Jungle Jam tickets on sale

Jungle Jam returns to Jaco Jan 17-20th with Bill Kreutzmann, Oteill Burbridge, Max Creek, Ryan Montbleau Band and Zach Deputy. The landscaped jungle gardens of DoceLunas make a beautiful backdrop for an incredible show. With over 40 years experience, Max Creek is pretty tight and Oteil, having won two grammys in Tedeschi and Trucks and The Allman Brothers steps in pretty smoothly, as does Bill, who has played thousands of shows with the Grateful Dead.

You can click the link here to get your Jaco Jungle Jam Concert Tickets in advance.

Costa Rica rejects GMO Corn

Costa Rica has, for the time being, denied an application by D&PL Seeds Ltd, A subsidiary of Monsanto, to plant GMO corn in Costa Rica pending further study. The National Biosafety Technical Commission requested further studies on the impacts of transgenic corn planting in Costa Rica in order to determine whether it would appropriate to approve such plantings. The permit was requested in November of 2012. The permit was to grow a small test crop on up to 2 hectares, or approximately four acres.

Farmers and environmental groups have expressed fears that the despite the small size of the crops requested, the GMO corn could modify the genes of local grains, enabling lawsuits by Monsanto for violation of patent ownership. In the United States, Monsanto has sued farmers for having GMO strains of soybeans growing on their property.

Eclipse, our restaurant here at DoceLunas, serves local farm fresh produce and tropical fruit accompanied by catch of the day fish and meat produced within a few hundred miles of the hotel. Come join us for a healthy and nutritious meal.

Costa Rica – 64 years with no army!

Other than Vatican City, Andorra, Lichtenstein, and Monaco, Costa Rica and Panama are the only countries that are not islands that have no military.

On December 1st, 1948, Costa Rican president José Figueres Ferrer abolished the country’s military. The year after, the legislature and the president ratified amendment 12 to the constitution, permanently abolishing the military. The armed forces’ budget was then redirected to the police force, education, environmental protection and cultural preservation. For 64 years, the country has stood steadfast in keeping their military spending to 0% of their budget, and their gamble on regional stability paid off. Some might say it was supported by the “Pax Americana” – others might say that’s an ironic name given the wars involving the US in neighboring Panama and Nicaragua.

Neighboring Panama got rid of its army in 1990 and confirmed the decision by unanimous vote for constitutional change. They have some quasi military forces remaining.

While Costa Rica does not have a standing military, there are around 10,000 police officers and the civil guard of around 5,000 for a popluation of 4.5 million people. For comparisoin, in the United States, there are around 800,000 police for a population of 400 million.

Meditation for surfers

I just read an article in Scientific American entitled “why is it impossible to stop thinking?” The response, penned by professor Barry Gordon, was that evolutionary biology is to blame: you can’t stop thinking because your primitive ancestors needed to be always alert for threats and opportunities, and that turns out to be pretty good for you, since “As social animals, we must keep track of who’s on top and who’s not and who might help us and who might hurt us.” Yikes! What fun to have a brain in this guy’s world.

It’s also possible the person asking the question can’t stop thinking because they haven’t practiced mediation. If you want to stop thinking ( maybe because you are tired of performing Dr Gordon’s threat/dominance assessments of all the people around you! ) simply sit quietly and observe your breath. If you have a thought arise other than observation of your breath, let it occur and pass. Don’t worry about having the thought, just try to avoid responding to it with another thought, and if you do, bring your attention back to your breath. Eventually you will find your thoughts are less frequent and your concentration on your breath is more perfect. Once you have mastered focusing your mind on your breath, you can begin to stop thinking about your breath and let your mind be silent.

This simple technique of breath mediation is a great way to pass the time while you are surfing and gazing out onto the horizon looking for a wave. I like to substitute concentrating on feeling gratitude for the ocean and being able to be in it for concentrating on my breath sometimes. I find this to be a good way to prepare for an excellent wave.

Jaco Weather – surprise rainstorm

Today in Jaco weather we have a surprise rainstorm. It is November 27th, almost high season, and by this time of year, we usually have an occasional intense hour or two long storm around dusk one to four times a week, but right now – at 4 in the afternoon – it’s been raining pretty hard for a couple hours. So if you come in late November, you can still experience the tail end of our impressive rains, but we had a lovely morning and its been nice and cool, around 76 degrees F. The last two days it was sunny all day and started to get pretty hot. Normally around this time of year, it starts to get pretty hot downtown, although its always fairly comfortable a mile away in the jungle at the base of the mountain.
We have an extensive discussion of weather and climate in Jaco Costa Rica on our site here.

New Yoga Class Schedule

Our resident expert instructor Alejandra is now offering Yoga classes in our treetop studio five days a week in low season. High season classes will be offered twice daily. Currently, classes are offered from 9 to 10:30 am Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and from 6 to 7:30 Tuesday and Thursday. Classes are free for hotel guests. Please let us know in advance if you plan to attend. Classes are open to the community also. Fees are $10 per class for community members. Contact us for group discounts and long term plans, or bring a friend and get a discount and enjoy yoga classes for $8 each. For more information, check out our Costa Rica Yoga retreat page.

Surf tip – be here now!

Surfing offers a great opportunity to live in the moment, to be here now. When you are paddling as hard as you can to get outside that third big set wave and avoid getting caught inside, you are probably not anywhere but where you are, and not anywhen but now. When you are taking off on a steep drop, you probably don’t need to tell yourself not to think about your past mistakes or your future worries. But sometimes, when the pressure is not on, you might find your mind wandering into a recent or distant past or future. I think you will find its better to keep your mind with you, where you actually are, in the now.

For example, today I was getting ready to take off on a wave and it looked like it might be my first nice long ride of the day. Someone was paddling out from inside me, and while they should have paddled around to my left, toward the curl, they paddled toward the right, toward the green water where I wanted to take off. I was pretty sure the guy was experienced enough to know better too. And that is what I was thinking a split second after I was unable to take off. I was thinking about blaming and judging someone else over something that wasn’t even happening. It was in the past, and I should have left it there.

If I had, and if I had allowed my mind to remain in the present, I would have had the sense to check behind me, paddle another two yards out, and catch an even better wave. But instead I allowed my attachment to the first wave and my tendency to judge and blame to dominate my experience. It only took being a second away from now to miss that wave. Now is a very short time, but we have it forever if we are always here now.

I am here now, writing about something in the past, but I am writing now, so I think that is ok. And maybe the next time I miss I wave, I will miss the wave while I am missing the wave and when the wave is gone, I will remain, now, aware, and ready for the next wave.

Life is a series of waves. There are plenty for everyone. Forget about about the wave you just missed, and don’t worry about the wave you might get. Concentrate on the wave that is here now. Be here now with your wave!

Surf tip – what to do when you are caught inside

Many of our guests at Jaco hotel DoceLunas come to Jaco in part to learn to surf, so we like to provide some surfing tips to help www.docelunas.com.ebozavr.com you get started. Beginning surfers may face the challenging situation of being “caught inside” a set wave with a longboard. By “caught inside” we mean being in between the whitewater of the broken wave and the beach. A little whitewater is easy to handle, but a big wall of whitewater can be pretty intimidating and even potentially dangerous. The approach you take to handling this situation depends on the size of the wave, your experience, and your upper body strength.

For a small wall of whitewater where you can touch bottom, you may simply hold the board near the nose to one side of your body and slightly to the beach side so it doesnt get pushed onto and beat you up. If you are a little more confident, you might be able to simply lie on the board and let the whitewater wash over you. When the whitewater is a little more powerful, this can be tricky.

The “turtle roll” is a common technique for negotiating whitewater. Turn your back to the wave (but look over your shoulder and keep an eye on it), hold the board with both hands on either side of the nose with your body closer to the whitewater and the board closer to the beach, and as the wave reaches you, allow yourself to sink below the water and pull down on the nose. The board will flap in the whitewater around the pivot of your hands on the nose and allow the wave to pass under.

After you get a little more used to the board, you might be surprised to find that instead of turtle rolling, you can simply sit or lie on top of the board facing into the whitewater. By scooting up the board a little if you are sitting, or pushing down the nose you can miminize the amount of force the wave can put to surf the board towards the beach and hold your position. If you are really feeling confident, you can even push one side of the board down a little and knife the board into the water, leveling it out and pressing the nose down. You cant really duck dive a longboard, but if you get the nose underwater and put all your weight on it, you may be surprised how well you can hold your position, and you are still on top of the board ready to paddle.

If the whitewater is really big and you know it will knock the board out of your hands, you can flip the board around so the tail is closest to you and the nose is pointing toward the beach and grab the rail saver strap where the leash attaches to the board. Take care not to get your hand pinched and pull down on the tail to prevent the nose from getting pressed into the water and firing the board back at you. Flex your arms so that they are bent and the board is close to your chest and prepare to let your arms extend to absorb the shock of the whitewater impact. The whitewater will drag you and the board toward the beach, but you will still be holding the railsaver strap, so you can get quickly to the surface.

Only if you can not manage any other option, you can “tether” the board, that is just let it go and hope the leash does not break. If you do this, you risk severly injuring anyone withing about 20 feet to the beach side of you because you have around 10 feet of board and 10 feet of leash. Make sure no one is behind you! If someone is behind you, tethering is not an option. You don’t want to hurt someone, so just grab that strap or hold the nose tight and hope for the best.

You will find that if you stay on top the board and try to duck dive instead of turtle rolling or hold the strap instead of tethering, you will get back to the surface much faster and you will be able to get outside the impact zone where you want to be much quicker. Give it a try. Good luck, and have a happy and safe surfing experience!

Surf tip – paddle downhill to the lineup

Paddling downhilll is a powerful concept to help you get out to www.docelunas.com.ebozavr.com the lineup faster and easier.

Surfing near Jaco hotel DoceLunas on Jaco beach, its pretty easy to get out into the lineup. The waves break fairly close to the shore so the paddle out is not a super big deal, although when they are at maximum size and walling out its definitely not a project for beginners. On some beaches, such as Esterillos Centro and Este to the south and Playa Bejuco south of them, the paddle out can be pretty epic. Beginning longboarders may find it easiest to turtle roll and conserve energy at first, but will eventually need to learn to take the hits on top of the board and keep paddling. We will talk about how to avoid losing ground while getting clobbered by whitewater another day. Today we are going to talk about an idea I just came up with last week – paddling downhill.

What do I mean by paddling downhill? Well, when you paddle out you may have to paddle up the face of green waves or may be able to punch through a little fading or incipient whitewater at the top of a wave. Then the wave passed under you and you go down the back face of the wave. If the wave is pretty steep when you paddle up the face, you can be paddling almost straight up. When you hit the top of the wave, you are in motionless spot with regard to gravity momentarily – no upward momentum or downward momentum, and then you begin to fall, sliding down the back face of the wave.

But unless you really work at it, you won’t harvest the downhill portion of your paddle to the lineup. Why? Because you were paddling straight up the face of the wave toward the sky almost. At the same point when you are at the top of your trip, lifted by the wave, and have the opportunity to charge down the backside of the wave to speed your trip to the lineup, you have almost no forward momentum – its all upward momentum that then turns into down instead of out.

To harness the potential energy of your elevated position in the wave, you need to create new forward momentum as soon as you crest the wave. Use a forward body position to bring the board into trim down the wave and take short strokes to accelerate. You will find yourself getting moving much faster if you establish this rhythm: longer strokes up the face of the wave followed by a quick flurry of short accelerating strokes down the back to re-create momentum when you that brief chance to paddle downhill. When the wave backs are three feet or so, you can really feel the difference. Give it a try!