Log #63m Bahia Huevos – an idyllic anchorage

November 15, 2019 in Log Series 60-69, Logs by Series, Series 63, The Logs

Log #63m Bahia Huevos – an idyllic anchorage

Quepos, Costa Rica

March 21, 2019

Hi Folks,

This log has some beautiful pictures of one of the best anchorages we have been in this year. Happiness is the isolation of a beautiful anchorage!

We are still here, bobbing at anchor off Quepos for the third week, when we had planned for only a few days here. We are awaiting a water pump for the engine which has been promised for last Friday, then Tuesday, and we are now assured it will be here tomorrow, Friday the 22nd.

We cannot do our exit from Costa Rica here (without an expensive $300 to $500 agent’s fee), but have to go up to Playa del Coco, and from there go 25 km up to the Liberia airport to complete immigration papers. Costa Rica is not convenient for transient sailors! The only port where there are the necessary officials locally is Golfito, near the border with Panama. Any of the other ports of entry involve a 25 km or longer bus or tax ride to the nearest Aduana (Immigration and Customs).

We will leave here and do an overnight passage of 150 nautical miles to Playa del Coco, arriving hopefully Sunday afternoon. Monday morning, I will take Judy in with the dinghy, let her off at the beach, as we don’t want to land the dinghy on the beach, then return to Veleda until she calls me on our portable VHF radio when she returns after going all the way up to Liberia and back. We need to complete our International Zarpe before we can enter the next country. We will leave that evening or next morning for the 250-mile passage direct to El Salvador where we will leave Veleda for the summer.

The Papagayos winds across Nicaragua are supposed to be lower this time of year, not as heavy as when we were coming down two months ago.

With being here for so long, we have travelled to San Jose, the capital city, to Manuel Antonio National Park, and Judy has made a new cover for our dinghy, while I have tried to get caught up on my logs.

We expect to return to Toronto by April 3rd or 4th when we hope to go down to visit Judy’s sister in Dayton Ohio for the weekend, returning to Toronto for April 9th as we will be making a presentation to the Shellbacks Club on the 10th. Incidentally, if anyone in the Toronto area would like to attend this presentation, the Shellbacks Club is open for visitors and you would be welcomed. The location is at the Royal Canadian Yacht Club at 141 St. George Street, Toronto. The meal will start about 11:30 and the presentation of our sailing in the Caribbean will start at 12:30. A few days later we will be back in “God’s country” up in Elliot Lake, and getting our Grampian 30, Antares Spring, ready for sailing the North Channel.

I hope you enjoy the log and its pictures.

Aubrey

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Log #63m Bahia Huevos – An Idyllic Anchorage

Quepos, Costa Rica

March 20, 2019

We left Playa del Coco at 1300 on Feb. 5 for a short passage of only 6.6 nautical miles up to Bahia Huevos (10° 38.367′ N, 085° 40.711′ W), a glorious well-sheltered isolated bay with a navigable mangrove-lined river emptying into the head of it. A few tourist boats went to a beach at the outer end each afternoon, but we had the whole bay to ourselves each of the two nights we were there. I like the complete isolation where I cannot see a single light of civilization. After a skinny dip swim, I turned off the anchor light for a while to just star gaze at the diamond-studded celestial sphere.

Looking out to the entrance of Bahia Huevos

The bay is well sheltered with only a 20-degree angle open to the Pacific with a small picturesque island off the northern point. No swell penetrated the bay. In the picture above you can see one of our two 85 watt solar panels mounted on the bimini, and the low white anchor light we use. We have an anchor light at the top of the mast, but we feel that the light is too high, and any boat traffic at night will be looking at eye level to see anchored vessels. We plan to mount garden solar lights on the bimini and the bow pulpit when we leave Veleda for the summer on a mooring in El Salvador to save power usage for that long period.

The picture below looks into the end of the bay, with the entrance into the river on the left side of the beach strip in the right half of the image. The beach strip is often occupied by gulls, pelicans, egrets and herons vying for food in the shallows or from the many swarms of fish that break the surface in a noisy ripple of frothy water.

Looking into the end of Bahia Huevos

The fishing is so good it attracts several small sports fishermen in the early morning and late afternoon. I trolled in the dinghy around the end once without any luck. Fishing is not my thing. I will troll a couple of lines astern of Veleda when we are underway, and if a fish is desperate enough to go for the lure, I will haul it in hand over hand and that is our next meal. It is not sports fishing, but grocery shopping.

The birds are better at fishing. The pelicans watch for the small schools of fish to break the surface in a noisy frenzy and then dive after them, hitting the water with the thud of a sack of flour. They then surface to gulp down their catch.

Pelican diving 

The egrets and herons are more able to walk along the shoreline picking at minnows in the shallows, as shown in the picture below,

or they can swoop down picking off the fish roiling on the surface as these egrets are doing, without landing on the water. Terns are even more efficient, able to dive into the water to go after the fish, but with more grace and less splash than the pelicans.

Egrets skimming fish on the surface

One morning we dinghied a few miles up the river, entranced by the stillness, the sun creating misty rays through the shore-lined trees. Judy had a great time bird watching, asking me to slow down, go back, stop here, or turn around as she focused her binoculars on the avian species, checking them against her bird book, and writing down the sightings as we meandered a couple of miles up the river. She saw 14 different species on this trip, including the tropical pewee, yellow-crowned parrot, whimbrels, and a wide group of herons.

As the tide was falling we could see more of the convoluted roots of the mangroves. There were a few side streams into which we ventured, shutting off the engine to drift in the silence, beneath the green canopy of this coastal forest. We could not go very far up these small tributaries before they closed in preventing us from further intrusion into their silent, isolated, primitive world.

Looking in to a side-channel

Inside a side-channel looking out into the main river 

As the tide went out more of the intricate riotous root system of the mangroves rose above the brackish water.

Root systems of the mangroves

In addition to the birds, we would see large black termite nests nestled in the branches. 

We wandered upstream until we saw an alligator slowly wafting through the water. We motored well behind it for a while, then decided we didn’t need to go further. We were in an inflatable dinghy which would not resist the chomp of an angry alligator who thought we were invading its territory.

 The sunsets there were fantastic! We had a clear horizon to watch it go down, framed by the capes at the entrance to the bay, and highlighted by the small island on the north side.

The glow on the horizon spread as the sun went lower, 

 

and after setting, it created a warm orange glow across the western horizon, highlighted by the crescent new moon high in the sky.