09 February 2009 | Puesta del Sol Marina, Nicaragua
We arrived offshore of the entrance to Estero Aserradore which is the opening to a river mouth. The entrance has shoals so we called the Puesta del Sol marina to request a pilot to guide us to through the channel. It took multiple calls on the radio & sat phone to get someone to understand that we were requesting a pilot. As we made our way through the well marked channel we realized we probably didn't need the guide but sometimes the channel markers get moved around or are no where to be found so we were glad we were on the safe side.
The marina is on a moving river (tidal based) with boat slips, hotel, clubhouse, pool, and restaurant. The people are very friendly and we were excited to make another landfall in a new country. It took us a couple of hours to check in with the officials but before they arrived we went for a swim in the pool and had great food & drinks overlooking the water on an outside deck.
Before we arrived I called the marina office (Skype) and received information that the cost would be 50 cents a foot per night but once we got there they said the prices went up to $1.00/foot a night. I was given incorrect information and discussed the problem with the marina owner so he decided to honor to 50cent quote. The three of us boats, Andante, Arctic Vixen, and Four Points are still buddy boating together, but the crew of Andante are meeting some friends for some inland traveling so they our dropping out. We will miss Dave & Kathy's friendship and hope to hear from them later.
We woke up early the next morning and walked through the forest/jungle to the deserted beach just north of the aserradore entrance. This is a surf spot called Bombas and while it was blown out I could tell it's potential for surfing. We all went for a swim in the large booming beach break. We noticed a couple to homes off the beach and I wanted to learn more about this place. We spent the rest of the day resting and eating. What a great day!
The next morning I woke up and the wind was blowing strong offshore. I knew that meant the waves should be good. I quickly hiked to the break (.5 mile) and was excited to see the waves going off. There was no one on the beach except me so I wasn't quite sure where to line up. The waves were 6-8 foot faces and very powerful and most were breaking on the sand. I paddled out and was carefully trying to pick my waves. A truck pulled up with some local surfers and four guys paddled out. I started talking with one guy who was American by the name of Bodhi. He said the tide needed to come up some more so the waves would not pound on the sand. We carefully surfed while the tide got higher. The waves just got bigger and hollower. I got a couple of stand up tube rides and had a giant smile on my face. These were the best waves of our trip so far. After surfing for a few hours the wind switched on shore and it was time to head into the beach. Bodhi offered me a ride in this truck back to the marina. While driving back he told me about his surf camp a couple miles inland. He said he could serve dinner to our group of sailors because this is the off-season (surf season starts at the end of March) and he needed to make some money. We set 5:30pm as a pick up time and he would get some fresh fish and be back with his truck.
The afternoon rolled around and seven of us decided to visit a surf camp for dinner. We could barely fit into Bodhi's truck and had to drive farther than we anticipated because the tide was high and blocking the shorter dirt road (all the roads are dirt around here). We got to the surf camp and Bodhi showed us around the sleeping quarters. This is the first year of Bodhi's surf camp so this is a low rent surf camp ($20 per night) basic dorm room style accommodations. A Nicaraguan local cooked the dinner and she did a great job. We had clams for appetizers, fresh squeezed grapefruit (grown on Bodhi's land), fresh fish, and great papaya for desert. This was not like eating at a tourist restaurant but more it had a great local feel. There is land for sale down here on the beach. Century 21 real estate just opened an office here about a couple of months ago. If you go to Bodhi's website you will find a link (www.NicaraguaEscapeLLC.com).
There are more surf spots around here and I was not able to explore much. I continued to surf Bombas and had a great time. This is one hollow wave.
On Thursday we all took a marina van into the local town of Chinandega for provisions. The supermarket was great (just like home) and we visited to town open market. Every time I visit an open market I'm overwhelmed with the sights & sounds. It is so much fun but I'm exhausted after the experience (especially after the solitude of the boat).
We have been watching the weather closely and plan to leave on Saturday morning at the crack of dawn. Our next passage is an overnighter along the coast of Nicaragua. As we pass offshore of the largest lake in Central America (Lago Nicaragua) the off-shore winds (Papagallos winds) can really blow so we have to be careful.
We would like to say thanks to everyone who has written us emails and commented on our website. We really appreciate hearing from everyone and we miss you. We can't wait to check our email & the comment section of the website. We look forward to hear about what is happening at home. Please keep in touch and thanks again!