A word from founder Bruce Smith

“Welcome to Seascape Kayak Tours. This company began as an outgrowth of my passion for paddling, outdoor education and sharing special marine environments with others. I love introducing people to wild places and helping them feel comfortable and reach their potential on the water. Whether you choose to join us for a sunset paddle, a day trip or an extended expedition, you will travel with just a few others, in a safe, sensitive and environmentally sound manner.”


Client Corner Recent Posts

Inuksuit in Costa RicaApril 16th, 2009

The inukshuk (plural inuksuit) has long been used by Inuit peoples to guide hunters and travelers safely through barren landscape. These stone landmarks, usually in human form, suggest a spiritual nature, and perhaps even signify how our very existence requires a strong, solid connection to the earth.

InuksuitINUKSUIT MAY HAVE BEEN USED FOR NAVIGATION OR A MARKER FOR HUNTING GROUNDS OR A FOOD CACHE.

 

Rosi Jory, an eclectic artist from Canada, created three Inuksuit in the center of our base camp on Playa Quesera. The figures seemed to all look carefully out to sea. At first glance, the inuksuit seemed out of place situated beneath a coconut palm. However, on further reflection, their significance became appropriate.

 

David and Rosi had engaged a Canadian based company to guide them safely through various experiences in Costa Rica. Following our brief stay at Bella Vista mountain retreat in Turrialba, we traveled by ferry to the Nicoya Peninsula, where the paddling would begin. On the ferry, Rosi enthusiastically practiced her Spanish with local women who were traveling to Montezuma to visit with family during Easter week or Semana Santa. She carried with her a laminated cross-language chart that helped to facilitate conversations between non-Spanish and non-English speakers. 

 

Ferry GalsROSI JORY SHARES A MOMENT OF LAUGHTER WITH A LOCAL WOMAN ON THE FERRY FROM PUNTARENAS TO PAQUERA.

 

The weather was absolutely perfect for the five-day paddling experience. Calm conditions prevailed and allowed us to explore the Tortuga Islands, Bahia Organos and the passageway to Isla Negritos. The wind freshened on day four so we decided to switch our paddles for hiking boots and ventured into the tropical dry forest to observe wildlife. We were rewarded with sightings of numerous birds: Trogons, Motmots and a Laughing Falcon. Howler Monkeys also appeared trailside.

 

WernerWORLD TRAVELERS, THE JORYS ARE OPEN TO ANY NEW EXPERIENCE THAT INVOLVES PADDLING.

 

Following our paddling and hiking excursions we always returned to our home and base camp on Playa Quesera. It is fitting that Rosi placed the Inuksuit in the center of the campsite. We were greeted by the quiet sentinels each time we arrived.

 

Safe passage is granted if we are patient and we listen carefully to Mother Earth. We must also follow her moods very carefully.

 

Pura vida,

Bruce

 

 

 


Bella Vista RanchApril 10th, 2009

Here at Seascape’s southern headquarters, it’s the second cleanup day after a five-day paddling, four-night camping trip on the Nicoya Peninsula with a couple of Canadian clients, David and Rosi Jory. 

The Jorys chose to begin their Costa Rica experience with a pre-trip extension to the mountains north of San José. We joined them for two nights at the relaxing mountain retreat known as Bella Vista Ranch near the area of the Turrialba Volcano. 

BV HikeBELLA VISTA GUIDE JOSE (KIKO) LEADS BRUCE AND DAVID ON AN INTERPRETIVE HIKE OF THE AREA BELOW THE TURRIALBA VOLCANO AND NOT FAR FROM THE RIO REVENDAZON.

Bella Vista is comprised of a series of simple cabins linked by a raised walkway and set into a hillside overlooking the volcán and several other montañas. This special getaway is owned by Mark Shultz and Anabelle Solano, from the U.S. and Costa Rica respectively. Visits to the ranch are hosted by Anabelle’s mother, uncle, aunt, brother and sister-in-law, so the experience allows clients the chance to interact with a wonderful local family. 

Green BasiliskA RESIDENT AT BELLA VISTA, THE GREEN BASILISK IS REFERRED TO AS A JESUS CHRIST LIZARD BECAUSE OF ITS ABILITY TO SKIM ACROSS THE SURFACE OF CREEKS AND STREAMS.

Birding here affords glimpses of Montezuma Oropendolas, a variety of toucans and hummingbirds, and many other fascinating species. A lily pond near the main cabin is inhabited by frogs who begin to call at dusk and continue throughout the night. We were also visited by a variety of local lizards, including ground anolis and the beautiful green basilisk with its prominent crest. 

The retreat provided an opportunity for David to hike up into the mountains and down into the valley, and to learn from a local guide about the organic crops that are grown on the fincas or farms in the area, crops such as sugar cane, culantro (cilantro), beans, rice, coffee, plantain, mandarin lime and guava. Meanwhile Rosi sketched the incredible vistas from the lodge. Meals were all traditional locally grown Costa Rican fare accompanied by refrescos naturales, fresh fruit juice drinks. Rosi has a keen interest in cooking and asked to participate in a culinary experience with Doña Lila, during which she learned to make tortillas, Tico style.

Tico TortillasROSI JORY, ORIGINALLY FROM GERMANY, LEARNS HOW TO MAKE TORTILLAS COSTA RICAN STYLE FROM BELLA VISTA HOSTESS LiLA SOLANO AND HER DAUGHTER-IN-LAW ALEJANDRA.

If you search YouTube for Bella Vista Ranch, Turriabla, Costa Rica, you can see a great little slide show of the flora and fauna and incredible views from this exquisite mountain lodge.

Happy Easter weekend,

Frances

 

 


The rains are comingApril 4th, 2009

During the last few days, there has been an electricity in the air. A feeling of anticipation, excitement, expectation. 

Perhaps it coincides with the energy of spring finally manifesting itself in North America, bringing our friends and family there a sense of awakening and renewal.

Scarlet MacawENDANGERED SCARLET MACAWS HAVE BEEN REINTRODUCED INTO THE WILD IN SEVERAL PLACES NEAR TAMBOR, INCLUDING CURU WILDLIFE REFUGE WHERE WE RUN MANY TRIPS.

On tierra firma here in Central America, this energy is easily observed in the increased activity of all things wild. Trogons seem to be calling frequently and with a heightened intensity. Chattering Scarlet Macaws seem to be ever present and in large numbers. Ctenosaurs (black) and Green Iguanas are on the move. Monkeys are even more active and vocal than usual.

On the water recently, we spotted a pod of Spinner Dolphins who put on a spectacular show. Large groups of pelicans sometimes dive for fish so close to our kayaks that its impossible to tell where our boats end and the birds begin.

Pelican kayakFISHING PELICANS SURROUND JUAN CARLOS IN HIS KAYAK AT SUNSET IN BAHIA BALLENA IN FRONT OF THE HOTEL TAMBOR TROPICAL.

Perhaps this frenzied animal activity is in relation to the ever increasing temperature, climbing during the warmest part of the day now to 37 C (close to 100 F) which is a clear signal that the rains – which usually begin sometime in April and dominate the climate through late October – are coming. Other signs are slightly more cloudy days and humidity continuously on the rise. 

Environmental changes are a constant reminder that everything is connected in life. Seasons affect us just as they do the animals. We can learn so much from our natural surroundings if we are only open to the lessons. 

Black CtenosaurLIZARDS AND IGUANAS OF ALL KINDS SEEM TO BECOME MUCH MORE ACTIVE IN ANTICIPATION OF THE COMING RAINS.

Even after the first signs of the rainy season appear, sometimes the rains themselves take weeks, even months to arrive. Last year, there were many days when all the ingredients for rain were there, but the outpouring waited and waited, even until the middle of May.

We know that, like spring, the rains are coming. We’ll let you know when they do. Meanwhile, here’s to the water of life.

Pura vida,

Bruce