NOW.This is David...Info for our friends who are following us down the coast...
|Playa del Coco..nice anchorage...|
I could find little on the net to quantify and explain the process for clearing in in Costa Rica. What follows is my experience. I found the whole process painless, although quite time consuming.
0920 entered the Capitania de Puerto office. The lady behind the desk told me to come back at 10am to meet the Capitain. First though, she explained the process and told me what photocopies I would need:
3 copies of:
* Crew list
* Passports of all crew and passengers ... the main page plus exit stamp from last country. I also needed to copy Sylvie's current visas for entry into the UK and Canada since she has a Zimbawean passport.
* Boat registration
10:00 Capitain de Puerto took the original Zarpe, passports, and boat registration and asked me to wait a while. He also wanted to know up to 5 previous countries that I visted. I just told him that I had been in Mexico for two years and then visted Nicaragua for 2 days. He was satisfied. I was then given the passports and the boat registration. I was also given payment instructions for the search of the boat for infestations etc that I had to take to the bank. I was told to go to Officina de Migration that was just below the bank. I should return to the Capitania de Puerto at 2pm
1020 The Officina was closed. The official would be back at 11am .... so I went to the bank
1022 waiting in the bank. Finally get served just past 11am. They gave me a receipt for the 28500 colones (US$60) fee that I paid in cash. (the ATM is new and bi-lingual ... rate about 500 colones to US$1). They should give you both the white and the yellow receipt for the inspector ..... they only gave me the yellow.
1110 Officina de Migration. I was given a small form to fill in for each crew/passenger, essentially passport info and last and next countries. Process took a little longer than usual because of Sylvie's Zimbabwean passport. 1200 complete. Stamps in the passports and a stamped "Control Migratorio Maritimo de Ingreso".
1400 Pick up Official del MAG so that he could search the yacht for illegal bugs. Nice chap, but I should really have remembered to recommend that he removed his mobile phone from his trousers (pants to the Americans) before he waded into the surf to board the dinghy ... :-}.
1530 left yacht for the Capitania de Puertos office where I got the form "Direccion de Navigacion".
Tomorrow I have to visit the Aduana (Customs) at the aeroporte. I've been advised to take the bus as the Taxis cost US$30 for the 2km trip ?!! Later discovered that the trip was longer than 2kms...more like 15kms ...but still you can take the bus for a dollar and the Aduana's office is on the left side of the road a fair bit AFTER the turnoff to the airport. It has a small sign, in Blue and white, over the door ...you'll have to look for it, carefully.
|Where we anchored..|
When David had to go to the Customs I decided to brave the surf and go with him. We went at low tide and the surf was small, so we landed without incident, but then had to haul the dinghy all the way up the beach to tie it to a tree....or as David did, dig a hole and bury the anchor..totally..It might get stolen otherwise, then we drag the dinghy over the dug up soil.
|This section is quiet and cool..further up the road are a lot of curio stalls.|
|A pretty part of town near the beach.|
|Ha ha..this was in one of the bars we went to.|
|A humungeous rubber tree...on the beach.|
|walking along the beach to the dinghy...|
|Looking back from whence we'd come.|
As David will tell you when he adds his bit on about the Papagayo trip..the wind seems to blow here all the time,,,from 15 to 30 knots is what we've seen. Fortunately there are lots of little coves you can anchor in, out of most of the wind. The rest swirls around you and keeps you cool. When we sail here we easily reach speeds of 7.6 knots with just the genoa up..it's fun in the areas where the sea is flat and bumpy as heck in the Bahia Culebra.
|Yep..King Kong Rock....|
Ha! What a disappointment, hardly any vis and not a lot of fish to boot. We were advised by a chap who does charters here that this was the best snorkeling spot around....humph....What is it about these people...don't they know what good snorkel is? I mean really, it was as bad as in Mexico. I have heard that you should snorkel at low tide....we'll try that soon. However, in a day or so, we're heading south to try and see some worth while snorkeling. Monday...we've been here a week already! Today we sailed up to the Marina to get fuel...Diesel was US$1.05 per liter plus an almost US$10 charge for environmental purposes and two cans of Canada dry Ginger ale cost US$3.50 ...nope it's not a typo....A berth costs US$2.00 a foot per day or on a monthly rate US$28.00 foot per month..So you could get through rather a lot of your budget by staying here......and by the way there is nothing around the marina, it'll cost you about US$30.00 to get to Playa Coco and there aren't any buses from there either...
Back to Playa del Coco ....we went out to lunch
|Beach Bums bar...|
The next day we sailed out of Playa Coco on the next step of our adventure....We visited various bays and coves but have decided that Bahia Ballena was a great place to stop..there is a newly opened rather posh place called the Ballena Yacht Club....It's a WONDERFUL place to go and eat and not at all expensive. They have live music on Saturdays, and space to do some dancing. It's well worth a visit.
I tried to find their site but couldn't, but if you are ever there give it a try. The store that sells produce here is very well stocked....we found everything we needed, food wise...
|The local supermarket.|
|If you don't watch out the greenery can take your garden over.|
|Justin...hanging out on Tomas's boat.|
|Justin and Orlando waiting for Tomas to finish surfing.|
The other place we loved was Curu. You sail in towards the beach and the sea bed shallows to about 14 ft...we sailed on over this shelf and it deepened to 26 feet...we crept in closer and dropped anchor in 15 feet, just off the beach, and dinghied ashore ...we walked along the most interesting trails seeing the white faced Capuchin monkeys, loads of huge iridescent blue butterflies, Iguanas, large orange /red Crabs, birds of all types and some spider monkeys that they are trying to rehabilitate back into the wild. We also heard loads of Howler Monkeys. It was definitely a wonderful day in Paradise!!!
|Coming into Curu to anchor.|
|Red Crabs..all over the place.|
|The road, carved out of the forest.|
|Unusual flowers..not a Hibiscus.|
|Red Ants...of a type.|
|Trees with knobs that grow into thorns.|
|Puddytat anchored in Paradise.|
|Puddytat can be seen through the trees.|
|Rickety bridge..fun to walk over :-)|
|We could have stayed a lot longer...should have!|
Quepos is a laugh. They have built the marina over most of the anchoring area and are charging US$140 a night to tie up to the slip...water and electricity are extra. The docks make a heck of a banging racket as they jerk their way up and down the pontoon tidal poles.We didn't stick around, there are no cruisers there. We've heaqrd since then that the anchorage is really rolly...for mono-hulls.
We sailed on through the night to Drakes Bay. What a lovely place this is. We came ashore and walked around...deciding in the end to eat at a restaurant called Mar de Marta.
|The best place to eat!!|
|Wonderful to look at, wonderful to eat!|
|David says the Choc Mousse was perfect.|
|We barbecued Pork kebabs on a home made Braai.|