When we were Sailing down the coast of Costa Rica, we worried because we had heard that boats anchored in Gulfito were being robbed in a most alarming manner. The story was a band of robbers were sneaking onto the anchored cruising boat at night while the crew slept and poured chloroform down the hatch. The crew, usually a family, was then unconscious while the boat was stripped. We heard this story from many other boats heading north as we headed south. But the more we heard, the more these stories sounded the same. When we asked where someone had heard the story, all the stories originated from the same person. When we arrived in Gulfito, anchored on the other side of the bay in Playa Naranja, we found that the story, unsurprisingly, was fiction, made up by one individual. Boats were as safe at anchor there as anywhere else in the country.
Isolated as we are, it is difficult to separate fact from fiction. Even stories from our elected officials are suspect. Social media may advertise a new cure or prevention. E-mails may proclaim a false story or a threat. Take a moment. Breathe. Then seek out the source of this new information and evaluate if it is true. Don’t trust a story just because we know the person who told it. We knew all those who told us of the dangers of Gulfito. Seek the facts and judge for yourself.