Hello, El Salvador

Boy, we were never so glad to be up at 4:00 a.m. and leave an anchorage (except maybe from Vivorillos, three years ago). After two days of sitting through calm mornings, with jellyfish-laden water, and being treated to afternoon winds of 25-30 knots that lasted well past dinnertime, we opted to just leave and head for Barillas Marina in El Salvador, where we arrived at about 1:45 p.m.

We actually arrived at the ocean waypoint at 11:00, jogging in place for about an hour while we waited for their panga to come out and meet us to guide us over the sandbar and up the estuary to the marina. The ride in was interesting, as we passed between shoals in water no more than 12-15 feet deep while huge breakers crashed on either side of us. There were a few moments of being sideways to the swells which made for some great rolls, but once the water flattened out, we enjoyed the calm ride past the beaches and villages, about nine miles up the mangroves to the Barillas Marina Club.

Once we were secure at the mooring ball, the authorities and marina owner, Heriberto, came out to clear us in – a feat that was accomplished in less than 20 minutes at a cost of $20. Once we cleared in, we accompanied Heriberto for a tour of the facility and a short walk to Immigration, where we were welcomed to El Salvador and told how proud the country was of its democracy. Lovely, warm welcome. But we suffered a casualty on the way in – our HP printer, veteran of nearly 4500 miles, dropped dead in the night and despite our best efforts, died. Now the challenge – to find a good wireless printer in Central America!

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