Saturday, November 29, 2014

Abreojos *updated w/pics*

What started out as a rough anchorage turned into a gem.  We left Turtle Bay with the intention of heading straight to Bahia Santa Maria, a two night passage.  Leaving Turtle Bay we were met with 10-12 foot swell from the NW and a 15-20 knot wind from the NE.  This made for messy seas and an uncomfortable ride.  Jake and I had a meeting of the minds (tired and delirious minds) at 4am and decided to divert to Abreojos.  The wind was going to build throughout the day and into the night.  This would give us a nice rest before continuing down the coast.

We arrived Abreojos early afternoon and dropped the hook in 25 feet of sand in great visibility surrounded by lobster traps.  There are two anchorages here, one in front of the town and the other "quieter" location 2 miles further in front of an RV park.  We anchored in front of the town.  Soon after anchoring, the wind picked up.  The anchorage is pretty much an open roadstead with no protection from the NE winds that we were soon to be hit with.  At 5pm I was sitting in the cockpit looking aft and it appeared as if we were still underway.  The wind fetch was 3-4 feet.  The bow was bucking up and down like a wild bronco.  Not a good feeling at anchor.  We let out a bit more chain, 250' total, secured the snubber, and prayed.  The wind lasted overnight, into the next day, and finally eased up the following afternoon.  We were hostages to the bucking bronco the entire time.  There was no way we were going to attempt to launch the dinghy and put the outboard on in these conditions.  Not to mention, getting to land requires a skillful beach landing in the surf.  There was a lot of napping and reading going on.  The crew moral was low and by Wednesday any one of us were at risk of being sacrificed to the sea by another crew member.

Finally, Wednesday afternoon the wind simmered to a 10 knot breeze and the seas appeared to be calming.  It was time to launch the dinghy and head into town, or else...We actually did pretty well with our first beach landing.  The surf was pretty mellow.  I jumped out and attempted to "guide" the dinghy to shore, but not before getting hit with another breaking wave.  I was quickly on my butt attempting not to get run over by the dinghy.  At least the water was refreshing.  We skimped on buying dinghy wheels which means Jake, Katelyn, and I had to heave, drag, pull the dinghy as far up on shore as possible.  Once on shore, we keep our fingers crossed that it will be there when we return.

This is now the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.  We set off to explore the town and gather provisions for a great meal the following day.  After wandering around for a while we came upon a market that consisted of Circle K style munchies.  We grabbed some cold drinks and continued our search.  Jake spotted a sign in the distance with a beer mug on it.  It must be a market, right?  Sure enough it was.  This one had Circle K food as well as some overripe produce.  I almost cried.  How am I going to provide a Thanksgiving Day meal with Doritos and Coke?  Yes, I do realize that we should be eating like locals, but we can't handle any more rice and beans.  I NEED some American something - other than Doritos and Coke.  I don't expect to find a turkey by any means, but at least some fresh meat and potatoes.  The search continued.  It's now getting quite warm and we need ice cream.  Donde esta el helado?  We were pointed in the direction of an azul tienda (blue store).  We walked inside and I was in heaven.  Meat, produce, pasta, canned goods, they had it all.  Well almost.  Still no turkey, but they did have Christmas trees.  I was able to scrape up enough food for a respectable Thanksgiving Day dinner.  I was quite thankful for the azul tienda.

The rest of our time in Abreojos consisted of beach time, swimming, and more exploring the town.  We were amazed at the cleanliness and friendliness of this town.  You could tell the people here have a true sense of community and are happy.  The schools were clean and well kept.  There were at least 4 parks with well kept playground equipment.  The fisherman on the beach when we landed or launched our dinghy were always willing to help.  One day we were lugging three five gallon jerry cans of purified water back to the dinghy and a family stopped in their truck to give us a ride.  Maybe I've been in the wrong neighborhoods, but I haven't seen that in the US.  Nobody is walking with their heads down here, ignoring passerby's, or glued to their smart phones.  It's a nice feeling.

Paved streets, sidewalks, and street lights - oh my!

Juanita's quickly became our favorite eatery.


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