Costa Rica Surf Trip: September 2006
    By: Kristi Eddington
       We landed in San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica with all of our
    boards and luggage. Then taking the small 10 seater plane to Golfito
    was an experience of its own. I don't think any of us expected the
    tight fit as we crammed into one of the few small planes on the
    airway. When we flew over Golfito it was the greatest views of Costa
    Rica's forests and ocean.
     We met up with my dad and luckily none of our surfboards were dented
    or messed up! I had to take my 6'2" board out of the bag because it
    was too big to fit into the little puddle jumper plane we were on!
    Anyways, they were not damaged and we met up with my dad who I barely
    recognized with his long blondish hair and tan skin. He changed
    completely into a sailor. The first impression I got of Costa Rica at
    this point of the trip was the thick forests and green all around us.
     Then we went to Banana Bay where the boat was docked. It was amazing to
    be back on the boat again! We tied down the surfboard to the tramp up
    front and our first surfing destination was the famous Pavonnes, with
    its known long left rides and awesome little surfer town. Right when
    we anchored in Pavonnes were out in the water surfing. I had bad
    luck the first surf session of the trip though. My leash broke on
    about a 4-5ft wave and my surfboard went smashing into the rocks. Poor
    Kevin had to swim in and retrieve it off the rocks for me. The damage
    was pretty bad. It was the first surf spot of the trip and I had
    already put holes in my board. Luckily I just put duck tape on the
    holes, which worked pretty well for the rest of the trip. Kevin and
    Joe are my good friends from home who were the other two surfers that
    came with us on the trip. They entered a surf contest hosted by the
    local Costa Ricans in Pavonnes. Joe made it to the second round and of
    course the locals won. Once we stayed in Pavonnes for a couple of days
    it was time to move on and continue north.
     We stopped and checked out some different surf spots as we went up the
    coast, looking for good waves. As we went north we surfed such
    isolated waves with no one out in the water. There were big waves all
    along the coast; at times they were so big that I couldn't even paddle
    out because I would have gotten smashed!
    We anchored at Drakes Bay, known for its wild life and tropical
    surroundings. We went and ate some breakfast which was amazing and saw
    iguanas, horses, alligators, tropical birds, but no monkeys.  The sun
    was reflecting off the water making the bay look gorgeous. After
    Drake's Bay we continued up to Quepos. Joe, Kevin, and I were the only
    ones out in the water surfing great waves; lefts and rights that were
    3-5 ft or bigger. After we hung out at Quepos for a few hours we
    continued sailing north.
      During the long sailing through the Central Pacific Coast we would
    entertain ourselves with card games and DVDs. We would always have
    fishing lines dragging behind the boat, but we didn’t get too lucky
    with that. We caught one dodo and some Jack fish. Kevin seemed to be
    getting pretty lucky with fishing seeing as his line was the one
    catching the few fish that we did get. The down time was fun,
    visiting with my dad, hanging out with the boys Joe, Kevin, and Big
    Joe. We saw beautiful coast, waterfalls, rain forests, and large
    cliffs. The sea life was amazing too. We sailed through about 500-600
    sea turtles! They were practically running into the boat because they
    were everywhere! We were also lucky enough to get close to a humpback
    whale! We saw whales multiple times and got really great pictures of
    them! Dolphins would swim up next to the boat as we were sailing
    along as well. It was crazy the amount of things we saw sailing
    north.
    The next couple of spots had great surf. One of the places we stopped
    had small waves so Joe decided to take out my dad’s long board. It
    broke in half on a 2 ft wave! We knew the foam had to have been bad. We
    also stopped just south of Playa Hermosa at a river mouth which had the
    biggest waves we saw the entire trip. The backs of these waves were
    huge and we were worried when Joe and Kevin paddled out. They were the
    only people out there and did not stay out very long. We sailed up a
    little bit and found good waves at Playa Hermosa. I think this was
    Kevin’s favorite spot. The waves were thick and heavy, but fun. We kept
    going north and hit a few more un-crowded breaks, and then we stopped
    in Playa Tamarindo.
      Playa Tamarindo is where we met up with our friends Tami and her dad
    Abba. They stayed at a nice hotel on the beach and we explored
    Tamarindo for a couple of days. Tamarindo was the most developed
    place we had stayed the entire trip. It had surf shops, restaurants,
    hotels, and an internet café where we could e-mail and call the
    United States. The roads were not in good condition and we hitched a
    ride with a local to meet up with Tami at her hotel. We did not have
    cell phones so when we got to the hotel Tami and Abba had gone into
    town to get food. We left them a note telling them we would be back
    at the hotel at a certain time, but we ended up running into them in
    the small town so it worked out perfectly. During the day we would
    take the boat and go to the surf spots around Tamarindo. We surfed
    Playa Grande all day with locals and tourists who were all friendly.
    This is where we all got burnt because the sun was strong and we were
    having too much fun surfing to get out and re-apply sunscreen.
    The next day, the last surfing day of the trip, we made it all the way
    up to Witches Rock. This is a famous spot which was difficult to find.
    It is called Witches Rock because of a large rock that towers out of
    the water near where the waves are breaking. It had birds circling the
    top and different colors. We surfed this spot all day with no one else
    out there. Tami was even brave enough to take the other one of my dad’s
    long boards out, but it broke in half too! The boards had bad foam. She
    had to swim after the top part of the board and I attached the leash to
    my other ankle and paddled the bottom part to the boat. It was a fun
    day at Witches Rock. We cooked fish and ate dinner while the sun was
    setting. The sky was bright orange and pink and when we finished dinner
    we sailed back to Tamarindo. It was a good day of surfing to finish up
    our surfing part of the trip.
      The trip was great and we got to see the entire tropical coast of
    Costa Rica. Searching for the best waves to surf, finding amazing
    towns, seeing all kinds of wild life and sea creatures, and trying to
    take the dingy boat into shore at night time while not being able to
    see anything was so fun! Yes we did get smashed and soaked a few
    times taking the dingy back out to the boat from shore, but it was a
    great time. I can’t wait to go on our next surfing trip adventure!
    -Kristi Eddington-