Friday, December 7, 2012

We're finally off, well.... tomorrow

21:00, 6 December, 2012, Alongside Bahia del Sol Marina Another few days and we’ll be off and away from this backwater. If it wasn’t for the efforts of Bill and Jean, the El Salvador rally organizers, there wouldn’t be anyone here, and for good reason. It is a barely decent place to leave a boat and, as of this year, the choices are diminishing. Island Marine is up for sale and who knows what will become of the buoy field opportunities there. The buoys at the Santos facility are of poor quality and he doesn’t offer much in the way of preventative maintenance during the summer months. That leaves the marina docks. After the storm last April and observing the way the docks lost most of their flotation, cleats ripped out and decking washed away and the lack of commitment by the owner we realize that the marina is not a priority. Naughti Moments had quite a bit of gel coat damage when a cleat let go and she rubbed against the dock and Ken was told that he was lucky the hotel didn’t pursue him for ripping out the cleat….. The repairs to the facility were only superficial and it is a disaster waiting to happen…. again. But, people will keep coming, attracted by the $1 cervesas, discounts on food and mooring, but is it enough when you consider the ride in over the bar, the crappy facilities, filthy river water, and the 1 ½ hour, $90 taxi ride to El Salvador to get decent groceries and supplies? Yup, I’m ready to go. Gail and Mark (Mangareva) arrived this afternoon with the dinghy parts so that item is crossed out. While Fran went to San Salvador with a number of others for last minute shopping I stayed and tended to some last minute items. Yesterday I decided that the water-maker re-build kit had taken up enough space in the bilge so the water-maker was broken down and rebuilt with new seals. It was re-installed today and it seems to be working much better and with less leaks. All fuel tanks are full and tomorrow we top up our water tanks and check everything for departing. Fran will be busy with Immigration and Customs in the morning and tomorrow night we have a dock party. We have heard from Alan (Beverly J) a few days ago. They had gone into the Gulf of Fonseca, where El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua share the waterfront. They were boarded 3 times by the 3 different nations and finally chased out of an anchorage by the Nicaraguan navy. They motored down the coast to Corinto and didn’t find much so they are now on their way to San Juan Del Sur. After their story the 3 boats leaving Saturday have revised our plans and will most likely follow them to that port. The guides indicate that it is a pleasant anchorage with good facilities. 2100, Friday, 7 December It was a really nice pot luck dock party. The food and company were great. The work is done and the 3 boats are ready for sea. We leave on the full tide tomorrow morning. Fran will try to hitch a ride on the jet-ski that guides us out of the surf line. She’s been itching for that since we first crossed in March. @ boats have announced that they will be arriving tomorrow, Rathscallion and Precious Metal. We’ll be boats passing in the morning…. Next stop will be San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua, but first we have to cross the infamous Papagayo region where the gap winds from the Caribbean pick up quickly and can blow up to 50-60 kts. We’ll tell you how it went in the next blog.

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