Gulf Of Papagayo

We’re still in Bahia del Coco in Northern Costa Rica after three weeks of visitors and big winds. Coco is at the southern end of the Gulf of Papagayo where it blows all winter long. Hard. Nearly every day. Without fail. But the weather is beautiful and warm and sunny and when it’s not howling it’s perfect here.

Teresa Lennstrom (T2) came down with her family for a week of vacation during the kid’s school break. They rented a condo here in Coco for 5 days and we spent a couple of days hanging out on the boat doing some swimming and watching Kevin do a dive course with the local dive shop.


One day we went up into the mountains nearby and did a zip line trip through a beautiful canyon. Even though it wasn’t in the jungle canopy it was still very cool to zip line down through the canyon. And one day I got to go have lunch alone with T2 and get some girl time in. It was great to see T2 and her kids and remember that the phrase “polite teenager” does apply outside immediate family members.

We spent the next week hanging out in Bahia Huevos hiding from the winds and visiting with a couple of other cruising boats that were heading north. Then Leslie & Fred came down last week and we had another awesome week visiting with my sister and brother-in-law. Sadly the water got cold and we didn’t get much swimming in, but we spent a lovely day exploring a picture perfect private beach in Huevos. And I got to have a day in town with my sister having lunch and spending more quality girl time.

One day I checked the weather forecast and it looked like it was going to be relatively calm (for the Gulf of Papagayo, that is), so I had this brilliant idea to go for a day sail. We were going to head north into the breeze and turn south if it kicked up. But somehow we forgot that plan. We were screaming south and decided to tack and turn around and the jib sheet hung up on the flag halyard on the standing rigging. Once that was straightened out I heard Rob tell us we needed to roll up the jib quick. What he had seen and I hadn’t was 40 knots of wind coming straight at us. And of course we had up a full jib and full main. It took three people to get the jib rolled up and then we dropped the mainsail because we had to head straight back up into it. We were making 1.5 knots and water was coming over the bow all the way back into the cockpit. Needless to say it was a long hard trip clawing back into the bay and back onto our little anchor.

The next day we rented a car to drive up to the lake and see some jungle and do some zip lining. Sadly it was pouring in the mountains so we had to forego the zip lines this time. But we had a nice drive and saw some of the beautiful interior of Costa Rica.

Now it’s Sunday and we’ve been up to the marina this morning at the head of Bahia Culebra to fuel up the boat and wash off all the salt we took on during our little 3 hour tour earlier in the week. Tomorrow morning we’ll go get our zarpe and stock up on veggies one last time. We’re 2 days from meeting Brit & Axel (from Hello World) at Isla Cocos, where we’ll stay and dive for 3 days. Then we’re about a week from the Galapagos, where we’ll stay for the 20 days they’ll allow. I’ll update the passage blog until we get to the Galapagos.

Today on Yohelah we’re rested up and heading to Cocos to dive with hammerhead sharks for some unknown reason…..

The Gulf of Papagayo is here