Nancy and Sam welcome you aboard Windfall, our 1977 Maple Leaf sailboat. Windfall is a center cockpit design, 42' length, 13.5' wide, and 40,000 lbs of cruising fun!

On August 7th, 2010 we set sail on our "No Itinerary" world cruise and enjoying the "Cruising Life" very much! It's a wonderful adventure!!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Golfito;Windfall on a mooring ball

Our view of the bay from the clubhouse deck...pretty nice, Eh?
    After spending 3 wonderful days in Puerto Jimeniz, we motored 8 miles across the bay where we are finally in Golfito located in Golfo Dulce (Sweet Bay). Golfito is located on a beautiful, large, and very protected bay surrounded by tropical forests. We are on a mooring ball at Land Sea,   a wonderful small "marina" that has a LOT to offer cruisers. It's ran by Tim and Katie, Ex- cruisers who are friendly and very helpful.  The "marina" and "Clubhouse" (where beer and sodas are sold on t the honor system) is basically a large dingy dock with only one slip, several moorings, a floating house (where Windfall is currently tied along side), and a wonderful clubhouse with a large deck overlooking the bay. Mooring balls are for rent for $8.00/day, Pet sitting  is available, internet, TV room, and some of the nicest showers we've ever seen! Gas grills and all the amenities are free to for the cruisers to use on the deck.
    It's defiantly going to be a great place to spend our time while in Costa Rica. Tim will even check on our boats while we are traveling around Costa Rica with SOMF.
    We stopped at the fueldock before mooring Windfall....$955 for 191 gallons of diesel and 6 gallons of gasoline...OUCH! 
Dockwise loading boats for transport
    We're among lots of friends who were in El Salvador with us, Varuna, Royal Albatross, Sunnyside Up, and of course our good friends Jerry and Lauren aboard SOMF.  Several boats here are awaiting "Dockwise" a transport drydock ship for boats not wanting to sail to far off locations, Dockwise will be here Sunday to begin loading boats aboard. Royal Albatross is being dropped off in Florida, and others are on another drydock ship bound for Vancouver, Canada. It will be interesting to watch as the huge Dockwise ship lowers itself into the water and the boats motor onto the deck where divers will secure the boats to the deck. After the boats are secure, Dockwise will slowly raise it's deck (along with all the boats) above water and set off for distant locations to drop the boats off to the awaiting owners....oh, and cost is about $12,000 for a 40' sailboat from here, through the canal, and to South Florida...just in case you are interested.
    Today, Jerry, Lauren, Nancy, and I went to the Port Captain to check in (as a courtesy) ...he could see we had all the proper papers and asked how long we'd be in Gofito...."Uhh, about 60 days," we replied. "Ok, I don't need to see your papers till you check out." We left his office and walked around the street corner to one of the local markets to buy provisions for the week.
    A botanical garden is located  8 miles outside of town to make an easy day trip to visit. Sloths, Scarlett Macaw parrots, and Toucans are rumored to be seen just outside of town, so it looks like a bike trip is in order for the crews of Windfall and SOMF.
    So, for now, it looks like we're settled into a very comfortable, secure, in a beautiful Costa Rica paradise and looking forward to our car trip with SOMF to explore inland Costa Rica, volcanoes,  and maybe a river raft trip!
    Come meet us at the clubhouse for cocktails and coldies!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Drakes Bay

Jerry & Lauren crossing a creek..keep your feet up!
Sam's horse actually drinking fresh water. Lauren watching

We come into town a-hoopin' and a-hollerin! .
 As with most great plans, we didn't stay at Quepos as we thought.  Due to the high cost of slips at the marina ($150/night), no mooring balls, and with the anchorage being very rolly and too deep to anchor comfortably, we decided for a (slow) overnight sail to Drakes Bay.
 We couldn't go too fast or we would arrive at Drakes bay in the darkness of night...which is not a good option to enter an unfamilure bay at night. With only 7 knots of wind we put the sails up for the next 11 hours it was peaceful, calm, and Nancy got some sleep below till her watch at 1am...and of course thats when the rain started. Oh well, we arrived at Drakes Bay at daylight with rain and another rolly anchorage.
The Oso Peninsula covers nearly 500 square miles and most is in the Corcovado National Park.
The next day I put out a stern anchor and this worked great to keep Windfall pointed to the large swells enterning the bay. It's much more relaxing for Windfall to take the swells head on than to roll side to me! SOMF also put out thier stern anchor...much better!
Drakes Bay is named after Sir Francis Drake who landed here in 1579. Rumor is he buried gold treasure at don't as me, if I knew where it was I wouldn't be telling you this!
We took the dinghy to the (small) dinghy dock and explored the village. After a quick stop at the a small  "Soda" (store) for cold bottles of water, we spotted several Scarlett Macaw Parrots in the tree  not more than 50 feet away. Lauren and Nancy began taking pictures of these beautiful red, blue, and yellow colored birds.
We continued our tour of the village with a stop at the market, and it just happened to be the day the produce truck parks outside. We bought fresh bananas, apples, and a pineapple. I've got to say that I never knew just how sweet a pineapple could be till we tasted these. These pineapples are the sweetest, juciest, and most delicious I've ever tasted.
We noticed a guide trip on horseback available, within a shot time we we signed up for a trip in the morning.
Ok, here we are, four gringos ready for our steeds.... Our guide "Oly" said we would ride the beach, then a mountian trail, and we would see some huge rocks that are perfectly reason known why the natives did this , how they made the rocks so perfectly round, or why at the locations  were picked.
We mounted our horses and off we went...The Four Gringos...and Oly. The beach was beautiful, our horses wanted to drink saltwater standing in the small waves...Hmmm, this should have been an indicator of how smart these horses were.
We left the beach and took to a mountain trail, 6 miles of steep, winding, mud trail where our horses were slipping and sliding.
Bronk Buster Nancy - Yee Haaaa!
irlJerry's horse was the slow-poke, always far behind. He actually named his horse "Old Spice" but saw no reason to rush his horse on the trip.  Nancy's horse actually slipped and fell to all four knees, but, like a true rodeo bronk buster, "Cowgirl Nancy" stayed mounted and rode it all the way! I swear she yelled Yee-Haaaa!..Ok, maybe she did forget the Yee part of it, because all I actually heard was AHHHHHHH!
Let me just say that after 5 1/2 hours of trial riding, bronk busting, and saddle sitting the "Four Gringos" could hardly walk afterward! A cold brew at the nearby waterhole sure helped to sooth the saddle sores.
As we boarded the dinghy and started back to the boat, a "small" gotor was spotted 20 feet ahead. Gulp!  Later, Jerry mentioned he needs to clean the bottom of his boat...and I was thinking "Gator, the other white meat" make that "Jerry, the other white meat"!
Would you cross this knowing we just saw an alligator?
We instead headed up the small river we were in for a short dinghy "jungle tour"...and oh, how beautiful it was. The water was nice and cool, a swinging bridge crossed the river leading to an wildnerness lodge for those eco-minded tourist.
We like it here so much we've decided to stay another day, our firends aboard "Sunnyside Up" just entered the bay and dropped anchor. Time to break out the Captain Morgan and make a toast to Sir Francis Drake for finding this perfect tropical location....just for us!
Next stop Puerto Jimeniz

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

More from Northern Costa Rica

Windfall sailing away.....
 What a true adventure Costa Rica has become for us all. We've really  enjoyed traveling with SOMF (Sand On My Feet) as we set courses for beaches and bays marked on our charts.
As we're now in the "rainy season" of Costa Rica we get some pretty heavy downpours that may last a few minutes to about an hour. We've found leaks we never knew Windfall had till a mix of 25 knot winds driving heavy tropical rains onto the boat. But after several tubes of sealer, and yards of weather stripping, and a bit of frustration on my part (according to the Nancy) we've think we've got the leaks stopped (for now). 
A hike to a very cool waterfall
We took a bus trip to a very cool little village called Montezuma where we hiked to a very cool waterfall. Whew! It was hot, but the cold beer and great food at the local watering hole made for a wonder day. We enjoy the bus trips, talking with the locals, and seeing the countryside... Costa Rica has an abundance of natural beauty to be explored.
Lauren & Nancy hiking the trail to the waterfall
We had friends from "Sunnyside Up" stop by the anchorage and are spending a few days traveling along with us. One afternoon we decided it was time for a tour of the estuary around the bay and look for some monkeys. No monkeys were seen till we stopped at a couple of abandoned houses... there... and there.... in the huge Mango trees....Howler Monkeys! They have a distinctive sound to be sure as they leap from tree to tree in search of the ripe mangoes.
Before long, we were back at the dinghies cooling off and swimming in water...with the monkeys curiously looking from above. We all snorkeled, swam, and enjoyed the warm afternoon...that is till a "few" drops of rain began....followed by a torrential downpour as we stood in the water with no cares of getting any wetter than we already were.

When you are in the water, looking for any sign of the rain stopping and you only see MORE finally say..."Let's go for it!"
Racing across the two mile wide bay, unable to see with the rain pelting our faces, I reached down and put on my swim mask! I saw Lauren, racing beside us in their dinghy and look over, point at me, and before long Jerry had his mask on to see as well!
On our way back a fully loaded tourboat was stopped in the bay and in the heavy rain. They had ran out of gas! Captain Jerry and crew to the rescue! Jerry was quick to toss a line and give a very welcomed tow to the nearby dock. Well done, Captain Jerry! I doubt the driver got any tips this day...his passengers were all soaked to the bone!
Hey Jerry, didn't you ever learn to come out of the rain?

At times, when we are anchored in nice little places and don't want to leave, only the rumor of "Oh there's a better beach, bay, bar, or whatever that lies just around the next corner" is our only motivator to hoist anchor and leave.
 Currently, the three boats are anchored in a wonderful little bay, Punta Leona, with a white sandy beach, a luxury 5 Star all inclusive resort hidden in the trees, and beautiful Red Scarlett Macaw parrots flying from tree to tree. We dinghied to the beach where Lauren fell off the dinghy into the water - Note: this was NOT the Captain's doing!We went to the resort store for a few well deserved treats and snacks for the crew. Oh, and while we were in the store the afternoon torrential downpour began...just in time for our dinghy trip back to the boats!

I see blue sky...but not here!
 Boy! What fun! You know those "wash and wear" clothes you always hear about? Our's were defiantly "wash and wear" on the trip back. Now,  THAT'S FUN!
We've used our "Bad Boy" WiFi antenna and very pleased with getting internet from the boat, including Skype. Ok, so we've been uhh..."pirating" a few more movies to watch in the evenings.
Tonight we have invitations for dinner aboard "Sunnyside Up"...always a good time when friends get together for drinks and dinners. I must say we've had some great potluck type dinners aboard friends boats, you never know what will turn up.  
Tomorrow we're planning a course to Quepos where we will leave the boat on a mooring ball while we  will travel with Lauren & Jerry (by rental car) inland . Quepos is only 38 miles from our present anchorage, hopefully we will catch a nice Dorado to share.
Howler Monkeys watched from above while we swam
We did have a little problem with our windlass not wanting to raise the anchor. After cleaning out the V-birth completely to get to the windlass, it turned out to be a simple little fuse...Whew!
Well, time to get the dinghy loaded and motor to the neighbor's for dinner..

We plan to leave around 6am to Quepos,

Update.....Quepos was too expensive at the marina ($150 per night), the anchorage too deep and rolly to anchor comfortably, and no mooring balls, so we decided to set a overnight course for Drakes Bay (names after Sir Francis Drake- who stopped by for a while). We dropped anchors in Drakes Bay at 6am. This is a beautiful anchorage to say the least!
....Horseback riding, alligators, and lots of rum...sounds interesting! More on the next blog