You guys the good times are back !! Whee!!
First we had to have some bad times though, all that waiting around, especially all that waiting around in San Juan listening to gangnam style, good lord. We waited around so much that it came time to just visit a freaken machine shop to get a turnbuckle made. So i have two backstays okay so I took the turnbuckle from my other backstay and took the bus into Rivas, like, 45 minutes, and we wandered around the town trying various places and finally found a good machine shop and i said. Look at this. Make it please. Thank you.
So the next day i came back and bought it and said Yay i have a new turnbuckle. It will do until my brother gets here in like ten days.
And we bought lots of groceries, they are cheaper in nicaragua than in Costa rica. Like, twenty cups of those cuppa noodle two minute noodle dealios. And so much rice, and so many of those little packets of refried beans? Those are good. And cans of vegetables! And pasta, and pasta sauce, yeah, all that good stuff.
So we get back to the boat to put the new turnbuckle on !! Yeah it doesn’t fit. Yeaaarrrrrghghg.
Okay so i’ll put the old turnbuckle back on, that i’d taken to the machine shop so they could copy it.
IT DOESNT FIT
I try it on both sides. It doesnt fit !! In fact !! I try so hard to make it fit, which is kind of like not the right thing to do with threading, right!! I try so hard that PART OF THE SHROUD SNAPS OFF INSIDE THE TURNBUCKLE.
You guys i’m ready to cry, for reals, we are never getting out of nicaragua. I can’t believe it. Now we have no turnbuckles !!! Awwwww. No dudes, I had like, rung up Immigration and said, meet us tomorrow at the port captains, we are out of this country. So we were supposed to check out of the country the next morning but we were worse off than before !!
This was really shitty but our uncle dale came to the rescue!! The real turnbuckle, which we’ve been waiting for for like, five weeks or something, is now ready to be picked up !! It’s in Managua!! Boom he is so generous to chuck me in a taxi, Managuas far away but I’m there and back in four hours with turnbuckle in hand! Also a bag of mangoes and some cheese from northern nicaragua. So the new turnbuckle works, yay, and another fella on a rental sailboat there in San juan tells us of a machine shop we can go to in San juan where they will fix up our old, previously working, turnbuckle real good. I’d remade the date with the immigration officer the next morning so I went to the machine dude in the morning, visited the immigration dude, and went back to the machine dude… Guess what he fixed up that turnbuckle so good. He got that chunk of the shroud out, he made the threading so good, and he offered to crew on my boat. Thanks machine dude.
We picked up a new crew member in San Juan too!! Good good rae rae from Oregon, here’s a picture. I dont know if it will work actually. Anyway, boat load of three girls, unstoppable. Finally did all the immigration and port captain bladoodle, got out of san juan in the afternoon, had a pretty fantastic sail down to the beach of La flor, sailed on to the anchor just like we love to do. We ate some oranges in a really skillful way, and we three quarters filled them with like cake batter mikaela whipped up, adn we wrapped them in tinfoil, and then we wrapped potatoes in tinfoil, and we all piled in to the dinghy, with some red wine for company, to do a scary dinghy landing, and proceeded to light a fire on the beach.
Okay if you guys are ever near a fire, try filling orange peels with cake mix and cooking them in the fire, because they taste pretty good.
The next day we had a decent sail up to Bahia Salinas, or down, wherever it is, kind of did some decent big tacks up that bay, with the working jib up and the main reefed which is what we always do in the Papagayos except when we’ve only got the main reefed and no headsail, which is actually most of the time. Anyway it was a great sail, we managed to get there just before the winds really started howling, and we kind of hunkered down there for a day or two, dug up some clams on the beach and had a mean feed of them. When the wind finally died down enough for us to be able to haul up the anchor we had a great downwind sail to Jinquillal which is a little town, we were able to fill up our water jugs from some nice peoples garden hose (tap water totally drinkable in costa rica,yusss) and stroll to town to check the weather on the internet and buy some tomatoes, cookies and more vegetables.
Getting out of Jinquillal was another tricky one to haul up the anchor — we don’t have a windlass or any fancy bits like that, in fact, ever since the gulf of fonseca we havent even had a measly winch handle on the boat. So we just haul it up, from the stern so we can use the winch and just coil it direct into the anchor basket which is kept in the stern, theres no place on the bow for it. Sometimes it’s hard pulling Medusa ass.first into the wind though. Anyway we get the anchor up and it takes us a second to, I don’t know, redo the bowlines on the working jib or something, meanwhile we’re getting blown out of that bay, i swear going about 3 knots with bare poles. Gnarly. We get that working jib up, nothing else, we are hurtling downwind at seven knots! Dudes seven knots, medusa is lovin it.
We share bahia santa elena with another boat , they are also young peeps !! Yay we have so much fun with them, little snorkeling mish, we chow down on the biggest sierra i’ve ever seen which they caught just trawling in their dinghy, michaela and i hike up to a waterfall to clean all of our dirty laundry, wash our hair, and fill up a water container. Oh man we also see some gnarly roosterfish just slicing through the water, so many of them, like punks with their dorsal fins like roostertails stickin out of the water, chomping on some poor little fish. That was cool. We go snorkeling and a spotted eagle ray just chills out a few feet away from me, which actually makes me feel like putting my speargun between me and him, they are beautiful but they got those tails you know.
Anwyay four thirty this morning we leave at the same time as our buddies on Viandante. We wanted to leave at the same time, early in the morning before the winds come up too much, to have some company and a little support!! We were both worried about Cabo santa elena, word on the street is it can be twice as windy as everywhere else! Mellow papagayo winds are like 25 knots, so does that mean it’s like fifty knots on a mellow day?? Argh. So, safety in numbers, we chug out of Bahia santa elena and put up the regular canvas, reefed main and working jib (haven’t shaken out that reef in months) Man Viandante are kickin our little butts, as a 37 foot boat should, but we assume the wind’s gonna kick up pretty soon and we’re too lazy to do a sail change up to the big jib and shake out that reef thats just kind of gotten its groove there for being in there so long.
Oh man we get pretty close to Cabo Santa Elena and we commune with some whales there, they are doing their thing, eating I guess, when you get pretty close to them you are like, Hmmm, they are pretty big. Actually they’re really big. I don’t believe how big they are.
Okay and I was like you guys there’s no wind out there, past that point. We shake out that reef !!! We change sails up !! The big jib’s out and we”re… there’s like, no wind. The weather comes on the SSB, i can hear net controller clearly for once, and he reckons it’s 20 to 25 knots!! My eye!! We’re doing twirly whirlies because there’s no wind and we’ve lost all steerage.
So we motor through the Islas murcielagos and suddenly get some onshore winds, which seem to me to be outrageous, because we’ve just had crazy strong offshore winds every day without fail since we left El salvador two and a half months ago. Guys the winds were all crazy today !!! We even raised the gennaker today!! As you can see in the photo. We had winds like NE, we were pretty much going downwind. But they were super light, it was like Mexico sailing all over again. You’re like, two knots… let’s see… we’ll get there before dark, we’re sweet. Then they die even more and the sails start slatting around adn the fishing line is just dangling in the water and youre just kind of rolling around. so you gotta start the motor at some point huh.
Which was okay beacause we were going fast enough to catch a fish.
Which reminds me, we’ve got a fish in the fridge, which just means he’s chillin in the ocean tied on a string off the side of the boat. So i better finish this and go fillet that dude up!
In conclusion. We have two turnbuckles, which i am constantly admiring. We’ve had a week of great sails and great times and all those great things we’ve been missing for the last two and a half months!! I’m stoked again, I just need to get up to Potrero Grande and maybe witches rock to get my stokage up to maximum levels !! Whee