The Osa Peninsula and Golfo Dulce

costa rica rainbow

At first, we were nervous to take on the wet season, as many cruising boats decide to tie up and leave the tropics for this time of year. We did it last year. Due to the limited places to leave yachts and the costs of doing so this wet season was here for the taking and so far there have been many added benefits to life… and a few drawbacks. So far, May was the worst of it. By worst of it I mean the most angry crackling lightening storms dumping buckets and buckets of rain rolling through night after night. In May you imagine July to be 10 times the power and Aug-Oct even nastier. While we often see lightening striking the sea and hear thunder roll by… actually sitting right beneath the storm is less frequent. However, when an angry storm hits and the thunder sounds as if a huge redwood tree is being snapped in two next to your head and a most violent growl deep from the earth roars through your bones… you wonder why you ever chose to be sleeping aboard a small boat that is rolling, whistling and howling out in the ocean.

We recently experienced a non-squall type of storm that blew from the S gusting 30 knots for over an hour, with little rain and a lot of lightening raising huge seas at the road-stead anchorage of Pavones, making for a pretty scary hour followed by a very uncomfortable night. We were so grateful it lasted only an hour, as we were below hashing out a plan to leave the anchor on a fender and sail through it somewhere more protected in the dead of the night with a vivid lightening show to guide us. That said, there have been several other wind events from various directions in various anchorages that have made us set the anchor alarm and bite our fingernails.

On another note, there was recently a run of three days that were the most beautiful, sunny, light sea-breeze, summer dreams of weather I can recall. Not a drop of rain and starry night skies right in the middle of the wet season. The rain cools the air, lightens the winds, fills the water tanks and when without lightening provides a most welcome shower. And you can bet we need one.

Green and blooming landscapes might be the best part of the wet season. The anchorage off Manuel Antonio.

A small little islet covered in tiny pines

Eating well underway with a lunch of avocado sushi… and enjoying our new World Cruising Routes that we traded for an old edition – mildewed and missing it’s spine – with another cruiser who wanted it for sentimental reasons.

Mini-squalls marching down the gulf

Sailing into the calm and jungle draped Bahia Drake

The calm estuary cove at Bahia Drake with Arcturus in the bay

Crocodile on it’s way out to sea… quite a surprise to see how far he traveled out into the ocean from the estuary in the picture above this one.

Motmot sighting

A stormy afternoon in Dominicalito

Rowing to shore – slightly lazily – we got caught by a sneaker set and took our first decent wave in the dinghy almost going over completely. Andrew jumped out and pulled the bow into the crashing wave, saving the boat from capsizing and me from going under. We were prepared for a down-pour so nothing was ruined and since he was already swimming he pushed me into the white water and I surfed the dinghy to shore!

A view above Bahia Drake. A protected, north facing anchorage at the top of the Osa Peninsula

Sketch of a flying fish I found in the dinghy one morning

The road leading to town at Bahia Drake – the rain came here in big, thick warm drops followed by rainbows.

This is our navigation set-up

Andrew’s cooling off technique under way

Tasty little memone fruits are in season… with a green-grape like texture and sweet almost berry-like flavor

The rock pier, anchorage, and calm little beach at Puerto Jiminez.

The anchoring situation at port jimmy was a curious experience. We dropped the hook in about 30′ to rest in about 75′ and when a N wind piped up in the evening into dark making for a wind chop bouncing the boat like mad as the tide dropped we found ourselves in 9′. Yikes. Somehow we were back in 30′ with just a small shift of the wind. Another morning as the tide dropped I looked overboard to see the bottom… and it seemed way too close. Andrew jumped overboard to hand plant right into the mud! We barely had a foot under the keel. When we went to pull the anchor (in who knows how many feet), using all the strength of the motor and the winches we couldn’t get it to budge. We sat back to think about what to do next and suddenly CRACK! POP! it broke free.

A light shower and some cool cloud effects from home sweet home

Macaws flying overhead

This macaw was throwing his nut shells at me below

Pelicans high in the sky moving north

Take 2 – it was the most magical thing that I’ve ever seen!

From the beach at Pavones on the South side of the Gulf – the most crowded surf spot south of So Cal

Tranquil clear creeks to one side of the beach road and palms with bright blue ocean to the other…

The inside cove at Pavones

A lucky light blue seaglass nugget I found in the gravel at Pavones – the only piece I found

These are mangosteens. If you ever see them… get them! The white fruit has the texture of something between a banana and tangerine… and tastes like heaven!

Golfo Dulce as sweet as can be – Adios Costa Rica.

6 Responses to “The Osa Peninsula and Golfo Dulce”
  1. Andrea says:

    I love reading about all your adventures! Oh! And I love my ring!!

  2. Lela says:

    Once again you have amazed me with your beautiful pictures and interesting stories.Kelli has returned from her great adventure in S.E.Asia..She will be here at the end of Aug. for a week.Please be careful..seems like the storms can be pretty scary. I’m thinking about you & Andrew..Wishing you safe travels & calm seas..Lela

  3. Amber & Damien says:

    Hey guys, sorry just a quick line to let you know that a magnitude 7.6 earthquake hit Costa Rica in the last few hours (minutes ?), with tsunami warnings in the vicinities. Just in case you’re online right now and not yet aware of it

    • followthearc says:

      Thanks guys! I am in the US and Andrew is in Nicaragua he is all good, although lots of shaking. The boat is anchored in Panama and we have fingers crossed she is OK. We are checking in with our boat sitters now!

  4. Lisa says:

    Mangosteens! Rambutans! Beautiful waves and rainbows…thank you for providing me such nice bedtime stories, so that I can go to sleep dreaming of adventures…

    And back in US for a surprise visit? Hope all is well! xoxo

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