Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Bahia del Sol: Morning Run, Parts & Service, Summer Plans

I have found a nice route for my morning runs here. I take the dinghy to the dock at the hotel, bringing stuff to take a shower with me for after my run. I walk up the path to the hotel lobby, which is closed early in the mornings, but in front of which is a convenient clay urn among the landscaping, perfect for storing my stuff while I run. I say hello to the pair of parrots that live in the tree near the lobby; I'm trying to make friends with them with limited success so far. Then I stretch and start loping up the hotel driveway to the main road.

Turning left, I run down the road towards the entry to the inlet into the bay, past some rural homes and then to the cluster of scrappy palapa restaurants on the beach. Turning right on the beach, now have miles of nice firm sand on which to run with the morning sun on my back and the surf to look at to my left. No marathons, no indigenous women racing me, just a nice natural setting with a comfortable, resilient surface. I can return to the hotel through it's beach access pathway to create a nice circuit, recover my stuff from the urn, and finish with a refreshing lukewarm shower.

I was wondering what was going on with my parts, so I emailed Willy to ask him. He suggested I call his boss, John, directly in Delaware. John told me that he had most of the parts in stock, but a few were due to arrive at his shop in a day or so. When I asked how he would ship them to me in El Salvador, he told me he would put them in his suitcase when he flies down here in a week to ten days, to help work on my boat. I wasn't expecting that, but it sounds generous. I find it interesting that all this has been going on in the background in Delaware without me, or apparently, Willy, knowing anything about it or any money involved, yet. If this all works out, I will have received the parts I need in a very reasonable amount of time and have access to a level of expertise that would be difficult, if not impossible, for me to find on my own. Funny how things work out.

Since we are going to be waiting a week or more for John to arrive, we're starting to look at inland trips we might take in El Salvador or perhaps across the border in Guatemala. People speak very highly about the highlands of Guatemala and we've been reading about some interesting places in El Salvador, too. Tomorrow we're going to take a bus in to San Salvador to check out the old part of town and then taxi to high end shopping district to pick up some "delicacies" that we won't be able to find further south until we get to Panama.

I've been researching alternatives for where we will leave Intermezzo for the summer. It's not as straightforward as I thought. We've decided not to transit the Panama Canal this season because to do so is an "all in" move that costs a lot of money and leaves us committed to sailing in Caribbean and Atlantic. So that means we'll leave Intermezzo on the Pacific side. Pacific Panama doesn't have a lot of places to leave boats, is somewhat expensive and has LOTS of lightning in the summer. Costa Rica is also limited, is very expensive and has as much or more lightning. Nicaragua has a couple of spots that sound promising, is less expensive and has less lightning. Where we are in El Salvador is a good option, but it isn't below 12 degrees latitude as required by our insurance and would require a significant backtrack. So I'm hoping we find a good place in Nicaragua. If we do, we'll cruise around Costa Rica until mid-May and then head back north lay up Intermezzo for the summer
either in a marina or "on the hard" in Nicaragua, so that we can head back home in early June. I'll be communicating with our insurance company to maximize our permissible options.

This sailing life can get quite complicated at times.