Voyage of Escape
Well our voyage of escape from Costa Rica went well. We departed from our little bay in Costa Rica at 3am Saturday morning with Bahia Del Sol in El Salvador as our intended destination. It was very dark as it was a moonless night but the stars were all in full attendance.
By 7 am we had reached the northern limits of Costa Rica and Bat Island. The tip of the peninsula and area that for the past two weeks has been blanketed in continuous gales. This would be our fifth attempt in two weeks to get around this notorious headland. 4 times we had been driven back to seek shelter in a seclude bay to lick our wounds and question our sanity.
Fortunately, on this attempt, the high winds and rough seas had subside some. As we rounded the barren rock island, we were greeted with 25 knot winds and 6 to 8 foot seas, a gift compared to what greeted us the previous 4 attempts. On our last try we were smacked with 40 to 50 knots of spray laden wind.
Since we had officially been kicked out of Costa Rica and were forbidden to return, (for at least 90 days) we had no choice but to carry on and find a friendly country.
The condition for the next six hours were a bit rough and I was rather concerned for Jan as the sharp motion was hurting her back. Fortunately the winds dropped and seas leveled out and it turned into a fine sailing day up the Nicaragua coast.
We had two days to get to Bahia Del sol and be there by the 5pm high as that was the only time we could pass over river sand bar into the protected estuary where a nice dock awaited us. We made good time, too good in fact as we arrived off the bar 15 hours ahead of schedule so we had a choice to either anchor and wait for tide change of carry on and make a run all the way back to Chiapas Mexico.
Chiapas is where we preferred to have the boat as there was a better repair facility and the steering was still giving us some grief. (I was not looking forward at attempting to surf Maiatla through the breakers over the bar with bad steering). See below our friends on SWEET CHARIOT crossing the Bar.
See what I mean?
So carry on we did. The fine weather held and we continued to make good time. We even caught a large Jack Gravel that took over half an hour to land which burned both Rick and I out. Nice fish. We even got to see the smoke from and erupting volcano on the Guatemalan coast. Way cool.
Well just over three and a half days after leaving Costa Rica we sighted the harbour lights of Puerto Madera, the home of Marina Chiapas. By 9 pm we were securely tide to the dock and ready for a full and uninterrupted night’s sleep.
We were lucky that our weather window was so good and lasted as long as it did. Just a couple of days after our arrival the weather deteriorated and the radio was reporting 30 plus knot winds and 8 meter seas. That would have been very ugly and I’m sure glad that we didn’t doddle along the way and get caught it that.
We could breathe a deep sigh of relief, but not for long. No sooner had we settled in, I got an email that the project that I had up in the Tar Sands that was scheduled to start in just over a week, was starting now and I needed to get back to Canada asap. So with, that I booked a flight home and left Jan and Rick to bed the boat down for the summer.
Jan is due to fly home next Wednesday. So the boat will stay in Chiapas for the summer and I hope to go back down in July to start on the many repairs in preparation for next seasons cruise. That is if we haven’t had our fill of the tropical heat and corrupt third wold officials.
Bye for now.