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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Puntarenas, Costa Rica

After our snorkel at Islas Tortugas we hauled up the anchor and motored off towards Puntarenas. We took the tricky shortcut in our guide book between Punta Quesera and the Islas Negritos and only had a few heart stopping moments in the rocky waters. An hour later we were sailing downwind, flying along with the flood tide, and an hour after that it was time to turn the engine back on for the shallow passage down the narrow lagoon. The Costa Rica Yacht Club (VHF 06) sent a yellow panga to lead us through the maze of moorings and "docks" and we were still flying along in the last of the current. John did an absolutely amazing job of steering through the narrow aisles of boats, one of which we only missed by less than a foot. After hearing other people's horror stories of docking here we felt very fortunate to tie up without incident.

There's no longer any room to anchor, nor would you probably want to in the swift current which changes direction with the tides. CRYC has moorings for shallow draft boats and "docks" for deeper draft boats. The docks are wooden floats anchored fore and aft, and are just long enough to tie two boats up on either side. Nakia is 42' overall and we're hanging over at both ends. We were told that the reason for docks is so that when the tide goes out the boat will be tied in place and won't heel over as much when its keel is resting in the mud! At low tide this morning the top of our rudder was exposed by about eight inches and we were listing a bit to starboard (we're tied up on our port side). Hopefully that's as bad as it will get since the moon is past full now.

We're getting WiFi at the boat, there are nice showers on shore, we don't have electricity but there's a hose on our float, and we have a free lightning show off in the distance almost every night (but so far no more rain since Playas del Coco). This morning John struggled in the small space of the lazarette to fix our salt water pump, and now he's in the process of jerry jugging diesel so we don't have to mess with tides and currents to get Nakia to the fuel dock and then back to our float again. We dropped our laundry off at the office this morning (still at $1/pound), and maybe we'll hop a bus into town tomorrow. We plan to be here until the end of the week.

Oh, I forgot to write that on the 17th I let Ziggy out of the Pullman porthole at 3:30 AM. A little later I heard a scuffle on deck and he bounded back through the porthole, and then I must have fallen back asleep. John heard him playing wildly with something and got up to investigate. He had cornered a large turtle dove under the saloon table which John caught and released (hopefully it made it to a safe tree back on shore). Later that same morning I was making banana bread which called for six tablespoons of melted butter. Said melted butter was in a measuring cup on the galley counter and, when my attention was elsewhere, Ziggy jumped up and started lapping away at it. In my hasty "NO, Ziggy!" I managed to knock over the cup and Ziggy had two very buttery paws for the rest of the day. Maybe we should have named him Butters...

Linda and John