Friday morning we touched base with Scott in Quepos and we were all still confused about whether we had to pull up stakes and get up there right away. We told him that the Customs people in Puntarenas took our old expiring permit when they gave us the new one and he asked if we still have a copy of it. Of course we do, and we scanned and emailed it right away. Scott said he and the attorney would appeal to the port captain for a ruling on where our new permit allows us to be. We told him we aren’t comfortable doing the long motor in a hurry, and we had precious little time left.
Jack and I stayed on the boat, waiting and doing odd jobs. About 10:30 we got a text from Scott. “Take your time. The port captain is ok with everything.” He asked us to give him an ETA when we could, and we wrote back asking if he thought we were pushing it if we didn’t leave until Monday and took a few days to get there. We’d like to get the anchor down each day before the squalls start, and we don’t want to run the engines for more than a few hours a day.
Just before 2:00 we got an email from the attorney. She talked to the port captain and he said he has no problem with our schedule. We have an extension of the permit and we are legal in Costa Rica. What’s more, he asked that the marina monitor our progress “in case of any situation.”
Wow! That’s the first time since we arrived in Costa Rica that an official showed concern for our safety and well-being. I nearly cried with relief. We still have yet another deadline and another appeal to go through, and we don’t think we have enough time now to book any travel off the boat, but at least we can move forward with the repair plans, and when we get to the marina in Quepos they can start on the fiberglass and welding and all the other little repairs while we wait for the rig shipment.
We are amazed at the contrast between the Customs office in Puntarenas and the one here in Golfito. Had we known from the beginning that Golfito operates as a rogue branch we would never have come here. And that’s a shame because this bay is so protected and calm and we know for the rest of our northward journey in Costa Rica we won’t enjoy these conditions again.
It was 2pm and we still had the rental car. We picked up Sharon, leaving Kim aboard Georgia J to wrestle with a broken head, and drove up the mountain behind Golfito.
Then, like all practical cruisers everywhere who find themselves with a vehicle at their disposal, we went shopping to buy all the heavy and bulky stuff that’s hard to schlepp home on foot and so easy to toss in the trunk of a car.
We capped the day off with celebratory painkillers aboard Escape Velocity, and once again the hours flew by in the company of Sharon and Kim, as we laughed the night away.
It’s good to be free again.