Costa Rica…Part 3..A Day At Sea…Gourmet Food…Melanie and Jan Become Mariachi Band Fans

To the open seas we go…ahoy!

Some times things don’t go as you planned…and sometimes it turns out for the best. This becomes one of those times for Melanie and me. And it was one of the best adventures we had.

I had looked for things for us to do in Tamarindo in the weeks leading up to our trip and I came across an event called “Sunday Funday” Beach and Pool Crawl…sounds cool, right? It is held every Sunday…obviously… and is organized by one of the most popular party bars in Tamarindo, Sharky’s. For the low price of $40.00, you meet at Sharkys’ at noon, have a a couple of free pre-drinks…but of course…and then board a bus that whisks you and many party revelers away to 3-4 different places in the area of Tamarindo where you swim in pools or the ocean, eat, drink, play volleyball and dance….and repeat. You end up on a beach for a massive bonfire, margaritas and a dj for a beach dance party. Then you board the bus to party and dance all the way back to Tamarindo. I thought it would be fun, a good way to meet people and also to see some other spots around Tamarindo. So I booked it.

On Saturday evening I received an email from the owner of Sharky’s’ stating that the event was cancelled…not enough tickets sold…we were there at the end of the tourist season so that made sense. What he did then was fantastic…he offered to either refund our money or for us to use the money that we had paid him towards another event…do you see what happened here? He could have refunded our money and be done with us….but he instead offered to promote another business, by which he has nothing monetary to gain, but instead to ensure we had a great day. This is Costa Rica…this is Pura Vida. He mentioned that we would be the only tourists on the excursion and if we didn’t mind partying with the Ticos he would book us in. We said yes…we said yes to boarding the Antares sailboat for a day on the ocean. He forwarded the information that we needed and we were excited beyond belief. You will hear more about the man that owns Sharky’s and what great customer service he provides in a future blog post. or

Sharky’s…where it is Sunday Funday everyday!

On Sunday morning after breakfast we headed over to the meeting spot, to get ready to set sail. We walked through Tamarindo and down some new to us streets to a place called El Chiringuito…in English…beachfront bar. This quaint little spot is apparently very busy in the evening and is a hangout for the local Ticos…in fact, some of their homes are right next door. We order a beer and wait to line up to board our sailboat. El Chiringuito is very relaxed, friendly and beachy…a great spot for a cold one on a hot day.

Can you picture yourself here…El Chiringuito

Soon we see line ups starting on the beach to our left, so we drink up and take our place in the line. We are checked in and then we wade through the ocean…up to our knees…to small boats waiting to take us to the Antares. Let me just say…I have helped run our family’s sport fishing charters on Lake Huron and been in some rough waters…but that little boat, filled with eager people on the rather big waves of the ocean…I have no words…but we were in capable hands and soon arrived at our destination.

Out of the little boat we climb and onto a rope ladder hanging on the side of the Antartes for us to scramble on board…I am certain my climb did not look smooth or steady to those on shore. We get ourselves seated on comfy cushions and bean bag chairs all around the parameter of the deck of the boat and before the anchor is hoisted, we are handed a signature welcome cocktail. I am loving this adventure already!

As we set sail, out comes beautifully plated gourmet food…there are 5 courses throughout our journey. There is an open bar, serving beer, wine, whiskey and fancy cocktails and…oh oh…shots. This has now turned into party mode as we slice easily through the waves, breeze in our hair, music playing and we dance and laugh and eat and drink some more.

Let me tell you a little about the Antares. She was built in 1947 and is an 80 foot Sparksman & Stevens steel hull Schooner. She has won many races around the world and eventually ended up in Costa Rica, having been purchased in Argentina and sailed under sail power only to the Caribean, using a sextet as a compass. The Antares is a family owned business and you will find it hard to find more hospitality than the crew of 6 provide throughout the trip.

This is about a 5 hour excursion…leaving around noon and returning as the sun is setting…unbelievable to be on the water, in a massive sailboat and watching the sun set in all of its splendor…perfect. Halfway through the trip we arrive at a beautiful bay and the anchor is dropped. At this point people are throwing themselves off the boat for a swim…the crew tossing pool noodles in for everyone to grab and … they also toss everyone a beer too. One of the crew gets in a kayak and paddles around the crowd making sure everyone is okay. You can also paddle board and snorkel at this point if you like. Its how life should be…until you have to climb that swaying rope ladder back up. Once back on board we turn around and slowly head back to Tamarindo…as we eat dessert and sip our wine. I never want to go home at this point…would you?

We watch the sunset and arrive back at our pick up spot around 5:30 pm. We hop into the small boats, and then wade back into shore. Melanie and I look back at the Antares, anchored for the night, and swaying in a beautiful dance with the waves, the setting sun dropping slowly behind her. We smile at each other, knowing that we have just been blessed with an experience that will become a cherished memory. I really recommend that you go out on the Antares…you will not be disappointed and you will get to see the shoreline of Tamarindo from the ocean…it is gorgeous. Highly recommend.

We head back to room to get changed and ready to hit up Walters’ and El Be…read Costa Rica Part 2 if you aren’t sure what I am talking about. As we settle into a drink and some dinner, we talk about what an amazing day we had and how will we ever do anything in Costa Rica better than this…oh just you wait. Tomorrow we book some adventures that will make you laugh, sit on the edge of your seat in suspense and in many cases smile. This isn’t just a teaser to get to you to follow my stories…this is my truth…and a teaser to get you to follow my blog.

At this point, I want to mention that a mariachi band strolled into El Be. They started playing and they were great. They came to our table and played a song for us, we tipped them and then they were on their way. Stay tuned for more stories with this group of talented musicians…they become a psuedo personal band for Melanie and I…how cool is that.

Until next time… when I get an unexpected visitor in the pool…

Live your Life…Jan

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