The Sweet Gulf

Golfito is a special place. It’s located in Golfo Dulce which lives up to it’s name … the sweet Gulf. The big ocean swells don’t come into the Gulf and in addition Golfito is a very well protected bay making this an excellent anchorage. We had received many warnings about Golfito from other cruisers. Everything we had was going to be stolen anytime we left the boat. We brought the jerry cans of diesel and fenders below so that they wouldn’t walk away and took a mooring at LandSea. LandSea is a small, funky marina that has room for a couple of boats to tie up to their dock and three moorings. It’s run by a couple of ex cruiser, ex pats. Tim, a semi crazy, hippie type, runs the Sea part and Katie runs the land part where they have a few rooms to rent. This just may be the most cruiser friendly place on the planet. The prices are more than reasonable, there’s good internet access, laundry service, a nice shower, and to top it off beers are $1. You keep your own tab by marking how beers you get from the fridge on the white board in the Cruiser’s Lounge. Tim lives on his houseboat in keeps a weather eye on all the boats to make sure that nothing gets ripped off. They have about half a dozen dogs that are part of the security team and will bark you to within an inch of your life if they don’t recognize you. Tim really is a character. He spent years as a charted captain and had many stories of past adventures. He is also a nature lover and feeds a sea turtle that has been coming by a few times a week for several years. Who knew that sea turtles liked bananas? We spent our days reprovisioning and doing boat chores then heading in and enjoying a cold one with Tim and the other cruisers on LandSea’s porch overlooking the moorings. Katie told us about a small, palapa restaurant on the beach across the bay and joined us when we headed over the next day. The restaurants were all squatters and they get shut down occasionally but they’re all back in operation a few weeks later. The food was excellent and cheap. Robin had a Lobster dinner. It was a whole grilled lobster, fried plantains, beans and a salad for $6 including a beer. Robin also made a trip to the border to do some shopping with Kim from Maluhia. Costa Rica has high import tariffs making most everything expensive but there is a very strange arrangement at the border with Panama. There’s a street that runs a few blocks where one side is in Costa Rica and one side in Panama. You enter the back doors of the Costa Rica stores and come out the front where you cross the street to shop in Panama. There were several large grocery stores where Robin was excited to find several items that are hard to find in Central America. She came back loaded with blue cheese and green beans. We could have stayed here longer but Panama was calling us so we did the paperwork cha cha to check out of Costa Rica. A morning spent running from migracion to Aduana (customs), waiting over an hour to pay our fees at the bank then got our zarpe from the port captain and we were good to go.

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