Author Archives: medusainmexico

Playas del Coco

Yesss we are still in Playas del Coco, waaat!! It is not such a great town here, but ! We are having a good time anyway, despite the welcome committee here on our first night, which consisted of two dudes and a knife waiting on the beach for us at 9pm. After some physical debating, we ended up swapping our drybag full of electronics for their little knife, and gave them some exercise as well- maybe not a very equal swap but we do always need cutlery on medusa. Anyway the next day my brother and Janet showed up to spend a week or two with us, and we met the super cool peeps aboard the giant 53 foot pirate ketch Karaka , captained by a French dude and crewed by whatever couchsurfers he finds.

Janet and malcolm freaken loved it on medusa, you know why? Cuz medusas the best. Yes we had four people on board- janet, malcolm, michaela and i- but it seemed to work out, mostly because every night we’d row over to Karaka with some veggies and some beer and maybe some bread or something and basically just invade their boat. You can stand up down below, on Karaka. I mean, of course i can, but even michaela can.

After Micheala, Rae Rae and I had finally checked in , visited port captain and gone to immigration and all that (we’d arrived late friday, had to wait till Monday to do it all!) us Medusa crew had the nicest sail over to Bahia Huevos, just across the way! We caught a massive beast of the sea which ripped out, strangely, the rapala part of our lure? And bent back his head and stuff?? Weird, I don’t know what was on the end of that line, but I’m going to have to see if i can replace the rapala bit  – it’s that flat disc thing coming out of the lure fish’s chin, you know? Cuz that is one tasty looking lure.

The winds around here are so fickle!! They come from any direction they want to,especially when you get closer to anchorage and it’s just doing twirly whirlies all around. So eventually we dropped the sails and Malcolm and Michaela got out the oars, and rowed us into anchorage. Good crew. What a cute little anchorage! Seeing as we had lost that sea creature which snapped the lure, we got out the spear gun, and before long malcolm and I had both speared a fish, let’s see, malcolm got like a scrawled filefish i think, which is just a triggerfish really, according to me. and I got like, some kind of jack, a big eye jack or something. We then used all our tinfoil to wrap up some potatoes, slice and dice some tomatoes and onions and chuck them in the tinfoil packets with the fish filets, and went find some firewood on shore. Originally Michaela and I were going to sleep on shore with our super cool hammocks but as we were lighting the fire and that we got to see a really long pretty snaky looking snake snaking his way around a tree and into a little mouse nest full of mice and we were like, ohhh, well, night on medusas not so bad really is it. Considering none of us really know anythign about costa rican jungle.

So huevos was really cool, the only shame is that during the day it is full of all kinds of tourboats full of tourists using really strange but ultimately dorky watercraft, so we pulled up anchor the next day, went back to Cocos to replenish our tinfoil situation and refill our litros of beer- next destination: Ollies point!

Yay! The winds were super fickle and we were going about two knots, which was especially disheartening when our mates on Karaka motored past at like five knots, but soon enough the wind picked up and we had a fantastic sail! And we caught a couple of bonito, or barrilete, whatever those ones are, nice big ones.  Oh man finally we sailed into the bay and I left my crew to do all the anchoring routines and put away the sails and gut the fish and all those good ones, to go surfing for the last hour or two of sunlight, it was maybe head high on the outside sets and just suuuuch good waves, long, nice steep takeoffs, some super fast sections, some pretty mellow sections, just super super fun. Wah.

The next morning session wasn’t so good, as the mornign got on there was about four or five tour boats full of surfers that came out, low tide came around and it started really working, I paddled out again just as the last boat was leaving, and the evening session with the waves all to ourselves was epic.  Yess soo good.

Unfortunately later that night, after another delicious dinner aboard Karaka, it became so windy that we were very unsure about rowing Munter home. We’d actually swum over earlier that evening because it was kind of windy, but not super windy, and we’d kind of all been stung by jellyfish, so no one wanted to swim home. Karaka super greatly lent me a kayak which is probably slightly more hydrodynamic than Munter, and i battled my way back to Medusa while my crew made little nests in Karaka for the night.

It was a wild night you guys, really freaken windy, lots of getting up and down and checking on this and that and making sure the anchors not chafing too much and trying to eliminate all the noises and generally not sleeping, but finally I did, and when i woke up !! No karaka!! What the, they took my crew!! After a sec i spot them way down the other end of the bay, where I guess they moved for extra protection as they had dragged a few times in the night.
Well in such great winds I can’t do anything by myself really, unless I ditch my anchor and re-anchor with my stern anchor, but I wasn’t dragging or anything, so i figured, well, I guess I’ll just hang out here for a day or two while the winds calm down. So freaken windy there was no surf at all, either.

Luckily ! Michaela and Tom, on Karaka on the other side of the bay, got in some kayaks, then they paddled the kayaks to shore, then they portaged the kayaks to the estuary which runs parallel to the beach I suppose, and kayaked along it, and portaged the kayaks back across the beach, and paddled out to me! And said, hey, you wanna hang out?

Cool so with some stress, due to dragging 3 ocean kayaks behind medusa, which were flipping upside down and filling with water, we managed to chug across the bay and wow! It was so much calmer. Lovely. And i am not so lonely anymore.

Well it sort of calmed down the next day to cruise back to Cocos, we had a pretty great sail, and then we had a really great sail, and then it started to be a really exciting sail!! Dang. We changed down headsails and we were so, so close to the anchorage there at Cocos, in fact, we were at the very mouth of the bay. Pretty much there. And all of a sudden! What happens but the boom snaps in half.

That’s a pretty unusual thing to happen on my boat, we limp in to the harbour and we’re like, what. What.  The boom’s got a 90 degree bend in it. This is no good.

Well there’s not much to do about it though, but find someone to weld it back together right!
So that’s what i’m up to right now, I got this guy Charlie who reckons he can do it for me, and I am done with writing for now so I’m going to go see if I can track the guy down, fingers crossed to see if it’s been put back together O.k.!!

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Yay!

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

Dominating the papagayos, looking super salty playing around with the gennaker

Dominating the papagayos, looking super salty playing around with the gennaker

Janky turnbuckle Mach I

Janky turnbuckle Mach I

You guys can i admit something to you I hate this blog this is the third time i´ve uploaded this photo and it doesn´t seem to stick on to the freaken blog. Every single post i do is like a massive burst of love for my family and my friends so yall should just appreciate it thanks

San Juan del sur…. still…

Hey guys sorry two of those photos are sideways, that´s annoying huh. I´m not sure if wordpress lets you flip them. Anyway those are photos of our crazy backstay turnbuckle !! Mach I worked for a long time, until it stopped working, and mikaela devised Mach II for the last five miles into San Juan so we could keep the mast pointing straight up, a good direction for the mast to point.  Now we have it all janky pretty similar to Mach I actually just with bigger cotter pins.

But you guys it´s not an ideal setup, that´s why we´ve been hanging around San Juan and Gigante for soooo freaken long. It´s been a month dudes it´s been a long month.  Remember i was like that turnbuckle should be here in a few short days. Ha. ha. aaahhh….Image

So it hasn´t been horrific though !! Look at that, that´s Gigante ! Nice one.  There´s some waves down teh coast there, usually we´d walk down for a bit of a beachie session, once we sailed down with a bunch of Germans and dutchies which was super fun, let´s see, we raced hermit crabs, we shot the shit a looot with the local gringos there… poor michaela spent a loooot of time on Medusa being sick like a dog, really badly sick for quite a while, but dont worry, she´s better now.

So it took a while to get everything sussed, peg out the sail and draw out the repairs so that the upholsterer in Rivas who fixed it could understand exactly what it was he was doing. Upholsterers don´t repair sails too often.  So the sail she is looking good ! Charged up the battery which was being funky, made a new seat for Munter, did all those ones, very very slowly of course. Ate some pikelets.

Poor mikaeala couldnt eat for like four days or so, just sprite for her, and one night she was like, i feel a little bit better today. I want to eat something. But you know what happened?? The propane ran out, we had no propane !! So i said to her i said, I´ll go in and get you a meal. I´ll even get myself one, I´ll bring em out here, we can eat em together! Chez Medusa.
That sounded nice, so off i rowed. Burgers were on the menu so i ordered some burgers, and i sat with the fellas at the bar shooting the shit and drinking a beer or two while i waited for the burgers. Finally the burgers came and the fellas said, You need a hand with that dinghy in the shorebreak?
Being the independent lady i am, i said, no no boys I am fine thank you very much. I am totally capable of rowing my own dinghy out to my own boat.

WRONG ANSWER NAOMI
I thought i had it. Man i so thought i had it. i pushed the dinghy out, i ran and pushed it and hopped it and got in the seat and started rowing like mad and looked behind me and ohhh shiiiii theres a massive wave  i grabbed the burgers, i held them above my head, i hoped like hell i´d make it over …. suddenly i find myself in the water, underneath munter, the soggy burgers under there with me… I couldn´t believe i´d ruined the burgers, maybe they were just a bit soggy, i tried pushing the dinghy out more but a bigger wave whacked her down and we had a true yard sale then: the seat, both of the oars, floating around in between slices of tomato, lettuce and slowly sinking burger buns. Munters doing all sorts of twirly whirly flips towards the beach.
I´m not sure whether to laugh or cry, but i do know i can´t go back to the boat empty handed. I collect the oars and the seat and the dink and sop my way back to the bar so that every one could have a good laugh. Hhahaha. So ! I order more burgers and more beer and when all is ready i get pushed out the second time super mellow.
Michaela is like roaring with hunger when i get back to the boat and i have to be like girl you will never guess what happened so she can have a good laugh before she scoffs back her burger. mmmmm appetite.
So we did end up having one or two yard sales in the shorebreak on Gigante but that just makes things a bit more exciting huh. Although the water is freezing cold here !! Like really really cold, i was cleaning the bottom one day (my favourite job to do now that we have new bottom paint!!) And i was getting ice cream headaches !! No joke. Ouch.Yes well so that´s our news, a lot of hanging around in Gigante, we finally got a bit stir crazy and came down to San Juan, although in hindsight I´m not sure why because Gangnam style is generally not a good song to lull you to sleep and it plays non stop here till about three a.m. Of course with the wind being offshore we get maximum volume on that. Nice.
Okay dudes pray for our turnbuckle to get here soon as !! thanks!

Chillin in medusa

Chillin in medusa

janky turnbuckle mach II

janky turnbuckle mach II

This is how we janky jury rigged it again to get us the five miles we had to go into San Juan… it is not still looking like this i jury rigged it like it was previous.
But hey we still have our mast

Sewing up the sail in astillero

Sewing up the sail in astillero

Me and michaela hangin in medusa hiding from the wind

Gigante

Gigante

A rainbow here at gigante