We enjoyed our four days at Marina Papagayo: diving Monkey Head Rock ($90.00 pp for two tanks), dining at the Four Seasons and touring the grounds which included an Arnold Palmer golf course and several beaches and pools. The marina had a condo complex with pool, gym, laundry, lounge and reasonably priced restaurant/bar. It was fun to watch some small blue birds scoop a drink on the wing as we chilled in the condo pool at sunset and listening to the howler monkeys in the hills at dusk and dawn. Though expensive, using an agent to do our outward clearance paperwork was painless and we got to enjoy a day at the resort instead of driving around the countryside tracking down officials.
Our new Cedar plug lure with #10 hook was supposed to be skipjack proof according to Rick the sportfish charter skipper at Marina Papagayo. After catching three of these silly tunas within an hour and tossing them all back (barely edible only in cans and raw) we have stopped fishing for a while. Our captain says we have no time to waste in the Gulf of Papagayo, one of the 'gaps' in Central America where tradewinds from the Caribbean funnel into the Pacific. The other major gap winds blow into the Gulf of Tehuantepec where a gale is now developing. We are underway from the Gulf of Papagayo to the the new Marina Chiapas at the SE end of the Gulf of Tehuantepec - about a 500 mile passage. Puerto Chiapas (formerly Puerto Madero) is near the Mexican border with El Salvador and is a port of entry. Here we will wait for a break in the T-pecker winds to cross the 250 mile Gulf.
It is now the morning of day two and we are passing the Gulf of Fonseca (1400 UTC position: 12d34'N, 88d15'W) where El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua all got a piece of this natural harbor. We have been sailing about half the time with a 3/4 moon at night and escorted by spotted dolphins.
Thursday, January 31, 2013
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