Hands off, we’re British

It rained most of night quite and was quite unpleasant for sleeping and standing watch, in comparison to trip so far.

We arrive at mouth of river to Marina in El Salvador around 0800 and it takes about an hour to sort the boat and wait on pilot boat to arrive. We think they are an hour behind us currently but not 100% sure. There are a lot of shrimpers out (fishing boats) and we seem to be surrounded at one point. We have a doo-do-doo-do moment as Richard wasn’t sure how we’ll be received here, flying a US flag … And now we’re wondering some more … But we’re Brits honest!

The entrance consists of huge breaking waves and the pilot boat is essential to get us through them as there are also moving shoals which the charts can’t cope with. The pilot boat is effectively a local guy in a wooden hulled speedboat who knows the waters really well. At one point our depth reads 0.4m. That’s 0.4m clearance under the boat! We really don’t want to be grounded going through here that’s for sure.

It takes a pretty long time to navigate through, and as we arrive and hook up to mooring it is about 1330 our time. The recorded engine hours are 61.7 on the port side, and 94 on the starboard side. All tied up and secured Richard is about to go ashore when the Customs and immigration officials come to boat, a total of 5 people visit and they all want to look around the boat. That said they are all very nice and very organised. Richard goes ashore with them to sort out paperwork, photocopies etc that they each want and get passports stamped and so on.
When he gets back all is well and we have a celebratory beer. He is really impressed with the setup here. It is unnervingly quiet but the facilities and service is flawless. We can go shopping in a complimentary minibus in the morning to a local town, we can get a laundry done and they’ll keep the restaurant open if we want to eat ashore later. Oh and the re-fuelling is booked in too!

After a week of cooking aboard we decide that we would like to eat ahore, although the choice is a bit limited, certainly on the veggie side anyway. We go ashore with the laundry and confirm that we will eat there with the restaurant.

There are four other boats in the marina (it apparently has space for 200!!) and all but one looked packed up for the winter and in shelter from the hurricane season. The one that’s occupied has two ladies on it. It’s a Hallberg 46. We see them in the restaurant laters and invite them to join us. They are from Seattle and are very butch. Remind Bernice of a drag sketch out of some old comedy show like Les Dawson or similar.

They’re harmless enough and by the sound of it had a really rough ride in through the breakwaters. They bottomed their boat and for half an hour they were banging up and down on the bottom as they didn’t know what to do. Ouch!!

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