travel

I Don't know Where I Am

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Mountains from airplane

I don't know where I am.

24 Hours ago I was watching a movie at the comfortable 5th avenue theater in Vancouver. Now i am in a strange hotel room somewhere close to San Jose, Costa Rica. If I had to make a 911 call (assuming there was a phone in my room, which there is not) I would have no idea where to send the police... nada... no clue whatsoever.

Room at Hotel

I am oddly calm though. My $30 room is spartan but clean and feels safe. Early tomorrow I fly to Nosara to settle into the condo I rented for the next month. Tomorrow afternoon, I should be surfing.

As a side note, the movie I saw last night was "The Drifter", a soul searching, travel surf movie. It was appropriate to see the night before I left but I am not really searching for anything on my journey. I've done that trip before and know there is nothing to find.

A Few Pics From the First Few Days at Playa Guiones / Nosara

Small plane landing

I'm not one to fear any type of flying but this bumpy flight in a very small plane from San Jose, CR put a little sweat on my brow. The girl beside me almost ripped her hand rest out and two of the other passengers almost puked

Some kind of Costa Rican Bird
I don't know what kind of bird this is but they are pretty common here in Guiones
Playa Guiones
This is Guiones Beach
Playa Guiones
The town of Guiones is nestled into this jungle. Nothing is allowed to be built within 200 yards of the beach which makes great sense.
Swimming pool at Casa Del Sol
The swimming pool at my condo

Nicoya Peninsula - Rental Car Day O' Fun

The Jimmy - rental car in Nicoya

Tim and "The Jimmy", our truck rental.

Mike

Alex, Tim, Mike - friends from the Boston area who are staying in the same condo complex as I am.

Me posing with an Imperial, the local beer

This was an amazing little bay.

This poor Pelican was not well; it probably died not long after this shot.

Another one of the bay.

We went snorkeling.

Alex, ready for her first snorkeling experience.

Tim and Alex

Mike, chilling and working on his sunburn.

We met some locals.

This was a local kid ripping the little surf break out side the bay.

Waterproof cameras are fun.

This doesn't look that pretty but it was, perhaps, the best ceviche I've ever had. I think it cost $4.00.

The little "soda" (restaurant) with the great ceviche.

Cows in a culvert.

Me on another empty beach called Marbella... good surf, gorgeous setting, probably a good place to buy property if you're looking for an investment.

Another view of Marbella.

This picture doesn't do it justice, but this bull was seriously pissed at our rental car. It charged us a couple of times and we were concerned that our $800.00 car insurance deductible was in jeopardy.

Tim and Alex at the end of the day at Lagarta Lodge.

Mike

Obviously this was a prime picture spot. Me, working it for the camera

This is the sunset from the sunset bar at Lagarta Lodge. If you're ever in the Nosara area, you have to check this place out; the view is unbelievable.

And what day in Costa Rica would be complete without a few wildlife shots.

It's called a patience bug.

fin

Excited to Meet Up With Ocean Gybe Expedition and Sail in Panama

The Ocean Gybe Expedition Vessel: Khulula

Khulula, my home for the next couple of weeks

I fly out of Costa Rica to Panama City today to meet up with my friend Hugh Patterson and the Ocean Gybe Expedition (www.oceangybe.com). I feel really blessed to get the opportunity to experience a little slice of their epic journey around the world. All I know is that we are going to be sailing around the pacific side of Panama, I'm in good hands, and I'm super excited.

I'll post more about my experiences in Panama and the expedition in general when I get back to Nosara in early January. I don't expect to have any internet connection on the boat; so, until then, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year everyone!

Robb.

Pictures from Panama - Part 1 of 3

Hugh With Bodyboard

Hugh and Tammy picked me up in Panama City. Hugh really wanted to carry my bodyboards.

Panama City Skyline

The view of the Panama city sky-line from our anchorage.

Captain Hugh

Hugh in his sweet, sweet Comex shirt

Pirate Ship

Pirates!

Bridge of the Americas - Pacific Entrance to the Panama Canal

Bridge of the Americas - Pacific Entrance to the Panama Canal

Anchorage at Los Perlas Archipeligo

Our first anchorage at Las Perlas Archipeligo.... just one of thousands of beautiful, empty, tropical, white sand beaches. One of the Survivor seasons was filmed in the Las Perlas Archipeligo.

Tammy Snorkeling

We went snorkeling.

Hugh Doing Research

Hugh did some research for the Ocean Gybe Expedition

Plastic Pellets

These plastic pellets are what Hugh is collecting. What's crazy is that they are not broken down plastic... they are raw material used to make plastic products. Somehow, they are leaking into the environment and carrying toxins all the way up the food chain. Besides spillage, one theory is that factories are blowing millions of these pellets up their smoke stacks to try and clean them out...brutal!

Hugh collects samples (unfortunately they're found on even the most remote beaches) and sends them to a researcher in Japan who is trying to trace where they are coming from.

Hugh Collecting Pellets

More pellet collecting.

Sitka Surfboards

Sitka Surfboards, a BC based surf company, helped sponsor the oceangybe expedition by ponying up free surfboards and clothing.

Isla Casya

This is a small village on the small Isla Casya.

Main Street - Isla Casya

Hugh and Tammy peruse Main street in the downtown district. Where can I get a Venti, vanilla soy, double shot, no foam, extra hot, half-cafe, latte around here?

Beer Can Christmas Tree

Christmas was in the air.

Isla Casya- village woman

A villager going about her day.

A fine cock

A fine cock.

Hugh With Bodyboard

No really, it's a very nice cock.

The not so trusty dingy

Hugh and Tammy about to launch the not so trusty dinghy. I think Hugh was trying to repair this thing every two or three days.

Hugh on our deserted Island

Hugh on our deserted Island.

Deserted Island Contemplation

Deserted Island Contemplation

Contemplation Interrupted

Contemplation interrupted... stupid broken plastic chair.

Tammy on the reef

Tammy on the reef.

Me on the reef

Me on the reef.

Puffer fish

Puffer fish (aka: Fugu).

Puffer Fish II

Puffer fish II. Who knew a fish could be so cute?

Rubber Fish

We ended up calling this a "rubber" fish after I speared and cooked one (it was like eating rubber). The weird thing about spearing fish without a fish guide is that you're not quite sure what it'll taste like and you're just kind of hoping that it's not going to poison you.

Art shot - Anchor

Art Shot!

Tammy and Hugh

Tammy and Hugh

Tammy and Spear Gun

Tammy and the spear gun. Watch out seagulls!

Back Chilling on Khulula

Back chilling on Khulula after another successful day of leisure. I wish this picture could convey how quiet and peaceful it was... no other boats or people in sight...the only sound was water rippling when the odd fish would jump.

This post was part one of three. Click here to view Part 2 or Part 3

Pictures from Panama - Part 2 of 3

Cloud - 
The Fist of God

The Fist Of God.

Another Sunset

Another sunset.

Pelicans

Pelicans! (At this point, I put the stupid date marker on my pictures by accident; it's annoying.)

Another empty white sand beach.

And another empty white sand beach... a good place for a day of leisure.

speedos

Hugh, sporting his spear-fishing yellow speedos (aka banana hammock) putting on a show for the beach goers.

spear fishing

Apparently them speedos work. Parrot fish for dinner.

Parrot fish for dinner

Parrot fish is actually quite tasty but it's a bitch to clean; the scales are like armor plates.

Sting Ray - What killed Steve Irwin

It's hard to see, but this is a big o'le sting ray. This is what killed Steve Irwin (the Crocodile hunter) when his chest got pierced by the sting ray's long, barbed, tail-spike.

Sting Ray Eyes

Look me in the eyes.

Snail on Beach

Art Shot!

Fishing - Cleaning our Kill

Cleaning our kill.

Las Perlas Archipeligo

The bay where we'd spend Christmas eve and Christmas day.

Dead Igauna

Some enterprising locals.

Iguana for sale

Hey mister, you want to buy an iguana?

Tow Surfing

No surf nearby so we made our own.

Paradise

Paradise.

Tammy tow surfing

Tammy rockin' it.

Hugh tow surfing

Hugh's turn. That's Cameron who I'll talk about in a second.

A True Yacht

We met the hired captain of this yacht and his friends; the owner was back in the states so we got to go over a play for Christmas Eve.

Over dinner, Hugh and Cameron, the captain, talked about how they had both sailed in Tahiti and how they had both met Liz Clark. Hugh had long ago sent Tammy this inspirational story that had been posted on Liz Clark's website.

It turns out that the author of the story; the story that had so moved both Hugh and Tammy; was none other than the man sharing Christmas eve dinner with us on the only other boat we had seen for days in some random bay 90 miles off the coast of Panama. Needless to say, it was kind of a moment; Cameron was really stoked that his story had been enjoyed so much. We ended up having a great night with lots of wine involved; it was a Christmas Eve I won't soon forget.

Letter to Santa

Dear Santa:

Pumping the bilge

Pumping the bilge. Where the water came from is still a mystery.

Hidden Village - Las Perlas Archipeligo

A hidden village; I wish we had time to check it out.

Khulula

The yacht that Cameron worked on and Khulula; the only boats in a beautiful spot.

Khulula

Another shot of the bay.

Khulula

Khulula.

Palm tree coconut seeds

So that's how palm trees reproduce...the seed's in the coconut.

Las Perlas Archipeligo Sunset

Leaving to do our overnight passage from the Las Perlas Archipeligo to the North end of the Gulf of Panama. It looks like we're in for calm sailing all night... we were wrong. I'll write another post about that passage (my first open water, overnight sailing experience) soon.

Anvil shaped cloud

See how innocent that little anvil shaped cloud on the horizon looks...it wasn't.

Anvil shaped cloud system

Essentially we sailed right up against a big, lightning filled, low pressure system. The low pressure was sucking wind from the high pressure over the Gulf of Panama resulting in 25 to 30 knot winds, wind swell, and a much more eventful sail than we had anticipated. I got soaked a couple of times from swell breaking over the boat.

Tammy and Hugh

Tammy and Hugh in their life preservers (which get harnessed to the boat so you don't fall overboard). This was probably at about 2am in the middle of howling winds and decent sized wind swell in the open ocean.

This post was part two of three. Click here to view Part 1 or Part 3

Pictures from Panama - Part 3 of 3

Searching for Surf Breaks

Searching for Surf Breaks

Christmas Ham

The "Christmas Ham" a few days after Christmas....perhaps the most delicious processed meet I've ever eaten.

Pizza Muffins

Pizza Muffins : what you get when you accidently use twice as much dough as is required. Still tasty though.

Mystery Fish

We though we had caught a type of Tuna but ended up calling this a "Roast Beef Fish

Robb and the Roastbeef fish

Robb and the Roastbeef fish.

Seagull in Flight

The Seagull was very interested in our fish

Seagull

"I want it... I neeeeeed it."

Seagull eating fish

Score!

Beautiful Red Sunset

Just another Sunset.

Beautiful Red Sunset

And another sunset.

Robb

My silhouette.

Roast beef fish

Roast beef fish!!! See, it looks like roast beef right? It was kind of disgusting.

Captain Hugh

Captain Hugh

Dolphins off the Bow

Dolphins! They were playing off the bow.

Dolphins

They are such cool animals.

Girl in a Hammock

Little girl all tuckered out.

Hugh in a hammock

Little Hugh all tuckered out.

Fine Coconuts

Yup, looks like a coconut.

Steve with coconuts

But can you juggle them?

juggling coconuts

Not really.

Hugh, Robb, Steve, Rob

Hugh, Myself, Steve, Rob discussing very important things.

Liz's Eye

Art Shot! (or just an accidental shot?)

Khulula

Liz on the stern of Khulula

Steve with Rental Car

The end of my trip in Santa Catalina... Steve and Liz drove my to Santiago where I got a 5 hour bus back to Panama City.

Bridge of The Americas

Driving back to Panama City over the Bridge of Americas; full circle.

This post was part two of three. Click here to view Part 1 or Part 3

Patrick Rizzo - Downhill Skateboarding

One of the greatest things about traveling is the people you meet. During my last couple of days in Costa Rica, I got to meet and hang out with this guy named Patrick Rizzo. Patrick, myself, and two other friends had a great night over dinner, some drinks, and a few rounds of cards (asshole, to be specific). Over the course of our conversations Patrick mentioned he was into downhill skateboarding. That point faded into a myriad of other conversation topics (including the always popular "facebook: good or evil"). At the end of the night, just before Patrick left, and basically in passing, he told me to check out an online video of him.

I checked out the video the next day and was blown away: