FLEET UPDATE 2018-03-18

1) TOTEM – Costa Rica –

PAPAGAYOS. We’re watching for a window. Those of you doing it longer… are you finding one model tends to be more accurate than another? I know it’s dangerous to pick the forecast you like, but interested in any data points on what’s working for those who have put the Papagayos in your wake. Totem is anchor down in Bahia Drake today.


(note from Carinthia You are guaranteed sustained gust for at least 50% of the time ..
What always worked even double reefed was one foot on the beach . daily hops and lick your wounds and salt at anchor)

(note from Easy 
You can use what you choose. In general I +- 10 knots as for Papagayo’s I found them to be much greater then forecasted.Good luck.)

(note from Danika
We used Windy, and only looked at the gust forecasts because we felt they were closer to real conditions. Seemed pretty close to accurate)

I hate to even ask this but… INTERNET. Must remain somewhat connected to get work done while waiting for a window to cross Papagayo-land… somewhere between Playas del Coco and Bahia Elena. Can I get any recos on which bays up at the N end of CR have a cell tower signal? Have Google Fi, so not carrier specific. Yours, the not-so-disconnected cruiser!

(note – except for a few spots cell and 3g 4g coverage has been excellent  with lot’s of cell towers in Costa Rica / Nicaragua / El Salvador / Mexico)
(note  – Bahia Elena – Costa Rica  has no coverage – Jenn / Danika )

TOTEM – Panama City

Panama City anchoring: hola Posse, counterposse here! I’ve posted earlier about La Playita, the anchorage closest to the canal on the Pacific side. We spent a couple of days there, then moved around to the opposite side of the causeway to anchor at Las Brisas. Why? La Playita’s main benefit is proximity to the canal. Las Brisas has a free dinghy dock ($35/week at Playita), and it’s much flatter (Playita is subject to wakes from canal traffic, mildly, and tourist power cats, more meaningfully). Panama Canal city guide has details for access from there, but it’s an easy walk from either dinghy dock to catch the bus. There’s a playground for kids. On Wednesday night, La Eskina has 20% off pizzas and half the anchorage shows up (lots of fun: get your order in early!). We anchored at 8º 55.32′ N / 79º 31.788′ W. The PC skyline is impressive at night when the haze lifts…


Behan &  Jamie

2) EASY – Punta Leona
Punta Leona Hotel, a resort and club. They have a store here and bar restaurants and pool it is nice.
No wind, morning I was looking I can see the bottom and the anchor chain on the bottom. Good water clarity.
Hola, happy patties day. Wind quit for sometime then switch directions.
This anchorage is very nice and well protected. Waster is clear but have not dove I see just how good it may be Anchored mid tide of a 8′ tide in 18′ N 09 42.452 – S 084 39.809



3) DANIKA – Quepos – Costa Rica

Jenn and I arrived in Quepos last night, and have some thoughts to pass on to the rest of the Posse. The short version is that you probably want to avoid the marina, and honestly, we’re not really sure how to actually get into town from the anchorage without problems. A better solution may be to go to Punto Quepos and take the bus into town or Manuel Antonio. Here’s the longer version…

The anchorage here is rolly. Things mellowed out during onshore winds, and as the tide was changing because our bow or stern was into the swell. But when the wind calmed or during slack tide, we rolled quite a bit. We figured that we could deal with a semi-sleepless night to get some provisions and to see Manuel Antonio.

To get into the marina, you’ll first need to call on channel 69. They have a security guard at the marina entrance who will turn you back if you haven’t. The marina no longer offers a dinghy dock for cruisers, even for a price. Instead, they will come pick you up in a shuttle for $35, but you’re only allowed 30 minutes on shore. They did allow me to bring my dinghy in to get fuel, and said I could visit their store at the fuel dock. Unfortunately, the store only had bait, sodas and snacks. I was charged an environmental service fee, presumably for the oil diapers they used to clean my fuel jug

A security guard at the marina suggested I hunt down a guy who ran a water taxi service. Next day, we found Arturo, but he said we’d need to check in at the “officina” to get through security at the “public” dock, which is located just south of the mooring field.

We called the marina (because that’s the only place we knew we could land the dinghy), got permission to land at the fuel dock to check in, and gave copies of all our stuff to the marina staff (in retrospect I don’t think this step was needed). We said we also needed to visit the port captain. The marina guy wanted to charge us to land the dinghy at the marina, but Jenn was able to talk him into skipping the charge cause there’s no other way for us to meet our legal obligations.

The port captain issued us a new national Zarpe to Golfito for free ( even though we already had one from Playas del Coco) and we called Arturo at +506 6446 1162. Cool guy, but boat isn’t so sturdy. He dropped us off at the public dock where the charter fishermen load up, walked right past the security guard, and caught the local bus to Manuel Antonio from Centro Quepos.

When we returned, the new security guard wouldn’t let us onto the dock. Apparently, there’s also an “officina” which controls the “public” dock, and we were supposed to get clearance to use that dock. Because we didn’t get clearance, we weren’t allowed to board the taxi on the public dock, even though that’s where we were dropped off. Instead we ended up having to meet Arturo on the beach off the malecon.

In sum, we still have no idea how to legally or easily get into town. Again, the marina staff were all very nice, but unless you need fuel or are planning to stay at the marina, it’s a waste of time to go in there due to their rules. I think you could use Arturo to either drop you off at the public dock or on the beach, but 1) I don’t know how to check in at the public dock because technically Arturo won’t take you there without checking in first, and 2) I don’t think it’s Arturo’s first choice to go to the beach because of the surf. Also, I’m not aware of any place to land a dinghy, and everyone warned us that it’s unsafe to do so because of theft issues. If you’re more adventurous or persuasive, you may have better luck than us.

Another option that we heard from some friends was to try Punto Quepos, two miles south. It’s a calm anchorage, and the SUP guys on the beach agreed to watch their dinghy while they went to Manuel Antonio.

The park is definitely worth it, and despite the hassle it’s a place we wouldn’t have wanted to miss.

Haven’t you always wanted a monkey?


We spent our first night at Punto Quepos. It’s a great spot; highly recommended. I think we had less swell, and less vigorous rolling although we did have some in the afternoon. The night was great though.

Great spot for snorkeling, and all forms of water sports. The only downside is that tour boats show up twice a day for an hour or so then move along.

The anchorage has several rock piles you have to look out for. The Sarana guide has coordinates but you can also see them at low tide. We had no problems, and shared the anchorage with a 120 foot super yacht. We anchored almost exactly on the Serana coordinates in about 25 feet, and there’s probably room for three or four boats.

We took the dinghy to the beach for a town run. Watch for rocks on the west side of the beach, but at high tide you should be good. We asked the SUP guys to watch the dinghy. I don’t know if they’ll charge us when we get back, but they sell beer and water so we’ll probably buy something or donate if they don’t charge us.

To get to town, walk up a trail for about 10 minutes to an ancillary road. You can either take a taxi from there (the SUP staff will call one for you), or walk up to the main road between Manuel Antonio and Quepos to catch a bus to either destination. The walk to the main road is up hill most of the way, and is probably a couple of km. It’s a slog but doable. There are a bunch restaurants, bars, stores, etc up on the main road as well.

The beach is really nice. I saw more local families there than tourists, and several tents have been set up to serve snacks, sandwiches, and drinks…including beer and mixed drinks.

Overall, I’d highly recommend Punto Quepos over the town anchorage. It’s really only a 10 min dinghy ride to the marina if you need to jerry jug fuel, and a lot different feel.


Jason &  Jenn

4)  Happy Birthday to Interlude’s crew Mike Joyce!


5) SSB Panama Posse  Net Update 
8297 (8B) and fallback to 4417 (4C) USB @ 13:00 UTC

Today 3-18-18 we had on SSB net
1 Tap An Zee inbound Chispas 65 miles to go.
2 Zenia with them (sorry on spelling!)
3 Dad’s Dream in Ballena bay
4 CrossRoads in Panama City.
5 Carinthia in Isla Cedros
6 Easy in Punta Leona

Propagation died out I thought I may have heard a few others. But no contact was made.
Thanks for trying.
A few days ago we had quite a few other boats.
I’ll be on every morning at 7 local or 13:00 utc
Keep trying please.

Mike – net control


6) HALCYON – Costa Rica

We sailed from Marina Papagayo to Bahia Ballenas, arriving this morning. Windyty forecasted gusty conditions into the 30’s for much of the night, but for once they were wrong to our advantage! Winds ranged from 0 to 25, but spent most of the time around 10-15. We had a pleasant passage under a double-reefed main and cutter (and sometimes supplemented with some diesel).

Before we left, I spent time with Dan, the manager of the marina, and he gave me some good insight about leaving and coming back into Costa Rica that I wanted to share.

The temporary import permit for the boat in CR is for 90 days. If you want to stay in CR longer than that, you either need to get the boat exonerated or bonded (more about that in a moment). If you leave CR and cancel your temporary import permit, which it sounds like is the standard procedure; you have to stay OUT of Costa Rica for at least 90 days before the boat can reenter.

BUT if you have any time left on your import permit when you leave the country, you can request at the border that they SUSPEND your permit instead of cancelling it. This will allow you to re-enter the country and use the remaining “balance” on your permit.

Either way, if you want to stay more than 90 days in CR, you have a choice. The first is to bond the boat. This process requires the boat to stay put in a marina for 90 days before you can move it again. At that point, you have an additional 90 days to travel the country before needed to start the process again. I am not sure of the cost, but it is not cheap. Only a few marinas in Golfito can bond the boat.

The other option is to exonerate the boat. This is the option Dan recommends, and is the process all of the other marinas do (including Marina Papagayo). It sounds like a paperwork hassle, but you have to have a contract with a marina to do it so they are usually the ones that take care of the hassle. Dan quoted me $750 for exoneration, though I’m not sure if that varies based on length or weight. If you stay at Marina Papagayo, they will credit you back some portion of the exoneration fee in dockage (depending on how long you stay). Exoneration gives you a 2-year permit and allows you to move freely throughout the country during those 2 years without the need for national zarpes.

Hope this helps!


John & Becca

7) ANNAPURNA – Costa Rica


Bahia Samara, Costa Rica.
Anchored at
9°52.04’N 85°697’W in 11-feet of water. Swell rolled us but not horribly.
( note
make sure to check out the restaurant in town – mama GUI ! )


Anchored in Bahia Brasilito, Costa Rica.
10°24.940′ N 85°47.841’W


Rob & Debbie


8) MYLA – Panama

In Benao getting the stuffing kicked out of us. Fourth day waiting for Papaguyos, or whatever they’re called here, to give us a break. Swells big, too. We were able to make a dinghy landing once and got diesel with the assistance of Alexis, the gardener at Villa Marina resort. 30 usd and it was about a 30 min drive both ways. Diesel was $2.88 so at the end of the day, cost us about $100 for 25 gal. Can be a rough anchorage, so time your weather. We did, but weather gribs lie. Hoping to get going for final approach to Panama City Sunday or Monday. S/V Myla

Finally able to come ashore in Benao. Winds were prohibitive. Anchored right in front of this hotel with an ocean view restaurant. Villa Marina.


Getting Jerry cans  filled later today and will share that experience.
The hotel gardener gets off work at 3 and is going to help us out. Hear it is about a 30 minute drive for diesel.


John & Julie

9 ) LIQUID – Playa de Cocos – Costa Rica
Rumors of the end of Papagayo season were greatly exaggerated.


Marc & Laura


Hi Posse,

I will be visiting Sans Frontieres at Shelter Bay Marina/Panama Carib side for some boat care and haulout Sunday 3/19 to Tuesday 3/27, and would love to meet some of the Posse folks who are there. Can you email a shoutout to the ones there or let me know who is there?

Thanks so much

+1 760 207-7130



11) OCTOPUS GARDEN – Guatemala
We are in Guatemala!
Motorsailing 5.8 knots. This was my last meal out in MX a carnitas quesadilla! Delicious! Looking forward to new foods and new cultures!

hast la
      vista mexico

Jim & Susy

12) RESPITE – Costa Rica – Quepos

So far not impressed at ALL with Quepos. This is anchorage out of breakwater. Info in Sarana guide must be old. There is no dinghy dock at marina. Charged 4.50 to tie up to fuel dock and get fuel. You are allowed 30 minutes there. We declined their offer to charge us $35 to take us into town for provisioning. Not sure how they expect us to get to marina to get the shuttle. Town is very close by. There is a public dock but we were told they are closed when we pulled up at 4:50. Think we will pack it up and move to another rolly anchorage tomorrow. Manuel Antonio. At least it might be worth it!


(note : Soda Sanchez was a great place to eat for both breakfast and lunch! Inexpensive, “typical” food We were in Quepos today! We really liked it, but we were NOT smitten with the marina–insular, expensive and “beautiful people only” feel. What we found instead is that going into Boca Vieja, where the locals are was much friendlier. If you took your dinghy in along the Breakwater and turned left around the shoal, which at high water is covered and is a break, there is navigable water all the way in to the estuary. We walked down there this morning, and were the only Gringos, but people were really really friendly. You could probably tie up your dinghy, maybe at the first restaurant, right at the end of the malecon, and run into town and provision at one of the many grocery stores.)


Chris & Janet

13) FRED AGAIN III – Bahia Ballena

FredAgain III is in Bahia Ballena, the village of Tambor…at a little seaside bar where the beer is ice cold…a welcome beverage after my 30hr solo leg from Playa Del Coco. My wonderful crew of three months has had to return to the USA…best wishes, always, Laura and Michael. AAn interesting night…although you see Manta Rays jumping all around you, last night, they were jumping and flipping, right beside the boat…amazing! A bit of a rest tonight and another 30 hr leg to Marina Golfito, tomorrow. Posse boat’s in the harbour…but no sailors to be found.


Robert, Michael & Laura


BERTIE is underway, on her way across Tehuantepec and then to the Galapagos! We went to delightful Maguey cove and scraped and scrubbed Bertie’s voluminous bottom for hours, 3, 2-hour sessions with the hookah rig (soooo glad we bought this before we left). Regulations are very strict in the Galapagos for having a barnacle-, growth-free bottom, so we were more meticulous than we probably have ever been ~ kinda reminded me of dental work, having fresh memories last week of visiting the dentist in Huatulco, but that’s a whole ‘nother story!!

sv Tapanzee and Xenia are 1 day ahead of us; we heard them on our designated 10 am SSB T-pec net, but they couldn’t hear us! We are not planning on continuing to the South Pacific, but rather coming back and spending the hurricane season in Ecuador and then spending some quality time in Panama … so we will meet back up with the posse sometime in late May, early June.

Safe travels and happy trails to all of you!


Peter & Heidi

15) CARINTHIA – Isla Cebros – Costa Rica

A great anchorage – total calm – not even a ripple – it’s a LAKE – Isla Cedros – W – FYI there are logs in the water in the Golfo de Nicoya so keep a sharp lookout – anchored in 11 feet – go around the north side as the southern approach is shallow and has an overhead wire <59 feet clearance but at what tide ?

Resort on the tip of the island has a nice bar- across the bay is the ferry to Puntarenas ( ~900 Colones each way )
and we took our dinghy all around Isla Culebra -crazy currents and eddies – but fun fun fun !


This is a great Location for paddle boarding and absolute calms – lot’s of pelicans are bomb diving so very healthy

Next to the Ferry terminal (150 meters) is a nice fish restaurant and they also sell fish and lobsters
– they sold us ice for ….


our Panama Posse St Patrick’s Day Party with Halcyon and Agape !


Dietmar & Suzanne

16) Picture of the Week – TOTEM

Nice place to stop just short of Panama City: before you get pulled into the bright lights of the skyscraper skyline (or just time arrival), Isla Bona made for a cool little tuck‐in about 20 nm south. Counter‐posse: chill out here so you can time sailing around Punta Mala at slack. Larger Isla Otoque is just to the north and covered in Sarana guide. 3G cell coverage, too. It’s only big enough for a couple of boats. Many pelicans, even more magnificent frigates; the water was full of jellyfish and something fireworm‐like, so we didn’t swim or even paddle, but the view and the peace was lovely. Some old machinery on shore (guano mining?).


8º 34.71′ N  –  79º 35.592′ W
Another look at the “getaway anchorage” we stopped at in Panama…where there are no humans but many pelicans, a tree full of magnificent frigatebirds posturing with their red throats to each other, water full of fireworms and jellyfish (no swimming!), and according to the google – the chance of finding croc-like dinosaur fossils, or the odd drugrunner. meep!


Behan &  Jamie

Keep ’em coming –

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