Time flies.. November and December have been exceptionally busy months.
In November I was very fortunate to have been invited to teach a WFR course for the Cree First Nation in northern Quebec, Canada . It was nice to have a real taste of winter and to reconnect with my Cree family.
The last Tauck group trips in Costa Rica went smoothly with the assistance of Mariano Salazar. Mariano, is a Costa Rican guide with a wealth of experience in the paddle sports industry. Day tours have been fast and furious, the most recent with a family from Montreal who enjoyed paddling out to Islas Tortugas and exploring the colorful underwater world.
January will continue to be busy with multi day experiences. Due to new park regulations camping will no longer be permitted at Reserva Curu. Therefore, most of our multi day trips will be lodge- based experiences in 2015. Returning to the wonderful accommodations at Tambor Tropical following an exciting day of paddling will not be a hardship. Prior to returning to Canada in the spring we will develop a number of sea kayaking and camping experiences for die hard adventurers.
A private Mar al Mar trip will run January 7 -15 and will incorporate the best paddling environments on both Caribbean and Pacific coasts. A lodge – based Islas del Golfo trip will take place January 21-28. ( 6 nights accommodation at Tambor Tropical and 5 days sea kayaking)
Spaces still remain.
In 2014 we developed a new paddling itinerary in the South Pacific – Azul y Verde. The trip allows paddlers to explore both Drake Bay and Golfo Dulce and be immersed in Corcovado National Park. The trip was selected by Explore magazine as one of the best new adventure trips for 2015..
As always lots going on both on and off the water..
Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you are considering a warm water adventure this winter..
Last full day of the exploratory trip to the Osa peninsula. The Golfo Dulce while beautiful offered calm, tranquil seas, and we are ready for open water conditions..
Leaving from the protected beach in Bahia Drake the ocean conditions are calm, however as we move out into the open Pacific we experience smooth flowing swell.. The ocean is a very dynamic environment, a living being. Our destination is Isla Violin approximately 9 nautical miles from Drake Bay. I remember this dark, mysterious island from my maiden voyage to Costa Rica in 1994.. The swell is beautiful and the crashing surf a welcome sound.
At the halfway point the boca of the Rio Ganado offers a somewhat safer landing point but we continue along the coast, rock hopping and playing off a headland. We approach the boca at Rio Sierpe and the surf is truly huge. On account of this incredible force of nature, we decide to give the boca a wide berth to give Isla Violin a better look.
We are both drawn to the island and the rocky islotes off the northern shore, yet clouds have been building over Drake Bay and the wind from the SW has continued to strengthen. Tom and I decide to head back towards Drake Bay. The wind and swell continue to build and whitecaps are soon cresting waves, but these challenging conditions are what we are looking for. Our paddle stokes develop a smooth rhythm and we make steady progress through the building seas.
Nearing our destination we paddle to Rio Agujitas south of Drake. The river mouth is protected from the open sea and the contrast in paddling environments is amazing. The serpentine river flows through beautiful forest and the water is crystal clear. Herons, Ringed Kingfisher and a small crocodile join us for our exploration of this magical river. We can’t leave the river without a swim in the cool refreshing water. As we swim a tidal surge flows up river over taking the small rapids. This at once creates a sudden stillness.. Once the water recedes the bubbling rapids return indicating that it is time for us to return to the open sea. We travel with the flow out through the boca and into Bahia Drake… A final swell train pushes us gently to our landing spot on the beach..
This last day has been an amazing experience, providing two distinct paddling environments. The combination of the smooth pristine waters of Golfo Dulce and the more challenging open water conditions surrounding Drake Bay will provide ample variety for Seascape guests on our new itinerary. We are also very much looking forward to blending the paddling with excellent accommodations and meals to create a truly unique Seascape trip…
Exploratory trips bring life back to its simplest level. A chart becomes a rudimentary guide for choosing paths across an area of water, and soon that leads to a remarkable freedom to embark in new directions.
Our experience in Golfo Dulce, one of the planets deepest and most pristine tropical fjords, has been nothing short of incredible. Amongst verdant forest-covered mountains toppling into the calm clear gulf waters we made many superb discoveries in our quest to create a new Seascape paddling itinerary in the Osa Peninsula.
The wildlife encounters in this pristine environment have included countless toucans, scarlet macaws, monkeys, dolphins, sea turtles, kinkajous, crocodiles, and many others. Complementing these experiences have been our warm hosts at Saladero Lodge, who opened their home to us and shared many laughs and stories. Connections with coastal inhabitants (fishermen, biologists and conservationists) have also freely shared local knowledge, which will help immeasurably in bringing this unique adventure to life.
As we leave Golfo Dulce behind to explore the northern heel of the Osa Peninsula – Drake Bay – we are confident that this first half of our two-part Osa discovery itinerary is sure to wow paddlers looking to discover the wonders and diversity of the Osa Peninsula in late March/early April 2014.
Tom and I are very excited to be creating an itinerary that will provide our guests with a sense of place and the experience of a lifetime…
The open swell and surf of Bahia Drake beckons…