Thursday, January 27, 2011


Some of our first rally folks have arrived in Bahia del Sol. Rick and Karen on Eyes of the World along with Lion’s Paw report that they had a great passage from Huatulco to Bahia del Sol, El Salvador.

They write:
We had a great 3-4 day weather window and a full moon to cross the Tehuantepec! We left Huatulco at 5pm and had a favorable current of about 2 knots and were motoring at 8-8.2 knots all the way to Salina Cruz. We passed by Salina Cruz about 6 miles offshore at about 2am, as there was no wind. Then we encountered an adverse current of 1.5 knots. We followed the 100-foot contour line, which put us 3-5 miles offshore all the rest of the way to Puerto Madero. We finally got some current relief about 60 miles from Puerto Madero. We arrived at about 12 noon so our trip took about 11/2 days.

The port officials are great in Puerto Madero and very friendly and helpful. They have written instructions in English for checkout procedures. The Navy, Port Capitan and drug dog upon arrival boarded us. Immigration is at the airport, which is about 10 miles away so you need a taxi to get there. We completed our final Navy departure inspection on Saturday morning.

We left Puerto Madero at 11am Saturday to head for Bahia del Sol, El Salavdor. We had a great passage with flat seas and winds of 10-15 knots in the afternoons. We were able to sail all day the first day with a favorable 1.5-2 knot current. Just after sunset, the winds died so we motored through the night. In the early morning we had land breezes and were able to sail all day again until sunset, still with the favorable current. We again motored through the night. We stayed well offshore for most of the passage-sometimes as much as 20 miles out. We arrived at 7am at the waiting point for the pilot to take us across the bar.

As we approached the bar the swells looked huge and we were a little apprehensive about crossing through them. We could not see any place that looked like an opening and the tide was beginning to turn. Finally our pilot arrived on his jet ski and asked us what the boats top speed was. We told him 7 knots and he said, “OK, follow me”. We were at nearly full throttle as we followed him in while he kept looking over his shoulder to time the waves. He timed it perfectly! We surfed across about 3 waves and never got “pooped”! Then we were through the surf and entering the estuary!! It was the best E-ticket ride we have ever had!!!

We arrived at the dock at Bahia del Sol to check-in. There were several people waiting to help us tie up to the dock and the port officials were there to start our check-in process. We were then taken to the immigration office on the hotel grounds to obtain our visas and boat import permit. Everyone is extremely nice and helpful. Most of the officials and staff at the hotel speak very good English. We had breakfast at the restaurant then anchored in the estuary near the hotel.

Bahia del Sol and the surrounding area are absolutely beautiful!!!!

On our first evening at anchor we were greeted with an air show by the El Salvadoran air force! They flew in formation, did flips and turns and acrobatic stunts right over the estuary for about an hour!! What a treat!

When we checked in, we told the officials that we planned to stay for about 3 weeks—we are already thinking we might have to stay longer!!!

Rick and Karen
s/v Eyes of the World
January 24, 2011

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