Up to Puntarenas

As it turns out, Costa Rica is not a very big country. We took out time getting up to the sheltered waters of Puntarenas, but it still didn’t take long to find our way up the whole Gulf of Nicoya.

Sunset view of Punta Leona

Sunset view of Punta Leona

Our favorite spot had to have been anchoring just inside Punta Leona. On one side of the point, there’s a well-protected, calm bay; on the other, a white sand beach with fun waves. The actual point has short but spectacular hiking trails, and we finally got up close with scarlet macaws. (Of course, the camera stayed home for that adventure. Of course!)DSC_2494

The color striation is blue water alternating with red algae. Occasionally, it has looked like we're sailing through a sea of blood.

The color striation is blue water alternating with red algae. Occasionally, it has looked like we’re sailing through a sea of blood.

It’s possible, however, that some cruising fatigue has settled into our boat. Beautiful deserted bay—yawn. Quiet stretch of beach—whatevs. Back to school pictures of friends and the idea of cider donuts and apples has us very nostalgic for crisp fall air, instead of 90 degrees with 110% humidity. We’ve been seeing the same lovely jungle for months, and having pretty much just each other for company is starting to wear on everyone.DSC_2508

Tough spot to tie up the dinghy in Bahia Ballena

Tough spot to tie up the dinghy in Bahia Ballena

Our guidebooks had us hoping for some cruiser-friendly spots that might be hiding year-round travelers, but they were all pretty much a bust; most of the resorts were shuttered, all of the bays were empty.

The jungle takes it back on Isla Muerta

The jungle takes it back on Isla Muerta

DSCF3122We did find some novelty on Isla San Lucas. This island right off of Puntarenas was the home of a notorious prison, since closed and turned into—you guessed it—a national park. Trails criss-cross the island, and the ruins are available for exploring; best of all, the bay is completely protected from all waves and weather.

Heading up to the ruined prison

Heading up to the ruined prison

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Cactus carpet; we must be getting to a drier climate...

Cactus carpet; we must be getting to a drier climate…

Checking out a family of howlers (ahem...not pictured)

Checking out a family of howlers (ahem…not pictured)

The fishing industry is pretty big here....

The fishing industry is pretty big here….

From San Lucas, it’s a short hop to Puntarenas. The long channel is no longer dredged, so it needs to be navigated at high tide; we called ahead to the yacht club for a pilot to guide us, and still saw eleven feet of water under us while up on a nine-foot tide. Rafted up to a short floating dock in the channel, we touch bottom at low tide—although not so badly that we heel over. This will be our home for about three weeks.

Approach to Puntarenas

Approach to Puntarenas

Like many spots around here billed as “cruiser-friendly,” the Costa Rica Yacht Club seems to be dying out. The pool is still maintained, the yard seems busy, and they have a full house of primarily sport fishing boats at their piers; but the restaurant is closed, and the whole place has an abandoned feel to it. It’s a twenty-minute bus ride into town; there are no stores within walking distance, and the only restaurants are at two nearby hotels. The laundry that we sent out took a week to come back. All in all, it’s a strange little place…but we’ll make it work, and it’ll be a good place to do some boat work and visit with family.

5 Comments on “Up to Puntarenas

  1. Looks like a good kiting spot. 😉

    No crisp air here. 80+ degrees here all weekend, the lake is still summer temps, beaches on Monona closed due to blue green algae.

    Looks like you guys are having a blast! Can’t wait for a big slide show when you come home.

  2. We just got back from Italy and Southern France . It was so wonderful to have 65 to 75 degree weather and low humidity . The scenery was just beautiful all this old towns on the side of the hills. It was a good cruse.

  3. Hey! Just read the last few posts with my kids- they love the animals (especially the Howlers). Last weekend was La Flota- also 90+ degrees, but not quite as humid. It was a small crew of 7 families this year and everyone (everyone!) in the river often to keep it cool. Mucho floating discussions about your family; we decided we should start a blog about what we all think the L-Bs are *really* up to…still working on a blog name. :) We miss you! Love your news, writing, photos- always. Oh, and we got milk goats with our first kids in late October.

    • We were thinking about you guys, too! We figured it might be a smaller group on the river this year…we knew the VanderKinos would be out for sure. Sorry to have missed it, but we should be back in time for next year’s float! And exciting forays into animal husbandry for you guys!

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