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Catching Zs

What’s better than a massage? A good night of sleep! This month’s article is dedicated to my wife and to those out there that suffer from insomnia or simply turning off those monkey minds…

Solid sleep habits, especially when accomplished night after night, is truly an essential elixir to a better life. Cognitive abilities, physical output, handling stress, enhanced internal biological functions can literally be streamlined on a daily basis to ease the tension of living with proper sleep. Science has come to the rescue once again to advance our wellbeing. Sometimes we forget that we are animals, we work on much of the same principles as our furry friends do. The sun and the moon have cycles as do our internal body rhythms. They are not meant to be played with and the ability to re-set can often be accomplished with just a little effort. My suggestion is to transform your habits for a week and you be the judge. Simple discipline and a desire to change is all that is needed.


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Every Good Idea Has A Downside – Wind Power

I am old enough to remember when the Sandhill Crane was an endangered species. There were less than 1000 left in the wild. Due to lots of hard work and diligence from a lot of nature lovers, there are now close to 100,000. Many of these beautiful stork-like birds with a distinctive call migrated every year to the Rio Grande Valley in Southeast Texas. Then, along came the wind turbines. My friend and fellow environmentalist Pamela lives in what used to be one of the best birding spots in the US. She still lives there and can tell the story better than I.

The Rio Grande Valley is in the world’s greatest migratory flyway. We have several sites labelled as the World’s Birding Center because of the number of migrants that pass through each winter. Birding has been the largest source of income for the area. Each year one of my greatest joys was the migration of the Sandhill cranes. They flew over my house in such huge flocks that my windows vibrated with their calls. I would stand outside and watch them fly overhead so close that I could look into their eyes. I would drive down the roads that have now been taken over by wind turbines and follow the flocks. I’d sit in my truck with my binoculars and watch them.

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How to Maximize Your Time Surfing – Road Trip vs. Surf Camp

Tamarindo – Covenient and beginner friendly waves.

Surf CR logoHow do you decide which is a better option to maximize your time surfing? If you are a beginner, I would say go to a surf camp 100% of the time. It will be safe, you will be well coached, and you will have support from others to get you up and riding. But what about if you are an intermediate or advanced surfer? First is how much about the waves in Costa Rica do you already know? Second is do you want to spend time with other surfers? Third is how far do you want to go?
 
I did not make how much it costs a reason since you can spend an endless amount on either option, and it may still not lead to more surf time. That is unless you did an overnight boat trip to Witch’s Rock and Ollie’s Point, then you get to surf both spots for at least two hours in the morning and afternoon, before the other boats arrive and after they leave—totally worth the >$2000/night price tag for the boat.

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What Does the Next level of Sleep Look Like?


Adjustable beds were once found only in hospitals, but now you can have all the comfort and health benefits of one in your own home. Most models thankfully, look more decorative than those you would see in a hospital so that you can relax in style.

Some of the medical conditions an adjustable bed can help with include sleep apnea, acid reflux, lower back pain, arthritis, high blood pressure, diabetes, and Restless Legs Syndrome. Of course, there’s more than just medical advantages to consider. A completely healthy person can still sleep better on an adjustable base because of the bed’s ability to customize how they sleep.

With just the push of a button, you can silently set up your adjustable bed for customized comfort, and some will even fit inside your existing bed frame for a more stylish appearance!

What is an Adjustable Bed?

An adjustable bed, sometimes known as an electric bed, is a bed base topped with a series of panels. These panels tilt upward with the press of a button, elevating the head or foot of the mattress.
Because of its electronic components and high-quality metal structure, an adjustable base is one of the more expensive types of bed support. However, many people find the cost worthwhile to be able to get a better night’s rest.

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Banapalooza


What’s Shaking @ Marina Pez Vela – April 2022

What's Shaking headerThe HEAT IS ON here at Marina Pez Vela in April. More than just a reference to one of the warmest months here in paradise at the end of the traditional dry season, the temps here at MPV are on high as this is another action-packed time for us at the Marina. April includes one of the busiest and most sacred holidays here in Costa Rica, Semana Santa, as well as the Marina Pez Vela open and the Offshore World Championships.
 

Semana Santa

Sunday, April 10th – Sunday, April 17

From Palm Sunday, Domingo de Ramos to Easter Sunday, Costa Rica celebrates the iconic Semana Santa. This week sees a huge part of the nation’s population, normally concentrated in the Central Valley, flocking to the beaches and coastal communities to celebrate. Quepos and the marina is no exception and this is one of the most exciting and busy weeks of our year. While at the time of printing our specific Semana Santa schedule has yet to be confirmed as we continue to monitor Pandemic protocols for events, stay tuned to the Marina Pez Vela Website and social media for final events, movie nights and cultural activities at MPV.  
 

Marina Pez Vela Open

April 23

The Marina Pez Vela Open is going to be a one day shoot out with an entirely new format this year. The Tournament is an important warm up event for the Offshore World Championships, which start with their kickoff event the next day, but is also a chance for locals or visiting anglers to compete and share in these fun one-day events. This year’s MPV Open brings the best of competitive fishing and fun fishing together with two entry divisions, including one for IGFA (International Game Fishing Association) rules which require that each angler hook and release their own billfish, and another division for a relaxed meat fish division which allows for hook and pass angling for those with a bit less experience. Don’t miss out on your chance to be a part of this amazing kickoff event!  
 

Offshore World Championships

April 24-April 29

The Super Bowl of sports fishing returns to Costa Rica again this April and will be bringing together the World’s Best Anglers to compete for this coveted World Championship title. Unlike most tournaments here in Costa Rica and around the world, the OWC requires that teams have won a prequalifying tournament to participate and anglers fish all days on a rotation of Costa Rican flagged vessels. This tournament is an important support for a local charter fleet who felt the direct impacts of Covid drops in tourism, brings a global spotlight on the nation’s world class Sportfishing waters, our conservation efforts and hospitality. There is no better time to come to the Marina and watch the international teams with their daily weigh ins, national flags and team spirit and 4 days of the world’s most competitive fishing. These anglers compete by international rules, don’t have the luxury of their own boats, captains and crews, and are on a new boat each day to insure parity and a focus on angler skills. Come out and support all the international teams, but moreover Costa Rica and Marina Pez Vela as the host of this global celebration and competition.


¿Qué Pasa en Quepos? – April 2022

Bienvenidos… Welcome to the land of Pura Vida. Let us help guide you through this very busy month Of April. There is a lot of celebrating going on this month with Semana Santa being one of the busiest weeks of the year. So, relax, have patience, and enjoy the celebrations.

April should bring a little rain finally to help cool things down a little bit and provide some incredible sunsets. So, get to one of our many great restaurants Mira Olas or Marina Pez Vela in Quepos for a great meal and cocktails and enjoy the show. If you’re on the mountain you can’t beat the view from the all-new Ronny’s Place. On April 3rd Ronny’s will be hosting PAWS fundraiser, Battle of the Bands. Great music, great people, great place, all coming together for a REALLY great cause. Don’t miss it!

Marina Pez Vela will be in full swing this April. The Marina Pez Vela Open (April 23) a one-day tournament meant for all anglers to compete and have fun doing it. MPV is also hosting 4 days of the most competitive fishing of the year. The Offshore World Championship (April 24-29) has teams from around the world all competing for the World Championship. So come out and support all the international teams and enjoy this world class event.

The Earth is an incredibly complex and vibrant ecosystem. Where living organisms interact with each other and their environment to create the ideal conditions for life. Earth Day is April so in the words of Bob Marley, “Let’s get together and be alright”.

We want to thank Benn Gilmore for our cover shot this month in honor of the Offshore World Championship. We would also like to welcome our new advertisers this month, Best of Both Worlds, Clandestine Music Festival, and Price Auto Sales.

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

Peace and Enjoy…D


How to Plan a Successful Surf Trip – Part 2

Surf CR logoIn the last issue, I explained the first of many factors to consider when planning a Costa Rica surf vacation—finding the best time of year to go based on what type of waves you are looking for. In this article I will discuss whether to bring boards or rent them while you are there. Some points to consider are where you are going, what type of boards you need, what are the airlines going to charge you, and the convenience of each option.
 
Some beach towns have a dozen surf shops (Tamarindo) while others have only one (Pavones – Sea Kings Surf Shop). Nosara has a half dozen places to rent boards, my favorite being Coconut Harry’s. Santa Teresa has Denga Surf Shop with a decent selection of long and short boards, but they are quite used. Manuel Antonio has some board rentals on the beach, but they are mostly beat up. Manuel Antonio Surf School has a few nicer long and fun boards to rent, but supply is limited. The Caribbean side has two places to rent boards in Puerto Viejo, and on the beach in Playa Cocles.  
 
So, if you are a beginner surfer then these locations will have a sufficient longboard to ride. There are options for soft tops and hard top surfboards at many spots, and at this stage in your surfing progression you just want to catch waves and lugging your longboard from home may not be worth the hassle. If you are an advanced surfer though, you may want to bring the boards you ride at home since you know how they perform and you may not find a similar board at even the bigger surf towns of Jaco, Nosara, and Tamarindo. And if the waves are too small or too big, you could always find a board to rent (or buy used) to fit the conditions. There are a few Facebook groups that buy and sell surfboards in Costa Rica.

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Octopus Salad

Chef's corner headerThis is my spin on a Portuguese salad and a refreshing way to enjoy this underrated protein.

Ingredients

(For 6 to 8 servings)

  • 1 kilo of raw octopus
  • 1 medium, yellow onion chopped into small squares
  • 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 6 sun dried tomatoes (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons of white wine vinegar or apple cider or white balsamic or any good quality light colored vinegar.
  • 1 tablespoon of lime juice
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup of chopped cilantro (can substitute for parsley if desired)

Directions

To tenderize octopus, you must immerse in boiling salted water for 45 minutes. Cool down, rinse off, and cut into small chunks. There might be a little cartilage in the head cavity which needs to be removed. Mix with remaining ingredients and allow to mellow in fridge for at least 20 minutes before serving.


Every Good Idea Has A Downside

Back in the 1970s and the early 80s, before we got electricity in our Hacienda Barú home, Diane and I often lamented the lack of hot water in the shower. Cold water was okay on a hot day, but it was bad news on a chilly, rainy evening with a cool breeze blowing outside. One scorching summer afternoon I returned to the house from work and stuck my head under the faucet to cool off. The water wasn’t very cool, but I was hot and sweaty, and it was still refreshing. Without warning, it turned scalding hot. Letting out a yelp, I jerked my head from beneath the tap. After a short time, it cooled down enough that it again felt good on back of my neck. “Now I know why all of our neighbors leave the water running 24 hours a day,” I bemoaned. Very few people lived in the area, and each household had its own source of water, usually a creek or a spring. There was never a shortage of water, and it didn’t cost anything, so there was really no reason to turn it off. All of our neighbors left it running all of the time. Many homes didn’t have faucets and couldn’t stop the flow even if they wanted to.

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PAWS Battle of the Bands Fundraiser April 3 @ Ronny’s Place


KSTR – March 2022

KSTR LogoDaniKids Saving the Rainforest wishes Dani a very Happy Belated Birthday! (Sorry, we are on sloth time!). We can hardly believe Dani just turned 9 years old and has been our Spokes kid for over a year!

Hi Everyone, it’s Dani, your spokes kid for KSTR, Kids Saving the Rainforest!

Today I am so excited to make a big announcement—we’re building a new Nursery at KSTR, to rehabilitate baby animals! I thought that since it’s spring, which is when most babies are born in nature, it was a good time to talk about our new Nursery!

The new Nursery will have 2 stories. The bottom story will be for the “Nursery Mom” to stay comfortably and take care of the animals, and the upper level will be for the babies. If you’re wondering what the “nursery mom” is—all babies we have were abandoned, or don’t have moms, so they need someone to take care of them. That’s where the nursery mom comes in. She takes care of the babies like a child. She feeds them and makes sure their cage is clean and they are taken care of. We usually have 2 nursery moms, who trade shifts every 12 hours because the babies need to be fed as often as every 2 hours—this is an extremely demanding job!

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That’s Fishin’ – March 2022


What a season it has been so far! Quepos has literally fished its socks off during January and February and I cannot wait to see what March has in store for our visitors from around the world!

OFFSHORE FISHING

The Marlin bite was just epic during the first couple of months of the year. We believe that the Pelagic Rockstar tournament held in mid-January, released more Blue Marlin during its 2 days than any other tournament in history on the entire planet…and that is saying something, just wow!! The Sailfish bite cranked up during February with some lucky Anglers getting involved in WIDE OPEN SAILFISHING and releasing upwards of 20 Sailfish in a day on some occasions. A shout out to FRENZY, HOG WILD, & MONKEYSHINE who are all Marina Pez Vela Charter Boats posting some huge numbers of Sailfish releases recently. The late rains this season really helped keep the water temperatures down and the Dorado around for a bit longer and there has been some fantastic Dorado fishing recently with lots of 20-30 pounders with a few huge 40-50lb plus Dorado showing. Wahoo made a surprise appearance and were caught consistently during January and February over the Offshore reefs up to 50lbs. The Offshore Tuna fishing was epic also with Anglers enjoying scenes of hundreds of Spinner Dolphins, diving birds, and hungry Yellow Fin Tuna busting the surface whilst chasing Flying Fish, in National Geographic-worthy moments.

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Spanish Sucks – March 2022

CLICK TO ENLARGE.


Family Matters

I moved to Costa Rica the day after my nephew turned one year old in May of 2000. It seems as though some time has passed. He just came down for a three-week visit, is now a graduate of Florida State University, and will be twenty-three in May. I could not help to compare today’s current state of affairs with what was going on just two decades ago. The obvious and most considerable difference is internet and cell phones—the biggest game changer of my lifetime and maybe of modern humanity. Electricity, airplanes, cars, petroleum, the list goes on, however I do not think anything controls the next generations more than their cell phones. To be born with one almost in your hand is a permanent transformation. The simple life of a surfer even changed the day that one was able to know when the next “swell” or push of the ocean would occur. Before internet we would have to go down to the beach and check for ourselves—it was like a perfect Christmas morning sometimes when the Gods gifted us beautiful flawless waves. Now a days a two-week window can be analyzed, plane tickets bought, and a virtual guarantee of weather and surf reports being spot on. The youth of today certainly know everything—as did I as a twenty-something however the amount of vast information that they can research with the touch of a finger is mind boggling. Seemingly everything the younger generations do should be easier, however I noticed some chinks in his armor. The inability to cut an onion being one of his many home economic skills that were lacking. The ability to hang wet clothing on our clothesline (no dryer for 21 years!) but the lack of patience to use clothes pins and to spread out the clothing to dry more efficiently was curious to me. Lastly, the desire to go walk the streets, meet people, the curiosity over life and travel and excitement for each and every day seemed to be lacking after our surfing was over—perhaps that phone can do those things and I am missing something?


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