The cruising adventures of Bill and Julianne: Chapter Two………
We are are back in El Salvador and it is hot. The sweating without moving at all kind of hot, and this is a problem. We have a lot of work to get done, physical work, before our boat is ready for sea again. All our rigging needs to be gone through, the sails put back on, solar panels to add, the engine tuned up, our new auto pilot installed, (thats right, we have an auto pilot finally!) The list goes on. The heat only relents at nightfall,……….…. when the mosquitos arrive!
We spent the majority of the summer in the Pacific Northwest. We were missing family and wanted a little break; all of our kids were simultaneously in Washington for the first time in years and my parents were coming to visit from Florida. With Julianne’s parents on Guemes Island and in Lincoln City, all of our immediate family members would be in the same place for the first time ever; we didn’t want to miss it!………plus it turned out that we were needed. Julie’s step dad passed away while we were there and we had to help get his affairs in order and sell their house (twice!). Eventually we got her mom relocated up to Anacortes and settled into a new house. We were only stateside for three months, but it seemed a lot longer.
We originally arrived in El Salvador at Costa del Sol in late June, after a nearly 6,000 mile voyage, at the end of last season. Most of the sailors that stay on the west coast during hurricane season retreat to the safer waters of the Sea of Cortez, where they experience blistering arid heat and pristine clear waters. We had an aversion to retracing our steps and a curiosity for new places. We had heard from a few salty cruisers that Central America offered some good facilities and support. We were not misinformed. The estuary inside the coast is an idyllic place to sit out the off season. There is a bar crossing that has a tendency to raise the blood pressure; but even that deterent seems right and fair and …..necessary. Central America is not for the timid, you should have to earn it.
Bill and Jean own La Palma Moorings in Costa del Sol. They are a pair of ex cruisers who, having returned time and again to the area, decided to put down roots once their cruising days had past. They are well connected in the community, attending dinners at the American embassy and working with various business to support the marine community. Naturally they are the center of the cruising community universe, dispensing advice, offering assistance, organizing social outings and volunteer work parties in the community. They also host a weekly Saturday evening Paposa party. BYOB! In short, Bill and Jean are a wealth of knowledge and generosity. We left Epiphany in their care while we returned to the states and we are very glad that we did.
El Salvador, is a beautiful country with beautiful people. There is rapid industrial development happening, with money pouring into economic growth business’. There are beautiful beaches, world class surfing and fishing, mayan ruins, amazing turquoise colored lakes, over 300 rivers and…..wait for it……twenty two volcanos. Subsequently it is prone to both earthquakes and volcanic eruption. All and all it is a beautiful country and well worth visiting. There is an ambition here to become a tourist destination approximating Costa Rica; I am betting on their success.
The cruising community here is tight nit and diverse. We spend the majority of our time with: Litha, a lovely family of four from Seattle, that we traveled across the Gulf of Tuantapec with; Scuba Ninja, who we met for the first time in La Cruz and who’s boat name tells you all that you need to know; and Malolo who we have met up with in Bahia Santa Maria, La Paz, La Cruz, Zihuatanejo and now here. There are many others, all great people and we all look out for one another. We have beach outings, to stilted restaurant shacks built above the water, improvised water sports, shared labor and assistance. Also, there is a weekly pool party at Lynn and Lou’s house. Two more expats that have decided to settle here and purchased an absolutely envious house right on the estuary.
We moved Epiphany off of her mooring and into the Marina two days ago. The facilities at Bahia del Sol, as it is known, offer the marina, two hotels and two swimming pools. The drinks are watery and expensive, and the service is bad, but they throw in horrible late 1970’s yacht rock as a consolation. One thing that we DO appreciate is the darkened almost kind of air-conditioned banquet room. It is here that I have retreated from the heat to write these words. But as I began, there is work to be done, so I must return to my sudorific chores. We plan to set sail in less than two weeks and are excited to start our “sophmore” year as cruisers. We have plans for the year, or more accurately stated we have current intentions. But I read a quote once that said the quickest way to make god laugh is to state your intentions out loud, so out of healthy respect for fate and the unknown, I will say only that our adventure will continue.