Golfito Costa Rica Marina Services, Yacht Delivery, International Float-on Yacht Transport Assistance, Crew and Cruising Yacht Maintenance, Cruiser Clubhouse, Boat Sitting, Free Wi-Fi Internet Access
Land Sea Marina
On our way out of Panama we stopped for a day at Taboga Island to visit with cruiser friends Susan and Chuy from Ventura who bought a two story house on the island last year. They have put in eight moorings for rent in front of their house and are remodeling, designating part of their house for a cruiser's club.
We were lucky with the weather and had a speedy three-day passage to Costa Rica, anxious to get to a TV in time for Obama's inauguration, arriving in Golfito on Monday, Jan 19. We picked up a mooring behind Tierra-Mar, Tim and Katie's cruiser hangout with shower, laundry, patio bar and a TV room, all those things near and dear to a soul who has been at sea. This being our fourth time in Golfito it felt like home - a slice of Santa Barbara since Tim and Katie are ex-Santa Barbarians too. On the 20th We watched Obama's inauguration, with cheers from the crowd of cruisers that filled the TV room. Everyone was excited about it - the Costa Rican officials we checked-in with the day before saying they were going to watch Obama's speech. The quarantine inspector said "your new president is not just the president of the US, he is the president of the world".
Spent a month in Golfito, hiking the rain forested hill behind Tierra-Mar every other morning with a cruiser group and boxer dog Riley, (many toucan sightings), playing music every Friday on the patio, fixing the refrigerator, and visiting old friends of Golfito (ex-pats who have staked out homes in paradise). WINTERTREK Jean and I went zip lining one day by ourselves, the guys unconvinced it was a safe activity. They missed out on a breath taking bird's eye view of the rain forest. It seemed all too soon to leave lovely Costa Rica, but after spending several days diving on the bottom of the boat to scrape off the barnacles, we headed out of the Golfo Dulce and made a right hand turn to sail north. With light wind and a current against us some of the time, it took 9 days to reach the southern end of Mexico and the Tehuatepec Bay. We did have one day of 25 knot Papagayo winds, 50 miles offshore from Costa Rica and our poor old mainsail started it's first rip...See more on how not to cross the Tehuatepec.
Golfito Update: We came into Golfito yesterday in
order to say hello to Tim and Katie at Land & Sea on behalf of some friends.
(Also, we needed a break in our sail from Nicaragua to Panama.) We followed
the instructions in the latest edition of Pat Rains's "Cruising Ports:
Central American Route" and had a little more adventure than would be
necessary with more accurate information. So here's what we learned:
Along with our friends Ed & Ellen with
“Entr’acte”, we picked up moorings off Land Sea Services and were
welcomed by the owners Tim & Katie and their security team of four dogs and
After the usual Clearing-In saga of running here, there and
everywhere we found we could finally relax in a place that was safe, secure
and away from the swell. Land Sea Services is actually the home of Tim &
Katie, where we were welcomed to come and go, using their home and all their
services (including Free Wi-Fi internet). It’s all ‘open plan’ except
for the T.V. and internet room which is upstairs with a balcony for those
who just want to sit and admire the beautiful view over the bay with an ice
cold beer at $1.00 a bottle. As a bonus feature they have Riley, a very good
natured, sloppy Boxer dog that just loves to be made a fuss of and go for
walks. Everyone warms to Riley and Riley warms to everyone!
We are in Golfito, Costa Rica. We arrived here one week ago today. We
did an overnight sail from Bahia Drake covering 70 nautical miles. We had
light winds which were perfect conditions for putting up the drifter sail.
It was a beautiful, peaceful night of sailing and tough to describe just how
perfect and peaceful it is out there. So, I guess that's it. It was perfect
final destination in Golfito. Land and Sea Moorings. The owners of
Land and Sea, Tim and Katy are US expats that have settled in Golfito.
Another one of those stories ; "we sailed in and just never left". They
do a great job of catering to the needs of the cruising community.
Paladin was side tided in front of Land and Sea. We had a great New Year's
eve party at Land and Sea. Again, too much food and drink! Land and
Sea encourages all their customers to paint their boat name and/or logo on
their walls. Carrie, the artistic one on Terra Firma painted the dancing
bones along with our boat name. Pretty Cool! For those that don't know,
Terra Firma are huge Grateful Dead fans. The dancing bones are our tribute
for Golfito. And were welcomed with a beautiful, calm anchorage.
Golfito was the company town for United Fruit Company (that’s Chiquita
banana to you!). United Fruit Company had their problems—parasites
destroying banana trees and striking laborers—and they closed up shop. (It’s
more complicated than this, of course). When United Fruit left, there
wasn’t much left for the people of Golfito to do to make money. Certainly,
there was fishing, but nothing that was as predictable as the steady
paycheck from United Fruit. So, the Costa Rican government helped subsidize
a back to work enterprise—DUTY FREE SHOPS. So, each Tico (Costa Rican) can
come down to Golfito and spend $500 duty free every six months. When they
first instituted this enterprise, you could come down and make the purchase
and leave. Now, you have to pick up your ticket authorizing to make
purchases, the day before. So this means people have to come down the
afternoon before and spend the night. So, more money gets infused into the
community. I met a fellow cruiser, Raewyn (from New Zealand) who would get
up every morning at 5:30 and walk the dog. I went with her and we would
hike up the hill (a Kansan would call it a mountain) that overlooks Golfito.
We would see parrots, monkeys, poison dart frogs and blue morph butterflies
on our walks! Very nice. I learned a lot from her and loved hearing her
stories. We were anchored in front of a cruiser’s hang out, Land
and Sea Services. Katie and Tim were fantastic hosts. You can
use the dinghy dock and their showers for $3 per day.
The kids organized a Halloween party and went trick or treating by dinghy
among the other cruising boats in Golfito. They were well treated! Then we
had a party where among other things Mary, Emily and Martin tried to teach
people the Time Warp dance from the Rocky Horror Picture Show.
An Article by Liz Clark on S/V "Swell"
WE WERE SATISFIED WITH THEIR PERFORMANCE
We motored up to Golfito, Costa Rica, anchored at the very
hospitable Land & Sea Marina, and went inland for a week to visit the
highest mountain range in Central America. We didn't climb 12,000-ft Mt.
Chirippo, but apparently you can see both the Pacific and the Caribbean from
the summit. Our trip inland was beautiful and well worth the effort, as we
did a lot of hiking and soaked in the natural hot springs. Our experiences
traveling inland by bus in Central America have been very good, as it's been
inexpensive and very worthwhile.
"We anchored off the ritzy Los Sueños, the new marina in
southern Costa Rica, as the slips were too pricey for us. Fuel was
reasonable, however, and the wonderful dock staff allowed us to refill our
water tanks. The anchorage was quite rolly - as most have been in Costa Rica
- because of the southwest swell. We also spent five rolly days at Bahia
Drake, but we thought it was isolated enough to be worth it. From there we
made two day trips to a nearby island for diving and hiking. We
also spent five rolly days at Bahia Drake, but we thought it was isolated
enough to be worth it. From there we made two day trips to a nearby island
for diving and hiking. We also spent several days in Golfito, and can
report there is a new marina, King & Bardell, in addition to Banana Bay
Marina. While fueling, Carlos and his friendly staff will let you take on
water and enjoy a shower. We anchored off Land & Sea, which maintains
some moorings, and Tim and Katy were as helpful as ever. After buying
our favorite rum in a duty free shop, we headed to Panama. If we thought
Bahia Drake was rolly, Puerto Armuelles proved we hadn't really known the
meaning of the word! We got there about dusk, which is squall time. We had
to reanchor several times, then watched the depth drop to just two feet
beneath our keel. After a sleepless night, we headed on to Isla Parida,
which seems like paradise - lots of anchorages and nobody around except at
the occasional fishing village. We traded a bottle of cooking oil, some
powdered milk, and some rice for three good-sized lobsters, a huge avocado,
and some lemons. Then Angie landed a Pacific bumper just before dark. All
fish that you catch tastes delicious - even if you have to barbecue it by
We left Golfito about midnight, but didn't get far, as there
was a problem with the oil sending unit in our diesel. Despite our returning
at 0100, Bruce was waiting on the dock, flashlight shining through near
zero-visibility caused by pouring rain, making space available to us. Since
Ruck needed to fly back to the States for a few weeks, we were concerned
about Linde being alone on the boat. We need not have worried, as the area
was patrolled throughout the night by a guard in a panga from the Banana Bay
Marina, as well as by Land and Sea Services, which is next door. The
security was fantastic.
Moving north, we stopped at Land & Sea Yacht Services at
Golfito, Costa Rica, which is run by Tim and Katie. Ex-cruisers, they
understand the needs of cruisers and thus provide moorings,
boat-watching, a club house with cable TV, a beer and juice bar, and a
dinghy dock. All for a minimal daily fee. They have just one space at
their tiny dock for a cruising boat to hook up with electricity and water,
for which they charge $7/foot/month. We left Shayna there for two months to
attend the graduations of our multiple grandkids back in the States. Banana
Bay Marina, right next door, charges $18 to $20/ft for berths. K & B Marina,
which is new and located on the other side of Land & Sea, had negotiable
rates. But we were never able to find out what they were. Golfito is
on a bay within Gulfo Dulce, and is extremely well-protected. It is one
of the few places we've been where we'd feel safe leaving our boat
unattended at anchor. The winds are usually light and Tim is
extremely conscientious in checking the boats if a squall comes up.
We've seen him out in his panga at 0200 making sure everything is fine.
It's a good place to hang out for hurricane season - they develop
further north - and we know of six or seven boats that did just that. Mold
is a problem in the rainy season in Costa Rica, but Katie has a cleaning
gal who wipes everything down with vinegar for very little money. When we
returned, Shayna was cleaner than when we left. U.S. citizens are
allowed 90 days on both their cruising permit and visa. The cruising permit
can be renewed once, but it must be done the day before or on the day the
original one expires. Some marinas are able to keep boats in bond. If you
want to get a new visa, you take a short ride to La Frontera - the border
with Panama. It's a fun trip, and if you really want to do it right,
continue on the bus to David and spend a couple of days in Panama's second
Sailing into Golfo Dulce early in the morning, we find it is surrounded by pristine rainforest. The Peninsula de Osa on its west side, holds the Corcovado National Park, a wilderness for walking, camping and observing the unique flora and fauna. Lodges dot the shores, many only accessible by boat. This region is probably the most isolated of Costa Rica which adds to its appeal. Many roads are for four-wheel drives and due to the rain often muddy or impassable. A boat is the best transport here. There are two towns…Golfito on the east side and Puerto Jimenez on the Peninsula de Osa. Golfito, our base, was once a company town for the United Fruit Company, (bananas) and Puerto Jimenez is the frontier gateway to Corcovado National Park and is the base for surfers, hikers and nature lovers. We anchored in Golfito near a small marina, Land and Sea, and met our hosts Katy and Tim. Both Americans, they have a great little cruisers club here catering to sailors of the world with their extensive knowledge of the area. The "club" is small and comfy with a bit of funk thrown in. It is a good place to base ourselves. http://seafever5.com/Pacific%20Journey_files/costa_rica.htm
Arriving at our boat was a pleasant experience, as Tim
and Katie at Land-Sea Services had done a great job at keeping the mold down
and the boat gleaming. The first thing we did was to get the
refrigerated started, and to buy some Pepsi and ice cream, as well as some
unnecessary items, at the grocery store. The selection is so terrible, that
we bought a bag of pinto beans thinking that we could make something good
with them. There was a guy named Oscar doing some canvas repair work at
Land-Sea, so we took him our damaged mainsail and he performed some
reinforcing work, although he will never pass as a sailmaker. The town had a
small carnival, and we went down to buy some dinner, but the music was so
loud we couldn’t stand it and left. We had a bachelor dinner instead, and
hit the sack early.
The advice and good-natured help from other cruisers has proven invaluable. Dennis is another example of that. Only Dennis had answered my VHF call. Dennis told me how to find the anchoring area, then how to proceed, giving the locations of the port captain, immigration, customs, and agricultural inspection. Then as we offered him coffee, juice, and Royal Dansk Butter Cookies (purchased in Bonaire), he filled us in on the local scene, and alerted us to what we will find as we voyage north up the coast of Costa Rica. Later, Dennis and Casey were part of a group having sundowners at the Land & Sea, a funky yacht services and travel agency near the Banana Bay Marina, where we dropped off our laundry and checked our emails. They had planned to leave Costa Rica yesterday on their ketch, Anastasia, after an unplanned stay here of six year years. Perhaps they’ll leave today. We’ll see. http://www.pacificbliss.com/journal34.html
A+ In Golfito
Visit the Jungle Port!
Gleeful in Golfito
For our final stop in Costa Rica, we sailed across the bay and into Golfito. This town was built by the United Fruit Company when they moved their banana shipping operations from the Caribbean side, so it had many pretty turn-of-the-century houses. Since the banana business closed, the town now runs a successful zona libre, or duty free area. We applied 24 hours in advance for our chance to stock the liquor locker with duty free wines and spirits. While in Golfito, we used the services of Land & Sea, run by Tim and Katie, a pair of ex-hippie ex-cruisers. They are remarkable. It was really fun to listen to their tales of daily life in small town Costa Rica. For $4 a day, we could use the dinghy dock, the hot showers, and enjoy the cruiser club - complete with DVD player, cable TV, stereo, and an honor system bar. Tim and Katie are very supportive of the indígenas, and carry a good line of carvings and handicrafts. We bought some beautiful carved and painted masks, one to grace BREILA's salon. http://www.yachtbreila.com/log21.htm
|Land Sea Services -
Servicios Tierra Mar, S.A.
Golfito, Costa Rica, Central America
VHF Channel 16