Saturday, July 16, 2011

Golfito, Costa Rica

The single best thing in Golfito is this 3 foot by 4 foot green turtle. Her head is at least 10 inches across. She comes by the LandSea club house each high tide looking for her feeding of bananas. Tim and Katie keep a large bunch hacked off a local tree tied up to a roof column. You grab a banana and throw it down to her. She hears the splash and heads for a morning treat. Half dozen bananas, peels and all, and she’s off to check the other marinas and the rest of the bay.
golfitoIMG_8411Turtle treats hanging to cure
LandSea (TierraMar) marina from the mooring field. That’s Tim’s (co-owner with Katie) house boat in the foreground. The hillside behind has a pretty healthy monkey and bird population. Each morning you hear pairs of scarlet macaws squawk as they pass by on their daily mission. Noisy gangs of green parrots go by regularly too.
Me, Riley and Vinnie(on the chair) working on a plan for the day’s jobs on the cruisers deck.
Speaking of the day’s jobs, don’t think that Chris is the only one to have gainful employment around here. I helped load this Shearwater cruiser onto the YachtPath freighter for its easy ride back home to Vancouver, BC. Made US$25 as crew.
The port and city of Golfito were created as the main transportation port for United Fruits, aka Chiquita. Something like 80% of the bananas leaving Costa Rica were exported from here at one time. United Fruit had the Great White Fleet of freighters carting bananas up the coast.  Company stores, company pier, company housing, company railroad, company workshops, company government. The pier and many of the buildings are still in use.
The ships of the Great White Fleet were painted white to help reduce the temperatures for the precious banana cargo while in the tropical sun.
image The Golfito Banana Pier in the background
Golfito Banana Pier in the background as we get fuel in another tropical downpour
In 1985 United Fruit abruptly closed up shop. The piers and property reverted back to the Costa Rican government and the city fell into decline. With the help of the Duty Free zone (created by federal government), a small but thriving sport fishing business, retiring ex-pats, and a little luck, the town gets by.
We are fueled up, stocked with food and beer and almost ready to go. There’s a ‘monsoon trough’' here now according to the weather files. I don’t have a clue what a monsoon trough is but I can tell you it comes with a lot of torrential rain and offshore wind. Should move out to the Caribbean side by Monday. We’ll start the treasure hunt check-out procedure on Tuesday, as customs is closed Sat, Sun and Monday in Golfito. Then leave Tuesday afternoon for an overnight passage to Isla Parida in Panama.

1 comment:

  1. Paul, granted you dont look the worse for wear, but why only pics of you the turtle and dog...none of the beautiful lady you stole away with? It's always great to see your adventures. Having a few of my own - hence, not many notes from me to you. Pics?? got them too, but dont really know how to attach anything useful/interesting in that regard to your notes. Will be heading to Hawaii 8/2 and staying thru the 11th for daughter's wedding in Hilo. I'll be staying in Kona except for the wedding since Hilo has a major rain issue that interests me ZERO.... we've had so much this spring/summer. If you have any sailing buddies in Kona who would not mind a somewhat dim-whitted crew member, let me know because I'd like to find some sailing to do while there. Give Chris my best, ole mate, and safe sailing.