Saturday, June 8, 2013

Bahia Ballena, Costa Rica

We've managed to get to Bahia Ballena, Costa Rica, the most lovely place imaginable.  Unfortunately, we leave tomorrow for points south.  We should be in Panama in about five sailing days.

We have been barraged almost every night by thunder and lightening.  It's really quite frightening to be surrounded by bolts of lightening striking all around.  The gravity of this is pulling our spirits down a bit.  Morale is sagging.

The Perlas Islands of Panama, according to some reports, are not subject to
almost nightly storms.  We are very eager to get there.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Bahia del Sol

We left Bahia Del Sol Tuesday, May 28th.  It was, for us, a lightening quick stay lasting one day short of two weeks.  If it were not for the necessity of getting south before the rainy season becomes fully established we would have loved to stay for months.

We were the last participant in this year's El Salvador Rally for Cruisers to visit.  Jean and Bill, the rally organizers, were at the dock to greet us, escort us through checking in to El Salvador, and give us a gift bag of swag including a very well made El Salvador flag.  Jean, a nurse in her former life, brought us an attitude adjusting medication that made the beauacratic check in process a piece of cake.  Rum and coke just can't be beat for establishing tranquilo  Checking into El Salvador here was super easy, as all the officials share an office in the hotel.

A word about Jean and Bill:  They are fabulous hosts, quite often going way out of thier way to make our stay in Bahia Del Sol as pleasant as it was.  I wish we had more time to spend with them. 

Also, the hotel/marina is the most cruiser friendly between here and Seattle.  The marina fees are fair, the facilities are nice, the food is good and the staff are great.  Plus, for $14 all crew become members of the hotel's Cruising Club.  All meals and drinks are reduced 30%.  It didn't take us long to break even.  Best of all beers are a buck each.

If you are a cruiser heading south from Mexico, join the Rally.

Bill and Jean

Jean and Bill are building a home near Bahia Del Sol.  Veeery nice place.

Portrait of a Salvadorian
titled Guanaco

Salvadorians have a nickname for themselves: Guanaco. Guanaco is the name for the South American beast of burden, the llama. That's how they see themselves: beasts of burden. And that's how they are. The hours of work for the hotel staff was: all day. Five or six days a week. For about $8 a day. With no complaining. I admire them. A lot......Wouldn't wanna be them though.

The hotel bar.  Conveniently located
at the head of the dock.

Taking Flight, our friends
from Seattle, crossed the bar last year.

Finally, I should mention the bar.  One must cross a bar at the mouth of the estuary.  It can be an exciting time.  However if the pilot (the guy that guides you in) feels conditions are good, there is virtually no risk.  Hundreds of cruising boats have crossed the bar without incident.  That doesn't mean your heart rate won't elevate.

Speaking of elevated heart rate, we are leaving our current location, Puesta Del Sol, Nicaragua this morning.  Our plan is to sail south as far as we can, perhaps even all the way to Panama.  Between us and Panama lies a region of intense gap winds and thermal convection that produces squalls with intense lightening, thunder and micro busts of gale force winds.  We will be passing very close to Cano Island in Costa Rica.  It gets hit by lightening more than anywhere else in Central America.  Should be an interesting trip.