South Bound

Vessel Name: Hoku Kea
About: Capitan + random friends
Home Page: www.gonzocaptain.com
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15 March 2013 | Surf Blog
12 March 2013 | Lating America
04 March 2013 | Latin Countries
25 February 2012 | Central America
25 February 2012 | SJDS, Nicaragua
16 December 2011 | San Juan del Sur
23 September 2011 | El Salvador
Recent Blog Posts
15 March 2013 | Surf Blog

Asenne Surf and Gonzo

http://www.asennesurf.com/journal/asenne-presents-the-gonzo-captain-2277

12 March 2013 | Lating America

Funding of the book has started

Be part of the acknowledged pledgers!!!!!!!

04 March 2013 | Latin Countries

A book: "Gonzo Captain" Coming Out

Gonzo Captain

13 June 2012 | Panama

Sailing Backwards and Bending Over Before The Universe

5/1/12 – 6/1/12: Sailing Backwards and Bending Over Before The Universe: In these days it was hard to find a potato chip bag on my boat, but as my buddies from L.A. had been on it for a while this empty Lay’s bag was flying in the air peacefully in the cockpit at the cabin door while the vicious [...]

16 May 2012 | Panama

Perlas Decadence, The City and Darien Desolation

4/1/02 – 5/1/02: Perlas Cruising: The rocky and shallow waters of Perlas with 22 ft. tides makes it interesting navigationally. Only the tide creates a strong current (up to 3 knots) to different directions so an anticipation of direction and currents come in handy. Different rocks jump up from the [...]

25 February 2012 | Central America

Leaving Nicaragua with 1000 Ants and 24 Bottles of Rum

2/1/12 - 3/1/12: Last Nica Times and New Paradises: Last minute preparations were deck maintenance, varnish work and leather couches. Meanwhile my guys were doing this I and Jani toured Ometepe, Granada, Managua and Matagalpa. From the many things we did worth mentioning quickly here was a rock climbing [...]

Asenne Surf and Gonzo

15 March 2013 | Surf Blog
Asenne
http://www.asennesurf.com/journal/asenne-presents-the-gonzo-captain-2277

Also, http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/856071738/gonzo-captain?ref=live

Funding of the book has started

12 March 2013 | Lating America
Capitan
Be part of the acknowledged pledgers!!!!!!!
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/856071738/gonzo-captain

A book: "Gonzo Captain" Coming Out

04 March 2013 | Latin Countries
Capitan
Gonzo Captain

I have been busy writing a complete book about the adventures. I is a fiction novel based on facts with much more insights in the last two years, a faced paced mind-blowing adventure book.

Please support the project in http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/856071738/gonzo-captain?ref=live
Also, the following contacts work well to keep updated on Captain's moves.
http://www.facebook.com/hoku.kea.5
twitter @gonzocaptain

I have taken most of the blogs down for the reason that now the story is way better and coming out soon.

Sailing Backwards and Bending Over Before The Universe

13 June 2012 | Panama
Capitan
5/1/12 – 6/1/12: Sailing Backwards and Bending Over Before The Universe: In these days it was hard to find a potato chip bag on my boat, but as my buddies from L.A. had been on it for a while this empty Lay’s bag was flying in the air peacefully in the cockpit at the cabin door while the vicious thunderstorm was hauling over us with repeated lightning strikes all around and as 35 knot wind was tipping the overpowered sail configuration over. One guy with slightly white-trashed sunglasses was desperately lifting the mainsail at the mast with clearly entangled cables hanging out from the winch chamber. The other guy looking also at me was tightening the mainsail with a diving boot entangled around the winch underneath the rope next to the flying potato chip bag. I was cracking up at the helm so loud that I could not talk at all.

Well, going a little backwards, we continued the Darien river trip with the hostel crew after the log fest. After we pulled back from Rio Tuira due to logs we entered Rio Sabana and made it to an indigenous village all the way in the end. The difference between the rivers was like night and day. Sabana had clear and deep waters, lots of width and I and New Caledonian older dude had our special plan to gain the respect of Indians and take something valuable to the oldest village guys. I had digged out some brand new fishing hooks and he got some Polynesian t-shirt to give away.
The two oldest guys half smaller than me were showing around the places and telling the history of the tribe how they had to move down from the mountains for food to the river and that fishing was keeping them alive. They were very friendly and offered to organize a traditional dinner with all the costumes and rain dances. Unfortunately the tide did not allow us to stay that deep up the river and both of the boat’s (Ira’s and mine) had some outboard issues limiting the range to go back up.
We timed the exit from the river again with the tides. This happened to be 3am so it was slightly tricky with dozens of fishing pangas everywhere with barely no lights. The two thunderstorms early in the morning hours did not bother us too much. I was able to avoid them based on the radar information. We spent another night at the Perlas and returned happy and tired with new stories to celebrate a bit of the trip.

I started preparing the next surf and dive trip to West Panama toward Costa Rica with couple of L.A. friends coming over in a few days. We had coordinates to surf spots and diving spots and some local guidance from friends working in dive and surf centers. The boat seemed to be solid after some regular maintenance on bunch of little things and wires and organizing everything more seaworthy for going around Punta Mala (a notoriously windy point with 5 knot currents).
We took off with the friends in the morning as tides and currents were more favorable, but right after the diesel run the motors shut down and we started sailing slowly right in front of Panama City. It took me a little while to figure out that filters were clogged up and there was no good diesel left in the tank. I called my Hungarian mechanic friend to speed up any additional issues; immediate answer in the phone with strong eastern European accent “I’m already packing up my tools” So we sailed back, anchored, after airing the systems changing some more filters we finally got the thing running and took off. The wind had built up to straight at nose 16 knots and raised a uncomfortable waves with current going the other way. We were not making much progress and decided to pull in around a long sand bar called Punta Chame for the night. One of the guys went surfing even I warned him about strong currents in this area. In 10 minutes he came back barely making it back to the boat due to the currents.
We continued to Punta Mala, the weather was nicer, hot and sunny and the wind was against us of course. After the sunset we got around the Punta Mala in a light wind. Then I took a rest and let the guys navigate to Playa Venao to get some sleep again. The boys excited to open the rum reserve on the way and I woke up in a concerned voice; “We passed the anchorage already, I don’t know where we are” Turned out that the island did pass us from a good distance and that all was great, but due to the rum trick the guys forgot to follow up the course and forgot where we were going. After a real loud arrival and all the sailing lines attached to wrong places and with seriously random knots and couple of small items missing from the deck we slept well and continued toward Santa Catalina.
My plan had been to do a straight shot 180 miles in 30 hours by using the currents and motor sailing. So far we had spent 48 hours and still had almost 100 miles to go. Currents and winds were constantly against us. We checked about 8 surf breaks on the way to Santa Catalina island, but there was not much happening. We had fun on the boat though. Mujero ( one of the guys new nick name) had succeeded to clog up the shitter with standard toilet paper ( big no no on boats ) and Mikko had taken an emergency dump on top of the other shit. So now we had the full load in there plus all the hoses full of the same stuff. Afraid of screwing things up even worse by opening the hoses and filled up all bilge and floors with the same shit we had postponed the project for couple of days. It did not get any better, the smell started to bother us and we constantly had to find creative ways to take our dumps every day.
After a really rainy thunder night 60 miles far away we finally got to surf neighborhood and launched boards at Punta Brava. The current was very strong again, but it felt doable with a board. That was almost doable; after 20 minutes constant battling against the current I was too tired to paddle in to a 8 ft. wave and decided to head back to the boat. 100 yards away the current got even stronger so I started to think options. After giving it another 10 minute shot paddling as hard as I could it seemed impossible to get back to the boat. I was yelling 200 yards backward of the boat to Mujero to through the dinghy rope over board. It did work out as the dinghy was coming real fast toward me and I got to hop on and get back.
The next surf break was the main one at the island. It was a nice wave but overcrowded as the land people had access to it. We found some neighboring surf breaks that didn’t have any crowds and dinghy was a perfect way to move along the nearby coast. The town was populated by some semi-annoying gringos who had built their houses for the surf and tranquility of the distant third world village. Other than that the atmosphere was very laid back, amazingly green and beautiful, full of wild life including sea snakes, jungle snakes, spiders and monkeys. At the surf lineup we had a teenage sea turtle hanging out with us.
After surfing couple of days we decided to head back to Panama as the flight schedule of the buddies was not forgiving.
In very light wind after 5 minutes of getting the anchor up the engine died. The filters were clogged up again and changing those got some air in the system. I made the decision to keep sailing toward Panama City where as the other option would have been to anchor and start fixing stuff without moving. So about an hour later changing filters and bleeding the system starter motor slowed down and started making a grinding sound. Shorting the system didn’t help and then the solenoid died. Also there was a fairly strong looking thunderstorm that seemed to head directly on us. We were between a large island and the main land in shallow waters where navigation was needed. Also after loosing the engine power and having already an emergency jibe in place after ripping my genoa and storm jibe in Costa Rica I new that loosing this sail would mean anchoring in strong currents in narrow channels with bunch of rocks on the coast and bottom with no access to any parts or mechanical tools.
The thunderstorm was travelling so quick that our light wind and low speed kept us just backside of the micro disturbance. But then we saw this massive thunderstorm in the horizon that filled up half of the sky and was coming over very quick. I started telling my guys this is that will happen and need to happen right now. It took them about 30 minutes to get their harnesses on. It was not a good sign. Right at that moment 25 knot wind raised up in couple of seconds, we still had the second reef on, needed the third. The autopilot was out of the game. Things needed to happen quickly. I gave the helm to Mujero while running to the mast dropped the reef. Mujeros first time helm experience was not very good help. We nearly got sideways to the gust with totally screwed sail configuration; the main sail was loose the both ways; topping lift and reefing flapping like crazy, at the same time the jibe was too tight. Yelling as loud as I could ( videos will follow ) “nyt lahtee” (=now hell breaks loose) and “lukko” (=lock ) repeatedly. Nobody had time to tie the harnesses. I was running straight from the mast to the helm with giant leaps while the boat had nearly 40 degree tilt just in time to save the front sail. I told the guys to tighten the mains topping lift, reefing and the sail itself at the same time when loosening the jibe and turning the boat back close to the wind eye.
Now you guys can read the first chapter again to get the chronological order right.
So I was just laughing away and as the water was pouring so hard from the sky that the cockpit floor panels were floating around I decided to pour a small rum and coke for myself. The guys started laughing as well.
After we had sailed through the storm the wind died right at the sunset. We were still able to float around one knot toward a point of a big island on starboard side at the river mouth hoping that the tide current out from a river system would take us out from there. We did get out after few hours and the first 5 hours were able to sail a bit and sometimes even more up to 6 knots. My nightshift started around midnight when the wind had died and we were sailing the aft to the direction we were going. As the rudder did little in less than 1.5 knot speeds including the current the guys had figured out that since the boat was moving backwards faster with sails totally screwed then they were happy to make this 1 to 1.5 knots backwards.
The next 72 hours was mostly floating around sometimes backwards sometimes forwards with sails all over the place. There was no way to make it to an anchorage without wind. Also the time pressure to make it to the flights among the others that the rum, food and water was low. The slowest 24 hour time period over the 12 years of sailing this boat was the second day; making 10 miles forward and probably 25 miles including sailing backwards.
At this point the shitting situation started to get hot and smelly. We decided to execute a sting operation in to the toilet so that each one had our own task to be able to breath outside after doing each one a dedicated thing. It was a great success. Cleared out toilet where we all needed to get immediately. Mujero felt so bad of his shitpaper clog up that he ended up cleaning and painting the whole thing like new. My toilet has never smelt better, it was like flowers and nature’s best combined.
Also as we didn’t have anything to do we started creating creative ways to crank up the motor. One great idea was to use an impact drill to crank it directly from crankshaft bolt. Another one was to fix the starter motor, but finally when we had it taken off and in pieces the best idea seemed to be to pour it full of rum, slap it back together and hope the best. So we gave up.
In the last night of these three we were all tired, there was absolutely no wind so we decided to take the sails down and sleep 3 miles off the coast drifting backwards 1.5 knots toward also the coast and breaking waves. Every 15 to 30 minutes somebody got paranoid that ‘NOW IT IS PICKING UP’ and woke up everybody to raise the sails and 5 minutes later take them down again and get some more sleep. Finally somewhere around 3am a slight tiny little wind started blowing and also a weird crazy strong current started to push us directly in to a lighthouse point with rocks at 3 knots. I had to wake up a few times out of my shift to tell the guys it is all good cause the currents don’t go against the land like that so in 4 hours we made it around this rocky point very close and picked up good morning breeze to travel 6 knots toward Playa Venao to anchor and leave the boat and get the guys to their planes with a 6 hour taxi ride. There was some last moment panics when the wind died and came back again, but we made it to the anchorage and got the taxi and even made it to celebrate the 9 day trip to Panama City. The guys missed the famous 17 dollar haircut, but made it to their flights where as I had the starter motor with me and was about to get it fixed and return to take the boat back from 140 miles away from the City.

Perlas Decadence, The City and Darien Desolation

16 May 2012 | Panama
Capitan
4/1/02 – 5/1/02: Perlas Cruising: The rocky and shallow waters of Perlas with 22 ft. tides makes it interesting navigationally. Only the tide creates a strong current (up to 3 knots) to different directions so an anticipation of direction and currents come in handy. Different rocks jump up from the water every six hours and anchoring becomes also a bit more of a calculation of depth, tides and chain.
Juho arrived excited about the planned trip to Perlas with two boats, mine and Ira’s, a Captain who I got to know in Nicaragua on the dry dock. We had planned to meet them the next day around 4pm at one of the 70 islands, Contadora, an only island where cell phones actually worked.
I had been amazingly sick for few days, out of energy and not knowing what’s up, but after digging in to boat’s antibiotic supplies and realizing it may be stomach originated I got much better in two days.
We met them and after cocktail hour we had a loose plan laid out; “let’s float around these islands and go where ever”.
We stopped in many beautiful islands and beaches from which the highlight may have been David’s Island. He had a particular liking on this small island that was not marked as an anchorage in the guides, but it had an atoll like figure from rock and a beach in the middle. We decided to have a bonfire at the sunset. A lot of times we also had jamming sessions with guitars, harmonicas and some more extraordinary keyboards with blow function. Other nights we had some Texas Hold’em tournament or some sightseeing around the islands with the dinghy.
On the daytime we were racing to the next destination. Even the other boat had more potential in theory having a longer waterline (Hardin 45) our Cheoy Lee 38 still was able to beat them slightly. With the diving: the water was not quite as clear as I was wishing, but Juho was excited.
It happened to be Semana Santa (eastern week), the biggest holiday week in latin countries so whenever we pulled in to a run down African American villages there was a circus going on; strange rhythms blasting at ear breaking levels, everybody was dressed up with colorful mix of some sort of anglo-afro-islander style including tiny little kids. Everybody older than 15 were drunk or semi-passed-out already at noonish. People dirty-dancing on the streets and small military patrols with machine guns raiding the local bars for people under aged or young 18 year old mothers who decided to bring their babys in a bar scene.
At Spiritus Santos we had a funny incident when Juho decided to go to sleep early and I was watching a movie at the other boat with the other guys. We heard from VHF at some point; “mayday mayday mayday” with a monotonic and rather calm voice. We decided to keep watching the movie as it couldn’t have been possible that real mayday could ever be verbalized with such a calm voice. We also got this radio silence that half an hour later got me returning to see my boat. It turned out to be 45 degree angle half on the beach and Juho was sitting there looking semi depressed. The radio had slipped to another channel and thus we lost the connection. Neither did he know what to do. I was amused and explained that the tide will be back on in half an hour. What had happened was that even the depth was fine where I anchored the current had flipped and moved us above a more shallow sandbar.

Panama Living: Panama was a strange city. It seemed to have a lot, but it was hard to find anything. There was no addresses. Everything was “close to that store and between there and here on the other side of something else”. Also the selection was limited e.g. the city did not have a propeller for Johnson outboard.
The cruisers had two anchorage areas right at the canal at a place called Amador. It was the beginning manmade jetty for the canal that had the most strangest histories. Some US president had given a command to dig inside a rock island in the end of the jetty a massive bomb proof cave where some secret documents were placed in late 40s or something. Also Nortega’s colorful life reflected a few monuments in the area. The canal administration did not have respect to ordinary cruisers as they are not bringing those millions in that they are after. The both sides of the anchorages did not have any more working showers, the other side had no water and the dinghy landing was a strange and most inconvenient installation of a floating dock and tiny plastic boat with two lines to cross over to the main dock. Despite of all these inconveniences this was the main cruising meeting point in Latin America and one of the biggest in the whole world so the colorful people and sharing of information was very interesting. Also the skyline of the city and beautiful Amador and nightlife of Casco Viejo compensated a lot of the above.

A Trip to Unknown: After my visitor had left I met a Hungarian sailor who turned out to be one of the characters hard to ever forget. He had sailed 36 thousand miles over the last eight years and only the last trip made was 12 thousand. He had spent a winter in Patagonia and also had tried to make a straight shot from Panama to Antartica. The latter trip got a drastic interruption when a fishing line snapped and sent the connection piece in the end directly in to his iris and ripped it half off. As he was 2000 miles southwest of Easter Island at this point, he sailed the next 3600 miles half blind just to try to find a doctor who can fix his eye.

As a backpacker charter veteran it was his idea how to collect a crew for our next trip to
go up the rivers of Darien Province. There are about 15 rivers of which the biggest goes 80 miles in the middle of Panama close by Columbian border. The area does not have any roads and indigenous people still live in the traditional way up there. It is also smugglers paradise as the jungle and the rivers give many places to hide right at the border. Till today Interamerican Highway’s ( Alaska to Patagonia ) only stretch that has been missing for decades is this stretch. One major reason has been that e.g. Lonely Planet was still quoting few years ago about this area: “low-intensity war zone where the paramilitaries and rebels move in big groups armed with rocket launchers, flamethrowers and machine guns”.

We took a taxi and went through couple of most popular hostels in town two days before take off leaving a note “sailing trip to darien, volunteer work needed” – in next 24 hours we round up our crew: 50+ years old New Caledonian sailor, Austrian backpacker, Dutch backpacker and Slovakian immigrant.

We stopped at Perlas to sleep over and continued the total of 75 mile trip to the river mouth next day. We had to time the entrance right due to the tides. The currents were extreme (up to 13 knots in some areas and times) and the approach on a lowering tide would be impossible. We made it perfectly sailing 9.5 knots in a light wind literally flying in with the tide and anchored close to a protected island after the first 5 rivers separating to the north just before the current was turning. The plan was to try to get to Yakiza, an old indian village up at the mountains. Everyday we had 6 hours to get up the river as the current would then change. In the dark it was slightly dangerous due to drift wood and fishing nets and may be some pirates so we decided to sleep the nights with the other boat and just do the 6 hours when the tide was right. In couple of days we got up the river Tuira about 23 miles away from Yakiza and decided to drop the hook at a little turn with a pretty cool island right at the s curve.
I had the New Caledonian and Austrian guy on the boat. They seemed to enjoy a lot of the ride, but also a lot of the rum. Francis was amazing chef and Stefan was trying to be one first time in his life. The both were fun and reliable. We did a little excursion in the jungle at the river turn taking the dinghy over to the shore. We found a little path and thought that may be there is a indian village. After about 1 mile walking, the jungle getting shadier and the monkeys getting louder and the mosquitos getting violent, Francis started panicking with his broken Spanish that he had left the dry beans cooking on the stove and maybe the water was running out and that it is possible that the boat will burn down. So I sent Francis and Daniel over back to the boat to take the dinghy with my 3.3 horse power outboard that happened to have a carborator problem so it really needed special moves to have it running.
I and Stefan continued until we decided that this road is going far away and there is no village close by. At the point when we returned to the shore, there was a situation going on. The two could not have started the motor, the current had taken off pretty strong and they ended up barely to Ira’s boat behind mine. Francis waking them up from their day dreams panicking about burning beans and motor problems and Ira having to fight with motor to get Francis back against the stream, motor shutting down every 20 seconds was an amusing scenery.
After all was good and the beans and the boat were saved everybody else but me went to sleep. Just when I was watching three different types of ants running around my I turned my head at an incredible scenery. The upper river that was continuing a mile up clean and smooth now seemed to be discontinuing. In moment I realized that the brown mass all across the river had created this illusion and that the brown mass was actually massive amount of drift wood (hundreds of tons) heading at an accelerating speed toward our boats with the current.
While thinking my options and getting my VHF radio to wake the other guys up on the other boat the first big tree had hit my anchor chain and popped up the anchor the boat heading straight at the other boat with the stream. While cranking up my engine I coughed up in the radio something like “I think my anchor is slipping” while turning RPMs high up and realizing that the solar panels on the back were about 3 feet away hitting the other boat. Ira ran out and they were pushing as the boat slowly slowed down leaving about an inch between the two and then squared away.
I decided not to go with the logs in order to avoid drive shaft or prop damages and try to stay where we are. I anchored on the backside of Papagayo little off sideways. In no time we got an island of logs stuck on the chain in front of the boat.
After looking at the log stream it was clear that another anchorage would be better as majority of them lined up on the outmost curve and straight at us. So I tried to get the anchor up, it was so stuck that it made me believe that there was a massive piece of wood on the bottom and that the chain did not even go all the way down but hanging of this piece of wood. Diving it free came in mind, but these crocodile infested waters with zero visibility and logs drifting at you at 5 knots did not sound too safe. It was also questionable whether to see and have strength so much that you could actually move the log.
Well we went to sleep. In the night the current had switched once again to a log fest and once I woke up in a silence instead of a constant crashes of heavy logs I knew that we were drifting again. The stuck anchor had freed itself with aid of hundreds of tons of wood stuck on the chain. The situation looked rather scary; we were drifting at 5 knots in the middle of giant drift wood and I had no idea where or if we were about to hit something. I radioed the other boat the status and they responded promptly that they thought we were pirates because we were totally in different location than earlier behind and island. After realizing that there was little to do, other than hope the best, I told the crew to go to get some rest and we would then deal with it in the morning.
The crew looked me like being crazy because they were panicking a bit and thought to do something.
After we woke up at 6am the current was switching again which meant that it was as slow as it could be and we were nicely anchored, just that I did not know where. The first problem to tackle was to get all these hundreds of tons of drift wood off the anchor. We tried everything including lifting the chain – no, going forward, backwards, jumping on this huge islands of 50 ft. times 30 ft. island of wood trying to lift it or push away. Finally backing and then immediately going forward to the current direction worked slowly and we got free. Even the anchor came up that surprised nearly everybody. Before when the anchor was stuck I thought of grinding the chain near to the water with a 110 V big grinder to minimize the lost chain, but now we saved everything.
We heard that the other boat people did not sleep at all pushing the logs away, but it seemed like they got more hits as they did not have the island of logs protecting them as we did.

Leaving Nicaragua with 1000 Ants and 24 Bottles of Rum

25 February 2012 | Central America
Capitan
2/1/12 - 3/1/12: Last Nica Times and New Paradises: Last minute preparations were deck maintenance, varnish work and leather couches. Meanwhile my guys were doing this I and Jani toured Ometepe, Granada, Managua and Matagalpa. From the many things we did worth mentioning quickly here was a rock climbing trip north of Matagalpa without rock climbing. We got a cab along a lousy road as he was willing to drive us and then walked whole bunch on muddy trails. We could not find any of the cliffs the people were talking about. Although we did find some amazing looking cliffs far away from the road in to the mountains. The time ran out and we had to turn back. We found a tiny village and a single one house that had a car at the yard. After inquiring a ride and mentioning a price the half naked Nica daddy with 4 daughters started working on the car so that one of the daughters were underneath the car with him and other one bringing some tools as instructed. Finally after over an hour the car actually started. After a push we got it even on the road. It was 40 years old 1800 Lada ( Russian ). Two of the doors were closed with bunjee cords. The other one was too old so I had to hold it in its place. It seemed like it would fly off anyway. Not a single one of the gauges were working, there were no shocks, seats had no springs no more, tires had no texture and barely any rubber and gasoline tank was next to driver seat in a gallon juice jar with a hose going in where the lid used to be.
The proud daddy got us down from the mountains in his collar shirt and straight pants that he was wearing only to show up at the edge of the town in more civilized way. was telling us how good of the car it had been and it only needed couple of things fixed in order to serve another 40 years. We shared a grin and nodded in a harmony with the hegemony of his dream world.
After saying bye to friends in Matagalpa and returning to San Juan I was burning to get out to sail and toward new adventures in new harbors. The guys had been working hard and motor alignment and all the other stuff seemed ready. After a full day test sail and surfing while anchored and the return turning to a party we realized that everything was working fine.
Rachel came to the town the day before taking off. She had been dreaming about sailing for years and had become nearly, if not so, obsessed by the idea of sailing around different countries and the world. The captain typically had certain qualifications and procedures to take people onboard, especially half randomly, but in this case there was a fifth sense or personality or whatever that was whispering to the Captain; "she will be ok".
We took off around 2pm on Saturday February 11th toward Costa Rica. The last thing was to fix the Genoa. We couldn't do it in the bay due to 35 knot Papagayo winds so on the way out we pulled behind a 70 meter cliff and had Nica guys do their favorite thing; Nica fix = use glue to fix things, in this case the sail. Capitan Flores ( S. Nica Fuerza Naval ) stopped by coming back from a mission at the border sorting out some Costa Rica border issues that had been in the press lately. He cruised around and wished good luck and took off. After we dropped my favorite Nica guys off we headed out with 3rd reef and 1/3 of Genoa. As the fumigation of the living creatures on the boat had been postponed till no time was left I had a minor ant problem. Fortunately not too many cucharachas or geckos. The rum had been loaded as it was 3 times cheaper than further south. I figured it could be good to bribe officials and barter some necessities. Little did I know it was gone sooner than we got too much south of San Juan.
We arrived to Bahia de Salinas at the sunset. The plan was to kitesurf and explore the area. I had my first lessons and really enjoyed. We went for a run and did some internet stuff at the local kite surfing resort. Then took off again to Santa Helena, part of of Santa Rosa national park, biggest in Central America.
At the same time 5 other boats pulled in during the same night. We spent days hiking, running and swimming and nights with other cruisers sharing info. We met some coming from '22 year' world cruises. We had fun and took off again to Bat Islands, the biggest rock monuments on Pacific America. Some dinghy experiences with sea turtles and Hawaiian sling fishing and ranger visit took place in this amazing place. Unfortunately the red tide was going crazy and we could not get scuba diving down at all.
Then we moved over to Olies Point, a famous surf brake and a bay from 'Endless Summer II'. This place was a paradise. We surfed 5 hours a day for 6 days, did yoga and walks and dinghy driving around. We found some dead sharks on the beach, enjoyed the alligator infested waves, estuary and the isolated beach all by ourselves. At this point in time I had to realize that this chick (Rachel) had some balls. Not getting bored or weirded out in this type of atmosphere over a relatively long time and that even she could not sail or surf, she would always be in to it and try hard, always in positive mind. After our muscles were so sore that we could barely do no more other than stretches at the sunset on the beach we decided to take off toward a new paradise.

The back anchor was stuck and the wind was blowing us sideways so we could turn the boat in between the anchors. I was cold and tired and sore from sports so I did everything not to have to dive in. After some pursuing I got Rachel to dive. After watching that for a while I had to dive. It was at 21 ft. deep, visibility was great, but it was nicely jammed and covered by sand. A minute and 8 second dive was enough to get it off.

We decided to pull in to the next bay at Witch's rock to see if there was something fun to do e.g. surf or dive. I vaguely remembered that there was some note about rocks so went through bunch of paper charts and two guides without finding any. We anchored at the sunset and did a sniff around with the dinghy around a beautiful 40 meter cubical rock. In the morning while drinking coffee the boat took a rather violent tilt.
I checked outside and it seemed somewhat surreal out there. There was a crazy swell and 25 knot wind and sort of sharp tooth pick look alike rocks were sticking up from the ocean right the area where we pulled in the night before. I was relieved and horrified at the same time not having hit them at the high tide, but still not having even known about them.

I had to rush to a teleconference to some semi-civilized third world village so we rushed over to Tamarindo. A blue whale during the day and a sketchy night approach in between the reefs in the night kept it entertaining to us. The strange thing was that electronic charts showed us cruising on top of a reef, the paper charts didn't show anything and one of the guidebooks had it all right.
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