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.
Well today we moved 5 miles to fuel up and anchor is a new bay. At the top of Culebra is the Papagayo marina. Kokomo and Sound Effect left in a light rain and arrived at the Marina to fuel up as a huge black cloud dropped bucket loads of rain. The fuel dock attendent donned his slicker and came down and fueled us up . We topped off our tanks... 25 gals approx (they sell in liters) for $142! Glad we don't have a trawler with a 3000gal tank.
I towed the dink and during the rain it filled while we were fueling just to give you an idea of the rain. Now we are anchored in a sweet little bay about a mile from the Marina. (My 5 mile wi fi is giving us the signal for this posting).
Becky asked about the cost to stay in this first class brand new marina... $2 per foot per night $75 for us $85 for Kokomo. We like anchoring out so no problema. This was the first fuel dock I have been to since La Cruz in Puerta Vallarta Mexico in February. We have been using jerry jugs to lug fuel to the boat but this was better than an expensive taxi ride.
We are going to stay here in Culebra (there are more than a dozen anchorages) where we are well protected until there is a favorable weather window.
Periodically I have featured Connies sewing projects. Awnings for the boat, jerry jug covers, sun shades etc. Today (actually last Friday) we (connie, I just move the material) repaired the genoa. This sail had ripped along the leach during our crossing prompting us to haul it down and cut off the flogging bits while at sea. Today we repaired the sail, but as you can see this is a large sail so we decided to move the sewing machine to the deck and leave it partially attached to the head sail. We ran out of the proper material so we substituted sunbrella to serve as the UV protection while furled.
Just another example of how we just sit around on "vacation"
Sail is up and worked well for the crossing but like your worn out kids clothes you can only keep mending for just so long before you need a new suit of clothes.
Sunday we moved down the coast 46 miles to Playa Del Coco which is the first port of entry for Costa Rica. We took our ships papers in this morning braving the surf landing. First to the port capitan office to begin the process. From there we were directed to immigration, and then on to customs. The only klinker in the process is that customs is at the airport which is 30km away... so we got a taxi and went out there. The last stop was back to the port capitan where we were reminded we must return to leave the port with a copy of the document that we got at customs. So far, this process has cost only the cost of the taxi. This is the DIY price if you go to the high price marina at the top of the bay we have heard $600!!. But technically we do not have the national zarpe (document for cruising) and will get that tomorrow where who knows what may happen.
Well I noted the ride in was dry however the way back out was not as dry. However, since it was pouring rain I was unclear as to whether I was getting wet from surf or not. This is not Seattle rain mind you this is fill the dinghy in a few minutes rain. But it is a warm rain so hang the wet ones to dry in the cockpit and hunker down for the afternoon, it is not as if we didn't know this was the rainy season.
Dont forget to check our position on the map and google earth
Sound Effect arrived safely Tuesday July 5th in Costa Rica. We are anchored safely in a beautiful bay called Santa Elena. Howler monkeys in the trees, dolphins in the clear blue water, all in all a perfect anchorage.
The 4 day trip however was a marathon. We left on a Friday scoffing at the old adage Never to start a trip on a Friday.
We tried to run the water maker on day two and found it wouldnt make water, usually not a problem but we had a leak in the tank plumbing and we lost most our water before we discovered it. We ripped the Genoa and made repairs at sea, we broke the genoa furler line block and could not use the genoa until repairs were made. The night light for the compass went out, and we broke our solar garden light on the bimini. But none of this was as bad as the fact that the prevailing wind was right down the rhumb line track on our nose, oh and there was a 2.5kt adverse current. This 230 mile trip took us 4 days... you do the math not a record breaking time.
We got our anchor down, took a dip in the beautiful clear water, and with Denny's help off Kokomo solved the simple problem with the water maker.
Once the water maker was running I gave Connie the first drink... she said it tasted better than Champagne!. Gotta love this girl she doesnt need diamonds or furs just a clean glass of water!
Today is Connies birthday so I baked a cake and we are invited to dinner on Kokomo
07/01/2011, Bahia Del Sol
Today we are leaving El Salvador and traveling down the coast to Costa Rica
We have decided to expedite and go all the way to Costa Rica by passing Nicarauga. Our insurance company doesnt want us to stop and in reality there is only one expensive marina... so we will push on about 275 miles to Santa Elena in Costa Rica.
We are leaving ahead of Kokomo because he has some more business locally.
He had to have his alternator rebuilt so we stayed for that but he is back running so he has some business to take care of in the States so he needs internet connection etc. This will work out better since he is faster and will arrive about the same time if he leaves tomorrow.
We will not have internet connection for about a week but will try to post a blog via SSB radio. It has been a while since we have done it and the possibility of poor radio propagation so if there is not blog for a week dont worry.
The picture is of Connies latest project for covering the spare fuel tanks with sunbrella for protection against uv etc. They match the dodger canvas so they look nice as well as being functional. We have also rigged them with chain and a lock because as fuel prices rise the incidence of theft rises. The fuel prices in Costa Rica are reported to be $5.50 per gallon!!
We have had a wonderful time here in El Salvador but we are also anxious to move again after all we live on a boat and it should move once and a while.