Archive for November, 2010

Costa Rica cruise

Posted in Uncategorized on 30/11/2010 by ketchkaraka

So we’re still in golfito but not for much longer…

We are ready to set sail again after a month under the tropical rains. The crew is on board, and we will be 8 for the next leg, which will be a 300 miles sail along the pacific side of costa rica. we are headed to the north of the country to a place called Playa del coco. there are several reasons for us to go there, the main one is that it is the spot i spent nearly ten months exploring when i was working a the schooner ranger about 8 years ago. I’d like to see the place again. the second reason is that it is a very nice place, with beautiful islands and bays and world class surf spots. also it is a port of entry so we can do the formalities to exit the country from there, and finally the little passage to get there will be the perfect shakedown cruise to make sure the boat and the crew is ready for the much more intense passage toward mexico.

of the 8 crew, 2 will leave us from playa del coco:
Sher, an australian anarchist punk who has been traveling around for a while and who has been hanging out on karaka for a few weeks, after arriving as crew on another yacht.
Laura, another australian who is friend with some friends of kim’s back down under. Laura is working in with NGOs on nature preservation here in costa rica.
The rest of the crew is Greg, Zach, Martin and Alex, which i think i described earlier and they will stay with us all the way to mexico.

And we now are able to accept donations!
Click on this link to accede the page:
We signed up with Paypal for its simplicity of use. To contribute to the Karaka, just click on the “donate” button and follow the procedure.

For the information of donators, here follows our current wish list. It is the list of how the money you donate will be used.

– 3 month refit, january to april 2011

Haul out and boatyard fees, paint, tools, material, etc.

Among the tools needed, there are :

– Cutting torch/plasma cutter

It is a tool used to cut steel.

– 200L Air compressor

To power a jack hammer to chip rust, a sandblaster to elimnate all rust, a spray gun to paint, etc

– A new set of batteries

We need to replace the batteries that power the whole boat’s 12 volt system. The ones we use at present are 6 years old and are only supposed to have lasted 5. We use golf kart batteries as they are about the best quality for their price on the market.

– 800 watts power inverter

It is a small machine that converts the 12 volts DC power from the batteries to 220 volts AC power that we can use for computers and small power tools. The old one went up in flames.

– Solar panels

We use those to recharge the batteries in order to avoid having to run the diesel generator. We have three solar panels on board at present but they are old and their output is insufficient.

– Marine stove/oven unit

The one we use at present is very old and rusty, eventually it will become a safety risk. It is time to replace it.

– Jib sails

Jibs don’t last very long on the open ocean and we ripped several of them lately. We still have a decent wardrobe but it would be good to find spares before the one we use at present fail us.

– Sail maker sewing machine

It exists a special kind of sewing machine designed for repairing sails and tarps. We would save a lot of money on the long run if we could fix our sails ourselves.

– 12ft aluminum dinghy

Our dinghy has served us well, but she is now ready for retirement. She must be at least 25 years old and fiberglass is not meant to last that long. We think an aluminum dinghy of the same size would be ideal for Karaka. Aluminum is light and strong and doesn’t corrode.

– 2hp outboard motor

Coupled with a good pair of oars and a simple sailing rig, a small outboard engine would make the dinghy the perfect tender in all situations.

– Refrigeration unit

Everybody enjoys a cold beer… Plus it would enable us to preserve the fish we catch. We have never been able to afford the cost of an instalation yet and it doesn’t look it will happen in the near future as their are other priorities, but here it is anyway…

And also for the generous souls, we would gladly accept gifts and donations directed toward us as individuals and not toward the boat funds… We make a point of not using the boat money for our personal expenses and that means we usually have to find some ways to make money on the side. Any donations would enable to dedicate ourselves fully to Karaka. Also we are trying to set up a Karaka co-op which would enable us to function as a collective without having to ask a contribution from the crew and any financial help would make it easier to put together.

Thank you.


Golfito, Costa Rica

Posted in Uncategorized on 14/11/2010 by ketchkaraka

Well… i’ve been seriously slacking on that log, but whatever… we didn’t have internet for quiet a while and i had too much to say, so i kept putting it off…
We are now in costa rica, in a little place called golfito, in the south. it is rainy season so we’re getting drenched all the time, but it is ok, as we are mainly taking it easy waiting for the next crew. the last crew was great, but they are all gone now, and we have the boat for ourselves with kim.
the trip from panama city to here was ok, but with lots of rain and almost constant contrary winds. we had to tack the whole way, we ended up covering nearly 2 and an half time the distance to get here. it took us 6 weeks.
we stoped at many little islands, and also in one good surf spot, where the boat rolled around like mad while we trashed the break.
so now we are just sitting on the boat, taking care of all this late internet business, and getting the boat ready for the coming crossing. we’re heading north to mexico, in one big long passage. we’ll hopefully leave during the first days of december and we should still be at sea for new year…
we have completed the crew, there are 4 guys on their way…
the first one to arirve is greg, a guy from dallas texas. he works for a newspaper there. then there will be zach, a canadian kayaking guide, alex, a swedish dude and martin, a spannish guy who is currently traveling by land over central america. martin is also the younger brother of eva, the spannish lady who joined us in jamaica last spring and sailed with us all the way to panama. so full crew and a long trip in perspective…

We are aiming for guaymas, in northern mexico, in the sea of cortez. that where we will haul out karaka, there is a nice and cheap shipyard there. we plan on staying out of the water for at least 3 months, taking care of rust, upgrading the fuel system, fixing this and that, repainting everything and overall getting the boat ready to tackle the big pond.
we won’t be needing crew for a while now, we have enough people to get to guaymas, and then after that we won’t be sailing for several months. we already have loads of ex crew, friends, familly and random people who want to come and give a hand on the refit, so if you happen to be around guaymas during the spring, just drop by, but we won’t be selecting new people i the near future. after the refit, when we start sailing again, we will have all those helpers on board and it looks we won’t have to worry about finding crew either… so if you want to go crewing anytime soon, you better try your luck with somebody else, check the main page of the karaka website for the links to our friends who take crew…