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

Monday, May 14, 2012

Exploring the Gulf of Nicoya

Bravo has been on the move lately, exploring many of the anchorages and little bays and islands in this great cruising area.  Several have been one night stands, others a couple of nights, as we've been enjoying hiking, snorkeling, and kayaking at 'em all.  Here's a brief update of what we've been up to for the past couple of weeks.....

When we last posted, we were in Bahia Ballena, enjoying the quiet, peaceful fishing village.  Everywhere we walked, we'd get a friendly "Buenos" or "Pura Vida" from folks we'd meet.  (typical Costa Rican greetings, we like the "Pura Vida" as a casual "hey dude, how's it going???"  Literally means "a pure life", and is a national expression in this country.  Nice.

Looking out at the village, Bravo in the center

Fresh smoked bacon omelets....a favorite Bravo breakfast!!!
 After breakfast it was time to head out for a jungle hike.  We'd been hearing howler monkeys every evening and morning, for the past several anchorages, but hadn't spotted any yet.  Time for hiking on a mission !!!

Gotta be getting close
Is that a monkey or a swarm of bees?????
 Finally, after an hour or so of hiking, we came upon a family of 6 howlers.  We hung out and watched them for 15 minutes, while they enjoyed breaking off sticks and throwing them at us.  Great fun! 

Since this hike, we've been seeing other monkeys on several hikes.  Never get tired of it!!!
This little guy kept trying to sell us insurance!
 The amount of wildlife of all types in the jungle is amazing.  Seems that everywhere we look on these hikes we see critters of one flavor or another

In places the ground seemed alive with hundreds of these little land crabs scurrying for cover all around us.
Your basic 6 inch spider
The whole community fishes for a living.  Here you can see our nemesis...These are "buoys" and marker "flags" that they use to mark the longlines and nets.  Hard to see at night???  You bet!  (and not much better during the day !!!)  

Building a new net, a big job.
Leaving Bahia Ballena, we headed over to Islas Tortugas, named for the populations of sea turtles that used to frequent the islands.  Now their populations are largely gone, but the islands remain a beautiful, tranquil place to drop the hook, especially after the tour boats out of Puntarenas have left.  That's when we get it to ourselves.  The snorkeling was pretty good, and we enjoyed kayaking around the bay to explore.
Starry moray eel, the first we've seen.
"Dream Boat"......I guess so.....
As we head into little isolated bays, nooks, and crannies, we never know what we'll find.  Here was someone's dream.....judging by the number of surfboards in his quiver, it was obvious that his summer is indeed "Endless" in Costa Rica!!!  Hang ten, dude!

Stopped for a night at Isla San Lucas, the site of an old prison, abandoned in 1992 after over 100 years of notoriety.  It was said that being sentenced here was the equivalent of a death sentence.  The prison was the setting for a book by inmate Jose Leon Sanchez "Island of Lonely Men", later made into a movie.  Declared a cultural heritage site several years ago, we went ashore to explore.  It was an eery walk about, as we checked out the abandoned cells, dorms, and other buildings and spaces.....if walls could talk.

Bats were the only residents we met in the abandoned cells

The jungle quickly reclaims the abandoned buildings
Graffiti from lonely nights in the prison
Telephone booth next to the church....guess you could call collect from either one
Partially restored administration building.
We're now in Puntarenas.  The narrow peninsula is the capital of the Golfo de Nicoya region, and a gritty hub of fishing and some tourism.  Coming in here is a bit of a challenge, as the channel between the peninsula and the mainland varies down to around 10 feet deep at high tide!!!!  (Bravo draws nearly 7 feet).  So we came in yesterday at the morning high tide, and called for a pilot boat to lead us into the yacht club, where we'll be moored for a few days as we try to get the water injection of our exhaust repaired.  The beer can jury rig is working, but it's time we get it properly welded up.
Time for a coldie between rain storms!!!

Hub of fishing and shrimping for the region
Fishing is over for these guys

And this one...right across from our mooring!
The town itself has lots of fishing related industry, so we should be able to get the exhaust welded, no problem.  But other than the moorage area, it's a pretty hardscrabble town, though apparently they are trying to rebuild the tourism infrastructure.  Lots of derelict old fish boats rotting in the shallows, but we're comfortably settled in, tied fore and aft to moorings in the shallow mangroves.  

View over our transom.  Some boats share a short floating dock.  We're just between two moorings.
When the tide is out, we're certainly digging our keel into the mud bottom, but aren't leaning over TOO much!!!  The facilities ashore are nice, and our $22/night fee gets us full use of everything including the pool and internet.  Not bad, and it will work well for our hopefully short stay to get the work done this week.  With luck we'll be heading south in a couple of days.  Plenty more of Costa Rica to explore before we head to Ecuador.

Happy cats in the open fish market!!
The clouds and sunsets in Costa Rica have been spectacular, indeed, especially now that we're firmly in the rainy season.  Cheers!

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful pictures, guys! And thanks for the run-down on these anchorages -- we'll be coming up behind you soon! Even though we're still trying to break the suction of Bahia del Sol. :)

    s/v Bella Star