Departure from Ecuador and 1001 Projects


Our last days in Bahia Caraquez, Ecuador. Aldebaran is at the end of the rainbow (on the far right)!

The engine alarm on our sailboat Aldebaran went off as we went around the rivermouth of Bahia Caraquez, in just 7 feet of water: Brrrreeeehhhhh!!!!! One glance at the engine gauges showed me it was overheating. What?!?

I shut down the engine. It was a terrible spot to be adrift: downwind just 200 yards was the beach with little waves, and to boot, the tide would start dropping soon.

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Provisions for the Pacific Ocean

breakfast huevosFarewell Bahia Caraquez! After spending 5 months in port, we were finally leaving. The boat motored at our usual clip of 6 knots — despite an extra ton of food onboard!  Aldebaran was full of provisions for 12 months of sailing in the Pacific. There was food (and rum!) in every compartment. How did we fit all that grub in the boat? How do we plan to feed ourselves, and deal with the exorbitant food costs of French Polynesia?

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New Cockpit Roof!

img_6606Ahh the tropics. So wonderful with their crystal clear warm waters. But there’s also lots rain and terrible heat. And ironically, it is hard to fill your water tank when there are no docks to drive your boat to. Here’s how we are trying to solve all these problems on our sailboat Aldebaran, with one new item: the bimini hard top (aka our new roof).

And we’re departing today! Follow our 5 day passage to Galapagos on Facebook

(If you’re here later, see our sat messenger)

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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


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


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 !

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

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)

leg three (1 of 28)

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.

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…

Map Satellite





…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 ….