January 7, 2015
After five days here in Marina Papgayo, we finally have access to the internet! It’s spotty, but at least we can get detailed weather information and stay in touch.
The wind has continued to blow at 25 to 35 knots most every day since we tied up here. So we’re killing some time, where there’s shelter, even though we are often heeled over at the dock in strong wind. It looks like the winds will drop on Friday, so we’ll depart Friday morning for Playa Cocos, where Birgit lived for two years, and where we can restock food supplies and (importantly) rum.
With the passage of the New Year, we all moved forward into 2015, but here on Serafina it’s pretty clear that we are slipping back some fifty years – to a time when communication was neither instant, reliable nor easy.
In Mexico Birgit’s Mexican SIM card allowed us to get on the internet for weather, communication and just for fun, as long as we were within reach of cell towers. We are changing countries too fast to make that an option, and, close as it may be, there is not currently a workable satellite-based internet connection for small boats like ours.
So we have gone back to the day when people relied on shortwave radio for the essentials, and just waited for the rest. As long as we are in a marina, we’ll typically have access to WiFi (except when it isn’t working, as has been the case here in Marina Papagayo).
It reminds me that the modern concept of being “informed” and “in touch” is so different from the common experience of life for the first couple million years of human evolution, up to less than a hundred years ago. People who left on a trip like ours would lose all contact with friends and loved ones except for the occasional letter mailed to or from a distant port.
We’ll do our best to keep the blog updated, but the rhythm will change, probably until we get back to the US in April. There is the obvious bad side to this – we’ll miss our friends and family, we’ll be ignorant of much going on in the world – but maybe there will be a good side too, of focusing on the things in front of our eyes rather than those off in the distance.
Meanwhile, a short rant… Costa Rica has been a quick, hard reminder that some of the world views boating as a pastime for the very rich, rather than something people of ordinary means can do with just determination and an above average tolerance for risk. And by very rich, I don’t mean rich in comparison to the local population. I mean very rich like Warren Buffet. A couple days ago a huge (140 foot) sailboat pulled in here with 73 people on board. It turns out it is the Firestone (tires) family yacht. This marina, and others like it, are increasingly focused on that kind of customer base, making it awkward for the rest of it.
Marina Papagayo is far from any community, stores or services. The result is that the price for a six-pack of watery local beer is $30! Not a problem, I guess, if your family owned Akron, Ohio.
I know, I know – Get Over It! The sky is still blue, the wind (and there’s still plenty of it) is free. We’ll be out of here and back at sea in a couple days. And no one has yet figured out how to charge for the simple enjoyment of life.