We had a nasty squall at anchor Saturday night that bounced us around so much we didn’t even cook dinner but just lay in bed and read until it was calm enough to sleep.
Sunday dawned quiet and beautiful and we launched the dinghy and beached it at the entrance to Casa Orchidea, a private botanical garden. We thought we had timed it to exactly high tide but even after staying by the dinghy for a while to be sure it was secure, occasional big breakers swamped the poor thing and we realized we need to rethink our beaching strategy.
Eventually we entered the garden and were greeted by the owners, Ron and Trudy. We were disappointed to learn they don’t give their personal tour during the green season and they handed us a set of laminated cards for a self-guided tour.
It’s a beautiful place and they’ve amassed an impressive collection of native and imported species, but a lot of the labels were deteriorated and hard to read. I guess this is the season when they do all their maintenance and we just happened to be here before everything’s spiffed up for the tourists.
We followed the cards as well as we could and recognized many of the plants we saw in the Eastern Caribbean, like nutmeg and cinnamon, cacao and starfruit. The garden is very formal, if you can call a garden in the rainforest formal, and the owners have obviously poured a lot of love into it.
Most of the orchids were not blooming but there was still lots to see, like the various bamboos.
We were particularly delighted by a toucan having breakfast in a banana tree.
After a couple of hours it got too hot and we thanked Ron and Trudy and walked back to the beach to find Catnip totally swamped and the gas tank upended.
We relaunched and jumped in and she started right up but within a few minutes the engine sputtered and died. Damn. Water in the fuel. We paddled like crazy but it was a long way back to EV.
After a few minutes Jack tried the engine again and again it started right up, ran for a while then sputtered and died. At least we were closer, and we paddled the rest of the way. Jack cleaned out the water separator and added dry gas to the tank but while he was doing that he found a kink in the fuel line. Aha! No water in the tank, all fixed.
We hauled Catnip up, weighed anchor and motored a couple of hours to Rincon in the far northwest corner of Golfo Dulce, escorted for the last 45 minutes or so by 30 or 40 dolphins leaping and playing in our bow waves. Sorry, no photos. They’re much too fast for my old trigger finger.
We got the anchor down in a quiet cove just in time for sundowners on the front porch.