Wednesday, December 24, 2008


I headed out to Montepalo, the end of the Osa Penninsula, and I saw a bunch of cool things. I saw spider monkeys (I think) and some thing that looks like a raccoon, but is bigger and longer. Also a small pig thing that crawled around, I’ll look it up later. I saw a rabbitty thing, but with a tail, about the size of a rabbit, and scampered around, didn’t walk. The pig was quite small too. About 10-12 inches long, and dark colored.
I basically went out to the beach to see if I could live off the land, eating coconuts and fish, and survive… Well, I survived. I didn’t sleep at all last night because of the hermit crabs crawling around, and the hammock was very uncomfortable, and there were still ants crawling over me.
So, I got there early, about 7 am, and walked around until I found a spot where I could wander into the woods a little ways and be unseen. Then I set up the hammock and started rigging palm fronds over it to try to keep the rain off. I’m not sure if it rained, but I didn’t get wet. I think it didn’t rain. Then I got my gear on and went for a dive. And what a dive it was. There were TONS of fish, all easily accessible to my eyes, but not my hands… I went around for a while and did some moderately deep dives, up to about 20 ft, but since I was alone, I didn’t hang out long or go into very deep water. The bottom has great holding for anchors, though, so I am excited about maybe sailing around here and diving off the boat. After diving, I went for a walk around, and didn’t see any stores or anything hospitable, there were a lot of private property signs for personal cabins that I guess are quite expensive, but nothing for me. I walked the main road a bit and stumbled upon something that clanged, so I picked it up for a look: a piece of rebar! I brought it back to the beach with me and banged it with a rock for a while and then made a fire and got it nice and hot and worked it some more, until I had a nice leaf edge, which I then used the file I have to shape into a spear point. Add a piece of bamboo stick and you have a spear! Now I was ready to take on the fish world. I went back into the water for another try, and the tide was slowly dropping, so I had to go pretty far out in the water to get to the fish. I swam around for a while and missed quite a few fish because the spear was too slow, my arms would scare them before I could get them with the spear, and occasionally I would touch the fish, but the spear wasn’t sharp enough or powerfully enough driven to go in.
Then I got one. He surprised me when I got him through the stomach, a soft spot in his armor. I carried him to shore and took some pieces from him to use as bait on hooks, but I didn’t catch anything that way, so I got the spear out again and went out. I got another! So I had two small fish, that were about enough for a meal, except that I hadn’t eaten a full meal all day long, so I was pretty hungry. I had had 3 coconuts, but they don’t take the edge off like meat. And fish is pretty lean for meat. It was dark after eating the fish; I made a fire and just roasted them on a stick, and the fire was burning low as I headed off to bed. There are these terrible tiny flies that bother you something awful on the beach when the sun isn’t out, but they didn’t come into the jungle, which was nice.
I don’t think I’ll try to sleep in a hammock any more. Maybe I’ll take my chances on the beach with a raised platform or something, or just stay in hostels. I couldn’t sleep also, because the tigers and pumas and ocelots in my head wouldn’t leave me alone, and then around 3 am, the Howler Monkeys chimed into the orchestra of hermit crabs and crickets and other crawly things that tickled the ground around my bunk. Sunrise was wonderful, because it rises over the gulf, and after that I couldn’t take a nap again, so I ended up working on my spear some more and then going diving for some more food. I got a lobster, which was small but tasty, and nothing else. The fish were harder to get this time, maybe they knew better. I think I’ll make another speargun, I left the old spear behind because I figured I could make another one (that sinks instead of floats, man too many things float- I need a weight belt) but I need some rubber bands to make something that will catch fish I think. Its Christmas Eve, and I’m back in Puerto Jimenez. I’m not sure what I’ll do for Christmas, but something fun I’m sure.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Pictures from Bolitas

There is this little place up in the jungle near Dos Prazos, where I went camping the last two days. It is up the Rio Tigre from Puerto Jimenez, and nobody seems to know about it, unless they have a german travel book. I learned about it from a swiss guy named Rene, and went up there with another swiss guy, a german guy, and a girl from the USA, who happens to be from seattle, but lives in Davis now. We all speak german, so we conversed "auf Deutsch" quite a lot, and had a generally good time looking at Tucans, playing in the waterfalls and wandering the jungle. Its right next to the National Park on the Osa Penninsula, where I think I will try to go tomorrow or so.
I don't know what I'll do for christmas, but I hopefully will go snorkeling. Its quite warm here, probably the warmest christmas I've had.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Osa Penninsula

I´m in the Osa Penninsula now, and I was just in Uvita for a few days, where the ¨whale´s tale¨ is, and I had a great time snorkeling out there. I got two lobsters and cooked them up a couple days ago. today I took the bus with some friends I´ve met here and we went pretty much all day, but made it to Puerto Jimenez. We´re stayin here for tonight, and going into the mountians to see the birds and the waterfalls tomorrow.
Pictures to follow.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Some pictures from the past few days

In Costa Rica

I made it here without trouble, but finding a place with good internet has been a task. I have some pictures I want to post, but they would take like 3 hours to upload from here, so I'll wait until I have a better connection. Internet in San Jose and Allajuela was quite good, when I was here in june, but down on the coast it is amazingly bad. It is costing me about $2 an hour, and it takes about 2 minutes for each page to load, at least. So its a big pain.
I've written some stuff before, here it is:

I left Jeremy’s place Monday night, after what seemed like quite a long stay. They would say I could stay as long as I wanted, but I was ready to move on, and I think they were glad too. The flight was not terribly exciting, but finally I made it to San Jose, at 1:00 this afternoon. While waiting in line to get out of the airport, I made a friend, who was coming down to stay with her sister, and she helped me out with the taxi ride to the bus station. I got there in time to catch a bus to Puntarenes, where I am now, and it was a really nice bus ride. So I’m going to rest up tonight and then probably figure out how to make it to the real coast (where the waves are) tomorrow. There is one surfboard shop across the street, but the selection is not very good. Its hot here. I haven’t got into the water yet, but I’ll do that tomorrow. I think I might have to go a ways out to get clear water for diving. The heat feels nice after the cold of the desert. I’m sure the water will also feel nice for the same reason. The hotel I’m staying at is $10 for the night, which is pretty good, but not spectacular, I think. I was also propositioned by a prostitute this evening, and she was pretty pushy. She walked along with me for a block, asking me what I wanted, and if I needed companionship, and I ran away into a store (which happened to be a women’s clothing store) to try to get away, but she waited outside until I came back out. I finally got away, luckily. Quepas I took the bus down the coast to Quepas, and I met a guy named Grady, who I’m staying in a hotel with tonight. The price is $25 for the night, but since I’m splitting it, it’s cheaper. We walked around the coast for a while and then went for a swim, but the water is not as clear as I’d like for snorkeling. Tomorrow I’ll go to Manuel Antonio, and see if I can get some snorkeling in there. Quepos Part Two We stayed the night for two nights, and got a ride into Manuel Antonio with Timoteao, and Raphael, two guys we met in town, and went around the park, saw monkeys and a sloth, and went swimming in a nice beach. I got out my snorkel but the water wasn’t that clear, so I played with the Frisbee mostly. The next day, Grady and I took the bus to Dominical, which is south of Quepos about two hours. The hostel is $10, so five each, which is nice, and we’re right on the beach. I might try to stay here for a few days, but the waves weren’t that good. It’s a beach break, and I don’t have a good feel for the wave, so I can’t work it very well. I want to snorkel, but it keeps raining, so I’ll have to wait I think. I keep seeing pretty girls who are looking me in the eye, and I wonder what is up, but I think that they are just looking at my blue eyes, because it’s a bit unusual here. I also have the Indiana Jones hat, so that might add effect. The hat is great. I’ve been wearing it all the time, it keeps off the sun, and the rain, and it feels good. I got a Machete today, so I have a tool to take apart coconuts, which I’ll have to put to use tomorrow as soon as possible. I got a coconut in Manuel Antonio, and it was nice, and I think the trees here are pretty climbable. I’m still in Dominical, and I don’t know what it is here, but I just don’t feel that satisfied. It might be the beach, that there are a lot of nice looking women in bikinis walking around, that makes me feel alone, or that Grady left to keep going south, and I’m on my own again. I guess I took the company for granted, and it was something of a comfort, despite the trouble of having to figure out who would keep the key and where to eat and all that. Having someone to talk to is very nice. I’ve also been feeling tired, though I think I’ve gotten enough sleep.

Thats all for now.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Almost gone

I'm almost gone from this country. I'll be leaving for the airport in a few hours and then off to a new land. Yesterday I spent the day being driven around the wonderful city of Hollywood (and LA proper) by an old friend, Jennifer, who I hadn't seen in a long time. We went to the movie theatre where everyone and their mother has the movie premiers, we went up Mullholland Drive, and played around a bit with the disc. If there is one thing that can survive a nuclear winter, its a frisbee, right?
Saturday I went out in my brother's boat, and we had a great time diving out in the Channel Islands. There are some amazing things to see out there.
Jennifer also gave me an Indiana Jones hat, so I'll be wearing that now. I'm off to look for some crystal skulls in central america!
Thus, this concludes my extended stay in LA. If I could be as good to my brother as he has been to me, I would be a much better man. He and Mari have been so kind to me, and I thank them very much.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

USA: a final review...

Here are some pictures that I didn't include in the previous posts, some of them were taken by Danny Blanchard (he took the bottom three pictures and if he wants credit, should post his website in the comments).
So I'm leaving for Costa Rica on Monday night, and I don't know a lot of things about what will happen there. I might not be able to get internet with my computer, which would mean that I can't post pictures very easily. So I figure a recap from here is a good idea. Also, I looked over the comments from the entire blog, and I found that I really appreciate comments. So if you read this blog, tell me what you like or find missing, and I'll try to make it happen. You can email me at, or post a comment.

So, to recap:
I started this journey as a way of trying to extract my life from the bustle of society, sort of a way of living deliberately. I saw Sarah Plants pass away and I realized that I too would follow, and soon, and unless I did something about it, I could easily pass the rest of my days unhappy. So I left the workplace in search of my freedom. The easiest way to gain freedom from society is to go on a boat. Immediately things are different. The earth is no longer a stable friend, but you must fight for your balance against the wind. People are distant, perhaps seen, but not easily heard or spoken to. There is no traffic like you see on land, and the rules are like the rules of the schoolyard, without the duty on call. Big wins, little loses. Big with guns wins even more.
Pretty soon I realized that this freedom was essential to my life, but I wanted to see the country, so I moved into the Smurf Rocket and began my road trip journey. There is so much to see in the United States that I would like to do this again. For example, the desert has a way of showing me beauty that opens my mind up. It might be the high desert, and that the air is thinner, but everything seems so much clearer up there. I look at a cactus and I see a brave spirit flourishing in the wasteland. What is it about the places that hate mankind, that make me love them? Space, the desert, the top of mountians, the open sea, underwater...
So my mind became very clear at the top of Santa Fe Baldy, up at 12000 ft in the middle of the desert. When life becomes a task of surviving, the important things step forward.
I made it to California, where life is easy and summertime never goes far away, and I've been resting. The hard points of life seem a ways distant. So it is time to challenge myself again. This time, I will be going to a different country, and though it always seems like borders are purely imaginary, they hold great consequence. Language will be a big challenge, cultures will be different, and I will be forced to adapt. If I get into trouble, I'll probably be unaware of how much trouble I am in.
But at the same time, I go to relax. I go with no set plan, and no purpose (besides surfing and learning).
It seems, though, that my nature has not changed, since the beginning. I am a creature of my surroundings. When life is tough, I get going, and when life is easy, I sit. I will eventually rejoin society, and though I am not sure of what role I will play, I am sure that things will be easy. When that happens, I wonder if I will hold on to the spirit of adventure, or if all of it will fade to memory.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Back to the ocean

I made it back to the west coast in time for Thanksgiving, and what a lovely thanksgiving it was! On my way, I saw Meteor Crater, which was made about 50,000 years ago, by the impact of a meteor... Its a really big hole in the ground, with really nicely shaped rounded sides. Then I drove to my brother's house and had thanksgiving with him. I'm now lurking around the LA area for the next week until tuesday the 9th, when I fly out to Costa Rica. I'll be there for 3 months and come back in March.
I'll try to keep the posting updated, but I haven't figured out if I'm going to bring my computer or not, and if I don't, I won't be posting pictures...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008





Santa Fe

I've left my heart in Santa Fe.
The city is nice, and the surrounding countryside is quite beautiful. I climbed a mountian, Baldy santa fe, which is 12,600 ft tall, and the sunsets around here are breathtaking.
Before I got here, I was driving through New Orleans and Texas, where I stopped to see some hurricane damage, including a beached boat. Its pretty impressive.
Texas wasn't much to see. Desert. There's a lot of that around here. I went to Los Alamos, and that was pretty cool. I saw a cactus that looks like a cowboy coming up the hill...
I also met some people hiking that were really cool.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


up, Up, UP she goes... Riding on a pillar of fire...
Initially it was dark, with the moon casting some glow on the clouds, and a beam shining up from the pad on the shuttle... thirty seconds to go I hear, twenty, someone says... 8, 4, 2... The treeline lights up, getting brighter and brighter, the entire sky lights up, like the sun rising but so quickly, a few seconds have passed, but there is no noise and only a brightness in the air. Then a small lightning bolt burns itself into my eyes, clearing the trees now, and it spits a long beam of flame, up she goes... Up, faster now, beginning to arc to the east, and now the ground starts to quiver, the sound comes washing over us, shaking my lungs a little. My eyes are burned from the spot of brightness, still rising over the clouds. Punching through them now, getting smaller and smaller and quieter. To the east.
The other pictures include my visitors for this part of the trip, Alan, and Danny and Aimee. We went sailing on an Islander 32 that Danny wanted to look at, and it was great. Sailing in the Gulf of mexico is really nice.
Here is a launch sequence, all 30 second shots...