Saturday, February 21, 2009


Pura Vida

Pura Vida translates as Pure Life or the good life. This local phrase acurately describes our stay here in Golfito so far. Sure, we have chores - doesn't everyone? But even when performing our supposedly dreary little duties we are having fun.
One of our recent chores was to "check-in" with the local Port Captain. This is just a formality, but following through and showing respect to this local authority may make our exit from the country easier when the time comes. So, we hiked about a mile over to his "office". This facility certainly isn't what you'd expect in the states...but hey, the buiding keeps out the rain doesn't it? The surprise was in the structure next door to the port captain's office.

The Port Captain's office is at the foot of a pier that was once, up until sometime in the 1980's, a big banana export facility. Because of a disagreement between the United Fruit Company, the town, and the unions, United Fruit pulled out of Golfito and moved to the Caribbean side of the country. Now, this pier is used for just local business and some bulk palm oil transport. Well, when the banana business was closed - they left behind the buildings, and their locomotives! The trains were used to transport the bananas from the surrounding areas to the warehouses and then loaded onto freighters and shipped around the world.

There was someone actually living in the passanger car! The warehouses in the area are in the process of being torn down (yeah, it's been almost 20 years) so I don't know what is going to happen to the train here.

Soon we were hungry, so we found a little "soda" which is what they call the smaller diners here in Costa Rica. Prices are about the same for food and supplies here in Costa Rica as in the USA. But, for the price of a fast food meal in the US we got THIS!

Red beans, rice, cabbage salad, grilled steak with onions, squash, and fried bananas. YUMMY! All eaten in the sea breeze because most buildings here are open-air with just steel grates for closing time.

This building is the LAND SEA cruiser's hangout here in Golfito. We are anchored in the bay here just ouside of this business. For $5 per day, we have access to the dinghy dock to park our inflatable dinghy. Plus, we can use the facilities here which include showers, restrooms, cable TV, free WiFi, book exchange, cruiser's club house upstairs and the deck on the main level. The proprietors, Tim & Katy also provide cold beer for $1.50 and fruit drinks & soda for $1 from the cooler on the honor system. For $2 per kilo, we can have our laundry done for us at the facility by a local woman.

What a life! We are coming here every day and just hanging out. There are always other cruisers and some locals coming by to chat. We've learned so much about the places that we will be sailing to soon, and have shared our knowledge about where we have been. We have made friends with the resident doggies too. This is the boxer "Riley" snuggling in my lap while I knit on plain black socks for my son, Brett (who insists that he only wears black socks these days - does he know how hard it is for old-lady eyes to see black sock yarn?).

And here is "Vinny" who just had to get into the photo of a vest that I've been knitting these past couple of days. This is for the Akkol Orphanage in Kazakhstan and is knit with my leftover yarns of Lopi-Lett wool. I just have a few inches of the back and the neck and armhole finishing to go. Wow! Knitting at 5-sts per inch sure goes fast.

But, I just got notice that I need to knit a second sock for each of TWO designs of mine that will be in a soon-to-be-released book. Thank goodness I have the yarn! So, that is what I will concentrate on for the next week. So much for my personal knitting and relaxing projects...

Speaking of which...Jonesy absolutely hates these socks. He says they are "garish" and he thinks the yellow is awful (it is brighter than what is in this photo). What do you think? I have finished one sock already and was planning to send these to the kids in Kazakhstan. Are they too much? Should I go ahead and knit the second sock or rip? The yarn is some that I dyed myself many, many years ago which I think is Henry's Attic Kona superwash wool.

So, here's a photo of Jonesy relaxing on the deck with his new red bucket. Because of the relentless tropical sun, our plastic products need replacing fairly regularly. Also, that's my woven plastic purse with the blue and red stripes. Because I travel to shore in a dinghy every day - - - a dinghy that is old and leaks - - and sometimes we land through the surf - - I had to get a plastic purse. My other totes would get all wet and salty and nasty. This one I can just rinse off!

So, this is my laptop on the table up in the cruiser's club house which is kinda like a tree house. I've got CNN on the TV, the big fan blowing and now a couple of other female cruisers have joined me at the table to play on our computers. The walls are painted with the names and motifs from all of the different boats that have visited this sweet spot in the tropics.

Out on the upstairs deck using his computer was Sean (age 12), who is a cruising kid from Canada that we first met up in El Salvador. I taught him and his younger brother how to knit because they wanted to learn.

Check out this sign - "American Style Financing"? Does that mean that I won't have to put any money down, won't have to prove that I qualify for the loan, can live in the place for months before being evicted, then can leave without paying a cent and let the taxpayers bail out the bank that was left holding the bad loan? Sign me up!

I think your sock will brighten up someone's day in an orphanage and you should send them. Not garish at all.

I like your blog. I even mentioned it on my blog a while back. It is fascinating.
Don't forget US financing also means once you run out on your loan you'll get a kick back from the government to spend as you please.
I'm really enjoying reading about your adventures. Thanks for sharing them on your blog! :-)

I love your vest! The colors are beautiful and it looks like it's going to be really cute. How cute that Vinny likes it too and wanted to be in the picture! :-) Riley looks pretty happy to use you as a pillow! lol

I think the sock looks great! Is it making that white pattern on it's own or are you doing that with another yarn?

Happy knitting and sailing! The warm sunshine sure looks great! :-)
Looks like you are having fun...the dogs are soooo cute...I think you need to get a little on to hang out with you on your trips :-)
Hm, I LOVE that color combo! My guess is there will be lots of kids that will enjoy wearing those bright colors. Sure envy you your lifestyle...looks wonderful!!

Deborah at Webajeb
I like the socks, and I bet a child who has cold feet will love them. Kids like bright colors and these fill the bill.
I love dogs, so I really enjoyed seeing you with the boxer in your lap (that is the way my weimaraner sits with me on the sofa), and 'Vinny' on your almost finished vest. Love the vest! I am going to ask my daughter's friend if she knows what the kids in Khazakstan like. She was over there for 2 or 3 years with Campus Crusade. Personally, I think all of your socks are awesome!
Love your socks and so will the kids! The brighter the better!
I am so glad you have access to your computer! I always find your postings so interesting and I learn so much! I like the socks and I'm sure that there will be some kid that will like them! Maybe a little generation gap rearing it's head here. Please stay safe and be well! With no mention of Jonesy teeth does that mean he is "all better"? I hope so.
Still enjoying your blog! It looks like Vinny has claimed your sweater vest! That plate of food really looks good, right up my ally!
Take a peek at my blog this week, lots of snow pictures for you!
I'm with Jonesy--that same yellow is what turned me off of a pair of socks I knit with a skein of sock club yarn. I finished the socks at a knitting getaway and there were at least 6 gals fighting to get into my impromptu raffle. My point being, Jonesy may not like them, but someone else will be thirlled. Send 'em off.
I wish I remembered how I happened upon your blog many months ago. (Maybe from a Yarn Harlot conntection?) I check in on you and Jonesy periodically and love reading of your traveling and knitting adventures.
Sail on!
Linda in Paducah, KY
I want to let you know that I've given you a "Kreativ Blogger Award". I really enjoy reading your blog. I feel like I get to enjoy a little escape/adventure each time I read it. It's fascinating! Thanks for sharing your stories! I love to see your knitting projects too. :-)
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