Alaska; Costa Rica similarities? It’s a breeze.
Throughout the last 7 months I have been highlighting the differences between Costa Rica and Alaska, today however I am going to key on a similarity. In Alaska, we always mused that we only had two seasons, 9 months of winter and 3 months of summer. Some would say breakup was also considered a season. Our springs were mired in the much of breakup and our falls, well they seemed to last about a week. So we endured winter and lived for summer.
Here in Costa Rica they have two seasons as well, the green or rainy season and the dry season. I posted several blogs during the rainy season, and man it sure does rain. It rains like I have never seen, like Forest Gump Vietnam rain. Well were are now a couple of months or so into the dry season and much like breakup in Alaska we are experiencing a new intra-season, the windy season. The wind here, like all great winds has a name, the Papgayo (I think there are 50 different ways to spell it) winds. These winds are fierce. They start rattling the palm trees at about 5:30 in morning, a natural alarm clock, and often die down about 12 hours later, before repeating the cycle. They are strong, gusting and loud. I mean these are the kind of winds that take a toupee to Panama. They will dry a clothes line full of clothes in 10 minutes or less. They will hurl a coconut down the street faster than a Roger Clemens fastball, post steroid use. These are seriously impressive winds. Winds that would frighten me if I was patrolling the Bering Sea in January like the old days.
Personally I have been enjoying them for they make being outside quite bearable. However, yesterday while hanging at the beach and doing a little surfing, I saw a glimpse into the downside of the Papagayos. You see if you have ever tried to sit on the beach in a bathing suit, during a wind storm,it is akin to being shot at by dozens of kids with airsoft guns. Basically, you are being sandblasted, the same method we used to remove paint off of our old steel boats in Alaska. It is slightly unpleasant. So to escape you jump in the water with your surf board to catch some waves. The problem there is that the wind causes a wind chop that has you taking constant green water over your bow, making it very difficult to navigate. Furthermore it pushes wherever it wants you to go, which is not where you want to be. The good news, if the hurricane is blowing off shore, then you get the perfect barrel for surfing, if you know what you are doing, and I don’t. So I usually end up upside down, holding my breath on the bottom of the ocean waiting for the thundering of the ocean to quiet down so that I can emerge to get some air, pull my surfboard back to the water as it flutters in the wind like a kite, paddle back into the wind, and try again.
So there you have it, Costa Rica is just like Alaska, two seasons and each with their good and bad points. Alaska’s interim breakup is messy and makes it difficult to be outside, Costa Rica’s windy season is messy and makes it difficult to be on the beach. A couple big differences, although I do take a ton of water over the bow, I don’t have to worry about icing up, and during AK’s breakup your toupee is not only safe, but a good way to keep your noggin warm. Here in CR, unless you are using superglue, best put that thing in lock up for January and February and get a little sun on your dome, after you sandblast off all the dead skin of course.
Here is a short video, with the full sounds of the winds in our back yard.