The Plan...of course it's written in the sand at low tide....

The Plan...of course it's written in the sand at low tide....

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Costa Rica

First stop after Bahia Santa Elena was Playa del Coco. Coco is a funky little beach town with fun sports bars, fufu markets (where we spent way too much on stuff we haven't had for a while like wheat thins) and some good restaurants. We had fun watching football at Coconutz sports bar (they have great pizza) and relaxed in Coco for about a week. We got back to swimming off the boat and boy did it feel good to be back swimming in the ocean. SV Obsession, Gilles and Rachel, joined us there on Thursday. While we were there we went to a local park (not the one we thought we were going to) but had fun playing with and seeing some of the local animals. They had a wonderful exhibit of butterflies.

There's a howler monkey in the trees if you look closely you can see his arms. They are fun to listen to but hard to catch in a picture.

Mac had fun playing with the monkeys (white faced and spider)...they were really friendly and they let you touch them. They were after my sunglasses and parrot earrings.

Alan loves the birds...................

This guy was pretty, unusual but pretty, but we're not sure he is a native of Costa Rica.

On our way out of Playa del Coco on Sunday, Alan caught a nice dorado. We turned around and headed back toward the anchorage and Gilles came out to meet us in his dinghy....they also ejoyed some fresh fish for dinner.

Next stop was Bahia Guacamaya...what a quiet beautiful little anchorage. We stayed there two nights while we enjoyed snorkeling, swimming and as you can see below other water sports.

We headed out for Bahia Samara but didn't make it and decided to stop in Bahia Garza. It was really rolly but we were tired and decided to stay the night and head out the next morning. It turns out that was a good decision....the next morning we heard from Hermy on SV Iwa on the morning net there was a good storm out there and we missed it. Our wind indicator registered 39.8 knots of wind...glad we weren't out in it. The sunset was beautiful in Garza.

Next stop Bahia Samara....we stayed there two nights and on the first day we got lots of rain so we stayed on the boat. The next day, Thursday - Thanksgiving, we took the dinghy to shore and headed into town. Samara is another little funky beach town and this one seemed to be the place for surfers. We enjoyed a beer and light lunch on shore while we looked out at Effie.
After lunch and some shopping we took a cab back to the dinghy and headed back out to Effie. We had a game of scrabble and a tranditional turkey dinner, boy were we full. The next morning we left at "oh dark thirty" (remember that Mitch & Christian) for Bahia Ballena. On the way into the bay, Alan caught another nice dorado.

When we got here there were two other boats SV Sarana and SV on Sunday there's only us. It's a beautiful bay and we're heading into the little town today to check it out. Good news is we can get wifi on the boat.

We had a good first night visiting with Hermy and Jack SV Iwa (pronouned Eva) and Sherrell and Eric SV Sarana. It was great to catch up with old friends. The next morning we all went over to the organic veggie market, what nice produce.

Alan, Mac, Hermy, Sherrell, Eric and Jack
(sorry not the best picture)
This is such a nice little bay will plan to stay here for a few more days....more to come.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Bahia Guacamaya

Left Playa del Coco today and went around the corner to Bahia Guacamaya. Lovely little bay and well protected. Had a nice snorkel, walk on the beach, and swim back to the boat. Alan caught a nice Dorado on the way here so having some for dinner. It's such a nice little bay we'll probably spend another night here enjoying it.
The Crew of Effie
Alan and "Mac" Margaret

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Costa Rica, Bahia Santa Elena First Stop

As stated in our update while underway (see below) we had a good trip after leaving Bahia del Sol down to Costa Rica. Our first stop was the quiet and beautiful bay of Santa Elena. We had wind gusts during the day but the anchorage was flat since the bay was totally enclosed except for the entrance. We arrived on
Weds. 11/11 in the early morning. On the second day of exploring and just relaxing the Costa Rican Navy joined us. They were very pleasant and after some paper work and a cold soda left us to enjoy the bay.

(Alan getting ready to raise the Costa Rican flag.)

We explored both on foot and in the dinghy but never got to see howler monkeys. We did get to see the parrots flying at dusk and could hear them very well, even Alan could hear them. Alan did some fishing, with no luck, but mostly we relaxed and enjoyed the peaceful bay.

A couple of nice pictures of Effie in the bay.

On Friday we left Bahia Santa Elena and went around the corner to Playa del Coco. After we anchored and were sure we were set we got our paper work together to go check in. We made our beach landing without incident and the paper work cha cha went well. We found a fun little sports bar to have a cold one in and our first reaction was that Coco was another funky little beach town. After some food it was time to go back to the boat, that's when the fun began. The swell was quite high, we noticed, when we came in and when we mentioned it to our cab driver, Alex, on the way to customs he said it was very unusual to be so high. Well, after not doing a beach landing for a looooooooooooong time, I guess we were out of practice. We got the dinghy in the water and were all set to go and the motor didn't start. That was the beginning of the fun. We were hit by a way and got turned around and a little wet. While trying to get the dink turned around and going we were hit sideways by another way and we got a lot wet. Well it doesn't end there....yep we got hit a third time and got a lot more wet. We finally got the dinghy going and underway. Some nice people in another boat asked if we were okay and Alan answered, "Yea we're okay, just providing a little entertainment." We made it back to the boat, dried off and had a good laugh. (subsequent departures have been without incidence)

A view from Effie of the one of the sunsets in Playa del Coco.

Friend or Foe

We had an interesting experience just before we left El Salvador and it gives food for thought. We were planning on leaving on Sunday, November 8th but on Saturday there was a big storm. It was cloudy and rained most of the day and through the night. We were up and down watching the storm and finally decided about 2:00 a.m. that we would not leave and wait for the storm to blow through. Well sometime early, early morning we thought we heard someone knocking on the haul. Alan went topside to check and due to the heavy rains didn't open up and leave the cockpit but looked all around and didn't see anything so he came back to bed.

Around 6:00 or 6:30 a.m. we woke to what we thought were voices but didn't hear anything else so though it was just the radio and went back to sleep. Well here's what really happened. Some time in the early, early morning hours a couple of young men in a small canoe topsidded at the boca, mouth of the river. One of the young men floated all the way down the river almost 2 miles and must have caught onto our anchor chain. He was able to pull himself up on to our boat and he was the one knocking. When Alan went topside to check the young man was at the very bow of the boat sitting way low and with all the rain he did not see him. Later in the morning John on SV Veracity, moored right next to us, saw the young man on our boat. He came over in his dinghy and the young man went with him over to Colette's (Colette is a nurse). He was hypothermic and worried about his friend who could not swim. Colette started warming him up and treating him and John went over to the El Salvadorian Navy station for help.

The navy came and got Colette and the young man and got him to a medical facility and John came over to update us on the situation. We felt horrible we didn't see him to help him but also wondered what would we have thought if we did see someone on the boat in the middle of the night......would the fight mode set in automatically?

Well the story ends on a good note. The young man was okay and his friend was able to get back into the canoe and make it home. The question that comes to mind is how would we have reacted if we had seen him? How do you know if someone boards your boat if they need help or are looking to do you harm? It's an interesting situation and one to give some thought.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Goodbye to El Salvador

It's always hard to say goodbye when you've been somewhere for sometime and made new friends. We had a gread dinner at Bahia del Sol before we left and got to spend time with the people we grew to love and know while we were in El Salvador.

Alan, Miguel, Mac and Armondo, Bahia del Sol.

Anna & Igor - SV Anna

Passing Jani's wonderful place on the island. (Jani, Smokey & Shadow are on the dock..)

Rachael & Gilles -- SV Obession

The girls from Jani's Beach English School had fun visiting our boat.

It was hard to say goodbye to the wonderful students I worked with at Jani's English school.

Crossing the bar on the way out was a piece of was relatively flat and we had an excellent guide and pilot.

We did get a little surprise when we raised the sail...we had a visitor "Batman"..we put him in a tissue box and he rode with us til dusk then took off.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

"On The Sea Again"

Feels good to be out and about again. Left Bahia del Sol, El Salvador on Monday, November 9th, around 8:20 a.m. The bar crossing was a piece of cake....relatively flat and Rojulio (sp?) took us through with no problems. We had a little visitor when we put our sail up, "Batman". Boy was he surprised! We put him in a empty tissue box and under the seat in the dinghy where he rode with us until dust then off he went. He was actually kind of cute. No heavy winds or rain yet so cross your fingers we have another day and night out before we reach Costa Rica. We miss our other crew member but know she's in a good place . . . she sent us a couple of beautiful butterflies as we left Bahia del Sol so we know her spirit is with us.
More of our adventure later.............
The Crew of Effie
Alan and "Mac" Margaret