Getting Ready to Go To Ecuador

The Alba Chronicles
Neville Howarth
Thu 21 Nov 2013 22:18

21 November 2013    Golfito, Costa Rica


08:37.37N 083:10.55W


We spent today getting ready to leave for Bahia de Caraquez in Ecuador tomorrow.   The rhumb line from here to Puerto Amistad is 580 miles on a course of 165 degrees, but we’ll probably end up sailing nearly 700 miles in a dog leg.  The winds for the first part of the trip will be from the west, but will gradually back to the south, so if we sail in a direct line, we’ll be hard on the wind and may have to tack our way south.


Our plan is to set out on starboard tack, lay a south-west course and then gradually let the wind push us onto a more south easterly course as it backs.  Hopefully, we’ll be able to stay on starboard tack all the way and not be too hard on the wind.  We’ll have to keep a wary eye on the currents as well - I don’t want to be pushed too far west.  I’m not sure what currents we’ll encounter because the Humboldt current swirls around with some reverse eddies in this area.


I downloaded a GRIB file and it looks good to go tomorrow - the winds will be light tomorrow, but will be from the west and are forecast to increase overnight.  After a couple of days we should have good 15 knot winds.  Fingers crossed.


The first major chore of the day was to get our international exit zarpe.  It wasn’t as tedious as the clearing in process – Immigration were very helpful and friendly and Customs only took fifteen minutes.  The major delay was waiting for thirty minutes in a bank to pay a $20 fee for the Port Captain to produce the zarpe.  Printing out the zarpe only took ten minutes, so we were done and dusted within 2 hours.


Our next stop was at the supermarket, where we stocked up on the usual stuff – mostly liquids like beer, wine, orange juice, milk and coca cola.  We were back on the boat well before midday.


After lunch, I paid our bill at Land Sea Services.  It was only $130 for nine days on a mooring and three big loads of laundry, which is a bargain.  Then all we had to do was to get the dinghy on deck and tidy up after being in one port for over a week.   Glenys cooked a Cassoulet and left it pressurised in the pressure cooker, so that we can eat it for dinner for the first two days at sea. 


So now we wait.