Sailing the “Bat” Islands & drone theft! Sailing Zingaro – Ep 47

Every cruiser’s nightmare: thieves. They stole our drone, radio, tools. Now the police are here investigating, taking fingerprints, and for what? Watch and find out…

See how the crew of Zingaro handled it in this installment of the life and times of Zingaro!

I take a Tico (that’s what they call a local Costa Rican guy – girls are Ticas) on a 200nm sail from Isla Caño to Isla Murcíalagos. What a great time. Here’s the real story on that one…

So we get up to this beautiful island chain, the “Bat” islands – named because of the shape of a bat made by the second island (you can see this very clearly at 2:39). This island chain is very rarely visited, mostly because it lays in a very dangerous zone – the Papagayo wind zone. This is an area of the Central American peninsula where the eastern trade winds from the Caribbean shoot through the mountains and make their way (very strongly) to the Pacific. Within 5 nm of land you are subject to 40kt catabolic winds, sometimes out of nowhere. Needless to say, it’s a dangerous place to bring a boat… so we went!

I laid out two anchors, about 60degrees from each other, and faced the boat dead east in a little cove (also visible in the drone shot). Super cool spot, but ass puckering dangerous. We were so close to the rocks that I barely slept, always coming out to shine a light and check to make sure the anchors were holding. It’s one thing to be anchored in 40kt winds, it’s another to be anchored 20ft from rocks, in 6ft of water, in 40kt winds.

But OMG the diving! It was amazing. We talked to the rangers, and got permission to spearfish. I actually took a shot at a mahi-mahi while we were out. We ended up getting lots of fish, and bringing the rangers a bunch, to which they were very thankful, as they had no boat to fish so were eating canned foods for weeks. Ugh. Great view though.

Bottom line: If you are ever in Costa Rica, try to get out to the Murcíalagos Islands. They are very special. Bucket list item for sure. Climb to the top of one of the islands and watch the sunset. You may get lucky like us and see whales breaching right afterward. What a night… Why is this not in the vid, you ask? We had the footage on our failed hard drive, not backed up. 100 videos are gone. That sucks, but you get the real story here.

The rest of the film is pretty self explanatory, Kim comes back (Happy Captain!), and we haul the boat…

– James

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