A week in Puntarenas and the Costa Rica Yacht Club
We left Los Suenos on Monday morning around 8:00 and headed for Puntarenas.
Since the high tide we needed to enter the channel wasn't until 2:30 pm, we took
our time making the 25 nm passage, fishing along the way, even turning circles
when we thought there was a chance it would help. It was to no avail, however,
as nothing was biting on that breeze less hot day.
We had heard that it was necessary to contact the
Costa Rica Yacht Club
to get a pilot boat to come out and guide you into the channel, but I wanted
to see how far we could get on our own, so at about 1:00 pm, we turned into
the channel and started making our way towards the yacht club. After about
one and a half miles of reasonable depths (10-14'), in front of the commercial
dock, near the Coast Guard station, I lost the channel and had to turn around
as the depths started falling to 6-7 feet. Our draft is 6' and any less
and we would have gone aground! So, at this point we called the CRYC on
VHF channel 06 and they sent a pilot boat out to meet us.
We followed the pilot boat about 2 miles until he led us to a floating
dock at the yacht club, where we tied RHAPSODY up and went into shore
to check in.
When we pulled in, they put us right next to our good
friends Bruce and Marianne's boat, GALLIVANT.
Bruce and Marianne were initially out of
town, exploring Monteverde and other nearby places, but they have
returned now and are our companions almost daily.
The Costa Rica Yacht Club is quite a nice change of pace compared to
Los Suenos, which we had just left. First of all, it's only $20/day
for a mooring on a floating dock, much better than the $270/day for
a slip at the Los Suenos Marina, or the $40/day just for dinghy landing
privileges there! Also, compared to being at anchor in Los Suenos,
the channel here is flat and calm, definitely a nice change after two
or three tough nights trying to sleep in a rolly anchorage. The $20/day
also gives you complete use of the Yacht Club swimming pool and showers,
and there is a laundry service right here in the complex, rather than
having to tramp miles to shore. There is free Wi-Fi,
and one can take a 40 cent bus ride
(or a $2.50 taxi ride) to the main downtown area where there are lots
of options for shopping, banking, and so on.
About the only negatives to this spot are (a) the channel depth,
and the resultant limitation on the times you may come and go,
and (b) the bugs. Yes, unfortunately, unlike Los Suenos where there
were virtually no bugs, here in the channel of Puntarenas there are
apparently lots of no-seeums. No mosquitos that we've noticed, but
judging from the several dozen small welts on my body and that constant
itchy feeling, the no-seeums
(which, of course, you cannot see as they are too small), are fairly
active here. Particularly at sunset or when walking through any kind
of vegetation I seem to get 6-7 fresh bites a day. Oh well, that's the
tropics for you!
However, the calm place to stay has allowed us to do quite a few
boat chores. Once again, to give an idea how our time is really
being spent, thus far, in the 6 days we have been here, we have:
- changed the oil in the engine
- changed the oil in the generator
- replaced a seal in the water pump on the generator
- changed the oil in the watermaker
- done our laundry
- picked up another DHL package (an ATM card this time)
- cleaned out some storage areas
- defrost and clean out the freezer
- rebuilt and lubricated the comfort fans in all the cabins
- mounted and wired a new comfort fan at the nav station
- rewired some lights so that we can turn a single light on the nav station
- replaced burned out engine panel light bulbs
- repaired a broken wire to the light in the port compass
- replaced a bad piece of tubing for the airco cooling water
- repaired a broken brass fixture for the head's water inlet
- built 3 web pages, including this one
- gone grocery shopping once
- installed Skypeon computer
- put up our full enclosure for the first time
- took the propane tanks into town to be filled
In spite of all that we have still had time to have dinner on shore
one evening, spend another afternoon at the swimming pool, and have
cocktails and a Trivial Pursuit game on GALLIVANT, as well as watch
a couple of movies in the evenings. We have even spent
part of a day walking around and sightseeing in Puntarenas.
Also of note since we have arrived in Puntarenas is the change
in the weather. We have definitely entered rainy season here,
as every afternoon at about 4:00 the wind dies, it gets real
muggy, and then it starts raining, sometimes quite heavily,
perhaps as much as an inch an hour during the worst of it.
However, we're nice and dry and cozy in RHAPSODY and so
are actually enjoying it a bit.
Finally, please note that I am writing this webpage
while we are still here in Puntarenas, on Sunday afternoon,
May 25th. Tomorrow we will pick up the filled propane tanks
and do a little more provisioning, then on Tuesday we plan
to go back to Los Suenos (which is about 35 miles further
south) to fill up with fuel and spend one more night there.
Then we will try to make a bunch of short legs, avoiding the
rain and thunderstorms as much as possible, from there down
to Quepos (65 nm), Drakes Bay (70 nm), and eventually Golfito
(80 nm), where we will check out of Costa Rica and head for Panama.
Puntarenas and the Costa Rica Yacht Club
Sightseeing Images of Puntarenas