Adventure & New Experiences on Star Flyer

A special thanks to Sharon Lumley for writing in about her Star Flyer adventure in Costa Rica, and to Walter and Lori Lumley for the fabulous photographs.





Ninety-four passengers boarded the Star Flyer Clipper ship at Port Caldera, Costa Rica to cruise the southern coastline of Costa Rica and a Port of Call to Isla Parida, Panama. After everyone had settled into their cabins it was an all hands on deck call for crew and passengers to set sail. With Captain Yuriy at the bridge, the crew proceeded to raise the sails as the music drifted over the intercom – Vangelis 1492 Conquest of Paradise. Warm Pacific winds billowed her sails as she leaned gracefully. The bow cut sharply thru the dark blue waters, heading south.



Adventure arouses new experiences and develops character. The first day at sea the clipper ship was under sail and the quest began. For the brave at heart there was an opportunity for a challenge by climbing the mast. Like the pirates of olden days the rope ladder went upward to the crow’s nest. Fear of heights would have to be subdued. A youngster of eighty six years went up with the first daring souls, giving others the courage they needed. Passengers could relax in a deck chair with a good book, listen to music, nap or choose to go on excursions to learn the wonders of Costa Rica. Each port of call offered a new escapade. Isla Parida, Panama: A white sandy beach with calm waters for snorkeling, swimming or hiking thru the island rain forest.







Rescue Center and Gardens, Off-Road Canopy Tour, or the National Wildlife Refuge. If those excursions were not of interest then after a dry landing, a short walk into town and talking with the locals surely would. Explanation: A dry landing is when a smaller boat called a tender brings passengers ashore and they disembark at a dock. A wet landing is when there is no dock and they tender as close as they can and you get off in about knee deep water.



Drake Bay: Corcovado National Park or Horseback Riding. Of course if you chose to stay aboard you could cool off in the crystal clear blue water of the ocean and lounge on a blue float (tied to the zodiac of course so that the waves would not sweep you away and leave you stranded at sea).



Quepos: Savegre River Floating, Manuel Antonio National Park, Titi Canopy Tour or Snorkeling Safari.



Isla Tortuga: Music, bar and barbeque provided by the crew for a beach party. Costa Rica is a mecca for nature lovers. There are an abundance of exotic birds, flora of every color, alligators and either spider monkeys to charm you with their sweet smiles or Howler monkeys to entertain you.






FOOD, FUN AND NEW FRIENDS


Eating seems like such a simple pleasure but trying new foods can in itself be an adventure. The Jamaican Chef and his staff spent endless hours in preparation of meals and snacks. Imagine arising early to see the sunrise and the coffee, juices, sweet rolls and croissants are waiting for you. Lunch buffets were seafood, Italian, Caribbean, South American, Oriental and a barbeque prepared on the beach.



Dining was casual-elegant and you were handed a menu with several choices. In the Tropical Bar you could sit on deck, listen to music and choose an exotic cocktail, beer or wine.



Every day there was no shortage of entertainment. The talented Tamas was frequently in concert in the Piano Bar or playing his accordion on deck in the Tropical Bar. Crew and passengers amused us with a fashion show, a talent show and even a couples’ contest to crown “Mr. and Mrs. Star Flyer." By the middle of the week laughter radiated from port to starboard, stern to aft, echoing throughout the ship as different groups of people gravitated to each other either by similarities or differences and new friendships were created that would last a lifetime.



Debarkation at Purto Caldera, Costa Rica, brought an end to a week of adventure, fantastic cuisine, fun and many goodbyes to new friends and acquaintances. As passengers slowly proceeding up the ramp to board the tourist bus with suitcase in tow there was time for one last glance at the grandeur of the Star Flyer. She rolled with each wave as she awaited the time to raise her sails into the wind with another set of exciting passengers on their journey to paradise.






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BJ's Travels: Part 4, Golfito & Osa Wildlife Sanctuary

BJ and her husband work in the travel industry and are based out of Georgia. The couple recently sailed on Star Flyer, exploring Panama and Costa Rica. BJ shared her experience on her blog BJ's Travels, and we'll be publishing excerpts from the journey here. Enjoy!





Passenger's Log, Star Flyer Date 112713 (Wednesday) Golfito


Everything on the schedule was moved up a half hour to accommodate the tours. I was just starting the 7:30AM exercise class when we learned that there was extra space on the rescue center tour.



We hurried to our room to change into our zip-off leg pants and grab some bottles of water. It was a nice ride.




 

We rode for about an hour to the rescue center Fundacion Santuario Silvestre de Osa where we were greeted by Karen the curator and Sweetie the spider monkey (and another wet landing).



Karen gave us the ground rules - don't take flash pictures of the nocturnal animals, don't take anything away from the monkeys, don't try to restrain the monkeys and don't step off of the path lest you should step on a deadly poisonous snake. She told us a little about the rescue center and Sweetie. Sweetie went from person to person showing them where she wanted to be scratched.









We saw several animals, including monkeys, badgers, pecaries, sloths, parrots, kinkajous and some others.



After the tour, Karen gave us an opportunity to have Sweetie sit on our lap for a picture.



When it was time to go, we all piled back into the boat and waited for the driver to start the boat which was being temperamental. He finally got it going and we headed for the Orchid Garden. 

 

Greg, our tour guide, was passionate about plants and told us about all of the examples in the garden. 






Afterward, we met the owner and had a bit of fruit under the shelter.



We had no problem getting the boat started this time, but some of the folks had trouble getting back into the boat. While we waited for everyone to get onboard, waves kept washing over the back of the boat. The other boat raced us back to the ship, pausing nearby to watch a dolphin frolic next to their boat.






We made it back to the ship 20 minutes before the lunch buffet closed. Just after lunch, it rained heavily again, so we grabbed our books and went to the piano bar.



The rain drove Tony in for a nap. When it finally subsided, we went back up on deck to watch the sunset with Joy.



We had a glass of wine in the bar and then changed for dinner. Most of the passengers went to the cocktail party for repeat guests. We met a few folks for drinks at the bar. We had dinner with another couple and two of the singles. Tony had the veal and I had the salmon. I thought the crab cake appetizer was the best of the trip!
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