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That’s Fishin’ – March 2020

Man releasing a sailfish

Welcome to March edition of That’s Fishin! March is an excellent time to fish here in Quepos with both our Offshore and Inshore fishery providing some special opportunities to wet a line and who knows, possibly catch that fish of a lifetime!

Man holding a tunaOFFSHORE FISHING

When Offshore fishing, we typically fish 20-40 miles Offshore range where huge numbers of Pacific Sailfish congregate at this time of year as part of their annual migration and breeding ritual. At this time of year it is not uncommon to experience double digit bites from Sailfish when the bite is on, which makes for one action packed day on the water with jumping Sailfish and flashing cameras at the ready! Marlin, Tuna, Dorado and the odd Wahoo can also be caught whilst trolling Offshore. Talking about Wahoo, regular visitor Elise Furlin-Parker caught a stunning Wahoo of more than 40lbs during her February trip aboard GOOD DAY, a special fish for sure and capped off a great couple of days fishing where they caught Sailfish, Tuna, Dorado, and Wahoo. An estimated 60lb Wahoo was also landed by another boat in the fleet just a few days before, another fantastic fish!

There were some very nice sized Tuna caught throughout February with many Yellowfin Tuna topping 100lbs, expect more of the same throughout March. To fish for Tuna in Costa Rica is something that has to be experienced to be believed and appreciated. Photos, videos, and stories at the bar might add to the excitement but they do not do it the justice it deserves. We catch Tuna alongside mega pods of literally hundreds of Spinner Dolphins which travel together with the Tuna and form a huge feeding frenzy as they attack the bait balls lurking below as birds dive kamikaze style from the air and come crashing into the water to join the feast too. Seeing this first hand is something that might stay with you forever and is one thing that keeps many of our guests returning year after year. When you have nature at its best playing out before your eyes like this, catching a fish is just a bonus.

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Sins of the Past

Aerials photos comparing 1972 and 1997

nature and Local history logoBy Jack Ewing

Today the Pacific coastal region of Costa Rica south of the Savegre River is covered with forests, wetlands, mangroves, and other natural wonders. Biodiversity is increasing in much of the area, especially the Path of the Tapir Biological Corridor (PTBC). National parks, wildlife refuges, and private reserves abound, as do other attractions of interest to ecological tourism. It has been called “The Land of Big Parks and Small Hotels”. But it hasn’t always been that way. Beginning in the 1940s a major deforestation of the area took place. Trees were felled and burned, land was cleared, and crops and cattle pasture were planted. The destruction continued for four and a half decades, until about 1985, which marked the beginning of a period of restoration that has persisted to the present day, and hopefully will continue for many years to come.

You may ask, “Why would the government allow such devastation of the rainforest”? The truth is that the government encouraged the deforestation. I came to this region in the early 1970s, 12 years prior to the peak of the clearing of land. In those days the forestry department was part of the Ministry of Agriculture, and the Ministry of the Environment didn’t exist. What little tourism that came to Costa Rica was centered around night clubs and museums in San Jose, with an occasional trip to a volcano. The national income from foreign visitors was insignificant. The mainstays of the economy were beef, bananas, and coffee, and you can’t grow beef, bananas, and coffee in a rainforest. So this fascinating habitat, which harbors more biomass and biodiversity than any other on the planet, was viewed as an unproductive wasteland. “Cut it down, and make the land produce”, was the message the government sent to any who were hardy and willing enough to brave the wild, tame Mother Nature, and work the land.

Hacienda Baru

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Where the River Meets the Sea

By Jim Parisi

Costa Rica is blessed with a sturdy backbone, the Cordillera Central Mountain Range that runs north and south through the center of the country. Being close to the equator, Costa Rica receives a lot of rainfall. This “backbone” helps distribute this vast amount of fresh water to the east, where it eventually empties into either the Caribbean Ocean, or to the west and the shores of the Pacific Ocean. The result is a veritable spider web of waterways that meander throughout this country before ultimately converging with the salty oceanic waters, where the rivers meet the sea.

Webster’s dictionary defines estuary quite simply as “an arm of the sea that ebbs at the lower end of a river”. The unique estuaries at the mouth of many Costa Rica rivers have been relegated as refuge areas included in the National Parklands. The Sixaola River creates part of the border between Costa Rica and Panama, originating in the Cordillera and emptying into the Caribbean Ocean. The river is also the southern boundary of the Gandoca Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge, twenty-three thousand acres classified as “humid tropical rainforest” that accommodates a ten kilometer strip of Caribbean beachfront. The refuge houses the only known orey and jolillo pond swamps in Costa Rica as well as the only natural oyster beds in the Caribbean reefs that extend all the way to Cahuita. This small village is the historic birthplace of Walter Ferguson, Father of Calypso, who still performs there on occasion. The park is a natural habitat for the harpy eagle, mot-mots, and toucans; the marine life in the crystal-clear reefs includes anemones, blue parrot fish, sea cucumber, and angel fish, a dream come true for snorkelers.

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When Bigger is Better

When bigger is better header

Chair on large tilef loorWith stately presence and fewer grout lines, this versatile material brings elegance and style to walls and floors.

Large-format tiles were originally limited to commercial venues like hotels and restaurants but they have crossed over and are now being widely used in residential settings. Thanks to their large size and minimal grout lines, they create a smooth look and a feeling of spaciousness, bringing unexpected drama to your home. Side perk: less grout to clean!

What Are Large-Format Tiles, Exactly?

Kitchen and dining roomLarge-format tiles offer a clean, sleek, modern aesthetic, but they can also work well with traditional decor. They are available in a variety of materials, including natural stone, glass and porcelain. Thanks to advances in digital printing, porcelain tiles can be made to look like natural stone, concrete, metal, wood and even fabric.

Large-format tiles can be installed on both walls and floors. When used on a wall, they can be a durable alternative to paint or wallpaper. There’s no repainting or worrying about staining the wallpaper in your future. Since it is tile, you can just wipe it clean.

Tiles are considered large format when one edge is greater than 15 inches. In the past, 12-by-24-inch rectangular tiles were the most popular large-format size. Today, 18 by 36 inches is common, though, thanks to new technology, tiles can be manufactured as large as 5 by 10 feet.  The most popular size here according to Porceramica in San Jose is the 60 x 120 cm (24 x 48 inch), but they offer sizes up to 120 x 240 cm and have a wide variety of designs.

Royal Palm Interiors

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Kids & Talent

Girl playing violin

No more goofing off! It’s the time of year when kids here go back to school and I go into teacher mode with a whole new batch of potential violinists to mess with! We’ve all been on vacation, and it’s always interesting to me to see which kids have returned, which ones clearly have been practicing, who the new kids are, and who switched over to saxophone while I wasn’t looking. There is an inevitable question that parents or other interested folks are just dying to ask me, and which I dread having to answer. “Does this kid have any talent?”

Sometimes the answer is so obvious that I can’t believe they even bother to ask it, but that is usually when the answer is a firm NO. If a kid can’t hear the difference between low or high notes, or shows no interest in understanding rhythm or doesn’t even like any songs, well, the answer is probably a firm NO. I understand fully the parental need to validate the expenses involved, and to justify their high hopes for their kids’ musical future, and who the heck am I anyway to put some judgment on a child’s potential or innate ability? What kind of jerk would I be if I casually dashed the hopes of a family who have scrimped and sacrificed to buy their child a violin and the accompanying lessons? I’ve found it is pretty difficult to predict how far a focused and determined child can take their talent. Parents want someone to tell them whether their kid is freaky because they are super talented or whether they are just freaky… Thinking about the elusive term ‘talent’ started me wondering what it really is, and what the difference is between a talented kid and a musical prodigy.

Violinist Available Read More…


Memoirs of a Masseur – March 2020

Alone is the place to be. Almost an extinct location now it juxtaposes the benefits and value of being present versus real time knowledge. Once, not so long ago, alone was much easier to come by. Simply by leaving our home, taking a drive, or turning off our computers we were free to have the sanctity and knowledge that being alone provides. Tech and social media has bullied “alone” away by bringing the ease of the web, and literally all forms of communication, to the palm of our hand with just a few clicks or swipes. It has infiltrated social abilities, head space, and our very humanity twisting human kind into zombie-like imprisoned souls. Take a good look around the next time you are in public domain and take notice of who is and who isn’t in the precious present. Simply finding an hour or two of freedom in each twenty-four hour day is an almost impossible task for most. When an individual habitually begins and ends their days with a device it is an addiction. The illusion and “fix” being that it is literally necessary to attempt to know what the world is doing or saying. This self-enslavement is insurmountable for the weak minded of this world. The dismal fact is that cell phones are the master and the wisdom of alone time is being drowned out of existence.


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Support a Local Surfer!

Surf CR logoDominical hosted the first contest on the Costa Rica national surf tour on January 25th-26th. There are seven events in 2020—Playa Cocles on the Caribbean coast, Playa Guiones, Santa Teresa, Playa Avellanas, Playa Hermosa, and Jaco. The champions in the Mens, Womens, and Juniors’ divisions may go on to represent Costa Rica in the ISA World Surfing Games to be held this year in El Salvador. And based on their performance they may even get to go to the Olympics in Japan.
 
The winner of the Open Division in the first contest was Oscar Urbina. He does not have a major sponsor, but with the support of the local businesses and the Caribe Surf Team, he was able to travel over all the way from Puerto Viejo and enter the event. Each event costs $45 US, and there is an annual membership of $45 to be a part of the Federation of Surf. This does not include the costs for lodging and food for the weekend, either. Coral Wiggins took first place for the women. Her main sponsor is the surf brand Hurley, but she also gets funding from J&J Fitness, a gym located in Tamarindo.

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Quepolandia has gained 200,000 visitors in 2 years!

I was scrolling through my old FaceBook posts and found this screen capture of our visitor count reaching 250,000 in February 2018 from it’s launch in 2009. I was thrilled that day.
Hit count 2018

2 years later our visitor count is approaching 450,000! That’s 200,000 in 2 years! 
Hit count 2020

That’s more than 8,000 visitors per month. Advertise online with us. GET INFO HERE.


Let’s Talk About the Great Potoo

Great PotooMuch like owls, this species is nocturnal. They prey on large insects and small vertebrates, which they capture in sallies from high perches.

Possibly its most well-known characteristic is its unique moaning growl that the Great Potoo (Nyctibius grandis) vocalizes throughout the night, creating an unsettling atmosphere in the Neotropics with its nocturnal sounds. This nocturnal predator is usually seen perched high above the ground while foraging; hawking when prey is spotted. After the pounce, the Potoo almost always returns to its previous perch. Normally, during the day it perches upright on a tree stump, and is overlooked because it resembles part of the stump; this is a camouflage, not just by coloration, but also camouflage by the setting. The Great Potoo can be located at night by the reflection of light from its eyes as it sits vertical on a post, roost, or angled-tree trunk.


Quepos Fishing Fleet Recognized as Top Captains of 2019!

FishingBooker logoBy Rebecca Johnson, PR Manager FishingBooker

FishingBooker, the world’s largest platform for booking fishing trips, works with over 5,500 captains all over the world. Some of these captains often go the extra mile to make the fishing trip a success. This year, we decided to honor the stories that stood out and give them a bit more spotlight. Jackpot Sportfishing from Quepos made it to our Captain Spotlight list: Heroes of 2019! 

Here’s their story:

The Good DayJackpot Sportfishing caught our eye twice last year, on two of their different boats. Back in February, they took part in the first-ever all ladies tournament here at the Marina Pez Vela in Costa Rica.

Despite being the underdog with the smallest boat in the fleet, the 31’ Good Day took home the honors for the biggest Tuna of the weekend. But it wasn’t all about the Tuna:

“Over the weekend we released 8 Sailfish & caught 3 nice Tuna. Marbely & Cathy Gilmour in our team caught their first-ever Billfish, well-done girls! Stella Humphreys, Iby, & Marbely caught their first-ever Tuna, Marbely’s fight being an epic 45 minute battle on a light spinning rod!”

While this event was all about the ladies, Jackpot Sportfishing didn’t do badly when their tournament crew was all-male, either. They proved this in March when they competed in two tournaments in one weekend. 

Taking home the Dorado and Tuna Jackpots on both day one and day two of the Quepos Billfish Cup, they put their good luck down to their lucky fishing shirts… but we think there might be something more to it than that! 

Aerial of Marina Pez Vela

 

 


Spanish Sucks – March 2020

Spanish sucks March 2020

CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE

Manuel Antonio Spanish School logo


The Secret Formula for Human Happiness

A Healthier You headerHappiness.
What everyone is searching for.

How can it ever be fully reached or achieved?

And how does meditation affect your happiness?

The more you search for happiness in meditation, the less it will come.

We’re programmed to believe something is only working when it feels good. When you’re sitting down to meditate and waiting to get high, that means you’re coming from a place of lack and deficiency.

You must meditate on compassion.

Widen out this energy of meditation into something to do with helping people. Then it starts to change because compassion takes the mediation journey from a self-centered, graspy, addictive type of reality into something that is of service to the world. And then you can simply let go and just do your best. Your meditation is giving you the fuel and energy to be kind. It changes the whole picture from a desperate search for internal happiness into a feeling that happiness is a shared experience because the world is a shared experience. So surely the whole concept of happiness has to be connected to that Oneness, that community.

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What’s Shaking at Marina Pez Vela – March 2020

What's Shaking headerMarch is a HOT month here at Marina Pez Vela and we are not just referring to the summer temperatures and booking tourism season. 2020 has been off to an insane start at both the project and in the area and we will take advantage of this new update to both recap some of our biggest events from the past and fill you all in on the activities to come here in March at the Marina.

2nd ANNUAL PESCADORA TOURNAMENT

We want to start by THANKING SAMANTHA MUMFORD and her entire organization team for an amazing success in the 2nd Annual PESCADORA tournament. This amazing event was a huge success in its first year and the event at the end of February was bigger and better here during its second incarnation. In addition to the record setting number of participants, tremendous female anglers and record setting fun, the PESCADORA represents so much more to the project and the area. Marina Pez Vela is about inclusion, changing perceptions, and letting the community, country, and world know that Sportfishing is much more than the tradition stigma of a “angler”. Marina Pez Vela is about inclusion, sharing this wonderful, and sustainable sport with families and our community and nothing represents this commitment than the PESCADORA and its amazing participants.

FIRST ANNUAL ROOSTER RODEO – SATURDAY, MARCH 7

While the waters here are well known for the sailfish and marlin bite which attracts anglers from around the world, many fewer are aware that our inshore fishing and specifically the ROOSTER fishing here is world class. This amazing species is the focal point of the first ever ROOSTER RODEO, a one day inshore tournament focused on catching, tagging, and releasing these amazing species. To the novice, the Rooster fish is the one that looks like it has a MOHAWK with an amazing dorsal fin that sticks up like the crown of a roosters head. MPV has hosted several important satellite tagging expeditions and is leading the research on the conservation of this species and this tournament is all about celebrating its beauty and conservation. Learn more at marinapezvelatournaments.com.

9th ANNUAL QUEPOS BILLFISH CUP – MARCH 19-21

This is the longest running tournament at Marina Pez Vela, one of the most competitive and this will be the biggest and baddest year ever. The QBC is back with the kick off registration event on the evening of March 19th and two days of intense fishing competition. The QBC, which is the only event in Costa Rica that is a qualifying event for the Offshore World Championship, is going to have some new formats this year which retains all the fierce competition, but also opens it up to anglers looking for more fun than fight. With two divisions, the GUN and the FUN you can select whether to fish with the IGFA rules or in the FUN division where hook and pass rules allow for just about anyone to try their hand in tournament fishing. The QBC is also the first leg of the Marina Pez Vela Championship Series (Gun division required) with a chance at a bonus of $25,000 to the series champion who accumulates the most points between the QBC and the Marina Pez Vela open the following month.

WEDNESDAY MOVIE NIGHTS UNDER THE STARS

March has a total of 5 MOVIE nights so get your calendars ready and we will see you on:

March 4th: Bumblebee
March 11: Spiderman-Into the Spider-verse
March 18: Tomb Raider-Adventures of Lara Croft
March 25: Pokemon Detective Pikachu
March 31: Christopher Robin
 
Do not miss out on all the fun and action here and whether you are participating in the tournament or just looking for some great food in a beautiful setting, MPV is the place to be in March!


¿Qué Pasa en Quepos? – March 2020

March 2020 coverBienvenidos/Welcome to Quepolandia, we are here to make sure you have an unforgettable adventure. The weather is perfect, so get out of those winter clothes and forget the snow shovels and enjoy being away from those freezing temperatures. Whether you’re hiking one of our incredible National Parks or just chilling on the beach don’t forget to hydrate (Not cervesas) and sunblock, sunblock, and more SUNBLOCK!!!

A lot is happening here in March as the action continues. Marina Pez Vela is hosting the First Annual Rooster Rodeo (March 7), a 1-day inshore fishing tournament. The Rooster Rodeo is focused on catching, tagging and releasing to help with conservation of the Rooster fish. The 9th Annual Billfish Cup (March 19-21). Always a great time with two different categories this year.

In addition to a fleet of boats to take you fishing or sightseeing, fantastic tours, spectacular restaurants, air conditioned shopping, the Marina is also home of Gelateria Amorosi. So come and cool down with the area’s most delicious Italian Gelato and treats. Tell them we sent you our advertisers love to hear it. Don’t miss Movie Night Under the Stars every Wednesday night on the big screen a wonderful night out for the entire family.

March Madness is upon us so all you college basketball fans can catch all the action and great food at Jolly Roger. You also do not want to miss the Eco Beer Fest on March 14 hosted by Fuego Brewery in Dominical. The Eco Beer Fest focuses on promoting local green initiatives and brands with live music, art, food, and an artisan market featuring local sustainable products. Not to forget a wide selection of spectacular local craft breweries.

We would like to thank Glenn Landry for this month’s cover of the very rare to photograph Potoo Bird and its baby. Congratulations to Kids Saving the Rainforest for celebrating their 21st year and thank you for all you do in conservation, rehabilitation, and education to helping make this a better world for all of us.

We hope you enjoy our magazine and it helps guide you through this enchanting paradise we call home. You can always follow and share us here or on Facebook/Quepolandia. We appreciate and welcome your comments.

Peace and Enjoy…D


Surf CR – February 2020

Surf CR logoIt’s that time of year, when the South swells are micro but the weather is perfect. It’s sunny all day, there is a nice offshore breeze, and I am aching to be out on the water. Here are my favorite four options.
 
The first option would be to do some rafting. Towards the end of the dry season the Rio Naranjo and Rio Savegre get a little shallow, but the rest of the year if I want some adrenaline that I cannot find in the waves then I take it inland. The rapids are challenging and fun to ride. The views from the raft are spectacular, from far away cloud shrouded pinnacles, to up close and personal observations of monkeys, iguanas, and uncountable birds. I often end the day as exhausted as if I was surfing the whole time. 
 
Man paddleboardingA second idea would be to Stand up Paddleboard or kayak in the mangroves of Isla Damas or south towards Dominical. The silence of motor-less movement in the still high tide brackish water is meditative, and the leafy branches provide shade from the heat. This isn’t a workout for me since there are no waves to catch or current to battle. Instead it is a chance to be on the water and discover the monkeys, birds, crocs, fish, and flora of the mangroves.

If it’s just too hot and I need to be underwater, then I would go snorkeling. Small waves mean less sand disturbance on the bottom of the ocean, which equates to better visibility. Combine that with days when there are zero clouds in the sky and it appears like the reef 30 feet below is at arm’s reach. I love snorkeling the islands called Tres Hermanas to the south or taking a boat trip to Isla del Caño where we spotted a lot of turtles, fish, and healthy reef. 
 
And sometimes I just want to be afloat on the water. Surfers often dream of having a cold beverage in their hand while out in the lineup, so why not enjoy that dream by joining a sunset sailing expedition on one of the catamarans and sailboats leaving from Quepos. Find a few friends to celebrate the times between the swells, and nurse those injuries back to health with some rest and relaxation. 
 
If you have an interest in planning any of these ‘flat days’ activities, just send a note to travel@crsurf.com.