What we found in 2 years of micro plastic sampling

Hello Friends:   We’ll be LIVE on facebook on Friday Feb 3, 1pm PST talking about our participation with Adventure Scientists during the last few seasons… tune in at their page.  Learn in this blog post — originally published on Adventure Scientists “Field Notes” — what we discovered from sampling micro-plastics from Mexico to Ecuador along our sailing voyage.

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Mooring the Boat: our experience in Nicaragua and Ecuador, Part 1

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Old School Tractors… this how some of the locals dragged their pangas up the beach in Playa Gigante, Nicaragua, where we moored the boat last year. This year, we kept Aldebaran in Bahia Caraquez, Ecuador.

As I buckled my seatbelt on the plane towards Quito, I wondered: how is the boat doing after four months in Ecuador? I prayed nothing went wrong or got stolen — we are planning to leave on our big ocean crossings to Galapagos and French Polynesia this February, so setbacks would be a bummer…  Here’s what I discovered when I got back to the boat — and a comparison with mooring the boat in Nicaragua the year before.

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Pirates visit Pierre’s classroom

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The school kids at Bahia Vista… exploring solar lights with supervision from the pirates

What’s better than having your favorite pirates visit you in person?  Having them bring solar lights with them!  Captain Kristian and First Mate Sabrina (in full regalia) visited her brother Pierre’s classroom of 3rd graders at Bahia Vista School in San Rafael to share fun facts about the trip and specifically to learn about SOLAR POWER on the boat.

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From Seahorses to Uprooted Lives: Cruising with a Cause

The solar light recipients at Albuergue "Fuerza Sucre" - thanks to Unite-to-light.org !

A few of the solar light recipients at Albuergue “Fuerza Sucre” – thanks to Unite-to-light.org

From our sailboat, the city looked bombed, as if gone through a war. Seven story buildings are cracked in half. Concrete is fractured like massive stitches in wounded white elephants. We sailed into this dystopian landscape – resort beach town meets mayhem – which is the entrance to Bahia Caraquez, mainland Ecuador. Our trimaran Aldebaran was armed with a shipment of solar lights to give away to people living in tent camps, homeless from the massive earthquake of April 16, 2016.  Continue reading

Bringing Solar Lights to Ecuador’s Earthquake victims

 

Four months after the earthquake in Bahia Caraquez, where we plan to moor Aldebaran from September-January, hundreds of inhabitants are still homeless and have to live in the emergency structures called “albergues”.  The coastal town was 60% destroyed by the April earthquake (see NBC videos or BBC pictures).  Continue reading

Robby’s Reflections (Osa Peninsula)

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Arriving in Playa Herradura: new friends and old friend uniting to cruise Costa Rica’s central and southern coast (Left to Right: Ed France, Jonathan Bastian, Robby Seid, Kristian Beadle)

How do I begin to recall my time spent aboard the fine pirate-class vessel named Aldebaran?  It is difficult to sum up past feelings, so why dont I draw them direct from the source?  Here is my journal entry on the day I was departing Costa Rica to return home to San Diego:

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Video Episode #5: Sea of Cortez

(Link to watch Video)

View the latest episode on Talk about “silver linings” … Our crew mate Eric was suffering from an eye infection and thought he’d spend the entire 10 days of the Sea of Cortez ‘dry-docked’.  What appeared to be a serious boat breakdown allowed for an unexpected chain of events… Together, we explore the gin clear waters of Isla Cerralvo, find shipwrecks 80ft deep that can be seen from the surface, and meet some of the most playful and intelligent sea lions we’ve ever seen in Isla Espiritu Santo, a dreamy desert island paradise.

Thanks for our supporters for helping make it possible!

View the episode on Patreon.

Aquatic Life with an 8 year old

 

After sailing with Captain K in Morro Bay and Channel Islands 10 years ago, I finally bring the family in tow -- to sail from Nicaragua to Costa Rica

After sailing with Captain K in Morro Bay and Channel Islands 10 years ago, I finally bring the family in tow — to sail from Nicaragua to Costa Rica

We began our journey March 24, 2016 to join the Aldebaran and crew with a red-eye flight from San Francisco to Managua, Nicaragua via Panama City.  Upon exiting the airport, we found a friendly taxista named Henry holding a sign with our names, thanks to Kristian and Sabrina who pre-arranged the ride for us.  We drove 3 hours directly to San Juan Del Sur in the south west part of the country, to find the crew ready to gather provisions for the next 6 days and set sail for Costa Rica with our family: my wife Kendra, and 8yr old son Asher.

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Video Episode #4: Cabo San Lucas

Our next video is out! Back in the Baja wilderness… After 3 weeks the Green Coconut Run crew finally arrived in civilization: the tourism mecca of Cabo San Lucas. It’s our first pickup of visiting crew in an international city, and we’re happy it worked out. Eric and Brian are coming aboard to dive the astoundingly clear waters of Sea of Cortez and explore its remote islands.  However, Eric has an eye infection, and ends up developing a new form of pirate aerobics.
https://www.patreon.com/posts/video-episode-4-5215758

Video Episode 4

A love story with strings attached: Costa Rica’s National Parks

The coast of Nicaragua got the short end of the stick, geographically speaking. The moment we sailed across the border into Costa Rica, “AHHHH…!”   was the collective sigh of relief. The flat windy coastline subsided; the land of endless sheltered bays began. But there are some surprising restrictions the government is trying to enact.

Panorama of Bahia Santa Elena

Panorama of Bahia Santa Elena

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Leg #1 highlights.. Nica to Costa Rica

Captain K started the voyage in Managua battling customs. What an adventure, had to get a permit to bring a radar into the country, the equivalent of their FCC. Alongside, had to submit a special request to Customs Director since the boat was in Nicaragua for 4 months. Bureaucratic run-around but all ended reasonably well. Then the crew rendezvous-ed in beautiful Granada.  Marc, Sophie and Tim joined up for the packed van ride to Playa Gigante.

We went to Playa Gigante to see Bob, captain’s dad, who had been boat-sitting for several months!!  Total trooper and kept the boat safe, maintained. Then we took an overland trip to Isla Ometepe — it’s a beautiful biosphere reserve, what geological phenomenon, twin volcanos in the middle of the lake, like Maui but more comically extreme.

Playa Gigante, where the boat was moored during our off-season. Not very high tech, but very cool!  A bunch of reasons why we came here: our friend Jack used to live here, there’s good waves nearby for the boat-sitters, Nicaragua is much cheaper than Costa Rica. Downside was the wind, always howling offshore, but at least it was comfortable in the boat.

Local "tractor" to pull boats up the beach, Playa Gigante

Playa Gigante preparations involved A LOT of cleaning — the wind had blown dust into every corner!  We sailed south to San Juan del Sur.  Ripped headsail with the 30knot headwinds, Nicaragua 1 x 0 Aldebaran !  Lovely stops along the way though ; although also had to SCUBA dive at 9pm to free anchor chain stuck under a rock… kept the captain on edge.

The astounding Santa Rosa National Park, northern Costa Rica was our next stop.

Murcielagos trail with Aldebaran in background

 

The promised land lived up to expectations, as did the good swell in the water!!  The Murcielago Islands are gorgeous, as are the bays in the Santa Rosa National Park, only reachable by boat.  This is where we spent 3 months last season (Aug-Oct) and I could spend another 3 months easily.  We anchored at night close to the beach, Sabrina was worried but captain shrugged off– “this is our backyard!”. To his chagrin the wind shifted and Aldebaran ended up in 3 feet of water, with the rudder stuck in the sand. This was our first Grounding ever!  Capt K got out his popeye muscles and pushed the boat off the sand… yep that’s how it went down… the full story later.

Dry season in Bahia Santa Elena, the first bay in Costa Rica

After arriving in Playa Cocos, the crew rented cars and drove to another national park: Rincon la Vieja for some mountain time and to celebrate Capt K’s 35th bday. This park is connected to the marine reserve and Santa Rosa National Park that we had visited by boat, as a huge “wildlife corridor” in Costa Rica’s Guanacaste region of dry tropical rainforest. More on this later as well!

Four crew took off this morning… now Matt & Diana are joining us for Leg #2…. onwards to Quepos.

Casting off for Costa Rica!

We’re setting sail today, from San Juan del Sur (Nicaragua) to Playa Cocos (Costa Rica)! The rest of the crew (Adam, Kendra, and Asher) just joined us.

Follow the boat by satellite live on the map below…

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…and check our latest photos on  Facebook or Instagram.  Want to read about some of our Season 2 plans?  See below.

 

Green Coconut Run begins Season 2

Community sailing voyage from Santa Barbara reaches Costa Rica and heads to world famous biodiversity hotspots, expands “cruising with a cause” platform

Using a unique crowd-funding approach, this loose group of friends and ecologists is fulfilling a common dream: to sail to the South Seas while having a positive impact. 

The crew aboard the Aldebaran, a 42ft trimaran with home port in Santa Barbara, is starting their second season on March 25.   read more here, in our Media page ….

Crew Bios ’16

Subscribe to our blog here.   Alright!! Here’s the first round of fellow ocean explorers  joining us on our Season 2 (Nicaragua to Ecuador) for our continued experiment in  “community cruising”  on Green Coconut Run…

 Note: the Crew List with schedules is available in our Co-op page (password needed).

Erika at OlliesErika Lindemann

Long time supporter and hostess of Aldebaran Co-op meetings, Erika is joining us in Panama to revisit her old stomping grounds, Morro Negrito, and explore the little-known islands in that region. Last year, she scored perfect waves at Ollies with us, and she’s keen for more tropical stoke harvesting. Erika is a co-director of the Wilderness Youth Project in Santa Barbara, which connects kids with nature. She loves the spirit of the Aldebaran community, and is excited to spend a few weeks in connection with one another, and with the spectacular islands in the Chiriqui province of Panama.

Goodman familyAdam, Kendra, and Asher

This water-loving family is joining us in the Nicaragua to Costa Rica leg, the first of Season 2… including 8 year old Asher, who’s a little junior lifeguard!  Kendra is a Waldorf kindergarten teacher in Santa Cruz, and Adam works in retrofits for energy efficiency, helping homeowners and businesses finance those improvements. Adam sailed in the original Tabula Raza with Capt K, the 29ft Columbia that preceded Aldebaran, always bringing some of Kendra’s famed apple crisp for crew morale.

Ben Best and turtleBen Best

A PhD in marine biology and conservation management is no small feat…  Ben is hoping to celebrate his doctorate by going to some of the Ocean’s most famous places. He’s joining us in the Equator crossing passage to Galapagos, going through Isla Cocos, which is famous for so many things – inspiring Jurassic Park, Jacques Cousteau claiming it the “most beautiful island in the world”, and the alleged site of a huge undiscovered treasure.  Isla Cocos is also considered a must-do for divers, and one of the best places in the whole world to SCUBA with large pelagic.  In his work, Ben has made great strides in cataloging the distribution of marine mammals in the world, and we’re excited he gets to see some of these special places in person.

Molly Hahn

The inspiring cartoonist of Buddha Doodles is jumping on board the Green Coconut Run this year!  Molly is doing a sketchbook-cruise with us in Costa Rica’s Osa peninsula and also the Enchanted Isles…. Galapagos.  Can’t wait to see the wonderful nuggets that blossom from these fauna & flora rich environments for this artist and ocean loving friend. Sign up for Molly’s Doodle of the Day and get a “whimsical dose of mindfulness” to brighten up your day 🙂

 

Jonathan in SBJonathan Bastian

Raised in Aspen, Jonathan now lives in Santa Barbara and works for KCRW (NPR affiliate) and hosts “Morning Edition” for Northern LA County and the Central Coast (tune in from 6 – 9am weekdays days at 88.7 FM). His new love affair with surfing is growing as the snow-capped peaks are far away. He hopes to refine his skills on the dreamy tropical pointbreaks of Bahia Drakes and Matapalo, in Costa Rica, joining us on Aldebaran for the first time.

Alex in San Clemente IslandAlex Wyndham

Our favorite architect & designer is back on the boat this season. Al ‘the gnome’ Wyndham, fits into little tubes and keeps us smiling at everything.  He’s aiming to join us in Panama for waves and tuna, and transit to Galapagos. The gnome was onboard last year in the Santa Rosa National Park and put together the stylish frame in the cockpit bimini, which gives us tall guys an extra 3” of headroom. No more slumping!  After all he’s famous for his nature-inspired Tiny Homes, making beautiful use of small spaces, as attests Sunset magazine.  Al, we’re excited to have you back.

Tim backpackingTim Griffin

 I have been an Alaska adventurer for the last 18 years whether it be mountaineering kayaking, pack rafting, skiing, biking or trekking. I have worked in outdoor education and in the role of PE teacher to Alaska’s disadvantaged youth during that time. Being a person of the north for so long has left a longing for a trip where I won’t freeze my ass off. The thought of warmth and fun in the sun is very enticing; learning what it means to harvest stoke; learn a bit about sailing; and what it means to live simply with fresh fish, good people, and freedom of space and time.

SophieeeeeeeSophie Littee

We’re going to have “family bonding time” this year!  Sophie is the cousin of Sabby, the ship’s nurse & dive master . She’ll be joining us – along with Tim – as core crew most of this Season 2.  Continuing the gastronomic tradition on Aldebaran, Sophie will bring cooking inspiration from her mom (who is from Brittany) and dad (who is from Martinique) to mix hearty French flavors with Caribbean flair.  Sophie spent many years as a river raft guide, with countless multi day trips in the western states and beyond. She has been a French and Spanish teacher at the high school level in Anchorage, Alaska, and is now keen to learn the language of the wind and ocean waves.  We’re grateful to have her bright spirit onboard, and continue la vie extraordinaire.

 

in kazakstan, we eat like thisRobby Seid

Two months a year catching salmon in Alaska isn’t enough boat time – so Robby will be joining us this year in southern Costa Rica. He’s a mountain & ocean explorer, all around handyman, and soul surfer, who’s spent many nights in the nets of Aldebaran in the Channel Islands.  “The pliers? They’re in Robby’s bag.” Although Robby didn’t join us in Season 1, his handy red bag of tools, donated as a farewell gift while we visited in San Diego, saw nearly daily use on Aldebaran.  We’re more than stoked that Robby is now joining us in person.

Boat sitting – and overland travel in Nicaragua

Text by Chris Colajezzi – Photos by Adam Jahnke

As introduction:  Aldebaran is moored in Playa Gigante, Nicaragua during our off-season (mid Nov to mid March ’16), as Capt K and Sabby work in California and recuperate from ear surgery. Chris spent almost two months in Nica, boat-sitting Aldebaran, along with Bob (Capt K’s dad) who is still on his marathon tour of duty.  Adam met them for three weeks and the duo traveled around. Chris is a guitarist and lifeguard from LA County and Adam is a photographer, drummer, and cyclist. Here’s an interview of their experience, and a collection of photos (more available on Adam’s portfolio)…

How Aldebaran was on front cover of a magazine in 1979

Magazine articleTo subscribe to this blog by email, click here.  In a scraggly photocopy in a binder with the boat’s documentation, I saw an article from the previous owner, Bob McMahan, about flying the spinnaker on a trimaran.

“Wow.” I thought, “He was really into it!” I searched for Bob, to no avail.

 

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Fast forward to our Santa Barbara Yacht Club talk, early this January.

Guess who shows up at the talk?  Bob and wife Jackie, the previous owners of Aldebaran, who had received the notice from the club, and recognized the ship in the photos: “that’s our old boat!”

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