Last Day in Barillas and Passage to Puesta Del Sol

We had a "somewhat" uneventful 87 nm passage from Barillas Marina in El Salvador to Puesta Del Sol Marina in Nicaragua, consisting of about 21 hours of travel, motoring and motor-sailing overnight. There were no adverse winds, no rain or lightning to contend with, and we were not rousted by pirates or the military of any countries! However, before you conjure up pictures of us enjoying margaritas on the foredeck as the boat glides through the water gently pushed by the warm breeze, I thought it might be instructive to give you a slightly more in depth perspective of the passage. The below log was written after getting only one hour of sleep over a 36 hour period!

6:30 am - wake up, make instant coffee, have cigarette

6:45 am - turn on computer, check email from three sources

7:00 am - download weather forecast, analyze four points and grib files for passage. reply to emails

8:00 am - I glue port cabin headliners that have fallen down, using 1/2 of large can spray glue in process.

8:45 am - clean glue from hands, gather passport, wallet. both trip to shore in dinghy

9:00 am - go to immigration office to check out of El Salvador. have passports stamped

9:20 am - stop by marina office to say goodbye

9:30 am - return to RHAPSODY by dinghy

9:40 am - take down and fold and stow 15x20' vinyl shade cover

10:00 am - get hose and fenders from crew cabin before dinghy drill, in preparation for holding tank clean out and our eventual arrival at Marina Puesta Del Sol, Nicaragua;. stow fenders in stbd cabin, hose in port cabin

10:10 am - test deck wash outlet. find flow rate too low to be helpful

10:20 am - dinghy drill: remove motor, oars, & fuel, store; put dinghy on foredeck, tie down; wash dinghy bottom after 9 days in tepid estuary water

10:40 am - check and clean freezer/deck wash strainer. find inlet hose, valve, and thru hull filled with barnacles. disassemble freezer/deck wash input hoses. clean barnacles out of thru hull, valve, hose, and strainer. re-assemble hose & strainer and test. MUCH BETTER FLOW for freezer cooling water and deck wash!

11:00 am - check and clean engine raw water strainer. check generator raw water strainer; no cleaning needed

11:15 am - dig up wall wart and accessories for 2nd hand-held VHF

11:30 am - sell 2nd hand-held VHF to Tahsin from DELFIN SOLO for $40

11:35 am - say goodbye and setup radio schedule with George from SOUTHERN BELLE who drops by

11:45 am - take down high powered Wi-Fi Antenna; coil and stow it and rope in stbd cabin. tighten up halyard

12:00 pm - take down canvas, turn on instruments

12:10 pm - start engine

12:15 pm - slip mooring; store mooring line; make way (leave Barillas Marina).

2:00 pm - I take helm

3:00 pm - clear Barillas channel, set course for open sea

3:15 pm - begin flushing and cleaning heads (messy, hot work in rolling boat)

4:00 pm - discover port head dysfunctional again; remove and test macerator

4:30 pm - disassemble, re-assemble macerator; re-install; problem still happens

5:00 pm - tear up stbd cabin. dig up spare old macerator as replacement; discover it's backwards. disassemble to reverse output pipe side;. discover paper gaskets shot

5:10 pm - make new gaskets, re-assemble spare macerator, install. it leaks (sewage)

5:25 pm - take a break

5:30 pm - disassemble spare macerator, discover impeller shot. re-assemble spare macerator motor with existing impeller and gaskets. re-install and test; it works, doesn't seem to leak

5:45 pm - begin cleaning mess downstairs, put away tools, clean up spills. restow everything in stbd cabin

6:15 pm - start watermaker

6:20 pm - Pull out mainsail to stabilize boat (S swells on beam)

6:30 pm - take a break

6:40 pm - turn on nav lights; discover bow lights not working

6:45 pm - crawl up on foredeck with tools, bang on light - it starts working

6:50 pm - I take helm; not hungry for dinner anymore;

7:00 pm - I take shower

8:00 pm - check in with RENAISSANCE re: radio sched. very static filled but we get thru

8:30 pm - put away sails which are slatting due to light following wind

8:40 pm - I go down to go to sleep; can't sleep; read book

12:30 am - I take watch; clear night, full moon. read a book by flashlight in between checking instruments, and standing up and scanning horizon every 10 minutes; take out sails as there seems to be a slight breeze

1:30 am - turn off watermaker; all tanks full! put away sails

4:30 am - rig fishing pole up for impending sunrise. get gaff hook out but forget to get bucket

5:00 am - still dark, get hit, but lose fish

5:30 am - sun rising, get hit, land a Sierra on swimstep; in confusion, he spits out lure as I'm trying to gaff him; while thinking I need bucket, he gets away, jumping back into the ocean

5:40 am - get hit, but no fish

5:50 am - get hit, but no fish

6:05 am - get hit and land 2nd Sierra. about 7 lbs; get him secure on gaff hook. blood all over swim step.

6:15 am - get bucket from swimstep, dip in ocean, clean swim step

6:20 am - get fish cleaning stuff

6:30 am - clean the fish in cockpit; put 4lbs of fillets in freezer. cockpit slimy with blood and fish guts

6:45 am - clean cockpit with multiple buckets of sea water

7:00 am - hurriedly make navigation decisions to enter Puesta Del Sol channel

7:15 am - anxiety and tiredness as we enter the channel

7:30 am - back boat into slip (tricky maneuverer in 9 knot winds). deckhands meet us to tie her off (3 feet from dock). We're there!

7:40 am - rig up Wifi Antenna - WIFI WORKS!

7:50 am - take down Salvadorian Flag, raise Nicaraguan Flag; Romero on next boat sings Nicaraguan national anthem

8:00 am - SSB Radio schedule with RENAISSANCE; I can hear them, they can't hear me

8:15 am - hook up scanner to puter. printer needs 3 ink cartridges, dig them up and install them. make 4 photocopies each of passports, crew list, ships doc, and Zarpes,. restow scanner

8:40 am - Re-tie boat into better position (1 ft from dock)

9:00 am - Hook up shore power

9:10 am - Turn on Air Conditioners; it's already 90 degrees in the cabin

9:20 am - take break

9:30 am - collapse into air conditioned master cabin (first sleep in 27 hours)

10:30 am - customs, immigrations, and marina people arrive; give them each copies of all docs (2 to immigration); sign marina agreement & get passports stamped into Nicaragua

11:00 am - customs and immigration people depart

11:05 am - shore power fails, go to office, told it's a "regular" power failure; if it's not back on in an hour or two they'll start their generator

11:15 am - we start our generator to turn airco back on

12:00 pm - power comes back on, check email, discover CG Ships Doc expires in 12 days

1:00 pm - run around like chickens with head cut off trying to figure out how to get original renewed ships documentation to Nicaragua in 4 days. send many emails, call u.s. coast guard, call DHL, surf net

3:00 pm - give up on getting doc sent to nicaragua;. we'll get it sent to costa rica instead

5:00 pm - write this document

After all of the above, yes, we felt like having a shot and a beer, which we "promptly" did. However, it's a far cry from lounging around with the wind blowing in your hair, that's for sure! Far from being on an ongoing vacation, we are busy almost all of the time, and only after all of the issues regarding the boat and its many systems - fuel, electrical, plumbing, and so on - only after dealing with all the bureaucracy of the customs and immigration in each port and country we visit, not to mention the more mundane things like getting groceries, doing laundry, cooking and cleaning, only after all of that is taken care of, maybe a few days out of any given week, do we get to become tourists and have a little bit of vacation-like time to explore.

However, we wouldn't trade it for the world. Despite all the busyness, it still is quite an adventure!

Having said that, our first impressions of Marina Puesta Del Sol are that it is very nice. There is a nice swimming pool, beach, clean bathrooms and showers, and a very decent restaurant on premises. The staff are all very nice and helpful and we think we're going to have a really nice time here!