Thursday, June 2, 2011

Not a good year to be in the inusrance business in CA

This not apparently a good year to be in the boat insurance business in Central America. I checked in with our friends on 'Le Bateau' to see how their passage from El Salvador to Costa Rica went. Kelvin and Jinny made it all the way to Las Cocos, Playa del Cocos in Bahia Culebra. They went in to spend the day with their local friends. The boat got hit by lightening while they were away and fried all the electrical and electronics. Alternator, regulator, windlass, radar, radios, etc. No fun. They are trying to get the boat together enough to sail her to Punta Arenas, Costa Rica, for a haul-out for complete inspection and repair. Second lightning strike on a boat we know and it's just the beginning of the season. we've had big storms, with plenty of lightening and rain, every night since arriving in Gulf of Fonseca.

We left the anchorage on Meanguera Is. and returned to Tamarindo Bay accompanied by Pam and Henry on 'Rapscullion'. With a very large Pacific swell running, it turned out to be one uncomfortable night there- actually two uncomfortable nights. In Tamarindo, We got Jervis on a local panga to take us through the bar entrance into the estuary. We grabbed Oscar the taxi driver to take us into and around La Union, the big town here. We wanted to do our official check in in La Union and check out at the same time, but it turned out that the port captain in town doesn't do this. It is the officials at nearby Puerto Caraison. So we decided it would be easier to bring he boat in the next day, anchor near the Navy base we'd visited last week, and dinghy in with the folks on 'Libertad' to do the paperwork shuffle. We did -- the port guys are friendly and cooperative. That said, next time I'd just check out at Bahia del Sol and not go into La Union with the boat. There are enough anchorages around here that you can skip La Union and just be 'in transit'- we're learning.

We met up with 'Libertad' and 'Lovely Lady' crew in town at the fast food chicken spot, Pollo Campero. After the Navy lift fell over, Rose decided to take the boat back to Barillas where they had now agreed to haul her for the inspection after her grounding there a couple weeks ago week. On the way up it was stormy and there was this large swell running. The fishing pangas here get hidden behind the swells and are very difficult to see, sometimes even in broad daylight as we can attest. It was 4am when they heard a smash on the bow. They'd center-punched a panga splitting it in two. The pangero ended up with a compound fracture of the femur. Fortunately there were other pangas around to take him in to port immediately- they move mush faster than the sailboats can, even under power- and off to San Miguel for surgery. Another insurance claim. 'Lovely Lady' is really due for some no-more-drama time.

We're back in the little anchorage off Isla Meanguera now. If it works out OK, we will leave early in the morning for a 2 day, 1 night passage to the north end of Cost Rica, making for Bahia Santa Elena. We were going to leave today, but it looks like the rain storms, and hence the lightening, might be a little less tomorrow. We plan to keep an eye out for the fishermen and are making sacrifices to Thor that he will take pity on us poor sailors here in the throes of the Central America rainy season.

Pictures and intelligent commentary when we get to Internet access again.

Paul and Chris

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