Nicaragua is not for Us
02 April 2008 | Masachapa, Nicaragua; 11 47.000 N,86 32.439 W
Here we had the dilemma of getting low on fuel since we were using the motor more than we thought or planned. We had enough for a full day of complete motoring if we needed to. We discussed the idea of trying to hail down a panga and ask someone there if diesel is available there and if someone would be willing to take us in. But as Jim watched them all as they headed in, it appeared as though they go in with the tide and wait for the change to head back out again. And there was also the problem that we would prefer to use cc, and if needed to use cash, we would have to wait for the banks to open to exchange money. We opted to head out, and try somewhere else down the coast. We did get some sailing in, but again, then the wind just died.
We got to some town called Masachapa or something like that, and there is a resort there and another "choice" anchorage of that online cruising guide. How could they? This place had HUGE swells, some nearly as tall as Sunshine! We had to dodge this bed of fish nets along with these swells, and try to keep in deep enough water! We just weren't comfortable in this location, and really all we wanted to do was have Jim get to shore with our fuel jugs and find diesel. But it just wasn"t going to happen here with our "tippy bay" dinghy(the little white dinghy in the pictures back from Bahia del Sol of the kids sailing-no, Jim's dinghy isn't quite done). So we decided to head out and just sail, even if it meant tacking way off and back. Shortly after heading out though, a fishing panga came within short distance and we waved them over. In our broken Spanish and there NO english, got the info across that we needed diesel and if it was available on shore, and if we can pay with a cc. The captain of the fishing panga said he would take Jim and our jugs to shore. I asked when they'd return and they said "una hora". Jim climbed off Sunshine, no landing step, just sat on the side and stepped down into the panga, amongst the several dead shark and 5 fishermen. They did return in 55 minutes. Bringing back with them, we're assuming the fishing captains daughter, just home from school- you'll notice her uniform skirt, she must of changed shirts before getting into the panga.
Since the swells were so high and there was no decent place to anchor that was protected, Jim, Dad and I agreed to just keep on keeping on, which included pulling an all nighter. The only real interesting thing that happened during the night was needing to pass through some fishing panga mines. Fishermen long lining overnight, thankfully they had a white blinking spot light on their boats. But in the dark, with nothing more than the stars since the moon itself was nothing more than a sliver and didn't appear until early morning, it was still quite a trip trying to weave our way through the field of pangas. Probably during the full stretch of night we passed 20 or so pangas in visible sight. Dad took first shift, until about 1 a.m., then Jim took over until after dawn. Which shortly thereafter we could see Costa Rica in the distance.