Monthly Archives: April 2015

El Salvadore 4/22

We left GolfitoIMG_3137 and went to a harbor called Drakes Bay. About a 60 mile trip. An all day trip for us and we arrived shortly after dark. Exploring the next day we found the town itself was not to exciting, but the wildlife made for a great visit. Lots of scarlet macaws,

Not a good picture, but this is one of the many scarlet macaws in Drakes Bay

Not a good picture, but this is one of the many scarlet macaws in Drakes Bay

many many Jesus Christ lizards

Jesus Christ lizard

Jesus Christ lizard

(and yes we saw them walking on water) and even a 6+ foot crocodile.  We left in the afternoon for an 0vernight trip to Bahia Ballena. This bay was a must stop. We visited here in 2008 on our 10th anniversary and felt we couldn’t just sail by.  We went to the Isla Tortugas and did a dive there. We only snorkeled in 2008.  We took a bus from the town of Tambor and went to see the town, Montezuma, and hotel we had stayed in the last time we were here.

Fond memories of this place from 2008. We miss you Jordan.

Fond memories of this place from 2008.
We miss you Jordan.

This turned out to be quite an adventure because the road was blocked by a protest going on.

From there it was a two night three day passage to arrive in Bahia Del Sol, El Salvador. We caught many fish on the way and saw literally hundreds of dolphins.

One of the many fish we caught coming up the coast.

One of the many fish we caught coming up the coast.

Just a few of the literally hundreds of dolphins we saw.

Just a few of the literally hundreds of dolphins we saw.

Coming in to the bay is not like any other bar crossing we have done. Waves were breaking all around us. Including in front and behind. A “pilot” is sent out to guide you in. Riding in his own small boat with a big motor and communicating via radio, he lines you up in the right spot and tells you when to use full speed ahead to maximize the use of the waves and get you through the danger zone. Watching the boat go through before us did not help to calm my nerves, but we made it through with out too much thrill and were greeted at the docks with some ice cold refreshments. How nice is that? As it worked out we arrived the day before the final party of the El Salvador Rally, so we were able to join in on the fun event put together by some former cruisers Bill and Jean.

Here we rented a car to visit San Salvador for a doctor visit, and since it was a three day minimum rental we did a little sight seeing. Driving in San Salvador is quite the challenge. Many one way streets (of which I didn’t always comply) lots of no left turns, and street and direction signs that didn’t always make sense. Our first day we had a guide with us who easily got us to the doctor’s office.

Our guide and translator, Jamie

Our guide and translator, Jamie

Somehow we managed without problems the second day, but the third day was hell. Back and forth across the town a half dozen times trying to find the dive shop, the restaurant, and the machine shop.

They squeeze in and on.

They squeeze in and on.

They love this way to ride.

They love this way to ride.

Common modes of transportation

Common modes of transportation

This is quite common around here

This is quite common around here

These people pay to ride like this and are happy their not walking.

These people pay to ride like this and are happy their not walking.

Not an invasion, just standard operating procedure here in Central America

Not an invasion, just standard operating procedure here in Central America

We traveled to Puerto del Diablo to climb a some cliff side steps to see amazing views of El Salvador. Due to the dry/growing season there were too many fires burning to really enjoy it.

The road to Puerto del Diablo

The road to Puerto del Diablo

Another view from the devils door

Another view from the devils door

View from Puerto Del Diablo

View from Puerto Del Diablo

Near the top at El Boqueron

Near the top at El Boqueron

From there we were off to El Boqueron to view a mountainside garden area surrounding a volcano crater with a smaller crater inside it.  Pretty yes, but it has nothing on Crater Lake in Oregon.  Then off to a quaint little town called Suchitotto.

The main church in Sochitotto

The main church in Sochitotto

One of the side streets in Sochitotto

One of the side streets in Sochitotto

Billed as how El Salvador used to be. (before all of the civil wars I guess) This is a very nice place with the cobblestone roads and stucco homes all painted in bright colors. A lot like Antiqua in Guatemala. By the time we got there we were running out of daylight so we didn’t get to explore it like we wanted. Trying to get back to Stray Catz we were fighting rush hour traffic in the dark in San Salvador and it was not fun.

No I'm not on watch.

No I’m not on watch.

The plan is to leave here on Saturday and make a few multi-night trips bypassing Guatemala and Honduras straight into Mexico. Stopping only to check into the country and get fuel as necessary. If all goes right we will be back in the USA before June.

Penquins in El Salvador? This is for you Pam!

Penguins in El Salvador?
This is for you Pam!

Practicing our selfies

Practicing our selfies

Costa Rica

On March 19 on our way out of Panama City, sporting a newly rebuilt alternator we pulled anchor and headed for the fuel dock around the point. Before we completed the 20 minute cruise smoke was billowing out of the engine room. The alternator was rebuilt wrong. This was Thursday, so by the time the shop admitted their mistake and let me know they couldn’t repair the old unit it was Friday and this meant another weekend in P.C. Mad at the shop and depressed we weren’t on our way, I ordered another unit from the USA thinking I could get it in a week. I was right. Thank you Pan Logistics.  On Monday the alternator shop found a brand new unit and were willing to apply everything I had spent on repairs towards the price of the new one. ( as they should have ) I bought it and it works great, but we have to wait for the one from the USA. Oh well another 5 days in P.C.

On March 28 after an afternoon thunderstorm we departed on an overnight trip to a bay called Benao. Billed as a premier surf spot, it lived up to its name.  We anchored, launched the dinghy and were playing in the waves within an hour of arrival. Within three hours we were all very sore. Not too sore to do a little more the next day before we headed out for another overnight trip to the Isla Secas.

Isla Secas are billed as good diving and they too lived up to their name. We anchored in this beautiful little spot almost surrounded by rocks and islands. The sea was calm and the water was a gorgeous aqua-marine color in the mid to upper 80s temperature wise. The anchor spot later turned out to be not as pristine as at first it seemed. The wind picked up in the middle of the night and so did the chop. However other than waking a few extra times to check the anchor there was no problem and in the morning it was just as beautiful as it had been the day before.

We went on a great dive on the opposite side of the island before packing up and heading out on another overnight trip to Golfito, Costa Rica. Business needs meant I was in desperate need of some internet or we would have spent another night in that beautiful spot. We planned on spending no more than two nights in Golfito before continuing up the coast, but we didn’t plan on the Costa Rica being shut down starting Thursday for Easter. And to top it all off, Customs isn’t open on Monday, so that meant at least 5 nights here. As it turned out it’s been 7. Trying to get exit papers required an extra night. Alas we leave in the wee hours of the morning.

We have been able to enjoy the area some. The Scarlett Macaws flying overhead with their beautiful colors. Toucans and Blue Morpho butterflies, more colors. A late evening hike which ended after dark revealed two types of fireflies. Smaller greenish ones more like I’m used to (only they light up at the head not the tail) and another that was an extremely bright orange and flew fast. Actually resembling a fly on fire.

Anymore stops in Costa Rica will be brief  as time is of the essence. No stops in Nicaragua. Then on to El Salvador.