Santa Elana, Costa Rica

Thursday, February 6, 2014
Costa Rica

010-55.100 N
085-47.350 W
Marine forecast for this location

Ahoy from the crew of the BlueJacket.

(Sorry, no pictures as my camera is dead and I only have SailMail to send this with.)

On Wednesday we made the passage from San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua to Santa Elana, Costa Rica. We thought that we were going to be smart and wait until mid-afternoon when the morning winds had relaxed, except that they didn't relax and we had a pretty steady 25 kts gusting to 36 kts. Combine that with a large fetch as we crossed some bays and it was a very spirited ride.

Along the way we were frequently visited by pods of large spotted dolphins and small spinner dolphins, some of which rode our bow wake for long periods of time. We also saw lots of whales and as we approached Santa Elana, it was easy to see their spouts as they were backlit by the sun and stood out beautifully against the dark rock.

It was wonderful to pull into Santa Elana as the seas flattened out and the winds dropped. Santa Elana is completely surrounded by high hills and you'd think that you were in a lake. We anchored at the eastern anchorage where there are supposed to be large flocks of parrots who live in the tree canopy and are very vocal at sunrise and sunset. We weren't disappointed as the sky was regularly filled with pairs of parrots and the occasional flock. The sound was amazing too. The best way to describe it would be to imagine a playground for a school for profoundly deaf children and they're all out yelling to one another. The voices have similar timbers and it sounds like "ahhh" when they squawk. Sometimes one bird will squawk something and you can hear it ripple hundreds of yards down the shoreline.

There are also other strange sounds the occasionally propagate the air. For example, there's a strange clicking noise that sounds like 2 hollow balls (coconuts?) being struck together twice in quick succession. I would love to know what makes that. You can also see waves of little fish jumping down the shoreline and they make a rippling water sound. It's great because there are no man made sounds here and you can really hear what's going on.

Today we have to get ourselves around the point and cross the Papagayos bay. We'll either head to Bahia Potrero Grande or cross the bay to Playa del Coco. I'm really hoping that it's an OK passage as the winds through here can be fierce, easily exceeding 2x the forecast speeds (today 15-20 kts). Wish us luck!

-- Geoff & Sue

Log ID: 2227

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