Maes, Ticos y Ticas,
It’s ooooooooo four hundred hours and I am EYES WIDE OPEN! At this point I reckon that sleep is completely OVER-RATED! As I lay in my enormous bed, snuggling the most comfortable soft, fluffy pillows , (I have about 6 of them wrapped around me ) watching the dawn begin to break, the view of the Forest and the Pacific Ocean right before me… (and the Rain) I take a deep breath and just pause for a moment and take in all my surroundings. The aroma, a mixture of ylang ylang, Frangiapani and forest meets sea air… the sounds , an orchestra of birds, crickets, frogs & Monkeys creating a magnificent symphony that Mother Nature is conducting and I am it’s audience… it’s a GREAT Jazzi moment. NO WAY am I going back to sleep, I sit for hours watching the sun come up, the mist over the distant mountains and I feel SO ALIVE!! Yup, I must confess, tis a morning I will not forget, a lot of soul searching and I liked what I found. I liked hanging out with me… (Ok maybe that was WAY too much information – having a DEEP moment!)
I meet my compadres for Brekkie, and we set off for a day of Whale & Dolphin watching.
We arrive at the Marina and meet Weiner aka TONY MONTANA… he is our captain for the day. “Hello my friends, I am jaw-r capitan for de day, lemme essplain somesing to jew all, today we are gonna to see da whales, but jew no gonna see no whales ass issa no da season, we also gonna see da dolphins, but jew no gonna see no dolphins becaussse nobody see no dolphin today, proly jew gonna see da tortles, but jew no gonna see no tortles, sorry guyss… OKAY if any of jew have any quessstions, joost lemme know I will give jew de ansser, if I donna hava da ansser I will findit outta an le-jew-know. OKAY vamos!
Oh… Errrrrrrrrrrrrrrr Hmmmmmmmmm so why exactly are we going on the boat then? Just go with it Jazz, don’t ask ANY questions – YOU NEVER KNOW!!
Me & Capitan Tony Montana!
After 3 hours of rough ocean searching, seeking ANY kind of marine life , I am sad to say we did not see any dolphins or Sea Turtles, so you will just have to settle for the *Hump Back Whale* – hehe! What cannee tell you, “sonetine, de sings happen and jew canny essplain how dey happen!”
DID YOU KNOW:-
The Southern Pacifice Coast, especially Dominical & Punta Uvita is home for the migrating Hump-Back Whale, In January to March the Whales from the North and August to October it’s the whales from the South, they come to this area to mate and then give birth. Off the coast, about 2 or 3 km, there are 4 large Rock formation about 1 to 2km apart
Las Tres Hermanas (the 3 sisters), La Ballena (the Whale) that is this huge rock formation and when the tide is high it actually spits out water from the middle just like a whale’s Blow hole , La Viuda (the Widow) and Bajo Negro (black hole), What’s interesting about these rocks is they form a shallow Reef that is a safe- haven for the pregnant Mummy Whales so that they can give birth and know that their little ones are safe from open water predators. What is even more mind blowing is that at low tide right in the middle of this reef from the shore out to sea there is a formation that looks EXACTLY like a Whales Tail and I’ts called – La Colla della Ballena – yeah that’s right, you got (the Whales Tail)
I mean just think about that for a moment… Whales just HAPPEN to come to this part of the world to mate and give birth and there just HAPPENS to be a shallow reef that is deep enough a big enough to hold ALL of them and to top it off there just HAPPENS to be a low tide formation of a Whales tail… as you can imagine I was really struck by this, especially as I also HAPPEN to be a *Marine Biologist* – I guess if you were religious you would say this is God’s humor.
Once back on dry land we make our way back up the mountain for a site inspection of Rancho Pacifico, a really cool property with Tree Houses, the décor is modern mixed with traditional furnishings. The views are spectacular.
We then went to check out Oxygen, ( a Smith Hotel) a Balinese fusion and very zen and surrounded by Buddha’s and Ganesh’s . They have 10 stand-alone Balinese Villas. Chuck from texas is the man behind the property and very tall, chilled laid back Yank who clearly loves what he does.
And now back to Kura Aaaaaaaaaaaaaah! Heaven!!! We meet the owners Martin (an architect) and Alejandra (is a biologist) they are a young, handsome couple and are both from Costa Rica. About 4 years ago They Had A Dream… They wanted to design a really cool Back-Packers Hotel just above the town of Uvita in the mountains. The Real Estate Agent told them about a plot of land at the very top that was probably outside their budget but as they were such a lovely couple she wanted to show it to them anyway… that’s what I call good Salesmanship!! Of course the minute they saw it they fell in love and shifted their entire thought process and Martin took a year to design his vision and 3 years to build… and KURA was born. 6 beautiful Villas that took my breath away, infinity pool, draw dropping views, the scent of Ylang Ylang fills the air, I could go on and on and on, but I am sure you catch my drift… There is nothing more satisfying in life than realizing a dream and then making that dream come true… They have 30 Solar Panels that power the hotel by day (electricity, refrigerators pool pump and computers) and at night they are on the grid.
Martin and Alejandra are humble, kind and so very down to Earth… Their positive energy, beauty and Love for their country and passion for life exudes in what they have created. Alejandra is passionate about wildlife and all the vegetation, She had created an Oasis around this amazing property that her partner Martine created… Together they complement each other perfectly. I am sure that they will go far and we will be hearing more about them in the year’s ahead.
That night we all had dinner together and they invited their friend and neighbor Kevin Carrigan… Another character that… Well let’s just say aroused my curiosity… His Life story is a blog in itself… Ladies & Gentlemen, please give a warm welcome to… Mr Kevin Carrigan (it’s worth the read!!!!!)
Here is a quick summary of my life.
“I Graduated University of Notre Dame with business degree, then spent three months in China in 1999 starting an English teaching program. 4 of us started it, now they have almost 100 teachers. After that my buddy George and I hitchhiked across Tibet and Nepal for 6 weeks.
Then I moved to New York, starting as a PA in Video Production for a show called In The Mix on PBS, a national weekly series for teens. Worked my way up to Producer, and did 14 30 minute Episodes. After that, I worked on a production Called “The Mummy Roadshow” which was a flagship series for National Geographic Channels International when the launched the Channel in 2001. I was Associate Producer and Location Sound on that.
While in New York and not making much money for these companies, I decided to live on a sailboat, so I bought a 30 ft Catalina and lived on that near Jersey City, living in Liberty State Park. I loved the boating life and community so much, that I sold the Catalina and bought a Corbin 39’ Pilothouse, cutter rigged sloop with my ex girlfriend, and we lived aboard that. She had an apartment 2 blocks from ground zero, and I was staying there on Sept 11, 2001 when the planes hit. I witnessed the horrors of that day from around Warren and the West Side hwy, just a few hundred meters away, when the towers came down. The boating community rallied that day to assist and shuttle commuters across the Hudson and bring people the the triage center that was set up in my back yard at Liberty Landing Marina. Several of my captain friends won awards that day and commendations from Bush and Guiliani.
At that time I had also been working on a startup company called Scribe Digital, where we would take footage from video production companies, upload it to India via ftp and then have the transcripts back the next morning.
Unfortunately, my mental state at the time was frail and paranoid, and I became a bit depressed, and decided to leave New York, so we closed Scribe, I finished my 6th episode with the mummies, and started working at the Lightship Barge and Grill at the marina, which was a really fun bar on a 1908 lightship. That gave me the time to get the boat ready for cruising.
My ex and I then left New York on a 12,000 nm journey down the Intercoastal, out towards Bermuda, where we were caught in an Extra Tropical Cyclone . Out there, and given the chance to die, I vowed never to let myself go to dark places again, and to try to live life to the fullest and stay positive. We had an amazing trip, where 45 friends and family came to visit, as we journeyed through most all of the Leeward and Windward Islands, across Venezuela, then the ABC’s, then Cartagena, San Blas, Various Islands and Keys off Nicaragua. Roatan, Utila, Rio Dulce, Belize, Mexico (for my brothers wedding). Then we broke up but still lived together for 6 weeks and sailed another 700nm back to Key West, where she went back to Texas to raise money to start a dive resort in Utila, Bay Islands, Honduras. It is called Utopia Dive Village, a cool place that you might want to check out sometime.
I delivered the boat to Annapolis and stated working odd jobs at a marina rebuilding docks and fixing boats, and giving tours on a 70’ schooner. Then my friend from Ireland Colin Farrell (the actor) called and said he was doing a movie nearby called The New World. He got me a job as an extra, so we could hang out and catch up, and I’m actually in the movie for a few secs, which was fun.
While in Annapolis I met my wife Mary and became an instant Dad, to a then 8 year old girl named Maggie. She is now 17. I also became friends with their neighbor, who was the head man at Tyco Telecommunications Submersibles Division. When he heard I was looking for work, he gave me a job as a “Pilot Tech Trainee” and I worked there in Baltimore and around the world on Cable Ships, installing and maintaining fiber optic cable on the seafloor using big 10 ton, 10 million dollar Remote Operated Vehicles (ROV’s) I eventually became a Pilot Tech, and would work 6 weeks on and then get a month off. While based in Annapolis, I also began private pilot training at the Navy Annapolis Flight school, where I did 40 hours of training as a pilot. I never received my license because I was sent to work in the Malaca straights near Singapore, and Indonesia. For nine weeks, we ran the cable from Singapore through Thailand, and brought fiber optic internet to Bangladesh. After that, I began the move to Costa Rica, and decided due to the limited flying opportunities not to complete my training, but I did love to fly.
The Scottish Hydraulics company that I worked for employed people from all around the world, and when I asked, my boss said I could live anywhere I want, so I thought long and hard about all the countries I’d been to (probably somewhere near 65 countries at that time, and maybe 75 or 80 now). I kept coming back to my family trip as a teenager to Costa Rica in 1997 and again in 2000. I began researching for 9 months and decided that I wanted to check out Dominical and Uvita. So in 2005, my Irish buddy Michael and I (he was Colin’s Personal assistant and had lived on my Catalina with me for 9 months) rented motocross bikes and toured around Costa Rica. I fell in love with the Whales Tail view instantly, and bought a lot and began building in April 2005. Here is the house rental page:
Unfortunately, the listing may be down for a day or two because I reported suspicious activity.
I’m trying to get it back up…
This house took many years to build, as there was no electricity, a road like driving up a waterfall, and an unreliable spring fed water system that was 4 km up the mountain. I began to organize the property owners in the area and we created a water association and a road association, and finally got electricity in 2009. When I had to move back to Chicago in May of 2010 so my daughter could go to high school and to take care of my sick parents, Martin Wells took over the associations and has been doing a great job. We became instant friends and helped each other out as you do building in the jungle, with each of us sharing tricks of building and living up here.
In 2008, I partnered up with some investors and Derek Reidy, Heather Kline and I began building The Jade House. It took several years to build, and then we rented it for a few years before selling it last September. We continue to manage the rentals until the new owner moves in around Jan 2014.
The Jade House: http://www.homeaway.com/vacation-rental/p282263
Back in Chicago, we bough a small Cape Cod fixer upper house and a short sale condo, and began working and renovating those, with the condo as a rental property. During a guys trip that my brother organized to CR, an old photographer buddy (Popular Science 20 years) from New York named John Carnett was telling me about the Martin Jetpack. He was friends with the inventor, so I contacted him, and he brought me on as an investor in pre-IPO shares for this New Zealand company. We have big dreams and plans for the jetpack in both commercial and recreational uses, and I hope to get one of the first ones to do promotional flights around the US.
Martin and Ali have become good friends and an integral part of our community. We are all so proud of their accomplishments in building that stunning resort. Those of us who have built up here and watched them realize their dream understand how hard it is and respect their passion and hard work ethic.
Of all the places I’ve been in the world, Uvita is still my favorite…
Thus is my life summary”
….WELL, I don’t know about you guys, but to me – that’s a pretty damn good story!! sadly I don’t have a picture of Kevin but I can also tell you that he is World Champion racer on an ATV and no-one can match him!!!!
Tomorrow… Drake’s Bay, where the Rain Forest meets the Ocean