Posted by: catamarantwooceans | March 22, 2009

Sailing With Shimon – continued

18.3.09 –  From the boat Playa del Coco looked like a small village with a few hotels on the beach. We went ashore in search of a supermarket and found out the real story of the place: REAL ESTATE! There were many Condos for Gringos everywhere and many more being built. This place has a serious identity problem. The more we went into town, it grew before our eyes. Shops, restaurants and more condos. We found the supermarket, which was just like any super in the U.S.A, having all we could think of and then some. Coming back to the boat we had an unpleasant surprise. It was full of ashes, carried by the wind from some far away forest fire. The ash was everywhere, also inside, since the hatches were open. We cleaned as much as we could, even utilising the vacuum cleaner, but ashes kept falling and messing up the boat.

19.3.09 – Thursday – An easy, relaxed day followed a quiet, peaceful night. We started the day by anchoring near a small island near Playa del Coco where the snorkling is supposed to be good. Shimon did not want to go into the water and instead gave the boat a good saltwater rinse to get rid of all the ashes of yesterday. I snorkeled and although the water is not very clear, full of what I insist of calling “nutrients”, plankton or what ever it is, I still enjoyed seeing many reef fishes. We continued on to Bahia Brasilito, only 15 miles away, sailing slowly with the light wind and absolutely not in a hurry. This is how cruising should look like! The bay is a wide one with a long sandy beach on which a lot of tourists on ATVs, horses on just on foot were enjoying their time. Not to mention the hated jetskys who, mercifully, kept their distance. One did come over to ask the time and as it sped away a jet of water from their exhaust found the small hatch near Shimon’s bed and sprayed him a little. A walk on the beach in the evening and then back to the boat for the regular evening activities: Happy hour and dinner.

20.3.09 – Friday – Long leg today, 51 miles to Bahia Carrillo, so up and out at 0515. The day gave us all the regular tricks: strong wind, no wind and finally good, moderate wind, that had us arrive at 1515. The bay is another wide one, with a long sandy beach. The village is also very pretty, actually most of it looks like a resort.



Around 1600 the armada of big and small sportfishing boats started coming in. They connected to their own moorings, owners taken ashore and crews getting busy washing, cleaning and wiping the big toys. Two of them stayed close, bow to bow, for a long time, in what looked like a summit meeting.



21.3.09 – Saturday – Another long leg because we wanted to get as close to Puntarenas as we could and have no problem with reaching the entrance at high water around noon. We sailed about 55 miles to anchor near Islas Tortugas, two islands that are a big attraction for the local tourists. We anchored, as the guide recommende, far from the main beach, a little uneasy by the position in relation to the northerly wind. The anchorage is barly protected from that direction and open to the northeast and east. Close to the beach a monohul was at anchor. Shimon wanted to know how come a mono could anchor so close to shore, while we were so far away. That was the first time I took a closer look at that mono. Hey! This looks like Ran’s Beneteau 473! A binocular scan of the beach showed a dinghy, a man seated on the sand and a dog. Surely it is Ran and Poncho! We lowered our dinghy and went to meet him. We were glad to meet each other and I invited him to come and have dinner with us. As the evening came, the wind grew stronger. We were OK with the anchor dug well in sand and 50 meters of chain in 6 meters depth. At 1930 I heard Ran call from outside. He told us that the situation where he was anchored became unbearable, with waves getting bigger and starting to break. He decided to move and needed help. I joined him on his dinghy and with him on the wheel and me on the windlass we brought “Shelly” to anchor near our position. This was Shimon’s last dinner on the boat so I cooked a Mexican meal, with Guacamole, Pico de Gallo and Chicken Fajitas. We went to bed with the hope that the wind and sea will calm down.

22.3.09 – Sunday – This was a rolly night. Short waves hit us and the boat was pounding making sleep difficult. At 0340 I was fully awake and waited for first light to get away.  We waited near Puntarenas for high tide and at midday started going in. The marina guy who led us did not know the good channel and at one point the depth showed         0.6 meter, the boat was ploughing through mud and the propellers raised two parallel clouds of sand from the bottom.  Coming into the marina I saw somebody waving from a moored catamaran. Chris and Anita on Padma!  I’ll look them up later on.  Everything ended well when the marina staff tied us to a floating dock that even had potable water on it.  We went ashore to have lunch after which I said goodbye to Shimon. We had a very good trip, enjoying the sailing, camaraderie and some reminiscence. 

I now have a working week ahead; taking the boat out to do antifouling and all the preparations for the BIG ONE – the leg to the Galapagos and the South Pacific.


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