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Our Slog (Ships Log) with a Satelite View

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Posted on Wednesday Feb 20, 2008

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We're still hanging out in Gulfo de Nicoyo. The charts and guidebooks have so many errors its taking a long time to sort things out for ourselves. We've been doing a lot of surveying and exploring, some of it is a bit nerve racking as we discover uncharted shoals.

Some people we met had their dinghy disappear in the middle of the night, most likely the work of some local sticky fingers. We went around talking to people about it and letting them know there's a reward for finding it. I hope something turns up because it's hard to get around without a "car" and it's even harder getting a new one. It's a real bummer but we're hopeful it will turn up.

Also we finally did some inland tours and saw the only active volcano in Central America, Arenal. We got some video of the rocks flying out of the top and down the mountain. At night we drove out into the jungle with a pizza and some beer and found a spot to watch the red hot lava ooze out and red rocks tumble down. And we found this hot springs under a bridge where the Ticos were swimming. We sat under a waterfall and let the hot water pour over us. I can't tell you how nice it was to take a break from working on the boat or dealing with medical crap and enjoy our trip to the volcano. When we have internet access again I'll try to post some photos.

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Exploring again

Posted on Tuesday Feb 19, 2008

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We managed to find room for 160 pounds of parts Sherrell brought down with her. I spent two days rebuilding our raw water pump which finally seems to be working normally. So now all our sails are working and so is the engine. We've been exploring the Nicoyo Gulf and charting some of the passages. We'll probably spend another 5 days or so in the gulf before heading further south.

The weather here is really strange for this time of year. Last night we had a thunderstorm and rain almost all night long. This is still supposed to be the dry season!

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Goodbye stone! Hello Sherrell!

Posted on Saturday Feb 2, 2008

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What a relief! Free (again)! I’m saving the surprise that my kidney stone is gone for tomorrow when I pick Sherrell up at the airport (she never reads the Slog, so shhhh…).  A winter storm is predicted for the day when Sherrell leaves, so I hope she escapes the snow especially since I’m going to pick her up in a rental car – what a splurge.

I still can’t believe the stone is gone, it happened this morning.  I think this is a record for 5mm stone passing so fast. I can’t complain, but I’ve also been unable to pin-point the root cause despite a bunch of tests. Apparently there are a few things they can’t test for down here, so I’ve gotta keep looking for a lab that can do more tests.

Onward ho!

Drawing of Gulf of Papagayo

Posted on Sunday Jan 27, 2008

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When we were struggling to cross the Gulf of Papagayo I dearly wished I could have photographed or video taped the experience. Our hands were full however, but the scene can still be played out in my mind so I decided to try to exercise it out of my head and onto paper. I'm not an artist so apologies for the quality, but you get the picture so to speak.

New Videos

Posted on Thursday Jan 24, 2008

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Want to kill some time and waste office resources?  Now you can do both by watching our poorly constructed and even poorly edited movies from Mexico and a wedding between people you probably don't know.  How is this possible for free?  Where could you find such a great treasure?  Right here on our site.   http://www.sailsarana.com/video_gallery.htm


Isn't it amazing how technology can help you waste time like never before?

The BIG day

Posted on Friday Jan 18, 2008

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Sherrell's mom is under the knife right now. Fortunately they are using laparoscopy so she should recover quicker than from open surgery. This is her very first operation ever, unless you count tonsils. You can imagine she's sweating it. I've got my fingers crossed all goes well and she recovers quickly.

As for me, I'm going to have more tests done. The doctor says my diet is "perfecto" and that nothing could really be improved. We discussed my theory about vitamin b (it comes from bacteria in dirt, but everything is so clean these days you can only get it from eating animals who have eaten dirt). I took B supplements in Mexico and for 3 years didn't have a problem. Also I'm getting tested for a problem that occurs with the para-thyroid that can produce stones. Unfortunately one of these tests requires me to travel for 2 hours on a bus carrying a large jug of my own piss iced in a cooler. Doesn't that destroy your idea of sailing in paradise?

I mentioned that low tide in the estuary is an event. Many sailboats are leaning way over in the mud, some of them still tied to docks. I haven't had a chance to get a good picture yet, so I borrowed this image from Leonidies. The current when the tides switches is pretty impressive, running at 3-4 knots or so. I'm going to do some more testing on our water towed generator here.

Also, Patches (our inflatable we rescued from the trash years ago) is now sporting 9 more new patches -- living up to its namesake! Only one of them is important, the others were just to help stop water from seeping in and making little puddles inside the dinghy. Hopefully they all hold so I can have my "car" back tomorrow.


Goodbye Sherrell! Hello Kidney Stone!

Posted on Tuesday Jan 15, 2008

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Sherrell's off to Seattle today to help her mom. It's 33F in Seattle right now, thats 42 degrees cooler than Puntarenas right now. Burrr. Poor Sherrell. The cats and I already miss her.

As a parting gift I presented her with another problem: a 6mm kidney stone. I can't believe I already have another one. There must be a record for this kind of thing, but it's barely been 1 month since the last 5mm stone. No one watches their diet closer than I do, so I am going to work with a Urologist in San Jose this week to start searching for a medication that might help me. Right now we suspect it might have something to do with the high mineral content of the water, even though I drink only purified water. Here it is:

The only good thing is it the stone is only 31mm from the bladder. Once it enters the bladder there's no more pain and it passes without a problem. The last stone took about 6 weeks to get to this point and this one arrived in 12 hours. Hopefully in a week or so it will be gone.

The real scary thing is if we can't find a solution to this problem it will destroy our cruising plans because its too dangerous to be more than a day's help from medical attention. We turned out to be quite lucky that we pushed on to puntarenas before Sherrell's departure, so if I need to leave the boat for medical help it won't be abandonded in an anchorage somewhere.


Posted on Sunday Jan 13, 2008

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This post contains a GPS location. Click here to see it on the map.

The rush to get Sherrell ready for Seattle winter is underway. We've unpacked her winter clothes and she's been mentally preparing herself. I don't envy her, we get cold when the temps drop below 75.

The good thing is this little Yacht Club will be a good spot for me to work on the boat and wait for her return. There's even a pool here. The area where the boats are moored is very shallow though and it makes for an interesting site at low tide as many boats are on the bottom and tipping over. I'll upload a picture soon.

I couldn't resist posting some photos from my Mast Monkey though, so here she is performing her death defying tricks in a rare calm anchorage and a non-windy day.

And she took a photo of me waving up at her. What a nice looking boat, but who is the ugly guy behind the flag?

Bahia Ballena and My Little Mast Monkey

Posted on Thursday Jan 10, 2008

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This post contains a GPS location. Click here to see it on the map.

It was a hard slog from Tamarindo to Bahia Carrillo with over 2 knots of current against us most of the way. For you landlubbers imagine getting in your car for a 600 mile non-stop drive, and right after get on the road and hit the gas you discover your destination is really 1000 miles away -- and you can't stop or exit anywhere.

We spent the night in a rolly anchorage with our new buddies on Desidarata whom we had surfed with in Tamarindo. Early in the morning we departed and headed to Bahia Ballena where we are right now. Of course we had to battle another 1 to 1.2 knots of current.

There wasn't much wind, so we had to tax our raw water pump which has been leaking water and I've been repacking the seal ever 6 engine hours or so -- NOT fun. Fortunately we seem to be rid of our dirty fuel now and are pulling in nice clean stuff from the tank. I'll have to scrub it all out once Sherrell is off to Seattle. Oh, and more good news. The bay and the winds were finally calm enough for Sherrell (my Mast Monkey) to ascend the mast and work on our roller furling extrusion. It appears there's some slight damage to the sail, so we were able to get it down and I'll patch that too while she's gone. It's a relief to finally have that problem under control. Normally our roller furling works flawlessly. However I think we did something wrong when we hoisted the sail because I heaved on the halyard really hard expecting lots of resistance and the sail shot up and banged into the top extrusion. Then I think with the wild winds it seperated. Anyway no sign of damage to the foil, just some tiny sail repair required.

I just found out that they filmed "Temptation Island 2" here. I don't know what that is, but if you thought they were on an island you're a sucker. I think the guide books call this place Playa Tambor after the town, but cruisers know places by the bays and points. Apparently they stayed at some fancy resort here for the film, I suppose you could look that up on the internet but it seems rather boring to me.

Tomorrow we are headed back to Civilization where we will tie up to a dock for the first time in 13 months, and we will have water at the dock (I hope!) for the first time in over 18 months!

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Posted on Friday Jan 4, 2008

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Here's a shot of one of our last few anchorages in Nicaragua, Playa Romanso. We were treated with goodbye double rainbow -- an apropriate goodbye as we'll miss Nicaragua.

We visited a few more places before stopping in Santa Elena which is in the middle of a protected park. Since we are right at the end of rainy season things are still green and there are some fresh water rivers still flowing.

The Bay is very well protected and the first time we've been 100% out of swell for months. It was a weird adjustmant to make. Humpback whales swam off the enterance, dolphins hunted around our boat in the evening for fish, birds had several discussion groups in the hills and early in the morning howler monkeys would call out with the rising sun.