Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Costa Rica Living / Boat Projects – January, 2017

We can’t yet say we are ON Abracadabra but it IS accurate to say we are NEAR Abracadabra. Within about 100 yards, actually.

Return To The Tropics

We returned to Costa Rica on December 29 and stayed in San José for two nights. The idea was to “be on vacation” for a full day before we traveled on to Golfito and Abracadabra. You know, acclimate to the heat and hang by the pool.

Not so much.

Our one full day in the big city was spent at a down-at-the-heels shopping mall getting telephone chips (our previous local telephone numbers had expired), buying a tea kettle (even we couldn’t drink what came out of our old one), eating a very bad meal at a food court and getting Bryce’s hair cut (he hasn’t yet bonded with a barber in Golfito).

We flew to Golfito on Sansa Airlines on the 31st. [Explanatory Note: The following pictures were taken when we departed Golfito in August, but since we didn’t post about that trip and we didn’t get any pictures of our trip into town we thought we’d share these old pictures here.]

Golfito Airport Where Inside Is Outside

Ooops - But Don't Worry,
That Wasn't A Sansa Plane -- It Was The Police

Marina Pez Vela at Quepos From The Air -
Two Days To Sail It / 30 Minutes To Fly

New Year’s Eve

We arrived at our marina-side apartment in time to drop our bags and learn that (a) a giant papaya tree had fallen and taken out the electrical service on our side of the street and (b) there was a potluck party that night at the Cruiser's Clubhouse (a cruiser-friendly business run by Katie, the owner of the apartment we are renting). 

We walked to the grocery store and bought some chicken, chips and a bottle of white wine. We stashed our chicken and wine in the clubhouse fridge because that side of the street had power and returned to shower and dress in our finest wrinkled clothing. The electricity came on about the time we were leaving for the party. Yea!, we would come home to operating ceiling fans!

The party was a good “welcome home” for us. There were fireworks at various points around the little gulf (Golfito), our chicken was fine, the pot-luck portion of the meal was good and the crowd was very friendly and eclectic – Swedes, Canadians (both anglophone and francophone), Americans and an energetic Kyrgyz/Russian/Israeli. Someday Molly is going to write a novel and you will be able to meet some of the more colorful residents of the Golfito area!

Boat Related Stuff

Since the New Year began we have been living in the same nice one-bedroom apartment overlooking Banana Bay Marina that we rented for a couple of weeks last year. 

We Have The Top Floor - Great Breeze!
And a View of The Imperial Beer Sign.

From the comfort of home we make daily forays to clean and fix things aboard Abracadabra.  [Side Note: Many cruisers pride themselves in being hearty. The fact that we are not so much used to embarrass us. No longer. We are happy to work from a nice, breezy little apartment rather than sweat it out trying to live in a tiny construction site and are grateful that we have enough cash flow to do it this way!]

We were thrilled to find absolutely no mold and very little mildew aboard Abracadabra (remember, Golfito has the reputation of being the rainiest place in Costa Rica). We can’t recommend these little Eva-Dry de-humidifiers enough!

The Eva-Dry 1100!

They're about the size of a one cup coffee maker. We purchased two of them. Bryce drilled a hole in the drip tray of each and attached small draining tubes. One was left to drain into the galley sink, the other into the sink in the head. Those little guys sucked moisture for five months and were still at work when we arrived. $55.00 each plus shipping. Priceless.

Sadly, not everything has gone as well. As we began to clean Molly found two dead cucarachas (cockroaches) of the German variety (really – that’s the name for the gross little brown scampering guys). Good, we thought; they ate the bait we left for them and now they’re dead. Die, little bugs, die. We continued to clean shelves and drawers and then – dah, dah, dah, dum: Bryce opened a drawer and . . . a live one skittered. As all sailors know, there’s never just one cockroach. We have since squirted a full tube of Advion gel (we call it Roach Mega Death Gel) around the boat – in every nook and cranny we can find. This Roach Mega Death Gel was given to us by a Prince Among Men – the captain of a charter sport fishing boat named Derrick.  

We'll Get You My Pretties!

This stuff costs about $20 a box on The Evil Amazon and is very hard to find in Costa Rica. Our benefactor simply gave us a box and told us to pay it on. Assuming it works as well as it is reported to we will purchase enough to be able to pass some on to others in need the next time we see a Home Depot!

We’re also waiting for the delivery of:
  • replacement 4D-size AGM Lifeline batteries which are in route by sea from Miami (they weigh too much to be sent by air) because, well, 5 years in the tropics is a battery life well-lived; 
  • two electric pumps, one of which died a tragically young death; and
  • the original of our annual Coast Guard Declaration which is reported to be in the hands of Correo Costa Rica (the postal service).
These deliveries = we don’t expect to be going anywhere very fast until February. What are we saying! We’re traveling on a sailboat. Even when we’re going as fast as we can, we aren’t going anywhere very fast!

Golfito Life

As we wait, we suffer the hardships of Golfito with our usual charm and grace (that would be sarcasm):
  • We have eaten our way through the menu at the Banana Bay Marina which is the best restaurant in town - and as a result consumed more french fries in the last few days than in the previous few months!
  • Molly is going through mosquito acclimation which, if consistent with past practices should mean the local population will tire of her charms in a couple more weeks.
  • Bryce is learning what equipment may be flown in and what has to be shipped in (because nothing actually here is the right thing or the right size of the right thing).
  • Between 7:30 a.m. and about 10 pm we have to shout at each other in the living room because our apartment not only overlooks the marina – it overlooks the main coastal highway.
Garbage Day In Golfito

All of that is bearable - and sometimes comical - because we are also able to enjoy:

  • the vast space that is an entire one-bedroom apartment with a real shower, a flush toilet, a stand-up refrigerator, fans, an air-conditioner in the bedroom and big windows;
  • the company of our fellow cruisers and visitors (good to meet you Jeff and Laurie!), the assorted quirky expatriated Americans, Canadians and Europeans who call Golfito home and the charming people working at the marina and in local stores;
  • watching tourists - sport fishers and backpackers come and go;
  • and, of course, the views:

Cruise Ship Disappearing Around The Corner

Sunset - Golfito

We also enjoy watching the U.S. Coast Guard in action - well, in action at the Banana Bay Marina bar and restaurant anyway. There are two surveillance ships (we think they are 110' Island Class Cutters ??) that use Golfito for crew changes and fuel purchases. Molly mentioned to a fellow sailor that she got a lot of comfort knowing that potential rescuers were so close at hand. His suggestion was that if we ever did need to issue a distress call, we could assure a Coast Guard rapid response by announcing something like: "We are taking on water and our entire haul of marijuana is getting wet!" Ha! Point well taken. 

That's our Golfito life for now. More about where we’re going when we get ready to go there!

Our Next Post: We’ll return to blog entries on Spain unless something exciting happens in Golfito.

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