Golfito, Costa Rica, December 2010
Anchored in front of the Banana Bay Yacht Club and Land and Sea, you can see the trees in the hills turning yellow.  No they are not turning yellow because it is Autumn, they are in bloom with golden blossoms, marking the start of summer and the dry season. Even though we are in the Northern Hemisphere, they consider it summer here.   We did have a few good down pours, that left us stranded at the yacht club, oh bummer, guess I will have another beer.  Two of which filled the dinghy half full of water, leaving the gas tank floating, amongst the other debrise we leave lying around in it. 
Our second night in Golfito s/v Free Range Chicken anchored next to us.  We met the crew ashore and are constantly reminded how small the world really is.  To the left is Wes, Patrick, Steve and Rick.  It just so happens that Rick races out of King Harbor Yacht Club, on s/v Hot Rum, and competes against Bob and Val Cole, whose Olsen 30 Priorities, we learned to sail on.  Plus he is friends with Pat Lenahan and Ailing Hassel, who we also raced with.  To the right is Betsy, who was also part of the crew.  She just so happens to be friends with s/v Southern Belle, who we just met in the San Blas Islands of Panama and spent a couple months with. 
Golfito is located in the small protected bay with the same name, which is located inside the larger Golfo Dulce, separated from the Pacific Ocean by the Osa Penisula.  Within the smaller bay is a five mile long mangrove tour, that is accesible at high tide.  Joining our friends Robyn and Eric from s/v Scorpido, whose daughter Erica and her husband Matt were visiting for the holiday. Robin from Monterey, CA, who just delivered a yacht from Northern California, also joined us. We loaded up the dinghies with gas and snacks and headed out.  Passing brightly colored abandoned buildings and at some points using our paddles as the water was so shallow.  Once we emerged into the Golfo Dulce we were greeted by a Dolphin, who swam right in front of the dinghies.  Taking the beach route back to the boats, we all enjoyed a mid ocean swim. 
Around the corner in Golfo Dulce is Casa Orchedia, owned and cared for by Ron and Trudy.  We ventured, once again, in our dinghies with s/v Scorpido to locate this Botanical Garden.  They are located at 08.39.445N 083.16.013W, it was a long dinghy ride, so if  you do not have a good outboard, you can take your yacht and anchor in front. Call ahead of time 8829-1247, to let them know you are coming.  The gardens were in bloom and the vibrant colors and diversity of the plants was amazing.  Pictured are just a few samples. 
The commercial fishing licenses for the Golfo Dulce have all been suspended to rehabilitate the area.  First to go were the Shrimping boats, second the Gill Netters.  They will not be renewed as well, because of this the catch & release line fishing is fantastic in the area. 
The sport fishing fleet is coming down in droves.  Top right is the sea plane that the owner of Banana Bay Yacht club uses to spot fish.  Most of these yachts catch and release. Blue Sky is nestled at anchor between two multi-million dollar boats. There are three separate locations you can anchor, all of which have easy access to shore.  Banana Bay actually had hot showers, which is always a bonus!  Next door was Land and Sea, which is run by Tim and Katie,  a very low key and comfortable place to hang out. All offer wifi, a dinghy dock, showers and laundry, for a very reasonable price.  Phoebe points to the Lattitudes and Attitudes burgee that we gave to the yacht club to hang amongst their collection. . 
Above, we met Robin and his wife Betsy from Monterey, California.  They are holding the Monterey Herald,  while posing under the Monterey Penisula Yacht Club burgee, 
Toucans and Macaws flew amongst the trees, and are just as colorful as the plants.  We learned that Toucans are actually quite mean and are called the thugs of the jungle.
On the trail through the gardens we found an iron pole sticking out of the ground, Phoebe taught Matt  and Erica how to husk a coconut with it.  Something we have not done since Chagos.
After the long dinghy ride back to Golfito bay, we stopped at Lola's, located on the beach to the North of the Bay.  Phoebe and Drake went to pick up Eric off s/v Scorpido to join us for lunch, after he was in the dinghy, they ran out of gas.  Thankfully he was with the children and helped paddle to Blue Sky for a fresh supply.  Phoebe and Drake enjoyed jumping off the dock at high tide.
Dockwise yacht transport, delivers and picks up yachts in Golfito.  It was  interesting watching them load and unload.  Three boats were loaded, including the one Robin sailed down on, plus one got off.  All heading to either Tahiti or Australia.  Sorry, but we think the owners are missing some of the loveliest places on this planet.
The Osa Wildlife Sanctuary is located ten miles away from Golfito in the Golfo Dulce and is only accessible by boat.  Hopping on s/v Scorpido for the day we anchored off the beach in front of the rescue center.  Located at 08.40.560N 083.19.479W, it was established by Carol and Errol and reservations are a must. The $25.00 per person donation assists them in caring for and rehabilitating a wide variety of orphaned and injured animals.   To the right is a spider monkey, who are very curious and mischievous. They are mainly fruit eaters and the affects of land clearing greatly limits their habitation. 
Above is a spider monkey, who are very curious and mischievous.  They are mainly fruit eaters and live in small troops. They mainly eat fruit which makes them vulnerable to land clearing. Regarding these primates we learned two new words, "prehensile" and "brachiate". 
Spider monkeys have the strongest "preshensile" tail in the mammal kingdom, thus allowing them to grip more firmly to branches.  Mackaws, have a prehensile beak, which allows them to utilize it while climbing.  The spider monkey has also evolved over the centuries, at first having five fingers, they now only have four.  As the fifth, thumb, would get in the way. Their long, strong fingers, allow them to "brachiate", or swing from limb to limb. 
The white faced Capuchin Monkey, to the right, are considered the most intelligent of the new world monkeys. They are used as service animals, sometimes being called "nature's butler", as some are trained to help quadriplegics.  They remain with their birth troop their entire life and are antagonistic to other troops.  
Looking high up in the trees, if you are lucky, you can spot a sloth hanging from the branches.  Wild birds would roam the grounds.  Drake had the opportunity to feed a Tayra, who are very good climbers as well as living on the ground, they are from the weasel family.  The day was very educational and a fantasitic field trip for Phoebe and Drake.
On two other occasions we had the pleasure to joing Scorpido to go surfing in Pavones. Jim and Drake went one day to catch some waves.  Drake getting in the Christmas spirit demonstrated how well he could drive.  Phoebe and I went the next time, and she caught six waves and loves to surf now.  Next Christmas she wants a new board, she is hooked. 
Erica, Phoebe, Robyn and Matt enjoy Christmas eve libations on the back of Blue Sky. We are celebrating our sixth Christmas on the boat.  Drake was the first one awake, and was happy to see so many presents on the table.  He received some Atlantis Lego, and a new spear gun.  Phoebe was happy with her new journal and mask and snorkle. 

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