The magic of the Green Coconut Run lies in our visiting crew. Although we only have 4-6 crew aboard at any on time, we had almost 30 people joining for different legs of the journey. The new Crew Bio page give you an idea of who they are.
CALIFORNIA TO MEXICO
CREW #1-6 (above). Annie the videographer came for 5 days to San Diego. Matt the racing sailor rode 10 days down Baja. Eric and Brian the spearfishermen did 11 days across the Sea of Cortez. Pierre and Lianna the teacher-restauranteurs did 10 days from Puerto Vallarta to Zihuatanejo.
“Don’t keep a schedule!” advised cruising sailors. Oh well. This was a community sailing expedition — the first of its kind, that we know of — and we had to make a schedule so visiting crew could book airplane tickets, organize their vacation time, and make travel plans. For the core crew running the boat, we couldn’t treat it purely like a vacation; we had to get places. But the question remained: “Would our schedule work? What if people fly down to meet the boat but we’re not there??”
CREW #7-13 (above). In the Bahias de Huatulco, state of Oaxaca: The Hope family of teacher-someliers with their three year old girl joined 5 days. Deena the tech marketer and Cristina the research doctor sailed 4 days, along with Sam the social worker. Local singer-songwriter Angelica joined us for a week of preparation and passage-making from Huatulco to Puerto Chiapas across the infamous Gulf of Tehuantepec.
It’s a cruise, right? What if we found a great spot and wanted to stay for awhile? Too bad!! We gotta keep moving, we have crew to pick up down the line. The trip was crowd-funded so there was an obligation to fulfill. But even if we were self-funded, would we have changed it? Not much. The advantages of having friends and crew come visit, bringing their fresh energy and enthusiasm to the boat, far outweighed the disadvantages of keeping a schedule (not to mention the necessary toils of hosting people in a tiny space). Sharing the experiences with people first hand was a great gift that we wouldn’t have traded for greater freedom.
EL SALVADOR TO NICARAGUA
CREW #14-17 (above). Dan the water resource engineer joined us for 1 month in El Salvador… then extended 2 more weeks into Nicaragua. Ryan’s brother Brad jumped onboard for a week, landing in San Juan del Sur. Klaus the foot surgeon and Jay the real estate manager both flew in from SF for the 10 day cruise to Costa Rica.
Our first BIG change in the trip’s schedule was our decision to stay in Costa Rica and not carry on to Panama — primarily due to our growing intimacy with squalls and lightning, which build in strength as one heads south. By July, we informed our visiting crew of that possibility. By August, we had landed in Playas de Coco and decided to stay in that region through the end of October, when the rains pick up. Did such uncertainty bother folks? Our protocol was to have crew book tickets only a month before their trip, so it worked out. Everyone coming was aware this isn’t a cruise ship — this is an adventure, maleable, ever-evolving, yet with enough planning to fit into the modern schedule.
SANTA ROSA NATIONAL PARK, COSTA RICA
CREW #18-26 (above). Picking up in Playas de Coco, Costa Rica: Ashley Curtis the middle school teacher visited us for 3 days of volcano hikes and 4 days of boating. Alex Wyndham, tiny home architect and designer, spent two weeks in some of the most perfect surfing conditions we’ve seen. Our family friend Stu, a Californian who lives near San Jose (the capital of Costa Rica) brought his son, grandson, and friend for a four day cruise with incredible weather. Erika, our youth wilderness educator, Bret, a sign-shop owner and master of all trades, and Jessica, green home builder in San Luis Obispo, all joined us in October for another 10 day+ round in the extraordinary Santa Rosa National Park.
How did we fix the boat underway, with so many visitors? As everyone knows, boats are constant maintenance. Every other day something broke. To add to this, there were new installations needed: fans to deal with heat, USB charge ports to accommodate the crew’s cameras, new lights to read in the bunks. Special mention must go to the “Core Crew members” who were onboard for long periods of time and worked hard to keep the boat in operation. Without their remarkable positive attitude, unshakeable work ethic, and boundless energy, this first season wouldn’t have run like it did — creating a dream while we lived it.
CORE CREW MEMBERS
CREW #27-30 (above). Ryan was our head yogurt-maker, video editor, and soul surfer; he put in a few months of hard labor at the boatyard. Michael was our head chef, fisherman, and project motivator; he encouraged myriad people to believe in the voyage. Both Ryan and Michael spent 6 months on Aldebaran, from Santa Barbara to Costa Rica. After they left, Dave Clark stepped in for a month to help prep the boat for the “off-season” — trying to leave the boat ship-shape for our boat sitters. His lady Rachel joined us for 10 days during our transit back to Nicaragua’s San Juan del Sur, with excellent SCUBA diving along the way.
Check out the Crew Bio page for more details!