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How to Find Waves Around Quepos and Manuel Antonio

Surf CR logoSo you are a surfer who is visiting Manuel Antonio with your family or friends. They don’t surf but they don’t mind if you wake up early and go for a session before breakfast. How do you know where to go?
 
The first thing to check is the tide. Manuel Antonio is a high tide break. At low tide is mostly closes out. The only spot that does work well at low tide is the Quepos river mouth. To get there, you drive to Quepos and head towards the Pez Vela Marina. Right before the marina there is free parking and you can see the break straight out front. Be sure not to leave anything in your vehicle as break ins are common.
 
The Quepos rivermouth needs some swell in order to work and is mostly a longboard wave unless it gets to be chest high or bigger. When there is a massive swell, it still is not that scary and is a left breaking wave that you can ride for 300+ yards. There are a few locals who dominate the peak, but there is a second peak farther to the north and on the inside that is easy to sit on. And you could surf the break at mid tide or high tide, but after catching a long ride it is harder to get back to the peak. At low tide you can belly it to the sand bar and then walk up to the top of the break and use the river mouth rip to take you right back to the peak.

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Spam Musubi

Chef's corner headerFrom the aloha state of Hawaii, this sweet-savory combo of sushi and processed meat is the ultimate quick bite lunch on-the-go.

Ingredients

  • 1 can of spam (can substitute with firm tofu)
  • ¼ cup of thick teriyaki sauce (or mirin, sugar, and soy sauce)
  • 2 cups of Japanese short grain rice
  • 5 sheets of nori seaweed folded into thirds, letter-style and then cut with scissors

Directions

  1. Rinse the rice until the water runs clear and cook in rice cooker or deep pan in 2 cups of water. Cook until water is absorbed, fluff with a fork and allow to cool.
  2. Open the can of spam and slice horizontally about seven times. Clean and save the can.
  3. Spray a non-stick frying pan and fry the spam for a few minutes until slightly crispy. Brush spam abundantly with teriyaki sauce.
  4. Line the empty can with plastic wrap and place 1/3 cup of cooked rice in the bottom and top with one slice of spam. Press down firmly before pulling out the plastic wrap. You should have 2 compact layers of rice and spam.
  5. Wrap in 1 piece of cut nori and press down using the rice side to make it all stick together.

Enjoy!


Spanish Sucks – July 2022

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PLANTS AND ANIMALS KNOW BETTER THAN WE DO

By Jack Ewing

Years ago, I was hiking in the Hacienda Barú rainforest with my friend, Juan Ramón. Though uneducated he had a vast knowledge of the environment, which had partly been passed on to him by his father and grandfather, and the rest he had learned through personal experience. “Juan”, I commented, “I was thinking that earlier we passed through an area where there were lots of gallinazo trees, then there eight scattered ojoches, over there are half a dozen jabillos, and right now we are admiring three big ceibos. I wonder why they grow in the same general area like that”.

“They grow in places they like”, was his simple reply.

His way of putting it was not the least bit scientific, but his answer really made sense. Perhaps certain species thrive in soils with certain nutrients that are abundant in some locations and deficient or absent in others. Different species may need different trace elements. I’m sure that many other environmental factors were in play, but his answer still made sense to me. I thought of people having cravings and remembered a time when Diane and I both were struck with an irresistible urge to eat radishes. For a week we couldn’t get enough of them. We ate them at every meal. We ate them as snacks, whole, in salads, and even in sandwiches. After about a week, the craving simply went away. We figured that our normal diet must have been lacking some essential nutrient that was readily available in radishes.

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Citizen Sloth Scientist Program

We are so excited to announce our new Citizen Sloth Scientist program!

Manuel Antonio is the most visited national park in Costa Rica. The natural beauty of the rainforest meeting the ocean is irresistible and of course the wildlife is incredible! Especially the sloths (we aren’t biased at all)!

But when you see a sloth in the trees, have you ever had questions? Take our Citizen Sloth Scientist survey and let us know what you saw and where. Don’t know what you saw? No problem! This survey will give you our best guess (based on your responses) at the end. You will also have the opportunity to upload photos as well.

Why? Not a lot is known about the overall population of sloths in the wild. Any information can be helpful in planning future studies. You will also learn a lot about sloths and who you saw while taking this survey!

In addition to giving us preliminary information about sloths around Manuel Antonio, you can also report a sloth in danger (like on electric wires or in a house) as you are redirected to our emergency number (87-SLOTHS) where our 24/7 expert sloth team will come to assess the situation in a hurry! We will also work to mitigate the danger through our collaborations with the local ICE and Fire department and habitat restoration techniques.

 


2022 Aqua Inspirations

After months of planning, the International Game Fish Tournament Observers (IGFTO), Junior Achievement-Costa Rica, and Marina Pez Vela Youth Career Day, titled Aqua Inspiration, kicked off on Wednesday, June 1, 2022.

Twenty team members and volunteers met up Wednesday at Runway Grill for a walk-through of the sequence of events in the afternoon, followed by a tasty dinner hosted by the IGFTO.
 
On Thursday, IGFTO personnel and the Junior Achievement-Costa Rica team met all student and school administrative participants at Liceo de Londres School. All participants were presented with event shirts labeled Aqua Inspiration, followed by comprehensive training by Junior Achievement-Costa Rica on critical career-building skills such as team building, communication and self-presentation, and leadership.

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KSTR – July 2022

Hi everyone, it’s me, Dani, your KSTR Spokeskid! This week, I am excited to introduce you to Tyler Smith, an awesome kid who recently volunteered at KSTR with his family. He’s going to tell you about his experience as a volunteer! I’ll be back with an article next month. Enjoy this one from Tyler for now!

Hello! I am Tyler. I am eleven years old, and I recently visited KSTR. I had an amazing time! I thought you might like to know more about this great place and what you can experience as a KSTR volunteer.

My family lives quite far away, so we began our journey by checking into the Blue Banyan Inn, a property directly on the KSTR reserve. From the beginning, I felt very close to nature. There were frogs on my path, and I had to step over a huge trail of leaf cutter ants to get to our cottage. I later learned that these ants were traveling over a mile from their nest to cut mango leaves off a tree near my room. That night, I could hear iguanas on the roof, moving and crawling around. 

Animal kitchen

On my first full day there, I went on a tour of the reserve. I learned that the inn got its name from a Blue Banyan Tree right on the grounds. I also saw a tree called the Ylang Ylang tree, jokingly dubbed “The Perfume Tree”, as it grew the flower that made Chanel Number 5 Perfume.

I enjoyed meeting the KSTR staff and the animals they help. I heard each animal’s story and discovered each animal’s personality. Don Pedro the Curassow was very feisty, nibbling at our feet and strutting around. Fozzie the sloth seemed lazy at first, but then tried to impress us by crawling upside down. Darwin the spider monkey was crazy. He would make loud noises, and I heard he once peed on a staff member! It was interesting to learn how the animals got there and how they were helped by the KSTR community. 

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¿Qué Pasa en Quepos? – July 2022

Bienvenidos… Welcome to our piece of Paradise, we are sure you are going to enjoy it. There are so many wonderful things Costa Rica has to offer and we are here to guide you through your best vacation possible.

The summer rains have cooled it down a little and brought the greenness. The rain normally rolls through late in the afternoon so get out early and enjoy the beautiful day. That late afternoon rain is a perfect excuse to book a massage.

July is the month for Independence and here in Quepos the celebrations will be continuing at Marina Pez Vela with a July 4th Weekend Celebration with live music, Movies on the big screen, special promotions at the restaurants. Don’t miss Cory Butler on July 2. The movie Red on the big screen on the 3rd. Wrapping up the Celebration on the 4th is Raices.

We want to wish all our Canadians a happy Canada Day on July 1 and all Ticos and Ticas a Wonderful Guanacaste Day on July 24th. PURA VIDA!!! Remember these holidays commemorate peace and freedom that so many people fought and sacrificed for. It is not all about fireworks and fiestas… they are just what makes them fun.

Don’t miss the Battle of the Bands First Annual Monkey Jam. Come enjoy great people, great music and delicious BBQ and help support Kids Saving The Rainforest.

We want to thank Garry Wallace for this months cover shot. We are always looking for great cover shots so please send your best pictures of paradise to info@quepolandia.com.

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


Frijolito, The Killer Squirrel

While sitting at my computer one day, a woman’s scream jolted me from my train of thought, brought me to my feet and hurried me off toward the call of distress. In the living room I found Cecilia, our housekeeper, wringing her hands, blood running down both sides of her face, and tears streaming down her cheeks. She didn’t have to say what happened. It was obvious, but she said it any way. “Fue el asesino,” The killer squirrel had struck again.

My wife Diane and I both love animals. I love seeing them in the wild, and Diane loves keeping them as pets and caring for them. So, when one of Diane’s dogs found a helpless baby squirrel, about the size of a bean-shaped egg, it promptly became part of her menagerie. Small and black, the name “Frijolito,” meaning “Little Black Bean”, fit him perfectly. Diane nurtured and fed him with a tiny baby bottle and nipple. He grew like wildfire and soon had his eyes open. Later he climbed over our arms and shoulders, and even got up on top or our heads. He was a real charmer, and everyone came to love Frijolito.

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Spanish Sucks – May/June 2022

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What’s Shaking @ Marina Pez Vela – May/June 2022

What's Shaking headerWHAT AN AMAZING START TO 2022!  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 for May and June.

Summer Solstice Shootout, June 18

Last year we inaugurated this tournament on the longest day of the year in terms of daylight here in Costa Rica. 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.


That’s Fishin’ – May/June 2022

Welcome to the May & June edition of That’s Fishin’. We hardly came up for breath during the November to April high season and are so thankful that it has been a great season so far, most of the Quepos charter fishing boats have fished non-stop and all have their own stories to tell of the monsters caught and of course, the one that got away!

OFFSHORE FISHING

During the past 2-3 years, a simply epic Sailfish bite developed around 35 miles from Quepos between May-July. This coincided with a huge amount of Caballa baitfish congregating in 250-300’ of water and brought with it the motherload of hungry Sailfish providing some of the best Sailfishing we have seen in the area in recent years. We are waiting to see if it occurs again this year but we are hopeful that it will again and stay tuned for incoming fishing reports in the next issue. Some staggering numbers of Sailfish were released in this area last year, boats were going out and releasing upwards of 10-20 Sailfish in a day and on some occasions, many many more, that would be hard to believe unless you were there to witness it yourselves, which most of us in the fishing world, did. Fingers crossed it happens again this year!

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How to Maximize Your Time Surfing – Budget vs. Luxury

Surf CR logoOh, the good ole days. When you could find a cabina with a fan and mosquito net for $10 right on the beach, get $1 Pilsens, and $3 casados with the freshest fish. Now those places have been replaced by hotels charging over $200/night with loud a/c blasting artificial air all night, $7 craft IPA brews, and $30 a plate for a filet of yesterday’s catch.
 

Pavones photo: Greg Gordon

Rather than argue which route is better, budget versus luxury, I’ll give two examples of each—perfect surf trips (this would be experienced surfers).

Budget #1

Fly to San Jose, since with more flights the airfare is cheaper. Bring your surfboard as there is only one surf shop in Pavones—Sea Kings—and their board selection is limited. Take the bus to Pavones and camp right on the point (find the bus schedule at centrocoasting.com). The paddle out is right on the sand to the south and you can sit out front of your tent and stare at perfect lefts coming through all day. Walk up to the supermarkets in town to get your food and stop by the fisherman’s camp to see what fish they caught. Buy some 6-liter bottles of water as you will need a lot of water to drink. Remember the mosquito repellent and the rain tarp.

Encanta La Vida photo: EncantaLaVida.com

Luxury #1

Fly to San Jose and then take a local flight to Puerto Jimenez. Bring your shortboards but keep the board back under 7 feet for the smaller plane restrictions. Then pick up the Prado rental and drive to Encanta La Vida resort or your own private villa. Drive or walk between Cabo Matapalo and Pan Dulce, surfing whichever spot is working best depending on the swell direction and tide. Enjoy your meals by the pool, prepared by the restaurant or your own private chef.

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KSTR – May/June 2022

DaniHi Quepolandia – belated happy easter! It’s Dani, your spokeskid 🙂

Today I want to tell you about a new owl we received, named “Chill.” I’m also going to tell you about an animal in our sanctuary called Grandma Bella! And lastly, I want to give you an update about the nursery, and our intern position!

Chill is a Ferruginous pygmy owl. He’s a child (juvenile), and he fell out of his nest. Luckily he isn’t hurt but he can’t fly yet because he’s too young—so we’ll keep him safe until he can be released soon. Chill is tiny. This species of owl usually only grows to be 15 cm tall! He’s able to eat by himself, but we feed him twice a day to make sure he gets enough food. There’s a Pygmy owl that hangs out on the road to our house in Manuel Antonio, and at night, he flies away right as the car gets close to him in the headlights—and every time he does, it makes my heart jump! I’m glad that Chill isn’t hurt, and I’m happy to see that KSTR is there to keep him safe—and make sure he doesn’t get himself into trouble ;-)—until he’s big enough to be responsible for himself and released to the wild!

Next up is Bella, who I call “Grandma Bella”, because she’s pretty old! Bella is a Marmoset, and she’s been living in the sanctuary for a long time. Recently, we’ve made some new adjustments to her enclosure, so she can feel happy and safe. Now that she’s older, she can’t jump from branch to branch like she used to, so we added some bridges to connect the branches together! On “cold” days in Costa Rica (I know, crazy!) we give her a hot water bottle to lay on, so she can raise her body temperature without having to move around a lot. When I first started volunteering at KSTR, the second time I was there, I was going into her enclosure to give her diced food—she jumped on my shoulder! I tried to get her off, but she clearly wanted to hang out and rode long with me while I fed the parrots! Eventually, she got tired of the Dani Ride, so I took her back to her cage 🙂

UPDATE ON THE NURSERY! We’re almost done building, and it’s time to start looking for interns! We’re now accepting applications to help the Nursery Mom with care for the babies. Check out our website if you want more information kstr.org.


Mexican Street Corn (Elotes)

Chef's corner headerGrilled sweet corn slathered with cream, then dusted with cheese and chili powder (tajin) is a perfect side dish for your next fiesta. Can be served on or off the cob.

Ingredients

  • 3 ears of shucked sweet corn
  • ½ cup of sour cream or natilla
  • 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise
  • ½ cup of parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon of tajin pepper powder or to taste

Directions

  1. Grilling the corn is the best method for extra smokiness, but boiling also works. 
  2. In a bowl, mix the cream with mayonnaise, and in a separate shallow plate mix the parmesan with the tajin.
  3. Brush the warm cobs with cream mixture before rolling in cheese until entirely covered.
  4. Garnish with cilantro.

If you opt for serving the corn off the cob and in little bowls, cut off the cooked kernels and mix with cream and then top with cheese, tajin, and cilantro.