back to home page

January 2008

photos at bottom of page (text that refers to a photo is followed by o)  

January 1 we were still in Tamarindo, on the northern Pacific coast of Costa Rica.  Mike worked on the watermaker for several days, but it is still not working properly.  We have been experiencing some very windy weather, so the swells are up and Nancy is not feeling well in these conditions.  While in Tamarindo, one of our goals was to find a longboard  (surfing) for Mike, which we were successful in doing.  We have now sold both of the beginner boards that we got before we left Santa Barbara and have two fun size boards and a short board.  Fletcher is getting very good, Mike is getting better, Nancy tries once in a while and Dana has decided that for now she just wants to boogie board.  We left Tamarindo a few days into the new year to head further south and spent one night in a crystal clear bay where it was beautiful to swim, but a bit of a rough anchorage.  We went snorkeling, but not too many exciting fish to see.  After spending a couple of days here and finding a hardware store for some parts that we needed, we headed out to Bahia Ballena, just around the corner of the Nicoya Peninsula where we ended up spending the rest of the month.  While anchored in Ballena, we did some day trips to some tourist destination spots.  One was to Montezuma, a town near the tip of the peninsula.  Just outside of Montezuma is a series of waterfalls that is pretty famous to hike up to.  It was a very beautiful hike and we saw some new birds and a couple of monkeys.  The falls are pretty spectacular, very tall (about 60 feet) and lots of water cascading down o.  You can stand on a shelf behind the waterfall and then dive through to the deep water beyond o.  You can also claw your way up a steep bank to get to the other pool and falls at the top.  You are basically pulling yourself almost straight up by tree roots and vines, then you hike up, over and around to get to the top of the next pools where you have to lower yourself by a rope to get down to the waterfalls.  We all made it no problem, and had a great couple of hours playing in the water and exploring.  We ended up hiking out another way and got an unexpected tour of the back hills of Montezuma though an area known as Delicias.  A couple of days later we went over to the ocean side of the peninsula and visited Mal Pais and Santa Teresa.  The bus was almost two hours late, so we ended up getting there very late and not having time to do everything that we had wanted.  Oh well.  Another thing that we have been doing while in Ballena is ordering a few parts that we needed.  Another boater went back to the states for a couple of weeks and had graciously offered to bring down parts for us, especially for the watermaker.  We were frantically trying to get calls out, but the internet in town kept going down.  What timing!  Very frustrating, but we finally got everything ordered and are looking forward to getting the watermaker working again in a couple of weeks when we get the parts.  Since we have a watermaker, we are not really set up to haul water, we only have a couple of jugs to fill and bring back to the boat.  Luckily, Ballena does have a place that we can get water.  Even though we have the capacity for 200 gallons, with four of us plus the dog (who needs rinsing every time we go to the beach), we go through water pretty quickly.  We have been on strict water conservation, but we still go through it faster than Mike would like.  In this bay, on the one side, is the small town of Tambor and the place that we can get water, on the other side is a pristine, beautiful white sand beach with clear water.  We have been going back and forth between the anchorages.  When we are at the pretty beach, we take in soap and shampoo and have our baths on the beach.  Then we just do a quick rinse to get the salt off when we get back to the boat.  We do this at sunset and it is one of Mike's favorite things, the whole family cleaning up on the beach while we watch the sunset.  This whole trip, we have not had many other boats around, but one day two boats came into the bay.  It was fun to get together with other sailors and talk story.  We finally decided to leave Ballena, and Fletcher and Nancy went in for a last email check and to provision for the next few days.  The wind and waves came up pretty strong, so we ended up just going over to the other side of the bay to wait it out.  The next day we headed to the Tortugas Islands and then to a nature reserve called Curu.  On the way to Curu, after spending the night at Isla Tolinga, we spotted some waves breaking on a gorgeous beach.  We took a couple of hours detour for Mike and Fletcher to surf.  Nancy and Hopper went for a long, beautiful beach run and Dana caught up on school.  When we finally got to Curu it was midday, not the best animal viewing time, but we went for it anyway.  We saw a whole troop of White Faced Capuchin Monkeys o.  They did not jump on us, as we had been warned that they might, but they were pretty close.  We also saw a deer, an agouti, some pretty birds and several Blue Morph Butterflies.  Nancy had one circle her several times,  maybe it was the flowers on her dress.  We stopped in at another island in the Gulf that Nancy had been to years before.  It was a great, quiet anchorage and the Howler Monkeys on the island and on the land were having contests as to who could howl the loudest.   We explored the island a bit before settling down to a nice quiet evening before heading over to Puntarenas the next day to pick up some parts and supplies that another boater was bringing down from the states for us.  The channel into Puntarenas is very shallow, so you have to time it just right with the high tide.  We made it in no problem and got a good, fairly deep mooring.  Many boats are on their sides in the mud at low tide.  Luckily we stayed upright, although we could feel that we were beginning to list a couple of times.  While in Puntarenas we have several projects to take care of and some exploring of the country to do.


Please click to enlarge!


The waterfalls at Montezuma, Costa Rica.  Fletcher diving through

Dana reeling in a fish while underway


Capuchin Monkeys in the trees and roots

back to home page