About Us

Welcome to our blog, describing our voyage aboard Bravo, a Kelly Peterson 46 sailboat with homeport in Seattle, Washington. We headed south in 2010, destined for Mexico and beyond. Cheers, Adam and Cindi

"As for me, I am tormented by an everlasting itch for things remote. I love to sail forbidden seas, and land on barbarous coasts." -Herman Melville, 1844

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Beach Vibe in Northern Costa Rica

Now sitting in Beach Bums Bar and Grill in Playa de Coco.  Advertised "coldest beer on the beach" and "free wifi".....got all the major food groups covered, so in we go!!

We spent the past 10 days or so enjoying a couple of isolated parks in the north.  First, Bahia St. Elena, where we spent nearly 1 week waiting out the papagayo winds....they do hang around, bringing gusts over 40 knots day and night, in between several minutes of no wind at all. 

A bit frustrating, but we took the opportunity to do a fun hike on shore, up a stream bed to a beautiful waterfall.  Though this is the end of "dry season", there was still a fine deep pool inviting us in for a swim.....poison frogs and fer de lances be damned!!!  The water felt perfect after the hot jungle hike, and the only biters were a couple of tiny red fire ants....yikes, I can see why staking your enemy out on top of an ant hill is a fate commanding such respect!!!  These lil' bastards pack a wallop!!!

After the winds finally died down, we had a beautiful sail around 20 miles south to Islas Murcielagos...."Bat Islands".  Also a national park, and protected from fishing, the underwater critters have a great reputation here.  And it lived up to it's billing.  Day one we did some snorkel recon, and though the clarity and viz weren't quite as good as hoped, the size and diversity of the critters was exceptional.  So we did a fun dive the following day.  Saw sea turtles, large jack crevalles, and some nurse sharks cruising along the bottom.

Yesterday we headed over to Playa Panama in Bahia Culebra.  We still need to clear into the country, and the northernmost spot to do so is the beach town of Playa de Coco.  The beach dinghy landing there can be a bit challenging in the surf, so we're just north at Playa Panama, a 2 bus - 8 mile trip into town!!  Came in to town this morning to do the "paperwork cha cha" with the port capitan, immigration, and customs office (out at the airport 1 hour away), but found the offices are closed today, due to May 1 holiday!!!  So we're enjoying our first day in a town for a couple of weeks, and will play "groundhog day" tomorrow, when we do it all again!!!   For now, better have another Imperial cerveza.....

Fishing report:  been great, if you like to eat skipjack tuna.  We don't.  We just keep reeling them in, and releasing them just as fast.  Yesterday we caught a very small dorado, but released it as well.  Ready for a keeper!!!

Engine report:  We've developed a small hole in our exhaust water injection elbow...a custom welded fitting where cooling water mixes with hot exhaust gases, creating a highly corrosive elixer.  Sure enough, after around 900 hours on the "new" engine, it's developed a hole, leaking a bit of this noxious slurry out onto the hose below.  Yesterday's fix involved gooping a blob of gasket cement around the hole, then wrapping the shebang with a beer can and 3 hose clamps.  Hopefully it'll hold until we can get to a welding shop, perhaps in southern Costa Rica in a month or so.  Not to worry....we've got plenty of beer aboard for raw materials!!!

You might recall our description in the last post of the squalls appearing like moles on the radar screen.....Here's what it looked like from that vantage.  We've just altered course to port, to try to shoot between the two rascals about 10 miles dead ahead.  We were heading to the right, to the right of the upper big blogs, when the one started to appear to it's right....causing us to "reevaluate our options".   Below was a view toward land, about 25 miles away, with a look at the storm cells brewing over Nicaragua, before they came our way.....

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