Friday, May 26, 2006

New list!

I call this one:

Highlights and Lowlifes


1.) Trading with the shrimpers
2.) Surfing with only 1 other person in the water
3.) Cold cocktails with jungle sunsets
4.) Sailing really fast (huge bonus if it's in the right direction)
5.) Help to and from fellow cruisers
6.) Ice cream whenever I'm in a town that has it
7.) Those little Nemo fish that stay in your face the whole time you are diving
8.) Ice cubes
9.) The sentence, "No, I sailed here."
10.) The follow-up sentence, "Uh huh, from San Diego."


1.) All Costa Rican battery sales agents (except Alder Acosta)
2.) Thieves
3.) Century 21 agents and their signs
I think, the longer I do this, the harder it will be for me to ever be with people again.

I feel apart from them. My personal apartheid. Detached. I think Joseph Conrad might have nailed it:

"Sell the house, sell the car, sell the kids, I ain't never coming home."
- Colonel Kurtz -
Apocalypse Now
Adapted from Heart of Darkness by
Joseph Conrad

Monday, May 15, 2006

Hardware, Hookers, Drugs & Surf

A town called Jaco.

There's a cantina in Jaco called the Beatle Bar. The ratio of girls to guys is about 5 to 1. The percentage of girls who are hookers is 100%. They come with fully accessorized breasts and deluxe Latin Luxury Butts (trademark pending). This town also has not 1 but 3 of the best hardware stores I've seen since Sports Arena's Home Depot. I theorize that the hardware stores give the men of Costa Rica a reason to go to Jaco and the Beatle Bar gives them reason to be late.

Here are the 2 weird bits:

1.) There must be 100+ hookers in this town with bodies that stand out in a crowd. But, you never see them during the day. I've been here a week. They don't eat in restaurants, they aren't on the beach.
2.) There is a Christian surf group here. They come from all over to introduce kids to surfing to keep them off drugs, and, you guessed it, introduce hookers to surfing to stop them from hooking. Just typing that makes me laugh.

The "kids off drugs through surfing" bit wasn't that hard to swallow even though these kids are already great surfers who all deal drugs on the side so I have no idea how the Christian group could possible make a dent but I couldn't believe the hooker surfing connection so I went in search of one of these amazing golden heart Christians to hear the real scoop. Her name was "Joey" and she came from the suburbs of Melbourne. She is here because she knows God. I bought her a cup of coffee at a panaderia and we sat down. First I wanted to know how they were going to "introduce" these kids to surfing when they are some of the best I've seen and they live on a beach. No good answer. What about "introducing" them to skate boarding, or ping pong? "Skate boarding - no pavement". She got me there. "Ping pong - that's a good idea".

Oh is it.

Then without laughing I asked about the hooker/surf connection. "So is it true that your organization is trying to introduce Jaco's prostitutes to surfing so as to get them out of the Beatle Bar and save them from a life of whoring?"

"Absolutely. We know that if we can connect with them through the waves, and they can feel the beauty of surf and get to know God then they'll see that they don't need to sell their bodies."

I wanted to go into the economics behind the issue and ask how surfing was going to pay for their families medical bills and I wanted to use the example of a stripper going back to KFC after making $400 a night and I wanted to tear into her on a few other points but her sweet dopey eyes changed my mind. Innocence is precious. Who am I to wrench it from some 19 year old. Maybe, for me, growing up is more than just realizing I can't dance.

"Final question Joey, I gotta run to catch the 5pm bus. Do you surf?"

"I'm learning."

Monday, May 8, 2006

No more Dirty P

I made it out of Punteranas.

I now have 2 fully functioning outboards, full water and fuel tanks, and complete provisions. The future looks bright.

My first stop was Paquera where I met my taxi driver Lecho and his family to take them sailing (remember the previous 12 hour trip to Tamarindo to pick up the outboard and his kids and I scooped melons off the road?). Only thing that was strange about this sail outing is that it was a different family. Different wife, different kid. When they went to the head I asked him what was up. "Shh, I have 3 families." I guess a taxi driver can pull that off.

The next day I sailed to Bahia Herradura (horseshoe) in some fast winds. That's where I am now. I was doing knots in the low 8's for hours and that's with a dirty bottom and towing a dinghy. Barraveigh can be fast when the winds are right. There are a few other cruisers anchored near me. This is the first I've seen of other cruisers since El Salvador, and that was a month and a half ago.

It's much greener here. I'm quite a bit further south and the rainy season is upon us. The new game involves constantly opening and closing hatches trying to guess the rain. And of course everything is a bit more damp in the cabin. I dry my sheets during the day and remake the bed at night. Strange adjustments.

There are a lot of Germans here. I was thinking about starting a self help group for them. I could bolster their confidence by assuring them that they shouldn't be ashamed of their ugly language while trying to get them not to wear speedos. If you are not a competitive swimmer you have no reason to wear one of those banana hammocks.

While sitting on the beach talking with some other gringos I discovered the hierarchy of travelers:

"So when do you fly out?"
"Actually we drove here."
"Oh, that's so cool. What a great trip!. Did you drive here with these guys?"
"No. Actually I sailed here. That's my sailboat right there."

I will never get tired of that line.

There are 2 amazing surf spots in this bay and the one north of it. The bad news is that my leash snapped on a big one and washed my board unto the rocks. Completely ruined. I'm going to give it to my friend Hubert who owns a bar. He's anxious to put it on the wall. Free drinks for me. Now I'm down to 3 boards and 2 of those are injured.

Estas son cosas de la vida,


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