Saturday, March 30, 2013

On Route from Panama to El Salvador

We made it to El Salvador, and the only words I can use to describe the trip would be "engine intensive." We were motorheads on this passage, there's no denying, especially along the coast of Costa Rica where there was zero wind. The water looked like this most of the time.

We did get a couple of good sails in, however, including a decent 15 to 20 knot wind in the Gulf of Papagayo. But mainly there was a lot of drifting, which led to a lot of motoring.

Evidently, this area is part of the Intertropical Convergence Zone, better known as the doldrums, which shockingly doesn't produce the best sailing conditions. We knew this, but there wasn't much of an option except to crank up the old Yanmar or break out the paddles. We also ran into a few nasty little currents that kept us going 2 knots or less until we fought our way past them. Frustrating, indeed.

All this combined for slow going, and we finally pulled into El Salvador a week and a day after we left the Secas.

But on the bright side, we were often surrounded by dolphins and sea turtles, and on the border between Panama and Costa Rica we saw four marlin, one of which was on our hook! Thankfully, it escaped without taking our lure. We also caught two skipjack tuna and an unfortunate booby that got wrapped up in our fishing line. We let the poor booby go, but the fish were not so lucky. All in all, the passage was long, hot and sucked up a lot of diesel. We are hoping the wind gets better further up the coast into Mexico, but given our track record I have serious doubts!

1 comment:

  1. Hi folks,
    I'm curious to know if you truely had no wind most of that time, or just not enough? Does your sail collection include nylon drifters, that might have allowed you to sail more?
    We're still deciding what sails to carry, so I'm collecting other cruisers experiences. Thanks!