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Voyages of S/V NautiMoments
A Sailing Trip to the Caribbean and Other Destinations unknown.
Bahia Santa Elena, Costa Rica
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Bahia Santa Elena
Dec 14, 2012 - On the way down to Bahia Santa Elena, we had about 3 ft waves which increased to about 5ft for the last few miles, we had a great trip down and arrived in the anchorage at 4:30pm. Picture sailing around BC in the Strait of Georgia with the mountains around you and the wave height mentioned previously, it made us feel like we were home. The anchorage is very quiet, you can hear the Parrots talking every evening and morning, we are surrounded by hills and mountains and there are only the 2 of us in here, Gosling and Ourselves. Once we were settled, we started to get gusts of winds, the Papagayos winds, but all was good the anchors held well. These gusts continued until Monday when they seemed to subside. It was just an annoyance rather than anything. Over the next few days we ventured up to the Waterfall, it was about a 1/2 mile hike and at the waterfall there was a pool of water where we swam. If anyone ventures up there make sure you take a swim suit and good walking shoes as you walk a fair way up the creek bed which can be slippery at times. We will post the pics. Yesterday we ventured out around the corner to a white sandy beach which was covered in shells, all kinds of shells. The beach was alive, crabs and sealife moving around on the sand. This was where we managed to get a Claro (WiFi) signal, so we checked the weather and brought in emails. We also did a little tour around the anchorage and saw what we think were barracudas swimming close to shore and spotted rays.
Our friends on Beverly J and Risk Taker joined us in the anchorage last night (Dec 17th) and we all had dinner and cocktails on Beverly J. Risk Taker calls them the mother ship, they are a 48ft Trawler. Today Carole is baking, she has made Rum Cakes in a jar (6 of them) and a Banana Rum Loaf, it will be a great addition to our Christmas festivities.
We are looking forward to our good friends Russ and Doreen joining us for Christmas, they advised us this morning that they are leaving Chiapas bound for Costa Rica, they may have to stop in Nicaragua on the way but they will judge it as they get farther down. We are all planning on spending Christmas at Marina Papagayo at the dock, it will be much easier to do dinner on a dock that dinghying back and forth between boats.

San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
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Dec 10, 2012 - We arrived in San Juan del Sur in the southern part of Nicaragua after a 36 hour trip from Bahia del Sol. The weather window was good for the Papagayos winds so we just kept going rather than stopping in Puesta del Sol in northern Nicaragua. We had a great trip down and did some sailing along the way, unfortunately we motored most of the way. When we left Bahia del Sol we realized we had an issue with the charging system, even though we had all new batteries, after some investigation we found that a switch was not quite right and fixed that. Also, when we went to turn the engine off ready for a sail, we found the button to switch off the battery did not work and while underway we did not want to start working in the engine compartment, so we motored the rest of the way to San Juan del Sur. Once we arrived and the anchor was down we then investigated along with a fellow cruiser and found the emergency shut off on the engine itself, so that is now our backup until we determine the problem with the main button.
Wow, San Juan del Sur is an amazingly beautiful anchorage and a great little town. Check in went smoothly and cost us $45 for immigration, nothing for the Port Captain. It is a surfer town and lots of expats live there. We spent the next few days walking around town, visiting the market and testing out who had the best Mojito in town. The Lone star had the best one! We think that this town is the best kept secret around, we met a fellow from the states who visits often and he said he downplays the place to his friends as he wants the town to stay as it is. It was Fran's birthday and she had chosen a restaurant called Culibri, this was the best meal by far. All of us thoroughly enjoyed the meal, it was not heavy and everything was cooked to perfection. Great place, great people.
Dec 13, 2012 - We took a trip into Grenada, I had a picture in hand of a bench that Penny & Craig (sister) had seen and she wanted me to look for it. Penny, unfortunately, we never did find the bench. Nicaragua is a very pleasant surprise, originally we had not planned on visiting here but we are glad we did. On the way to Grenada, we saw several Ox & Carts being used on the farms, horse & carts and ATV's & carts, mostly the first 2 though. There is a lot of farming in Nicaragua, we saw Sugar Cane, Corn, Mango trees, Teak trees, papayas, plantain & banana fields, we are also told they grow Pineapple. The landscape is clean and tidy, the fields sectioned and the homes well taken care off. They obviously have a lot of pride in their properties. They are not fancy but well taken care of. Along the Pan American highway we saw several Wind turbines and 2 or 3 volcanoes. Once in Grenada, we walked around the city, visited a museum and enjoyed the market in the square. The whole trip cost us $90 total for all 4 of us. The driver even stopped at a grocery store for us on the way home and we stopped by the side of the road and bought fresh watermelon. Carole is not a watermelon fan at home but these down here are very tasty and she likes them.
Dec 14, 2012 - It is now time to check out of the country and move farther south to Bahia Santa Elena. We arrived at the Port Captains office at 9:30am and he prepared our Zarpe (paper for checking out) which cost $25 and then advised us that Immigration will not be able to come until 11am, so we had to wait. Immigration came at 11am and processed the paperwork, stamped our passports and charged us $43 which we felt was a little high, we found out later that he charged our friends $30, so I think it changes day by day as to what he charges. All in all though we loved Nicaragua and would go back there for a visit again. We left the anchorage at 12:30 headed for our next stop.

Sailing off the coast of Nicarague

We left Bahia del Sol yesterday morning at 9am, the weather reports indicate a good weather window for the Papagaos winds, so off we go. It was a clear night, no wind to speak of and the seas were fairly flat, we are traveling with "Gosling" and "Risk Taker". We were visited by dolphins who played in our bow wake for about 15-20 mins what a sight. One of our buddy boats caught a fish and there is plenty for all 3 of us....we are looking forward to cooking that up today or tomorrow. The sky was full of stars last night, it was absolutely amazing, now we just need to learn about the constellations. Overnight we passed by a fishing fleet who were about a mile away from us, other than that there was not much traffic. Oh, I cannot forget...we spoke to Pat Rains who wrote the "Rains cruising guides" they were on their way south, it would be great to be able to meet up with them in Costa Rica. At this point the plan is to go into San Juan del Sur at the southern part of Nicaragua but you never know as we are not far from Costa Rica then and the weather is good for the next few days. We had dolphins visit us again this morning,it is nice to be back on the water and moving again.

Back from Antigua and getting boat ready to leave Bahia del Sol

We had a wonderful 2 weeks in Antigua, the Spanish school was great. The instruction was 1 on 1 so Ken and Carole each had a separate teacher. We stayed in home stay for the 2 weeks other than a couple of nights. You cannot beat it, you get a place to stay and 3 meals a day except Sunday all for $65 a week. The lessons were only $100 a week. We both learned a great deal and now know more than we did before, we now have to practice daily so it sticks in our heads!! The McDonalds in Antigua is a must see, it is the best we have ever seen. It has a beautiful garden where you can sit an relax in addition to inside seating. We will post pics.
Once back in Bahia del Sol it was time to get the boat ready. Lines and sails were re-installed. When we checked the engine it would not start and soon we realized we needed a new starter battery, it did not end there, we also needed new house batteries. Luckily we were able to get them here and the kind we wanted which were US Trojan batteries. We had hoped to baby the old ones to Panama and realized this was not to be. Ken recommissioned the water maker to find out that the impeller on the boost pump had swollen over the summer and needed to be replaced, luckily our friends on Gosling has one we could use, thank you guys. Apparently they swell with the heat and the chemicals from the pickling, next year we will remove it. We need 1 more trip to San Salvador to provision and then we are ready. Hopefully we will leave on Saturday as long as the bar is OK that day to cross.
Carole and Ken were given a washing machine before we left Canada, so Carole decided one day she must try out this new machine. She completed one load of wash and it worked well, pics to follow in the gallery. Thanks Bob and Janice!

Off to Spanish School

We have now been onboard for a week and its amazing how many things you find that you had forgotten that you had. The boat is looking good and yesterday we started the engine. It was not a simple task unfortunately as it did not start first try, it appeared to be a battery issue, so Ken faithfully checked all of the connections again and still it did not start. We then solicited help from Jean-Guy and Murray and determined that we needed to give it a jump start.......that did the trick. Murray figured one of the brushes had gotten stuck in the starter motor and it just needed an extra kick start. Needless to say we were very relieved! Now we are ready to take Spanish classes for a couple of weeks! We are quite looking forward to this and hopefully our brains can absorb and we will be able to converse a little once we are done.

Returning to the boat in El Salvador

We left Vancouver today Nov 2nd and will arrive back at the boat Nov 3rd. Right now we are sitting at LAX waiting foe our flight to San Salvador.

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Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover ........(Mark Twain)........ Life is too short to not live your dreams.