Costa Rica – Part 2…..

Dear F&F,

April 4-5, 2009

April 4
We were up at dawn again, so underway in the cool of the morning. We stayed
quite a bit offshore since there were some rocky pinnacles which made it
interesting along the coastline near the old Marina Flamingo (now closed).
The wind picked up enough to sail for 2 hours. During that time we had half
an hour of spotted dolphins swimming right with us. There were many Mamas
with 2 foot long Babies close beside – so cute! Many males also played
between our 2 bows. Scott took some video. I just sat on the bow seat
grinning ear to ear. These moments remind me why I live on a boat.

The afternoon got pretty toasty again. We slathered the sunscreen & stayed
in the shade of the bimini. I have taken to wearing my bikini. Least
possible clothing is best. We drink water & Gatorade continually. If there
is some breeze in our face it helps a lot.

It was a 10 hour travel day. Late in the afternoon we anchored at Bahia
Carillo which we are affectionately referring to as a truck stop. There is
no particular attraction here at all. It just allows us to sleep instead of
travel all night. Two other cruising boats pulled in after us. A big
schooner heading north & a 36 foot monohull (couple from the Bay Area)
heading south to the Panama Canal, across the Atlantic then on to Europe. We
swapped stories via radio with the schooner captain. The wife on the
monohull swam over & treaded water while we chatted with her. One boat on
each side of us, not too lumpy & as the sun is setting it is cooling off.

So early to bed & early to rise again. I was tempted briefly to jump
overboard with the other woman treading water, but it is so green & murky,
extremely unappealing when you can\’t even see your own feet. A cold shower
will do.

Before bedtime the boat was rolling too much to sleep comfortably so we
moved our position & set the stern anchor to hold us bow to the waves
better. Much better. I nearly got seasick just looking at the 2 monohulls
wig-wagging in the swell.

April 5
Today is our last big day trip, another 60-70 mile day. There was not
enough wind from the right direction to really go sailing. We did put just
the genoa out for a while & I got to clear up some sail trim questions with
Captain Scott. He is a good teacher. He gets frustrated with me sometimes.
He thinks I know more than I do. Everything is so automatic & natural for
him from his years of experience that he forgets that I really don\’t know &
understand a lot about sailing our boat. We have motored much more than
sailed for the past 5 years. Can you believe our Beach House will already be
5 years old on April 15?

We really like being alone on the water, listening to music. Today\’s
wildlife highlight was a yellow-footed booby sitting on a piece of
driftwood. We passed by fairly close & decided he was so delightful we\’d
circle around & have another look at him. Scott took some pictures & the
bird was quite cooperative in posing, no doubt proud of his magnificent
yellow feet.

Since today\’s passage was long & not much boat traffic, Scott decided to
tackle installing the new helm hatch. It is under & below the wheel. We had
to be on auto pilot, which we mostly are on when not maneuvering, because
the wheel had to be taken off. I kept watch & assisted in my “Vanna White
way”. After measuring twice, he cut once. The new hole is just a tiny bit
larger than the old hole. The old chinzy hatch cover had been replaced twice
before & on the last trip to LA, we brought back a much better quality one
that should hold up. Removing the old one & cleaning up after that was half
of it. Then there was a messy ordeal with power saw, electric drill, sticky
adhesive, etc. I have photos of Scott with tool in hand to show that he is
not losing his touch with a drill. He is quite pleased with himself. One
item off of Megan\’s bed…many more to go before she arrives in 6 days.

We anchored out in Bahia Herradura at Los Suenos. We have both anchors out
again tonight but still rocking around a bit. Since were out to sea we did
not get to take in any local flavor of the Palm Sunday holiday. There are a
lot of locals camping along all the beaches. The whole country is on
vacation this week. I will be interested to see if the Marriott near the
marina has only gringos or some wealthy Costa Ricans on holiday at the fancy
resort. My understanding from a taxi driver the other day is that today was
the religious Easter & next Sunday is the eggs & bunnies Easter.

We have travelled 6 of the past 8 days. Scott is already asleep at 7:30 pm.
I am tired also, but it is too dang hot, still 86 degrees inside. It is 82
with a lovely breeze outside but it seems to take the boat half the night to
cool down from the days heat load. I succumbed to jumping overboard this
afternoon but the water was yucky pea green murk & I couldn’t see my own
feet. Disappointingly, it was not that refreshing. Some benefit when I got
out, due to a slight \”chill factor\” (more like thank God factor) as the
breeze glazed over my wet body.

So far the coast of Costa Rica has been much drier than we\’d expected. It
doesn\’t look all that different than Mexico, fewer cacti perhaps. We know it
is the end of the dry season. But we just thought that meant it would not be
raining. We didn\’t realize everything would look so dry. We are not going
down as far as the Panamanian border, or to the inland mountains where it is
probably more lush.

Sadly they are overbuilding just like Mexico. I am sure Costa Rica used to
be a gem. It is actually quite depressing to read the Lonely Planet
guidebook. Drugs and prostitution are rampant. I keep scanning the pages
trying to discern where the remaining rain forests are & what we should try
to see while here. It sounds like uncontrolled building and non-eco
dominated tourism has ruined the country. I am yet hopeful to have a
positive experience here on land.

Next we will be heading to Cocos Island & then the Galapagos where wonderful
adventures by land & sea are more certain.

Scott & Cindy