We are back, after six weeks off the boat it feels like a big deal to be back on Matilda. Matt and his merry band of sailors did a fine job of delivering Matilda safely to Marina Papagayo in Costa Rica. In fact, the boat looks so amazing they deserve a medal!
The past six weeks saw me in La Quinta, Pasadena, Australia, Deer Valley and Laramie, Wyoming (where it was -13 degrees F). I was able to be with all four of my adorable grandchildren and was grateful that I could attend my Mum’s funeral. She died one month shy of her 90th birthday with my Dad by her side.
After enduring multiple covid tests and Pippa’s special USDA vet clearance we flew in on Jet Blue on Wednesday March 2nd, to Liberia, Costa Rica.
The first day was spent provisioning and preparing for life at anchor. This is no easy task, shopping in foreign markets and trying to find all the supplies that we will need. We will be doing the “bay-hopping” thing in Costa Rica and Panama for 2 – 3 months. We have a decent sized refrigerator and freezer for a boat however, 3 months is a long time. The priority was making enough room for the essentials which include wine and chocolate. The customs officials also confiscated Pippa’s food so we needed to find some dog food that the “pickiest dog in the world” would eat. Matt had topped up the fuel and after a quick boat wash-down we were ready to head out.
Our timing was impeccable because there was a “docktail” party on the dock the night before we left. It is amazing to meet so many interesting people from around the world. We met a Dutch couple on SV Tara who have been sailing the past 14 years from The Netherlands to Antarctica, the South Pacific around the Cape, up to Japan and across to the USA. We will be going through the Canal at about the same time as they do. We have also met a very charming and self-described “ex-con”, families with young kids and couples of all ages and boats of all sizes and shapes.
Living on Matilda is like living in a Tiny House that is constantly under attack. The wind here is relentless and very strong. It has it’s advantages, we were sailing so fast today with hardly any sail out we looked like “rock stars”. However the downside was anchoring in 32 knot wind. We do have headsets which saves us from using hand gestures when anchoring, many have told us these can be marriage savers. We have learned after all this time to close hatches and stow all loose items. We have had to do some major clean up when we neglect to do this.
Life takes a lot more effort on Matilda. Opening the refrigerator for more than 5 seconds can result in a 10 minute lecture on the importance of keeping the door closed because of the struggle to keep the temperature low. We make our own water with a desalinator however, we can only make water whilst in a clean bay with the generator on so, conservation is a constant theme. We have a lovely washer/dryer however, it too needs the aforementioned water and generator so is a treat to do laundry. And then there is cell/internet service. We are so excited when we get a few cell bars and getting internet throws us into joyous hours of silence where we catch up on life.
Costa Rica is a beautiful country and has a totally different feel to Mexico. We spent two and a half years traveling up and down Mexico from the west coast of Baja and the Sea of Cortez all the way down the Pacific coast to Oaxaca. We certainly loved our time in Mexico and the friends that we made however, we are excited to move on with our journey. Costa Rica has already provided some fabulous “bay watching” experiences with one whale deciding to take a breath just 20 feet from our starboard side. I heard it before I saw it and it was, to quote a fellow whale lover, “magnificently scary”. The turtles are bigger here too and the dolphins might also be retired expats form the US as they are grey and speckled.
We are looking forward to exploring Costa Rica and Panama with our faithful pirate Pippa. Apparently Costa Rica and Panama have some amazing places to discover and we have a paddle board that is itching to get some use. We are eagerly awaiting our sisters and their significant others who will be joining us for a week when we get to Golfito.