Sailing with the Andersons

17 May 2015 | Great Barrier Reef
15 May 2015 | Yulara, Australia
10 May 2015 | Dingo Fence North of Coober Pedy
06 May 2015 | Coober Pedy, Australia
30 April 2015 | Melbourne, Australia
29 April 2015 | Sydney Harbor, Australia
13 November 2014 | Coral Sea
02 October 2014 | Tanna Island, Vanuatu
28 September 2014 | Mamanuca's, Fiji
25 August 2014 | South Pacific Ocean
12 August 2014 | Kandavu
05 August 2014 | Suva, Fiji
04 August 2014 | Fulaga (Vulaga), Fiji
03 August 2014 | Fulaga (Vulaga), Fiji
22 July 2014 | Fulaga (Vulaga), Fiji
20 July 2014 | Fulaga (Vulaga), Fiji
18 July 2014 | Fulaga (Vulaga), Fiji
17 July 2014 | Fulaga (Vulaga), Fiji
16 July 2014 | Fulaga (Vulaga)

Pura Vida

15 June 2011 | Costa Rica
Marina Papagayo at night
June 15, 2011

Costa Rica...or should I say, Pura Vida!

You say, Pura vida, what's that? Pure life of course. And that about sums up Costa Rica so far. It's beautiful. It's clean. The people are happy. Life is good. Pura vida is more than a saying here, it's a way of life, and we really like it so far!

In 2007 the Costa Rican government announced plans for Costa Rica to become the first carbon neutral country by 2021. Achieved by balancing their carbon dioxide releases with an equivalent offset by clean technologies and the preservation of their beautiful land. According to the New Economics Foundation, Costa Rica ranks first in the Happy Planet Index, which basically is an index of human well being, and is the "greenest" country in the world. Their literacy rate is 94.9%, being one of the highest in the world, and Costa Rica is known for their medical tourism (or as Larry likes to say, "medcations"), with their healthcare system ranking higher than the United States.

The Lisa Kay and Perfect Wave spent 10 glorious days at anchor in Bahia Santa Elena, the most popular first stop in Costa Rica. This is a national park and the bay is enormous, calm, isolated and surrounded by nature. And what a treat to catch up with our old friends on S/V SOMF and S/V Windfall! Off in the distance we can hear howler monkeys, and these small green macaws that fly back to their roosts in the trees every evening in pairs (apparently for life), chatting and chatting away. It really is a very funny sound. I could listen to them forever.

Hiking, including a walk up to a small waterfall and pool, exploring, and snorkeling were our priorities here. And some wonderful dinners with our friends, including a bonfire on the beach one night that Eric (the dad of Perfect Wave) put on with the kids. T-shirts soaked in diesel and wrapped around limbs for torches, a raked clean beach, a giant log to sit on, a bonfire etc....They all worked so hard, we felt like we were in a scene from the TV show Survivor! Sadly one day we came across a hammerhead shark that had washed up on shore and yes, every fin had been cut off. All for a bowl of shark fin soup I guess.

Once again Larry and I were attacked several nights by these flying (enormous) ant kinda thingys. They simply come out of nowhere! A year ago I probably would have freaked out but adaptation is a wonderful thing. They're harmless - not biting or anything, but they land on you and crawl and you slap them and kill them and pile them up by the side of your bed. Ughh! It seems we're the only boat that gets them. (Do 'ya think they might be crawling in through our retarded wooden slat doors into our salon?) But Larry blames me because I read at night with a light on!

The snorkeling has been fantastic. Unbelievable! I have never seen so many different colors of coral and different beautiful fish. The kids just love frolicking in the warm, clear water exploring. To see the land formations, literally from the earth's crust up, being pushed and formed from ancient volcanic activity is a sight to be seen. Costa Rica means "the rich coast" and now we see why. We felt like we could have stayed here forever, but alas our fresh food supply was running out quickly so we thought we should start moving on.

Next stop, a quickie snorkel at the Mucielagos Islands, also known as the Bat Islands. We probably really should have paid attention when there was chatter on the radio about a gigantic bull shark that was in the area, but we really didn't think much about it...well okay...I did...but the "new" brave me didn't want to miss out, and we did have some amazing snorkeling! I saw not one but two moray eels! Later however, sitting at the bar in our current marina talking with a local dive instructor, he makes a casual comment about how he would never snorkel at the Bat Isles because they're known for bull sharks and he would rather be at the bottom diving so he could look up at them rather than floating at the top snorkeling! Aaaaggghhhh!!! Oh well, as we all like to joke, we cheated death again!! (You Tube "Bull Sharks at the Bat Islands" and you'll see!)

So, as I previously mentioned, yes we have ended up parking in the loveliest marina called Marina Papagayo after spending a few more nights in several different anchorages to get here. Paying the small amount extra to hire an agent and have the officials come to our boat and check us into the country was well worth it. Checking into a country can be quite laborious and costly. You often have to travel from the Port Captain's office to Immigration & Customs, back to the Port Captains etc...with time and transportation costs adding up. Seeing as there were two boats (us and Perfect Wave) checking in at the same time, we took advantage of that and asked the agent for a multiple boat discount. Well, ask and ye shall receive! Thank you Eric, for reminding us to never be afraid to ask!

Being able to leave the boat safely at the dock gave us the perfect opportunity to rent cars and spend a few nights in the glorious Marriott at Hacienda Pinilla about a 1 ½ hours drive away. What a cool place to celebrate Ben's 11th birthday!

We are so happy here. This country and the marina just have such a great feel. We go for long power walks up some very steep hills seeing all kinds of wildlife. I tell Ben we're doing PE but it usually turns into a science class as well. We hear and sometimes see monkeys in the trees, different birds with some amazing hanging nests, raccoons, iguanas of course, the occasional dead snake on the road, and thousands of teensy tiny frogs that seemed to have hatched every where when the rains first came. We can do our own laundry for a change! What a treat! And what a bargain! Since Puerto Vallarta we have only been able to drop our laundry off to be done by a service which always seemed to cost at least $50 every two weeks for the three of us.

Once again we are blessed with a marina staff that are so friendly and really look out for us. Ben has made friends with the waiters at the Dive Bar, riding his rip stick in the nearby parking lot and discovering his new favorite drink, the tamarindo margarita (virgin of course!).

Rainy season, May to November, is now upon us, although the northern part of Costa Rica receives much less rain. Hence the less likely chance of a lightening strike, which is kind of any boaters biggest fear at this time of year. With that in mind, we feel this is the perfect place to leave the Lisa Kay while we make a two month trip back to the San Francisco bay area to visit our mom's and for Ben to fill up his "love bucket" with his friends.

Looking back on this past season of sailing I can't believe how far we have come (not necessarily in miles), the countries we have traveled through, and the people we have met. And yes, a few dogs along the way as well. Land travel hadn't really been something we had thought about when we decided to go cruising, but now we have learned how it's as equally rewarding as being solely on the water. We have become so comfortable with each other, in extremely tight quarters, and much more relaxed in our second year as boaters. And yes, in case all of you were wondering...Ben and I graduated fifth grade! I know some of my friends out there, (yes, I know who you are!) laugh at the thought of me teaching Ben math...and English...and whatever else...but the truth of the matter is we are doing really well. He is getting an education of a lifetime and for now we wouldn't change a thing!
San Francisco here we come!!!! Pura Vida

Look in the gallery under Pura Vida Costa Rica for pictures from our travels so far in Costa Rica!!! Don't forget to write us a comment, we love hearing from you!!!
Vessel Name: Lisa Kay
Vessel Make/Model: Tayana 55 Cutter Rigged Sloop
Hailing Port: San Francisco
Crew: Larry, Lisa & Ben
Welcome to The Lisa Kay! We have planned to purchase a sailboat and cruise the world’s oceans for over 15 years. We just didn’t know how, what, when or where. [...]
Home Page:
Lisa Kay's Photos - Main
25 Photos
Created 15 May 2015
21 Photos
Created 10 May 2015
Tour of an underground hotel, opal mine and an underground church.
27 Photos
Created 6 May 2015
July 2014
39 Photos | 9 Sub-Albums
Created 2 September 2014
8 Photos
Created 18 May 2014
5 Photos
Created 19 June 2013
13 Photos
Created 20 December 2012
40 Photos
Created 11 December 2012
This gallery goes with "They Like White Meat Don't They?"
23 Photos
Created 29 October 2012
27 Photos
Created 21 September 2012
38 Photos
Created 7 August 2012
46 Photos
Created 10 July 2012
70 Photos
Created 24 June 2012
51 Photos
Created 24 April 2012
Misc shots of our Carnival experience in Panama City, Panama.
34 Photos
Created 24 March 2012
Photos of our trip into the Darien province of Panama.
90 Photos
Created 21 February 2012
63 Photos
Created 3 February 2012
46 Photos
Created 27 January 2012
38 Photos
Created 6 December 2011
6 Photos
Created 18 November 2011
18 Photos
Created 16 November 2011
Halloween at Marina Papagayo and moving to Bahia Ballena
20 Photos
Created 13 November 2011
Pictures from our visit home
59 Photos
Created 28 September 2011
Shots selected by Ben of his time in Costa Rica
38 Photos
Created 21 September 2011
Pura Vida Costa Rica
27 Photos
Created 27 August 2011
Our trip to the capitol city of Managua, Masaya Volcano, Granada, Mombacho Volcano, Puenta Teonoste, and a zipline adventure.
56 Photos
Created 10 June 2011
Our sailing into Nicaragua then hiking and surfing Cerro Negro Volcano!!!
34 Photos
Created 10 June 2011
8 Photos
Created 7 June 2011
These are shots of our inland trip to an Eco Lodge at the Mayan ruins near Paleque, 2 waterfalls, and a trip through Sumidero Canyon.
53 Photos
Created 6 June 2011
Tubin behind the dinghy
37 Photos
Created 26 April 2011
39 Photos
Created 24 March 2011