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San Juan del Sur

We had hoped to day-hop down the coast to San Juan del Sur in the southern end of Nicaragua. All of the anchorages are poorly charted and there are no guide books for suggestions or help. We had heard El Transito would be a good spot to stop and it was within reach before sunset. However the swell was exploding in El Transito like some scene in a movie. The waves were pounding so hard they refracted back into the bay making it a washing machine. Anchoring and sleeping in that mess would have been impossible.

There a few other poorly charted spots to stop, but we ran out of daylight and there's no way you want to approach these shores in the dark. That left us with only one option, keep trucking to San Juan del Sur. It's only about 100 miles, but it is also in an area with strong Easterlies (oh, and thunderstorms at night). We encountered strong winds about 50 miles out and we were getting pasted. The boat was covered with salt spray and only going about 3 knots. A little voice from other sailors' warnings reminded me to stick close to the shore. So we moved from 6 miles out to 3. The wind shifted magically to be less of a headwind and turned to be more off the shore providing us some relief from the pounding waves. After that we hugged the coast as close as we dared in the dark and kept an eye out for thunder squalls.

As luck had it, we trucked along with some brisk winds and no storms! We are anchored happily in the bay with the typical brisk Easterly wind blowing a nice breeze through the boat.

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