El Salvador to Nicaragua…..

Dear F&F,
March 29-30, 2009

Unfortunately we won\’t get to Costa Rica in time to meet up with Ron & Ken (Santa Rosa friend Karen\’s husband & brother-in-law, who have been there many times & are trying to establish a small business). We considered passing by Nicaragua, but decided to stick to our original plan, which is to stop at Marina Puesta del Sol, before moving on to Costa Rica.

We have been on the \”wait list\” at Los Suenos Marina for two months. When Scott Skyped them (internet telephone) today that we were imminently on our way, they said they could give us a slip, but oy veh – the price! We got sticker shock by the marina rates at the two main places in Costa Rica. We have paid max $100/night for a slip at a dock (Puerto Los Cabos the most so far). Marina Papagayo wants $150.00/night & Los Suenos is $275/night!!! Obviously no normal cruising boats go there. Papagayo admitted they were mostly empty.

From talking to other boaters & reading our guide book, Puesta del Sol sounds as if it will have similar facilities to where we are leaving in El Salvador. I was kind of sad about skipping an entire country, so now we are going. Anyway, too bad I won\’t catch up with Ron; that would have been fun.

To leave Marina Bahia del Sol, where the boat has been for a month in El Salvador, we had to time our exit from the estuary to the ocean with the daylight high tide, which today was 4:00 pm. By 4:30 pm, we were safely away from the danger zone (shallow water with breaking waves), having followed the path of the marina\’s very capable panga driver, Rohelio. We are motoring along quite well. No wind to speak of, so no sailing. There were a lot of small fishing boats with nets near the coast, so we went about 10 miles offshore to not risk running into any of their nets.

Scott went down to nap at 7:30 pm & will be up at 10:30 pm, so I only have 1 more hour on my first night watch. I am eager to take a shower, feeling very sticky. It is never below 80 degrees at night & day highs are 90s & humid. We are doing 3 hour shifts instead of our usual 4. The trip is only about 100 miles total, so we will get there shortly after sunrise Monday.

On his routine engine checks, Scott discovered a broken off bolt on the floor… Never a good thing. He keeps the engine spaces meticulous, so he spots any oil or water leaks right away. Any part found on the floor that fell off of something, he knows where it goes. Luckily the broken off part is still doing its job so we are not leaking oil, but now watching the oil gauge like a hawk. He is seeking a referral for a mechanic to get the broken one out & replace it. He thinks we do have a spare the right size. It\’s always something!

The stars are great tonight, the lovely crescent moon set just a while ago. There is a fair amount of bioluminescence. Between the 2 beachings, touring Guatemala with Carmina & the trip to California, time has really flown for us. We are looking forward to a couple days of rest in Puesta del Sol, before exploring Costa Rica.

8:30 am March 30
Safe arrival at Marina Puesta del Sol. Very nice, quiet docks, a couple other cruising boats. $100/day, plus electricity. Clean dock water! Customs, Immigration & Port Captain came onboard to check us in right away. Easy process, polite, friendly. We need a nap, but are happy to be here.

Scott & Cindy