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What’s Shaking @ Marina Pez Vela – May/June 2023

What’s Shaking @ Marina Pez Vela

WHAT AN AMAZING START TO 2023!  The first months of this year have meant so much to the family at Marina Pez Vela and our local community. Certainly, the highlight of the first trimester of the year has been the overwhelming return of our friends, families, and tourism industry which has surpassed the expectations of even the most optimistic projections. At the Marina, from the record setting RockStar Tournament in January right through to the Marina Pez Vela Open and Offshore World Championships in late April, it has been amazing to see the energy, passion, smiles, and absolute love affair which our new and returning guests are enjoying with our community and facility. While May and June used to signal the end of a high season, they are now a welcomed transition into the refreshing first rains of the year and what promises to be a busy summer travel season.

The Marina continues to celebrate our community and this destination with some great events, celebrations and some incredibly fun tournaments to keep on your schedule.

Summer Solstice Shootout, July 1

The Summer Solstice shootout is a one-of-a-kind tournament that everyone should find a way to participate in if possible. Unlike most tournaments which are focused on either one species (Dorado Derby) or are Billfish-focused, the Summer Solistice Shootout is all about diversity and time. Anglers and teams have all day to try to capture as many species as possible in a day. The event is really a celebration of the diversity of our rich marine environment and an opportunity for big and small boats, along with anglers of all shapes, sizes, and experience levels to enjoy fishing inshore, offshore, trolling, and bottom fishing with up to 20 available qualifying species. Do not miss a chance to participate and create some unforgettable memories in this year’s Summer Solstice Shootout.

We Are MPV

While we will always be sharing news and events in this newsletter, we will also be featuring one of our tenants, charter operations, or departments to being to share with you all a glimpse of all of the people and teams who make this project so amazing. This month we highlight Marsha Bennet and Quepos Tackle Shop.

It is quite simply impossible to think about the Sportfishing industry and history of Quepos without highlighting the fingerprints of Marsha Bennett, owner/heart and soul of the Quepos Tackle shop. Marsha, operated her iconic The Runaway Grill restaurant that has fed so many of our families with love, passion, stories, and laughter. Marsha is a world class angler and has been a part of the growth of the Sportfishing industry here from day one. It is fitting that her Quepos Tackle shop, located right on the waterfront is now equipping our fleet of boats and visiting anglers with everything that need to continue setting record, catching memories, and building the lore of the very industry she helped to put on the map. Whether you are an experienced veteran or preparing for your first trip out on the water, don’t miss the chance to visit Marsha and her team at the Quepos Tackle Shop.

Spanish Sucks – May-June 2023


Recherché – 1 Year Anniversary Sale!

We are celebrating our One Year Anniversary! We have never had a storewide sale before. So this IS IT! Honestly, EVERYTHING in the store’s showroom is on sale. EVERY DAY we will have very special unique items for sale at 50% off the regular price, ONLY for that day. The next day we will change the special items that are 50% off. Which be the way, are BELOW our cost (wholesale price paid, shipping from the US, Europe or Asia, 30% import tax paid to the Costa Rican government…) You MUST come into the store to see that day’s 50% off items (no phone calls.) All other items in the store are listed below, and their percentage off.

Many of these items are either one-of-a-kind or there is only one or just a few left. Once they are gone, they are gone.

We just received a new 40 foot container shipment a couple weeks ago, containing: 3 new styles of sleeper sofas, exciting home décor, amethyst and quartz crystals, 5 new ‘gear’ clocks (all styles sold out within weeks last shipment!), new floral and greenery, 7 new side tables, sofa tables, coffee tables, new art, 5 new faux (yet, lifelike) coral décor, agate and marble décor and so much more… ALL ON SALE NOW!

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Hello Frogs, Fish, Bats, & “Golondrinas” – Jack Ewing

Bye-Bye Mosquitos

Many years ago, before we had electricity, I had a small fish tank. I couldn’t use an air pump to oxygenate the water, so I had to struggle to keep everything in balance as best I could. Fish need oxygen, which is produced by green plants, which need nutrients, which are provided by fish feces, which comes from fish that eat everything from green plants and fish food to mosquito larvae. If you feed the fish too much, the excess food will lie on the bottom of the aquarium and decompose, a process which depletes the oxygen. You need just the right amount of each thing, fish, plants, and fish food. Snails are important too. They clean the algae off the glass. My fish were common guppies. A couple of tiny tree frogs also found the tank to their liking and added their presence to the mix. Plants, water, and mosquitos. What else could a frog want. This added a new twist to the balancing of the tank. Guppies like frog eggs and tadpoles, and tadpoles eat mosquito eggs, larva, and pupae. Is it any wonder that I failed to create a perfectly balanced aquarium and had to empty it out and start over a couple of times? It was quite a challenge which I never got exactly right, but I learned a lot about nature and especially about the dynamics of aquatic ecosystems.

That fish tank was the beginning of my understanding of mosquitos. After 53 years of living in the tropics, where mosquitos thrive, I’ve learned a lot. When Hacienda Barú was engaged in rice farming we had hordes of mosquitos. I remember one night when I had to wear a jacket, leather shoes and gloves, lather my face with repellent, and sleep under a mosquito net to keep from being ravaged. When we quit farming rice, and spraying insecticides all over the fields, the mosquitos diminished. In addition to the insects that damage rice, the insecticides kill a lot of other things, some of which prey on mosquitos, including dragonflies, spiders, frogs, geckos, and fish.

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Thai Tom Kha Soup

Chef's corner header

Thai Tom Kha Soup – Desiree Brassert

This creamy, fragrant, soul-warming soup is hard to beat. Let the red curry paste work its magic even if some aromatics are unavailable. Here is the chicken version. A few easy changes can make it vegan.

Ingredients for 8 to 10 servings

  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 1 small white onion, finely sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 small fresh hot pepper, preferably red, or to taste
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, closest to roots, leaf blades discarded
  • 1 knob of ginger
  • 1 knob of galanga
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves or a small piece of lime rind
  • 3 tablespoons of Thai red curry paste
  • 2 tablespoons of lime juice
  • 4 tablespoons of fish sauce (soy sauce for vegan version)
  • 4 cups of chicken stock (vegetable stock for vegan version)
  • 4 cups of unsweetened coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons of coconut sugar or brown sugar
  • 1 whole boneless chicken breast cut into small cubes
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced
  • Chopped cilantro leaves for garnish


  1. Heat coconut oil in a soup pot and add onions, garlic, pepper, lemongrass, ginger, galanga, kaffir lime leaves, and curry paste.
  2. Fry until fragrant for 5 minutes then add the chicken stock.
  3. Simmer for at least 30 minutes, preferably one hour.
  4. Strain the solids and return the stock to the soup pot.
  5. Add coconut milk, chicken breast and remaining ingredients except for the cilantro.
  6. Simmer for 20 minutes or until the chicken is completely cooked.
  7. Adjust the seasoning to your taste by adding more curry paste, fish sauce, lime juice, or sugar.
  8. Garnish with cilantro before serving.

Kid’s Camp – Fun in the Ocean

Kid’s Camp – Fun in the Ocean

Here at the dive shop we are always about inspiring new people to come exploring the ocean with us. One of our primary goals with the new administration is to build our involvement in the local community as part of this. One of the most exciting projects that we started over Xmas and then again, this past Semana Santa was running some kid’s conservation camps to get younger members of our community involved and learning all about the ocean.

Did you know that children can get the PADI junior open water certification card as young as 10 years old? Participants need to be comfortable in the water and a good basic swimmer but they can start exploring the local ocean and reef from that age.

But, did you know as well, that they can start scuba diving, in a pool environment as young as 8?! The program is called the PADI seal team, and whilst you cannot see real fish in the pool, you can certainly have an adventure there.

Taking these programs as our first camp basis we created two different types of conservation camps. Each including an element of conservation and whilst introducing the children to the importance of their local environment, we are hoping to inspire all of the kids into becoming ECO warriors.

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¿Qué Pasa en Quepos? – May/June 2023

Bienvenidos …Welcome.

I have written 27 paragraphs and shaved it to 9. But only 4 fit and Paul is waiting to put HIS baby to sleep. So I am saving it for July. Our Birthday I mean EVERY TOURIST, EXPAT, and Tico who ever touched a QUEPOLANDIA CELEBRATE and if you see Paul buy him a drink, he has earned it.

Change stimulus our very being.

We look forward to what’s ahead, 25 years of publication done. Website almost 1,000,000 views. Did that too. (Updated website soon.) So how can we beat the last 25 years of sharing this enchanted paradise we all call home? Change, you never know what is coming—but with a Positive Attitude and “Pura Vida” success is achieved by those who try. Thank you so much Ana.Your Dream. Keep trying. Pat, well we all love you and your soul is in every issue. I just deliver them and Paul makes me look good. So kind of a tough act to follow but we aren’t following we are just pausing putting a flag in the ground to mark HISTORY. My first QUEPOLANDIA Flag was 23 years ago. It is not only a flag but I still have it. We’ll let you know in July. We are taking on the challenge of a repeat season with a new look, website, too early to talk about but our nonprofit has hatched. Change—never—we will always begin with Ana’s first word. We will always start with Bienvenidos …Welcome.

We just added Gracias and to everyone, especially all the advertisers that trusted us every single month to get magazines to a newsstand near you by the first of the month Thank you. We ALL do. You and Paul made it happen without either, never. Thank you both. Please take a bow.

We want to Thank Lorena Rojas with the coveted not final cover. But this is history, grab one quick and no selling them on eBay. It least until 2048. That will be another good flag time to look back. I really hope WingPeopleUnited is flocked together and we made a positive change—to Mother Earth For future generations. STOP. LOOK UP. Conservation of Mother Earth and all that live with her. The next 25 years we need to improve and we have a plan. A change.

And Ana Ana could have also started with just 2 words, PURA VIDA.

As always, please share your comments on info@quepolandia.com from our first 25 years and we hope to share them in July Quepolandia.

Gracias A Todos
Peace and Enjoy…Q. Mike Drop…Get ready for Our Encore, we ARE.

See you all at sunset July 1 to “Make a Wish’

Sunset Sunday

Tips on How to be a Responsible Sloth Tourist


Don’t visit any facility, in any country, that allows you to touch, feed or take a photo with a sloth. Sloths in these situations are being exploited for money and do not contribute to their conservation. In Costa Rica, this practice is illegal because it is not in the best interest of the animals. In countries like the US this practice is unfortunately legal, but you will find that the facilities that allow this often purchase baby sloths directly from the wild to train them for these practices. This often leads to their death from poor diet at a young age and always leads to their direct lack of freedom to support this industry.


This should go without saying, but sloths are wild animals that belong in the wild and only want to stay there. Never purchase a sloth to keep for yourself. They would not be happy and would likely die from an improper diet and stress.

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All About Nudibranchs

All About Nudibranchs

Whilst we may not boast the giants of the Galapagos or Isla del Coco, those of us that dive and snorkel the waters around Manuel Antonio know there is still plenty to see. Sometimes you just have to get down and dirty. For that reason, this month, we are going to have a look at some of our lesser known, but still incredibly beautiful residents, the nudibranchs.

What is a nudibranch I hear you say?

It is a type of slug but not your garden variety, eat your vegetables garden slug. These guys are amazing and we are going to tell you about why they are amazing and an important part of our marine ecosystem.

Nudibranchs live in the ocean all around the planet. Mostly on coral reefs and in seagrass but some do float around in the wide ocean. For a quick bit of biology, they have exposed gills, head tentacles, rhinophores (tentacles that are considered to be organs to smell on the back of their head or neck) and are mainly carnivorous—see you learnt something!

Many of our divers and visitors have never even heard of one, and once you spot them underwater you are enthralled. They vary in size, with the smallest only being about 4mm, and the largest can grow to up to 600mm. Here around the Manuel Antonio National Park, they are on average 100-300mm.

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Spanish Sucks – April 2023


Kids Saving the Rainforest – April 2023




In my past I have lived out of a van. My tent has also been my home next to a lazy Colorado River. In my future I hope to again have my bed, kitchen, and living area in five meters of space. For the bathroom I had to exit and walk to an old-school out house, a simple hole in the ground. Other than that, everything I needed was in that van, or set up, around my tent. Upon my return to Manuel Antonio my house, car, and possessions weighed me down. I don’t mean they bummed me out, I am thankful for the material things I have. Rather, I feel my time spent dealing with everything, organizing stuff, requires time away from something I grew fond of while on the road…boredom. Amazing boredom. I mean exactly that, boredom became a comfort and with luck, will be a friend for life after my final adventure. I am no monk but for my almost fifty-two years simplicity, peace, and contentment come to me easier through the release of material items, responsibilities, and “to-do” lists. Tedious repetition of nothing exciting can cause uncommonly vivacious results.
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Wounds, Scars, and Testosterone

More information flows from trail cameras than I ever could have imagined back in 2011 when I started using them. Hiking or wandering through the rainforest is interesting whether or not you see any charismatic fauna of which there are 100s of species including anteaters, agoutis, all kinds of snakes, poison dart frogs, many different species of birds large and small, bright, and dull, and several species of carnivores. But how often do you see a jaguarundi, an ocelot, a tayra, or a puma? I recently retrieved and reviewed the memory card of a trail camera that was located at the edge of a swampy forest that bordered an open area. On the computer monitor I saw 11 different species of mammals, including three carnivores, six different birds, and one reptile. During the fifty years that I have lived near the rainforest I have seen all but one of the animals that were captured by the camera. But I had to walk 100s of hours to see some of them. Looking at the photos on that one camera taught me things and stimulated me to investigate things that otherwise would have taken me years to learn. Let me give you an example.

The memory card contained over 4500 photos all captured during the two months since I put it in the camera and flipped the “on” switch. As always, the first three photos were of me moving out of the field of view of the camera after turning it on. The fourth photo was a coati with a large wound on the side of its head. The quality of the photo was good, but even so I couldn’t be sure if the coati’s left ear had been torn off or not. As the wound healed more photos of the same animal appeared on the camera and it became obvious that the ear was still there right where it was supposed to be and in good shape. It was also clear that the wound was healing properly.

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That’s Fishin’ – April 2023

A huge welcome to all the visiting Anglers from around the world for this month’s OFFSHORE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS being held here at the Marina Pez Vela this April 16-21st. We are so glad that you could make the trip to Costa Rica and hope that you enjoy some excellent Fishing, the beauty of the Manuel Antonio area and our warm Costa Rican hospitality. Have a great visit and Tight Lines to you all!


March provided some great variety for all of our main Offshore species. Blue Marlin were prevalent and there were good numbers of Blues in the 150-250lb range caught throughout the month. There were some really big Marlin caught in recent weeks including an estimated 900lb Blue Marlin caught aboard MY THREE SONS, huge congrats guys for the fish of a lifetime. We had a good run of Black Marlin throughout the month with some really nice Blacks caught at the Offshore reefs. The Tuna fishing was exceptional during March. Livebait was the preferred bait to catch the Tuna for most of the month and there were some really nice sized Tuna caught, with various reports of fish over 150lbs. Dorado numbers thinned out during March compared to previous months as summer water temps continue to rise but some really nice sized Bull Dorado showed up and made dreams come true. We had some great Sailfishing at times with some excellent catch reports posted with some slow weeks mixed in. April should be an excellent month for Sailfish this year and hopefully the bite is on fire ready for this month’ s two tournaments, the Marina Pez Vela Open and the Offshore World Championships.

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