We've arrived safely at "Net Result", tucked in Banana Bay Marina in Golfito, Costa Rica. The flight from LA to Houston
was booked full but there were enough no-shows that we got on without any problem. Even got two seats together. This
was the Central American Connection and it was packed with everyone trying to bring not just the contents of their
houses; but THE house also onboard or in checked baggage! Pretty funny. We fit in nicely in the check-in line with all
We had a 3 hr. layover in Houston which sped by as we snoozed in our seats in the gate area. The agent must have
known we were headed out of luxury for a while and felt sorry for us, as she boarded us in FIRST class!!! Yesssss. What
We arrived into San Jose, Costa Rica and checked into our hotel room at the Hampton Inn at the airport. We walked
over to the local Kamakasi airline -- also known as SANSA, to see if we could get on their 6am departure in the morning
to Golfito. As we entered their terminal, I was reminded of the lemonade stands we ran as children. Bruce, the owner of
the marina, said "not quite", as there was no supervision at the airline counter and there usually was at the lemonade
stands. Anyway, they had two seats left and when we asked if we could take our 4 pieces of luggage each weighing
about 50lbs when our entire allotment on the flight was 50lbs, the agent displayed his excellent mastery of the english
language with one word. "NO". OK, it was off to plan B. The 8 hour bus ride through the mountains to Golfito.
When we got back to the hotel, the rep at the Grayline sightseeing bus suggested that he could send someone in to buy
two tickets on the bus in the morning as this was the beginning of busy season down to Golfito. Due to demand, they
had put on an extra section at 6:45am and we got two of the last four seats! Yikes! Phew, as there were people standing
the entire ride! Never mind, we got there in record time, Juan Fangio Andretti was at the wheel and boy did he crank.
Passing in the mountains, no problem. He even passed on a bridge!
"Net Result" appeared to be in pretty good shape having been left to fare in 4 months of torrential rain. We had some
green & black mold that we attacked at our own pace as rainy season is over and the sun is brutally hot. We had run a
small air conditioner the whole time we were gone and it made a tremendous difference in controlling the mildew. It
seems the only way to go when leaving your boat in such humid conditions. No horrific surprises...so far. Just lots of
work. We had a funny thing happen when we filled the water tanks. Our meticulous preparation of "Net Result" prior to
our departure in July included emptying all our water tanks and disconnecting our water hoses and flushing them with
chlorine and leaving them disconnected. On the afternoon of our return, Joe cleaned the water tank, screwed the top on
the tanks and proceeded to fill the tank with water. About 45 minutes later a look of panic came across his face as he
remembered that he hadn't connected the water hoses prior to filling the tank. He pulled up the floor board to see water
all the way up to them! He quickly hooked up our super duper emergency pump and threw the hose out the window as I
stood outside to control the fire hose effect of the pump. In a matter of minutes, the water was all gone and we were
able to hook the hoses up and start again. Suffice it to say that "Net Result" did fine without us but the day we returned
we almost sank her! Too funny.
Another cruiser we met in Zihuatenejo, Mexico is here (Rick on "Inshallah") and it's fun to visit and get back into the
cruising life. We're just taking it as it comes. The bobstay wire had corroded and needed replacement. We e-mailed
Chuck & Jeanette and asked them to bring down the necessary wire to replace it. I started in on the varnishing. The
rainy season is definitely over and it's hot and humid. Makes the projects progress a little slower than normal but we're
getting things accomplished. This is the first time since we left the Channel Islands that we've been able to do major
boat work and we're taking advantage of the time to catch up. "Net Result" has been polished and waxed ($25/day of
hired labor), varnishing is almost done, my canvas projects are complete. Joe needs to go up the mast and install the
VHF antenna that blew off, clean the mast and rigging on the way down as it's filthy with black mold and soot. We then
need to exercise all the sails and sheets, check the engine after Joe's replacement of the water pump and impeller, and
installation of a dual pulley that attached to the alternator and dual belt housing.
Chuck & Jeanette returned to Banana Bay on the 20th. Boy, was it great to see them again! Our plan is to spend
Christmas here with them and wrap up our errands sometime around the 27th-ish and head across the Gulfo Dulce to
Jimenez to clean the prop before heading south to the panama canal stopping at many of the islands along the coast on
the way down. We've been told the water's clear and we're both looking forward to getting some snorkeling in. It will be
sad to depart here as Chuck & Jeanette will no longer be cruising with us as they've decided to stay in the area for a
couple more months. They're avid fishermen and this is supposed to be one of the best fishing areas in the world.
We'll see them in a month or so, as they're going to fly down to Panama City and Chuck will be a line handler for "Net
Result" as we go through the canal. It should be a memorable experience. We'll make sure we keep you posted as we
get closer to our transit as you should be able to watch us transit the Miraflores lock in the canal via a mini-cam the
canal has set up.
One boat that was on my "southbound information post" has made it south from Mexico (s/v Lootas) and arrived in
Banana Bay Marina on Christmas morning. It was exciting to see them as they were the first to make it south this
season. They're headed for France and it was wonderful to see them again. Once the lines were secured Florence dove
into her galley to create a buche de Noel for Christmas desert. Chuck & Jeanette hosted us all onboard "La
Vagabunda" (see photo) as there was plenty of room...and hey, they had A/C! Everyone brought something and the
entire meal turned into a real treat with lots of visiting and exchanging of experiences south along familiar anchorages.
The marina is now full and we're rapidly coming to an end of our "to do list" and anxious to get underway after some
more provisioning. I've volunteered to be Net Controller on Fridays for the Panama Pacific Net (8143 USB 1400Z) as the
net has always been such a resource for us on our way south. It's a new challenge and I'm enjoying it.
As this will arrive after Christmas, I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, and we wish you all a happy, healthy New