To the Gulf of Nicoya
18 July 2011
Thursday , we left for a trip farther down the Costan Rican coast to the Gulf Of Nicoya. We had been watching the weather and there was a NW wind blowing Thursday and Friday with a Gale forecast for the weekend. Wait until Monday or go now??. The downside of waiting is that there was zero wind forecast for after the gale. The downside of going now is what if the gale is early? We elected to go Thursday, which should give us ample travel time for making it to a safe harbor.
We left El Salvador to travel 230 miles and it took us 4 days! We had 150 miles to travel to the Gulf Of Nicoya how long would it take. We got the calculator out….. 4kts or 5kts average, how long would it take can we travel at the right speed to arrive during daylight hours? In the end we made it in 27 hours and Kokomo in slightly less time. This was probably our fastest passage yet. (We were actually averaging 6.94kts until we had to motor the last 20+ miles against the tide at 4kts)
We left at noon, motor sailed out of Culebra until the wind came up and began sailing downwind under full sail. A few hours later we reefed the main as the wind rose. Then we furled the jib partially, then reefed the main further, then furled the jib more as the wind continued to build. In the end we had a triple reefed main and no headsail at all. 25kts gusting 30+ kts, we were sailing in the mid 7's and surfing up to 10kts!. Of course did I mention the wind was from behind so the dodger and bimini offer no protection, and oh by the way it was raining! Did I say raining? Actually deluging, and did I mention the lightening? Oh and the waves were short and steep and confused.
Welcome to rainy season in Costa Rica. We are tucked into a neat little bay that was a former prison colony, we will most likely stay the weekend and take off again. Little chance for internet so this is posted via SSB by my faithful editor.