Monday, May 16, 2011

Run to Golfito

Our track on the chart showed a zig zag line as we were trying to avoid the storm cells. One formed right over us and we took a tack which I thought would get us clear of it but it just kept forming around us and became worse in the direction we were heading. So we did a 180 and an hour later seemed to be on the outside edge.

At one point we were driven out 20 miles with short steep waves that were bucking us. At daybreak, things were no better although we seemed to be able to stay clear of lightning but the seas were even larger, at least 10-foot high rollers.

We continued on towards our destined gulf but were driving straight into a stiff breeze right on the nose. Making way was difficult and frustrating as we would just get up a little speed and we would be arrested with a series of deep wind waves pounding us to a halt. We had 10 miles to go in this before we could expect relief after turning into the gulf. We contemplated turning back 20 miles to Drake's Bay for refuge, but stubbornly persevered. Those 10 miles took us 5 hours, but as expected, after rounding the corner, the winds came from our side and we actually turned off the motor for a while and had a good sail under one reefed main and a half furled headsail.

Our destination was the Bay of Golfito, the southern Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, about 10 miles up into the main gulf. Night overtook us but we had good charts, both paper and electronic so with those, radar and depth sounding, we made it in and with much relief dropped both our anchor (N08°38.076' W083°10.271') and our heads for a sound sleep.

This had been our worst one-and-a-half-day passage to date.

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