Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Bahia del Sol: Parts, Surf, Roadtrip, and Beyond

Well, tomorrow we will have been at anchor in Bahia del Sol for two weeks. Two weeks! Parts are purportedly to arrive in Delaware tomorrow and once they are received, John the diesel guru will book his flight to bring them down here. Willy thinks he might get her by the weekend. I sure hope so. That would let us get the work done on the boat on Monday and Tuesday so that we can hopefully get out of here by next Wednesday. We'll leave then, parts or not. That will make our stay here three weeks long. Three weeks! Reminds me of the CCR song, "Stuck in Lodi Again".

As it turns out, we probably can't leave until next Wednesday because the ocean swell is building and it will be too rough to cross the bar for the next week. The surf is forecast to be at 2 meters over the weekend; we're told pilot won't guide you across the bar unless the surf is about 1 meter or less, although it was running at about 1.5 meters when we entered. It's a bit daunting the think of powering through a 1.5 meter breaking wave to get out, but I think we could do it. Not more than that, though. And I would prefer less. So by next Wednesday, the forecast is showing about 1 meter, Thursday less. That's a long way out for a surf forecast, so we will be monitoring closely. I hope we are not "Stuck in Lodi" past Thursday.

We decided to make the most of the time until our parts (supposedly) get here by taking a road trip to the highlands in western El Salvador, along the Ruta de Flores (Flower Route). We'll catch a bus tomorrow to San Salvador, transfer to another bus in Sonsanate and then a final bus to the small town of Juayua which we will stay in as our base to visit other nearby villages and sights. The guidebooks describe a lot of nice hikes, good restaurants, and a famous weekend artisanal market. We're looking forward to exploring this area and some cooler temperatures. We'll head back here on Sunday.

This is the second time we are leaving Intermezzo at anchor, rather than in a marina while we travel. Last time was in Puerto Escondido, where we had folks on a neighboring boat keep an eye on ours while we were away. We're doing the same this time, enlisting help from George, a long time cruiser who arrived here a day after us by way of Puget Sound and before that, Japan.

Given how long we have been sweltering and growing mold here in Bahia deal Sol, we spent some time looking at the calendar and doing some rough planning for the day we might escape. From here we are going to head directly to Puesta del Sol in Nicaragua, put Intermezzo into the marina there and then rent a car to do a week-long loop to Grenada and back. Then we will make our way with purpose to Costa Rica, likely stopping for short while in the "funky" port town of San Juan del Sur to clear out of Nicaragua. We'll cruise northern Costa Rica until the beginning of May, when we're hoping to hook up with Hannah and Nicholas to join us for a week or two and cruise the central coast. We may have found a place to leave Intermezzo for the summer in Puntarenas; now I have to figure out how to get around a 90 day temporary import permit limit in Costa Rica, as we need to leave the boat for four months after being in the country for about 30 days. We'll investigate that when we get to P

It is really hot and the air is really heavy here tonight. I can't wait to gain some altitude tomorrow into coolness.