectacular setting, with the jungle coming down the steep side of a ridge behind, right to the waters edge.  The town is shoehorned in between, somehow.


Another load of palm oil pumped to the holding tank farm above.
Yup, it's HOT hiking in the jungle!!!
One morning, a great hike behind the town took us to the top of the ridge for spectacular views out to the bay and gulf beyond, and yet new opportunities to spot monkeys (squirrel monkeys this time) and amazing flowers.  Some felt like a visit to the set of "Little Shop of Horrors"!!!   But especially it felt great to stretch our atrophying legs on the 8 mile hike.


Wild orchid along the trail

Another morning we hired a panga, and along with crews from 'Camelot', 'Shellback', and 'Sabin', headed up the gulf to visit with Trudy at her beautiful botanical gardens, "Casa Orquieda" (Orchid House).  She gave us a great tour of the incredible spot that she and her husband have carved into the jungle.  The diversity of plants was unbelievable, and we enjoyed munching on fruits that we'd never seen or heard of.  The 70 acre property is home to 100's of species of plants, birds, and other animals, and WELL worth the $8 price of admission!!!  That even included our first toucan spotting in Costa Rica!!!
Wild pineapple, not quite as big as the hybrids we know.

Bromeliads everywhere

Mangostine on the right, and a ???? on the left (tastes like lychee nut)

NOT a stuffed animal!!!

Cindi at the duty free checkout....A happy customer!!!
But it's now time to head to South America.  We've made our requisite trip to the duty free shopping mall to stock up on, well, "sundowner fixings" for the next year or so (alcohol in Ecuador is taxed 100% duty!!!  and French Polynesia is no better)

The upcoming 600 mile passage to Ecuador is known as being rather unpleasant, with fluky or non existent winds, squalls, and a contrary Humbolt current often running up to 2 knots on our nose after we cross the equator.  We've even picked up an extra 18 gallon plastic diesel tank as we expect to motor much of the way, according to the weather forecasts.

We've thoroughly enjoyed our nearly 3 month visit to Central America.  The people that we've met have been wonderful, and eager to share their lives with us.  Their pride in their countries is evident everywhere, and they wanted to pass that on to us.  While they were often poor by US or even Mexican standards, they enjoy a peaceful, content existence that we can all learn from.  "Pura vida", indeed.  Thanks for sharing.

(answer to "mystery quiz"......This is a sprout growing in our cockpit from under the teak.  Yeah, it's rainy, hot and humid here.....and yeah, it's time to boogie south!!!)

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