News aboard Sol Surfin


May Update

Hello Everyone,

We are making our way down the Costa Rica coastline. We are currently inside the Gulf of Nicoya anchoring in bays and the small islands within the gulf. We have found very calm spots to hang which is a nice relief from some of the rolly anchorages along the way.

A few weeks ago, we took the bus to a nearby tourist slash hippie town called Montezuma. Lots of gringo types have made this awesome rugged coastline their home. The beaches are beautiful just like the ones you see in the magazines, lots of lava rock with swaying palm trees and crystal clear waters and white sandy beaches. Really pretty! It was a fun place to people watch plus see all the gorgeous green lush landscaping along the way. We did an easy hike to a waterfall which had a large swimming pond at the base of it. The water was very cool and refreshing even though it was a muddy color brown. It was weird to swim in fresh clean brown water!

We are really enjoying the northern part of Costa Rica. The days are fairly cool because the rainy season is upon us. We get rain mostly every day with some thunder and lightening. The lightening is keeping a safe distance away. We are now sleeping up top on our converted settee which makes into a king size bed. We are loving the cool evening breezes with the spectacular lightening shows. Some of the days have scattered cloud cover, which is a nice change from the intense heat of the sun. Every morning we wake up to the wild jungle screams of the Howler Monkeys coming from the forest. Let me tell you that Howler Monkeys can put King Kong to shame.

We are slowly making our way south. After we left Nicaragua we had a great easy sail just hopping from anchorage to anchorage. We had a great time hanging out at Bahia de Potrero Grande which is AKA Ollie’s Point, a famous surf spot as featured in the surf flick Endless Summer 2. Unfortunately, the movie has let the cat out of the bag and the secret surf spot is no longer. You can only get there by boat so we were totally stoked to be the only ones there for a few days and then on the weekend about 30 surfers showed up on various day-chartered boats and crowded out the best surf spot ever. You can imagine how crazy it is having 30 surfers trying to take off on one wave at the same time! It was too funny that you just got to laugh. I spent most of the time trying to dodge the incoming surfboards. We ran into some surfers from Australia that said that they had Ollie’s to themselves only to discover that they were not the only surfers to be enjoying the waves. They saw a large shark surfing the waves too. I guess the sharks need their fun! Glad that I didn’t see anything but surfboard fins while we were there!

We have stopped at many other surf breaks along the way and really enjoyed the town of Tamarindo and stayed for a week. The waves were fun with lots of friendly local Ticos (Costa Ricans) and of course Gringo/ Aussie surfers on holiday. We were the only cruising boat in the anchorage with all the other boats basically doing charters. We are meeting lots of gringos that previously sailed down the coast and just decided to stay and set up shop.

There is a 40+ trimaran that pulled into this anchorage and ended up on the rocks 28 years ago. Oops, they said the anchor dragged. They loved Costa Rica so much that they decided to stay put. They are loving the CR life, Pura Vida! Now they are working with the locals to get them to grow organic crops. She keeps 38 farmers busy growing all over Costa Rica. On Saturdays she brings the fresh veggies and herbs to market and sells to the locals and cruisers. I made some great pesto from the fresh basil and we had artichokes the other night. Today for lunch I made cold Thai spring rolls with fresh mint and peanut sauce. The pineapples and mangos are to die for, so sweet and juicy. All the veggies and fruits just taste better down here! We are eating very well (too well) and the freezer is stocked. I have also been making loafs of fresh baked bread in the pressure cooker which really is easy and tastes great!

As for sea food…. the other day Gary hit his all time record. He caught 3 Dorados in less than 2 hours and also unfortunately, one bird. The Boobies are sometimes just stupid. They love to dive after the lures and no matter what we do to try and prevent it, they just keep coming. This is the first bird that we actually caught and it took us awhile to unhook his bill but finally got him off the hook. It seemed like he was going to be okay, just a little stunned. After that we brought in the lures and fishing was done for the day. Besides, I have no more room in the freezer anyway. The other night a local fisherman gave us a nice sized Sierra (Macarel) which will also feed us for many meals. Gary was out fishing in his dingy and I could hear him and the Tico conversing in Spanish. Gary said he really didn’t understand most of what he was saying but just kept talking back to him in Spanish. Juan is his name and we had him over last night for a beer and he told me that Gary just puts a letter “a” at the end of everything he says and makes it sound like Spanish! Gary is getting along in learning Spanish mostly from speaking to Taxi drivers and Fisherman.

We got to practice a “Man Overboard” drill as Gary dove off the boat trying to recover his brand new prescription, tri-focal, old folk glasses. Let’s just call them expensive! He bumbled his glasses while trying to put on the binoculars. There was a splash and him saying “Ah Shit!” and then diving head first into 250’ feet of deep blue water. He totally forgot and then quickly remembered that he just dove in between the 2 large Dorado sized lures trailing behind the boat. Whereupon he said “Ah Shit” again and he attempted to align himself in the center of the two torpedoes now quickly coming his way. He lost the glasses but saved his flesh! Since I didn’t hook him, I decided I best go back and get him. It was good practice and the biggest fish I ever dragged in.

By the way, we are getting quite good at surfing the waves on Sol Surfin. Ever since we rode the waves entering the estuary in El Salvador, we have had to put our skills to the test. Many of the anchorages in Costa Rica are near or in between reefs. We have had to enter some of the anchorages at high tide and find safe passages in between the rocks. The last 2 spots have had breaking waves on both sides of us as we surfed in between the reef rocks. We hit 10.5 knots at the last place riding a wave in, piece of cake! I was top side on the hardtop on look out for the reefs and saw the big sets coming in; it was all very exciting and familiar. I guess we didn’t name her Sol Surfin for nothing! On the way out of the anchorages, we just follow our GPS track and exit out the same way we came in.

All is well, nothing else to report.

Stay tuned. Till next time,