After several days at anchor in windy San Juan del Sur, we bid ado to Nicaragua in search of calmer water. We left at noon to travel roughly 25 nm to Bahia Santa Elena, Costa Rica. Three and a half hours later we were anchored in the huge deserted bay. We had a fantastic sail under a double reefed main and headsail in 15-20 knots of wind. As soon as we pulled into the bay we could feel the protection of the enormous hills surrounding the bay. We were immediately sucked into the scenery and birdsong. We were in heaven!
Being anchored in Bahia Santa Elena reminded us of the many beautiful anchorages in the San Juans and Gulf Islands. The anchorages that surrounded you with nature’s beauty, not gringo shops and restaurants. We spent 7 days there and ZERO dollars! Great for the cruising budget!
The wildlife was amazing! From the boat we could hear the screaming of the howler monkeys and squawking parrots. We also spotted many rays and sea turtles lazily floating by.The girls had a blast exploring the area. We hiked to a waterfall, kayaked, and explored the many coves and beaches. Unfortunately, there was no shell collecting to be done. Every shell was occupied by a hermit crab. There were literally thousands of them. The girls had them all named and made habitats for them on the beach. We managed to leave them on the beach where they belonged and not acquire more creatures on the boat.
Our last night in the anchorages was almost magical. We sat out on deck and gazed up at the blanket of stars surrounding us. I literally have never seen so many stars in my life. Then we painted pictures in the phosphorescent glow in the water using our boat hook. These are the memories that will last a lifetime.