Sunday, January 22nd. Golfito, Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica

Written by Jack van Ommen on January 22nd, 2017

After waiting in vain on Monday and Tuesday for the delegation of port officials to show up for my clearing into C.R., I gave up and departed early Wednesday morning on slack high tide from the C.R.Y.C. in Puntarenas. I decided to try my luck at the Marina Pez Vela in Quepos. That turned out to be a mistake. I was unable to cover the little over 100 miles before sun down. I arrived at 7 p.m. It was very difficult to distinguish the puny red and green entrance lights to the marina against the city lights. There was a fleet of unlit parked crafts to work through. Then when I entered the marina the guard told me to back out and anchor until the next morning. I told him that I was not going to try and find a spot between the unlit boats because I would not be able to determine my swing space to the other boats in the dark. I tied up at the fuel dock. A second guard undid my mooring lines. A crowd gathered. In the end a lady with some authority allowed me to stay, but I was not to step off the boat before I was cleared in. Then in the morning I discovered that I had lost my wallet in Puntarenas. ¬†I had last used it on Tuesday evening, just before getting back on board. Sunday evening, after my four dry days from Nicaragua, I was dying for a couple cold Pilsners. The bar agreed to have me run a tab. But the bar was only open on the weekend. And the office was already closed for the day. I left the smallest ¬†banknote I had 10,000 colonnes ($18) with my boat card in the bar. I searched for my wallet through all the possible and improbable places on the boat. Andrea at the marina in Quepos called the Puntarenas YC. They found nothing. It turned out that for me to clear in at Quepos the officials delegation had to be taxied in from Puntarenas at somewhere around $500……I decided to head for Golfito. The Pez Vela marina management, let me top off my fuel with 7 gallons at their expense and not charge me for the night at the dock. Now, how will I be able to pay for the expenses in Golfito? I arrived at 1.30 p.m.on Friday. I found a berth at the Fish Hook Lodge and Marina. Then had to work fast to get cleared in before the weekend. Thank God for my nifty $100 Pt.Townsend purchased stainless steel folding bike. I rushed to the Capitania, had photo copies done of my zarpe, registration, passport, down the road and my pocket C.R. coins, just covered it. The off to Immigration in the nick of time. Quarantine officer Ramon came to the boat on Saturday morning. Then I had to deposit about $65 into one of the banks at the airport to cover the Quarantine inspection. Customs at the airport took another half hour. There were no expenses other than the quarantine. This was not charged until Ramon was recently posted to Golfito. Just another hidden tax. My $ 100 folding bike paid for itself in just this operation, I would have needed to use an agent otherwise to visit these four offices. So besides wondering why there is no church picture on this Sunday blog, how did I come up with the $65? I found my bank pass for my Dutch Euro account at the ABN-Amro bank. I seldom use this account. It is where my tiny slice of Dutch social security is deposited. But when I tried it at the ATM on Friday it did not work. I telephoned the Dutch bank on Skype and they explained that all I needed to do was change my settings to “world” from “europe”. And, alleluia, that worked on Saturday morning. There is just enough in the Euro account to last until I get to Panama and I expect to receive my new bank/credit cards from the BofA there. I plan clear out of here on Monday and sail directly to the Panama canal, weather permitting. There are several good anchorages along the way.

I was told that mass here was at 7 a.m. Not a soul, then was told 8 a.m., after I came back from breakfast, again not a soul. Back to the marina it was determined that it should be at 6 p.m. So, you’ll have to wait for the standard photographic proof of my salvation. My dock neighbor is Ken from Olympia on “Sangreal” a Tratan 36. Ken sailed solo through the South Pacific and via Australia to South Africa where he met Gail in Knysna. They married a year later and sailed the same route as I did: St.Helena, N.E. Brazil and then crossed to Europe from Trinidad and came back through the Panama Canal and are now contemplating sailing to the N.W., via Hawaii and Alaska. We came across quite a few familiar places and some other cruisers.

just before a welcome rain shower fom the Fish Hook Marina.

just before a welcome rain shower fom the Fish Hook Marina.

 

 

 

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