Love those Squalls
It looks beautiful, but it isn't when you're on a boat i the ocean heading there.
Well, we have finally arrived to our final sailing destination, at least for 6 months or so. We left Bahia Ballena, Costa Rica about 10 days ago. It took us 6 days to reach here, and entered the Rio Chone, and the town of Bahia Caraquez, on the seventh day in the morning.
We kept watching the weather patterns, and it looked like there was going to be a lot of weather, no matter when we left, so after supposedly....a tropical wave had passed west of Costa Rica, we decided to head out. We had planned to go west as much as possible, so we could possibly...sail down to Ecuador with the wind forward of the beam. No more downwind sailing since leaving Mexico.
In Costa Rica we had been having quite a few thunderstorms with lightning in the eveinings, so was I anxious...you betcha!! But I didn't want to spend summer in Central America either...too much weather and lightning. Lightning strikes on a boat can kill all the electronics and then you have to buy all new stuff. looking at around $20,000. So out to sea we headed.
There were some squalls as we entered the Pacific,
More of the same, yep!
and we tried to skirt them as best as possible. In fact the first night it wasn't so bad, we had a moon, so we could see all those lovely squalls around us... Oh, yeah, that was nice. NOT! The next day it was worse, they were more all over the place, with little breaks. The next two days was very tiring for both of us. We would get alot of wind with the squalls, have to shorten sails, then after the squall came through with the rain, we would have to shake out the reefs that we put into the sails. Lots of work. At night, so no one was going forward in the dark to change sails, we had a very small main sail up and motored so we wouldn't lose our westing. When you sail you go forward, but depending on the point of sail (wind), the boat will also slide sideways due to wind and wave currents. We decided to basically motor-sail to get out west for the sailing to Ecuador. Well, by the fourth day we still have more weather, and it was all around, not just squalls, but a blanket of rain and clouds,
More of the same
Here is the west , another nice view. right?
and the wind seemed to be right on our nose. Sooo, our beautiful motor did it's job well. As I said, we arrived after 6 days, which was plenty for me of bad weather. We know of other sailors, who did more sailing and it took them 10 to 12 days to reach. One boat that just arrived today, had to "hove-to" twice due to high winds (30 knots) and big swells (10ft). "Hove to" means to put the sails in opposition to each other, and opposition with the rudder, and the boat simply slides very slowly in the direction of the current. A good storm tactic, to give the crew rest, etc. We spoke of hoving -to, but Robin just wanted to plow through and get "there". So that is what we did.
Entering into the river the seventh day was really nice. It was truly weird to know that we won't be sailing for another 6 months. Robin is really enjoying himself here, alot of comraderie here (which is usual). Nice bar, internet, direct TV with sports..yikes...hot showers, etc. The town is really nice , small but has most everything. Our newer computer went on the blitz,
Crossing the equator
This is out chart plotter/GPS, you don't go to 00.00.00, you go from 00.00.01N to 00.00.01S. but got the picture for memories...
so am using the older version, that I hadn't babied like the new one,...strange how that works. We are planning on going to Guayaquil to bring it to a Dell technician for repair if possible. Then in a week or so, go to Quito for a week or so. come back get the boat ready to leave it for about 4 months, and start our Winter Trekking through South America. Our itinary looks like this, Head through southern Ecuador, the highlands, then on to Peru and hike Machu Pichu. From there go down through Chili, check out the parks and beaches, then possible head over to Argentina, then hopefully fly back to Quito without breaking the bank.
When we compare our trip to the other cruisers here, we definitely booked it south. Most people stop into Mexico for a couple seasons of cruising. many stay much longer. Those that travel south of Mexico are a little hardier group, with quite a few years under their belts, but we had a MISSION and we succeeded..so we feel pretty proud of ourselves.
We did the token champagne crossing the equator (it was 2am, so we held off until the next
Drinks for King Neptune
Just a little. little bit of champagne...stop Robin,,,no more, please!
morning), donated a 'little, little bit" of champagne to King Neptune. I pulled out a lovely Almond Champagne (don't know who gave it to me, or if I bought it) . It was simply DELICIOSO!!! We partook the next morning around 10 am ( a little early, but heh...how often do you sail across the equator???) We only had one glass each, but that evening under anchor, we finished the bottle. It was sooo good! We became official "shell-backs" from being a polywog.
Will try to download the videos again from Bahia Santa Elena in Costa Rica, and hope you are enjoying the photos. Will keep taking them and sending them to you all. Lots of love, health and happiness. Robin & Jean
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