Thursday, May 12, 2016

Costa Rica Yacht Club: Fast Sailing, Fairwell to Hannah and The Beginning of the End

Hannah and I sailed overnight on Monday from Playa de Cocos to Bahia Ballena, dropping anchor early Tuesday morning. We motored the whole way because the wind was on the nose the whole passage, even though as we hugged the coastline our heading changed 90 degrees. I couldn't believe it, but the headwind turned with us every time. The passage was uneventful, save for a deluge of rain and some very active nocturnal dolphins. The rain came down in buckets and then switched to fine fire hose spray. I felt cold for the first time in months and had to actually put on a jacket to warm up. The dolphins not only did their bioluminescent streaking around the boat, they also launched themselves out of the water in front of us. I figure they were feeding on fish attracted to our navigation lights. Or maybe they were just having a nighttime game.

After resting up and having some brunch, we took the dinghy to explore the little village of Tambor. It is very small, quite nice and was deserted when we visited. We walked a long way on the beach, looking at all the low tide sea life doing there thing in the wet sand. Before heading back to the boat we had a nice lunch at a small hotel, where the desk person was also the chef and waiter. Quite a good chef, actually.

Yesterday we sailed from Bahia Ballena to the Costa Rica Yacht Club (CRYC) in Puntarenas. It was a fantastic sail, beam reaching with the main and Code 0 at over 8 knots most of the time, sometimes breaking 9 knots. We were going so fast that I had to sail some extra distance so that we wouldn't arrive at Puntarenas with the tide too low to make it through the shallow channel to the yacht club. (The tidal range here is about 10 feet.) Despite my efforts, we did arrive a bit early, but the yacht club sent a panga to guide us in and although some spots in the channel were less than five feet deep, we made it to our floating dock mooring without running aground. Intermezzo is basically tied up to a wooden raft held in place by four anchors. When we want to go to shore, we just call a panga to come get us on the radio, available 24/7.

CRYC is a bit worn, but the people are really, really nice. The dry storage yard looks really good and secure to leave Intermezzo in for the summer. The cost is quite reasonable. Everything looks good, but the question of whether or not Intermezzo can stay here beyond our current 90-day temporary import permit remains. The yacht club manager doesn't think this will be a problem. We're visiting Customs on Monday and I really hope she's right.

Hannah flew back to NYC today. I took the bus with her to the airport in San Jose. It was quite a scenic ride through the mountains to between here and there. She got checked in and her plane took off. She'll hopefully be safely home a few hours after I post this. I had a bit of an adventure catching the bus back here, as I couldn't catch it at the airport where it dropped us off, but had to make my way into the city of Alajuela and then roam the streets looking for the right bus terminal. IIt didn't take me too long to find it and got back here around dinner time.

I'll be chilling here until Monday when I go with the yacht club manager to visit Customs and find out if I can leave Intermezzo here or not. I'm going to start planning what needs to be done to layup the boat properly, try to purchase what supplies I'l need and get started on some of the prep.

It's hard to believe that this phase of our Sailing Intermezzo might draw to a close in a couple of weeks and I"ll be heading back home.