So how come we like CR? I think I had such low expectations that it was easy to like once we got here. There’s a saying that you always here when you research cruising in CR: Theft is not a crime in Costa Rica, it’s an art form. As far as I can see it is no worse than Mexico, El Salvador or Oakland. We feel like we need to take the normal evening precautions, but no more. As opposed to El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico, CR is amazingly clean – no road trash or piles of floating crap in the waters. The place is awash in flower power color. Purple orchids, red, yellow and pink hibiscus, a thousand shades of green from leaves as big as ants to elephant ears… OK, we are getting to the end of my plant identification skills. Then there really are monkeys cruising around everywhere– you just have to stop for a bit and look up for the unnatural branch movements. Iguanas, Jesus Christ lizards, crocs, scarlet macaws, and pairs of green parrots arguing with each other like an old married couple.
Pura Vida is a particularly Costa Rican idiom. A fishing panga pulls up next to you at the dinghy dock, you rip of your best Spanish ‘Good afternoon, how are you?’ greeting. The fisherman looks up and says ‘Pura vida’. It’s the ‘pure life’ of Costa Rica.
The stops down the outside of central CR were only memorable for how uncomfortable the anchorages were, so rolly at night it’s hard to sleep or sporting killer beach dinghy landings.
Things started looking up once we go into Bahia Drake (pronounced Dhra-Kay). Named after a supposed visit by Sir Francis himself to fix up his ships and plan some more plunder of South America. Just offshore Bahia Drake is Isla Caña. The island is supposed to have great diving in the dry season. Now it is too overcast to really want to make the trip out. It’s real claim to fame is that it gets hit by lightening more times per year than any other spot in Central America. I’m just not a big fan of being on a boat with a piece of metal sticking 55 feet in the air while surrounded by lightening bolts, so we passed up the opportunity to test the Caña lightening theory and ducked into Drake.