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October - December 2004

Bahia Santa Elena

Our first stop in Costa Rica, this bay is the site of an extensive natural reserve and marine park, almost totally enclosed by land.  You can just see the entrance between those two islands.

Bahia Santa Elena, CR.jpg (164809 bytes)
Luc entering CR.jpg (173130 bytes) Luc is watching for fishing nets and long lines at the entrance to Bahia Santa Elena.  We won't embarrass him by telling a story about how much food we have to carry to feed a teenaged male person of this size.  
We see what we think are Pantropical Spotted dolphins or Spinner dolphins most days when we are traveling. We can't always get these lovely photos of them.  These were taken just on the border between Nicaragua and Costa Rica, where the water is exceptionally clear.  Nicaragua 111.jpg (93258 bytes)
Nicaragua 110.jpg (87147 bytes) Usually they visit us several times a day, so we watch and listen for their distinctive hiss-splash, and run  up to the bow to hang over and laugh with them as they ride the bow waves.  Sometimes they stay only a few minutes; other times they return to the bow wave again and again, for as long as 45 minutes or an hour.
Santa Elena is astonishingly lovely, protected on all sides by these green, rolling hills.  Lovely Bahia Sta Elena.jpg (163132 bytes)
The hills above BSElena.jpg (192487 bytes) This is just at the end of the wet season, so the hills are green and lush
Because Santa Elena is surrounded by hills, so these rainstorms hang over the hills for a long time before they actually rain on us. A bit of rain in Bahia Sta Elena.jpg (93919 bytes)
Sera in BSE.jpg (174041 bytes) Our friends Linda Charlesworth and Vic Smith on Sera joined us in Santa Elena, and we were the only boats here for days.
Vic is perusing the manual for the Autopilot, which has been acting strangely since...the lightening strike? Mr.Fixit perusing the Auto Pilot Manual.jpg (196276 bytes)
Bets treating Swimmer's Ear.jpg (144197 bytes) Betsey got swimmer's ear in Puesta del Sol, and was treating it based on Advanced First Aid Afloat.  She looks pretty healthy here, but the ear infection turned into a 104 degree fever for almost a week, several attempts at antibiotics, an allergic reaction, an emergency sail to Playa Coco to see a doctor, and more days of high fever until the new antibiotic took effect.  Everyone was very scared.

Bahia Culebra

Betsey was still sick,  getting better, although  very weak.  Bahia Culebra, your basic dream of tropical beach, white sand, palm trees, etc.,  was the perfect spot to recuperate.

Bahia Culebra 014.jpg (133045 bytes)
wpe98.jpg (38692 bytes) Many of our friends were here:  Judy and Dennis on Emerada, Chuck on Impulsive, John and Susie on Cabaret, and Linda and Vic on Sera
From Soul Catcher, this shoreline looked like a Japanese garden. Northern Costa Rica 063.jpg (266318 bytes)
Bahia Culebra 012.jpg (285820 bytes) Complete with a stand of bamboo growing on the hillside
The cruiser's life, white sand beaches, palm trees, etc.  Actually, we spend most of our time foraging for food and water, and fixing what breaks...

Look closely and you will see George, hauling fresh water back to the inflatable, another day in Paradise.


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Bahia Culebra 003.jpg (142902 bytes) But Vic from Sera is taking a break from fixing Soul Catcher's outboard.  The background is tropical forest, white sand beach, clear green water.  Paradise.
Sailing the Costa Rican coast is pretty mellow, at least in October, at the end of the rainy season, before the start of Papagayo season.  Papagayos are strong, sudden, and unpredictable winds that blow from December to March along the Gulf of Papagayo.  We are sailing with a full main and job, and you can see the self-steering Hydrovane steering the boat, while Lucas sits back and watches for boat traffic. wpe3.jpg (54093 bytes)

Bahia Portrero Grande


Bahia Ballena

wpe91.jpg (26357 bytes) We finally started fishing in Costa Rica.  Before this, there was so much going on that we didn't know how to manage the catching and killing of fish.  But our friends encouraged us, and some of them browbeat us, so we finally worked out a process.  Now we fish most days we are at sea.  We caught this yellowfin off Bahia Drake, and ate it a hour later.

Isla Cedros

These happy people are playing in John's panga off Isla Cedros.  From left to right, George, John, Sue, Linda, Bets, Vic (Luc is taking the photo).  We met John and Susan quite by accident on the Paquera ferry, and became good friends. 

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  John and Susan live in Michigan for much of the year.  They come to their home in Isla Cedros in November, and stay until March.
We stayed a few weeks in our anchorage at Isla Jesusita, played with John and Susan most days,  
  went to see the monkeys at Isla Tortuga,
took a bus to Montezuma  


One of the most beautiful spots on the Costa Rican coast. We anchored here several times, and we had a hard time leaving.  There's a nice beach town, and a secluded anchorage south of the wharf.  Beautiful.  


wpe96.jpg (32618 bytes)
wpe94.jpg (33585 bytes) This is the old headquarters of United Fruit Company, Costa Rica, now owned by Palm Tico, Inc.  Most of Quepos is an old company town.

Manuel Antonio Park

Just south around the point from Quepos is the amazing Manuel Antonio Park, with miles of trails through the rain forest to lovely pocket beaches like this.

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wpe9C.jpg (39699 bytes) This is the best restaurant in Manuel Antonio, a street vendor who cooks chicken and ribs with casado (rice, beans, plantains, maybe some yucca or mashed potatos).  It looks pretty rough, but she's always full, and that's the key.
It's not for the squeamish, though.  This is the dishwashing facility.  The blue buckets on the ground hold water, which is scooped onto the sink with the blue bin.  Dishes are soaped, rinsed, and returned to the serving area. wpe9F.jpg (30653 bytes)
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Bahia Drake

South from Manuel Antonio is the lovely and serene anchorage of Bahia Drake (Drah-kay), named for Sir Francis Drake, who visited here. 


The sunsets were breathtaking. Drake turned out to be one of our favorite anchorages in Costa Rica. wpe8F.jpg (16947 bytes)




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Last modified: April 27, 2010