Once upon a time, Puerto Viejo de Limon, Costa Rica, was a haven for pirates, who retraced Christopher Columbus' voyage and footsteps upon discovery of the strikingly unspoiled Caribbean coastline and the bounty of natural riches held by the fertile land a few steps from the sand. To this day, the stretch of coast from the southern tip of Costa Rica with its border to Panama to the old port of Limon has drawn treasure hunters and adventure seekers alike, who delight in the region's lion's share of natural booty.
The Point's Pirate Barge, before the launch — Photo courtesy of The Point Sports Bar & Grill
At The Point Sports Bar & Grill on the outskirts of town, the vibe is jolly and laid back, even on big game nights, which during football season means a lot to some folks. Now, visitors to The Point may dare to make their way out to the freshly minted pirate-themed barge that floats just off the coast of Playa Negra ("Black Beach") - in view of the beachfront seats on the The Point's patio - where there's a plank to be walked and a bar decorated with old silver coins to belly up to.
Officially named "Pirate's Point: The Barge in Charge," this floating drinking vessel is the brain child of Popeye O'Brien, the American ex-pat who owns The Point. With some help, Popeye constructed the barge himself, and painted it a decidedly pirate-like black with red trim.
On a recent weekend in Puerto Viejo de Limon, a large back-hoe and a small army of pirate friends assembled on the sand of Playa Negra for a ceremonious launching of the Barge in Charge. A mixed crowd of tourists, locals and regular bar patrons were in attendance, and before the barge was actually launched, many rounds of beer were consumed, a movie was made (See it on YouTube.) and, finally, the barge was afloat.
These days, the Barge can be spotted just about 50 feet offshore - almost close enough to swim to, and easily reachable by boat. But for those who prefer to keep their sea legs about them and imbibe on dry land, The Point Sports Bar & Grill offers a weekly roster of events to keep things exciting, such as Texas Hold Em' on select nights, a weekly movie night, drink specials and live music. Sports are always playing on their seven television screens.
Find The Point Sports Bar and Grill on the north edge of town, on Puerto Viejo's Black Beach.