If you found this blog via a link from a cruising site ~ we did cruise Mexico on our Ocean 49 cat for a season. See the first text box on the right for links to our preparations, trip down Baja, life in Mexico, cruising and trip back up to SoCal. Unfortunately we are back to the grind in the USA...
Ok, this was not really a "hey, let's go on vacation to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail" idea, it was a perfect excuse to get together with several of our friends from our old C-Dock days and our 1997-2000 Mexico cruising days.
Tales, tastings and tour here.
So off to blogland I went.
To start the new blog.
I tried Catamaran Meerkat Dos and to keep a long stupid, boring, frusterating story short, dumped that blog.
Went back to one I had apparently started in a drunken stupor one night and forgot.
Blah, blah, blah.
And came up with Catamaran Meerkat Again!
First frustating post... HERE.
Three day weekend ~ Yay!
Unfortunately we couldn't head out this afternoon, but will leave first thing tomorrow morning.
Or as soon as our friends arrive...
Off to Prisoners Harbor with 876,349 lots of other boats!
Kayaking ~ Yay! Toe rail to toe rail boats ~ Yay!
Hiking ~ Yay! Anchor drills ~ Yay!
Loads of friends on their boats out there ~ Yay! Loads of friends on their boats out there ~ Yay!
Food & wine ~ Yay! Lots of radio chatter ~ Yay!
Fishing ~ Yay! Other fishermen ~ Yay!
Fun ~ Yay!
This "winter" or "wind season" as I am now going to call it, seems to have finally broke.
Now it's June Gloom.
But I will take it over 30+ knots of wind.
So a day sail was in order.
But let's do it on someone else's boat.
You know, one that is easier to rig and actually un-tie from a dock?
First you have to talk your friends into driving several hours to bring the boat.
Then step the mast and rig it. Susan and I managed to sneak away and let the guys to this... Then put it in the water. Once again we snuck away! Then remember how the running back stays are supposed to be rigged. I was there for this, but Susan...?
Well, it's notoriously windy here in the Santa Barbara Channel on Memorial Day Weekend.
Gale warning the entire weekend.
20-25, gusts to 30.
25-30, gusts to 40.
So no island trip this year.
A crazy ride on Vessel Assist's black inflatable on Friday afternoon.
Going 35 knots in the slop coming in from the 30+ on the outside.
Flying off of the waves! Yikes!
AIRBORN AGAIN! Yikes!
Ok, enough of that.
On to the rest of the weekend.
Wind. Wind. Wind. Wine. Dinner. Wind. Wind. Wind. Wind. Wind. Wind. Wind. Wind. Cleaning. Wind. Wind. Wind. Wind. Wind. Movie. Wind. Wind. Wind. Wind. Wind. Wine. G-Dock Party. Yacht Club Friends. Wine. Wind. Wind. Wind. Wind. Wind.Wind. Wind. Wind. Wind. Wind. Wine. Wind. Wind. End.
Used: 6 gallons of bottom paint.
A bunch of prep & repair materials.
Had done / Jim did (remember, I did nada): Fiberglassed over a bunch (Jim would know the exact number) of through hulls.
Bottom sanded & painted with anti-fouling paint.
Repaired t-bone hole on starboard side.
Repaired tsunami crunch on port side.
Removed scum line from just above the waterline.
New strainer for generator & watermaker intake.
Removed old toilet plumbing because... we now have one and soon to be two composting heads (more on this later, but in meantime, check out Nature's Heads).
Uh, what else?
Not sure, but it was a lot.
We provided: Money into the somewhat sluggish boatyard economy.
Money into the local hotel and restaurant businesses.
Rain shelter for golf carts.
Once again, time to interrupt this boring, tedious, too long with too many pictures and details re-cap of vacation heaven for something.
No rescues at sea this time.
Well, except for Ed getting airlifted off of "Blue Max" a few weeks ago, but really we aren't going to talk about that!
This time it's a commercial!
"Thistle" is for sale again!
I'm sorry, but did I read that price right?
I did? Holy crap. I'm very curious as to what he did with the boat.
Did he rip out the interior and re-do it?
Install a new engine?
Replace the countertops?
New cushions and mattresses? He better not have taken out that table Ron Whately made us... grrrrrrrrrrr. Install 24k gold faucets?
Well the boots on the fan trick worked.
I was able to put dry boots on to protect my sprained ankle.
Yay for Jim's creativity.
And now off to Arenal!
Volcano #2 on the list.
A wise decision was to drive down the hill to the highway and avoid as many sharp pointy gravel roads as possible.
Remember, we had no spare tire... Or any good tires for that matter.
Stopped at Cafe Macadamia and Lucky Bug for snacks and shopping.
And bird viewing. And internet.
And then the huge disappointment of the trip...
Our favorite gift shop from our prior time in CR, Toad Hall was boarded up and closed!
With squatters squatting in the breezeway.
Still raining with no signs of it letting up, so selected a hotel based upon it's 14 thermal pools. Arenal Paraiso Hotel & Resort! What else are you going to do in the rain?
Sit in thermal pools!
Works for me.
But first ~ supplies, shopping and lunch!
It to La Fortuna for all of the above, including this feast.
Aaaaggghhhh back to the foo foo hotel.
With the incredible thermal pools.
Did I mention the thermal pools?
And a sloth in a tree!
So our plan was to get to Tenorio Park really early to beat the crowds on the trails.
Ah ha ha ha ha. Ha.
It was pouring rain.
Plus we had to drive an hour on what was now the worst gravel, sharp rock, pot-hole filled road to date.
Up, up, rocks, stream, bridge, up, rocks and more rocks.
Finally up to the park.
And we were the first ones.
Actually, I don't even think they were open yet.
A basic, hand drawn map of the park was handed out.
Weird things in jars were on display.
And off we went hiking in the rain.
Me, looking quite like Big Bird...
I had a backpack on and a jacket tied around my waist with a yellow rain poncho over the entire ensemble.
Good thing there were no crowds...
Back to the rain.
In fact, it would probably be better to describe this day in the exact words in my travel log:
Good trail, bad, trail, rocks, puddles, slippery mud, squishy mud, gooey mud, boards to walk across, stepping stones, no stepping stones, rain coming down, I look like a flippin idiot (or Big Bird), up, down, rocks, roots, hanging bridge, not blue rio :( too much rain? More rain, two logs to walk across, luckily with a cable to hold onto, more squishy mud, now all of our shoes are covered in mud and our socks are soaked, I'm done! Crap it's pouring, not hot spings, this is crazy and we really need to get back across the river and here come all the other hikers - have at it! Beautiful waterfall, but good lord the steps going down, half way down and yes, this time I am really done! But wait, we still have a kilometer to go! AAAGGGGGHHHHH!
Funny on how the way up the trail we were so careful to not step in the giant puddles and squishy mud.
On the way down?
We had to wash our shoes at a spigot.
Wet squishy socks and hiking boots.
And back down the gravel road from hell, singing "We are the Champions" at the top of our voices accompanied by Queen.
Thanks for the theme song for the day Freddie and friends!
That pate shit in a tube.
Had to take everything out of Jim's wallet / money belt and lay out to dry.
Bijuaga is off the beaten path.
Tenorio is off the beaten path.
Rain however finds this unbeaten path.
First stop ~ small hotel full.
Next stop, oh wait, let's talk about the road.
It was a beaten path.
Worst road yet.
Gravel with giant rocks.
Sharp, pointy rocks.
Pot holes filled with sharp, pointy rocks.
Remember, we are down to four decent piece of crap street tires.
Since this area is off the beaten path, my extensive internet research found all of three places to stay.
Remember, the first one was full.
The third one had no beer or wine. Cross that one off.
So the second one it had to be.
So dealt with the beaten path road and was rewarded! The Heliconias Lodge! And luckily it had two rooms.
Two awesome rooms!
With incredible decks!
Views of Miravalles Volcano and Lake Nicaragua!
And king size comfortable beds!
Beers, wine, juice (Susan), crackers, bread and Monteverde cheese on our deck.
For some reason our room always becomes the party room... why is that?
Enjoyed the breeze, view and our music.
Made fun of the birders.
Hey, we found a walking stick on our deck!
What else were we supposed to do with it?
A float in a luke-warm jacuzzi tub.
Woke up to the sounds of howler monkeys in the distance.
Lots of howler monkeys!
Howling for a long time!
And a great hike!
Ferns, vines, birds, heart shaped leaves, different fauna, capuchin monkeys skittering across the tree tops, strangler figs.
Giant strangler figs!
Unfortunately Heliconias only had the two rooms for the one night, but the awesome staff member, Jorge had (after a lot of phone calls) arranged for our next stop!
So back down the gravel road from hell (hey, it was ok, we did NOT want to drive back up this thing!) to Cabinas Miravalles.
Over priced, but okay.
Good view of Miravalles!
Nice dogs visiting us.
Hot and steamy afternoon and California was supposed to be getting the cold, wet, snow-filled storm of the century ~ snow down to 500-1000 feet and we were pouring sweat. HA HA HA HA HA!!!
To the awesome pizza place right around the corner for lunch, beers and a dice tournament.
To the equally awesome tienda for supplies.
Drinks on our patio and then the rain started.
More dog visiting.
Back to the pizza place for great pizzas!
More rain overnight.
We cruised Mexico's West Coast for 3 years on our prior boat, "Thistle" a Columbia 50. Went back to California in 2000 and bought the "new boat" in 2004. We then spent a year and a half cruising in Mexico. We just did the "Baja Bash" ~ sailed up the outside of Baja and returned to SoCal! We are We are now back to work for awhile...
A thought we say to ourselves everyday:
"You'll only regret the things you didn't do".
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." ~ Mark Twain
"Life is either a daring adventure or Nothing." ~ Helen Keller
"A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for." ~ John A. Shedd
"Make it happen." ~ Alan Burg of the sailing vessel Toshal
"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the places and moments that take our breath away." ~ Anonymous
“Happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have.” ~ Rabbi Hyman Schachtel
"Make 'someday' today." ~ From inside a Dove candy wrapper