San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Coco Capsule

Sometime in September, on a sunny afternoon, Richard Hook was promoting the idea of raising the half-sunken hulk that had been a years-long eyesore 100 yards off OcotalBeach. His idea was to transform the 75-foot-long hull by building a superstructure of two decks, a taller structure at the rear and three masts flying the skull and crossbones. In short, Richard Hook hoped to transform himself into Capt. Hook and change the scarred hull into a pirate ship, not raiding the islands of the Caribbean, but rather pleasuring the tourists of Guanacaste’s Pacific coast.

After months of work, that dream took a major step forward when the ship, now christened the Perla Negra, was dragged off the beach into the bay on April 16. In front of hundreds of onlookers, the ship floated, the sails ran up the masts, and the motor propelled the galleon-like vessel farther and farther out while Imperial beers were raised and applause rang out. Capt. Hook responded with a four-gun cannon salute and proceeded onward.

Now undergoing sea trials, the Perla Negra will be outfitted and furnished to accommodate guests and travel the Gold Coast. You can expect more news about this venture in the weeks to come.

Pacifico Beach Club has introduced a water gym, with Susana Sevilla leading water aerobics Wednesdays and Fridays at 8:30 a.m. Classes are held rain or shine and cost $5 per session. For more information, e-mail

–Kent Carthey

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