I wasn’t actually in Nosara for the next story, which has a number of authors and even more versions, but it was a great adventure that involved the aforementioned Chet Estep, a professor at a small Pennsylvania college.
Martha and Chet had a houseful of guests, some of whom wanted to go fishing, and Chet engaged a Pelada man known to history only as Pablo and the five men took off for a day of fishing in an open boat with an outboard motor. They were very successful and it was time to head home but Pablo could not start the motor and they had no oars. Night was approaching, they had neither food nor water, the sea was growing rougher, it was cold and they were drifting ever further out and in deep trouble.
Meanwhile, the whole community was scanning the horizon from the hotel, seeing nothing, growing ever more fearful and without a clue as to how to help. At that point, Gene Talboy, always inventive, said “I’m calling the American Embassy,” and he did and he reached a Colonel on weekend duty who was prepared to help. As I heard the story, there being no coast guard vessels in the area, this Colonel contacted Panama, and a search plane was sent out and it located the little boat and a nearby merchant vessel was alerted and the next day, after difficult moments in a heavy sea, the fishing party was rescued and brought to Puntarenas, from whence they boarded a bus for Nicoya where they were picked up by John Fraser and returned to their families in Nosara.
The most intriguing part of this legend is what Chet Estep was thinking as he waited for a rescue that might never be. He felt that if he survived there was a divine reason and he pledged that if it happened he would commit to raising the funds needed to complete the Catholic church then under construction in Nosara. Chet was as good as his pledge, gave money over several years and recruited others, gringo and tico, to join the effort. The church was completed and served the community well until destroyed by the great earthquake of a few years ago.