Monday, January 3, 2022

Down to the Banana Republic

A helmet???  Wonder why I needed that?


 Bashing in the Pacific Ocean.  Notice the diesel containers taking a beating, along with Aspen and Captain Steve!  Yes, we are heavily reefed for a reason...

Sunrise approaching Golfito, Costa Rica, after 50 days without touching land.


How Captain Steve felt after making landfall at Golfito...
Historical marker at Golfito, marking the end of a thriving banana industry.
Rusting debris in the jungle at Golfito, Costa Rica.
Aspen on a mooring in the river at Puerto Amistad, Ecuador
Aspen secured to a dock for some R&R at Golfito, Costa Rica, Banana Bay Marina.


More historic sites from the banana industry at Golfito, Costa Rica
A world-class protected Bay, at Golfito, Costa Rica, just waiting to be discovered.


S/Y Aspen – January 3, 2022 – Log #179

Aspen Position: 08 degrees 37’ N, 83 degrees 09’ W

Golfito, Costa Rica


Down to the Banana Republic


Oh my, who would have thought this is where I would start a new year, in Golfito, Costa Rica?  Least of all me!


Let’s see, it was 3,000 nm from Easter Island to Golfito, Costa Rica and it took me 26 days for that leg, since they didn’t want me at Easter Island.


That is not including 20 days at sea from Ecuador to Easter Island or the four days rolling my guts out while anchored at Easter Island.  So, a total of 50 days before I touched land once again.


For an ultrarunner like myself, that just isn’t right.


How was it walking on land once I arrived in Costa Rica?


‘What do you say to a drunken sailor’, as the song goes? 


I was bobbing and weaving like Mohammad Ali in his fighting days, along with crashing into walls and people while trying to walk into the customs office.


‘Ah, too much rum’, I heard them mumble or at least what my saltwater logged brain thought they said.


Golfito, where I docked Aspen, is truly a backwater and forgotten place.  Every banana consumed by North America, until the mid 1980’s, came from Golfito.  Then labor strikes, banana disease and economic factors caused a complete collapse of banana exports, leaving Golfito essentially a ghost town.


Today, relics from plantations owned by United Fruit/Chiquita litter the jungle everywhere you look.  Locomotive engines, warehouses and once majestic houses paint hillsides with decay, rust and memories.


The largest sailor’s paradise in the Eastern Caribbean is called Le Marin on Martinique, home to well over 1,000 sailboats.  That is nothing compared with Golfito.


Golfito’s Bay would very easily swallow Le Marin in size.  It is truly a world-class harbor here.


But there is clean water in this bay, enormous calm anchorages, no mooring balls, small marinas and an undeveloped shoreline that is unsurpassed compared with anything in the Caribbean. 


Ah yes, there is also spectacular jungle enveloping everything with toucans, pelicans and so much wildlife everywhere, not to mention world class fishing.


Small restaurants are everywhere, including at the marinas, and very reasonably priced.  Oh yes, beer is 50 cents in case you were wondering.  They also have good rum!


Maria is flying in to see me after so long away.  I just hope she recognizes this sea-worn, battered, skinny, longhair and sun-burnt sailor.


Sail on, sail on Aspen…


PS - More pictures can be found at:

1.     You can follow Aspen’s tracker and see my route:

2.     Aspen will also have a Garmin tracker working so you can follow along:

3.     Our updated sailing book, Voyage Into Hell, is available at (

4.     And the new edition for the book, Leadville Trail 100; History of the Leadville Trail 100 Mile Running Race is also available at (