Wednesday, March 4, 2009

We are in El Salvador

We arrived on a wave to Bahia Del Sol Resort, El Salvador on March 2 at 6 PM. The photos taken of the boat ahead of us altered our optimistic outlook of our own ride in; so when it was our turn we were ready to roll and get wet. However Neptune took mercy on us and we barely caught spray over the side. Thankful for the smooth entrance we had a drink, compared notes with our friends, and went to sleep—10 hours of uninterrupted sleep! When dawn arrived, the sounds of tropical birds, crowing roosters and a blaring horn like on a locomotive roused us from our sleep. Looking around we saw low lying land trimmed in palm trees and one story round huts on the beaches and red roof piers filled our view. We took a walk on the resort grounds and 3 wild parrots perched in the trees cawed, Guinea hens in a pen with geese and a lone sheep and deer ate away at their breakfast. Out on the main road we heard the locomotive horn again and around the corner sped a bright green bus, front tires lifted higher than the rear, and graphics painted up and down its sides—our guide book explains it is the local commuter bus with huge speakers and a blaring stereo that will require ear plugs for the one hour ride to the capital city. That adventure we will leave for another day.

Our voyage to El Salvador started last Thursday night when we left the shelter of Huatulco, Mexico to cross the dreaded Tehuantepec, leaving Mexican waters for Central American shores. The crossing can be calm or 8 to 25 feet of confused seas, more like chop, with gusts in the 40-60 mph range. We were fortunate and the first two days were great sailing (10-20 mph) and fairly calm waters. During Dave’s watch the dolphins performed for over 45 minutes darting, diving and doing acrobatics. My watch was the parading of turtles so thick it felt like a land mind field. They were very skillful in diving and avoiding being run over by our boat. It was when we left the Tehuantepec and were approaching the border of Guatemala that the seas built, the wind howled, and we were tossed and dropped for over 36 hours by the winds on our nose known as the papagallo. Taking turns of about 3 hours each we made it and arrived at the mouth of Bahia Del Sol around 10 AM. There is a sand bar, current, and breaking surf to avoid and the hour to enter that day was 5:30 PM(high slack). Being 7 hours ahead, we took well needed naps as the wind blew 20-25 all afternoon. At 5:30 the launch (panga style boat) met our buddy boat and showed him the way in. The attached pictures show his ride which was wet and wild, not unlike the log ride at Knotts Berry Farm. They did get wet. We thought you might appreciate the view we were given. But as stated above we lucked out. This country is friendly, and behind the low lands are numerous volcanoes with a layer of smoke filling the space between the two areas. It is harvest time for sugar cane and they burn the canes down all day and night long resulting in shards of ash floating on the winds and covering your boats, covers, and steps. One cannot escape the sweet odor it creates nor the desire to sweep up the mess.

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