Friday, March 20, 2009

El Salvador heading to Costa Rica

After waiting 3 days for a bar crossing window we were given the ok for 7am Monday morning. The bar had been close because the waves were too large for safe crossing. We had no problem waiting til the right time after what we went through coming in over the bar. Our pilot arrived at 7 sharp and Lea Scotia went first again. It looked a lot worse than it was. We tipped the bar pilot $10( a whole days wage) to try to insure a dry crossing. It worked but not until sitting in the middle of 6 ft breaking waves waiting for that right moment to climb over the top of 3 no breaking waves and escape into the open sea where we were at home again.
We were on our way to Golfo Fonseca 72 miles away. The trip was uneventful and we arrived just before dark. The amazing thing about the Golfo is that every island is a volcano and two very large ones guard the entrance. The Golfo is territory of El Salvador, Nicaragua and Honduras. While sitting at anchor getting ready for an early bed time, I heard the strangest noise coming from our boat, or at least I thought it was our boat. I can only describe it as the sound a thousand frogs would make if kept in a small room. I could not figure out what in the boat would be making that sound. I finally called Lea Scotia and they were hearing the same sound. No idea what it was but it quit about midnight. The next two nights were spent off of quaint little villages all painted in brilliant colors. Cows, pigs, horses, and dogs roamed the only beach in front of the homes. We were serenaded by really bad sing along music coming from the church on the beach. The next night we again anchored off an area of homes and one very small resort. At midnight firecrackers and bottle rockets were set off for some unknown reason. It lasted about 20 minutes and it started all over again at 4 in the morning. We took the hint and left at five for our trip down the Nicaraguan coast to Costa Rica.
(Thursday night)The coastal view of Nicaragua is amazing. No matter what direction you look on shore you see multiple volcanos. At one point I could see 8, all incredible sights. Very few beach front resorts or properties were visible from the water. Just before Costa Rica we did see some amazing European style villas. Huge water front estates. I could guess where the money comes from! We are now about 70 mile from Costa Rica. I have the Big Dipper on one side of the boat and the Southern Cross on the other, pretty cool. Orion's Belt is always our center of attention as the night sky flows overhead. The wind is just picking up and it is expected to blow about 25knt by morning. These are the Papagallos which we have been trying to avoid. I hope they are only 25 for a short period of time. Tomorrow we will be in Bahia Santa Elena Costa Rica. It is suppose to be a wonderful place. Monkeys, big cats, and many kinds of birds await us. Coooool!
(Friday)The wind blew us in to Costa Rica, or was it a gale? We saw and felt 45 mph gust for over 5 hours. It started at midnight and its now 3 PM and still blowing. It pays to notice the barometer swings--3 down equals windy conditions. If the grib files shows it might blow a Papagallo believe it! If it shows 25knts it will probably blew 40 to 50 in some locations. If it doesn't show anything it will probably blow anyway. I am glad it is over. We had a reefed main and no jib all the way down since morning in 35mph constant and one peak gust of 49. The boat did well, I was only afraid of my 4 scuba tanks breaking loose in the middle of everything. One strap may not be enough. Nothing happened to them but I will be resewing my jib's sun edge which ripped out for the second time.

It is evening, and we are anchored in Bahia Santa Elena; it feels visually like the northwest and it looks to be a fun place to explore. One parrot sighted,no monkeys yet!! But tomorrow we will walk in the jungle, and up to a waterfall. More later, Dave and Helen

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