El Salvador Bar Crossing – 16/3/2019

“The wish to travel seems to me characteristically human: the desire to move, to satisfy your curiosity or ease your fears, to change the circumstances of your life, to be a stranger, to make a friend, to experience an exotic landscape, to risk the unknown.” 

 Paul Theroux

After arriving in the evening of the 15th, we spend a very rolly night anchored off the river entrance waiting for daylight and high tide. 

Radio calls pursued in the morning between Utopia and Bill (who runs the El Salvador rally) to organise the pilot to guide us in.  We had to shut everything up, including the companion way boards and wait in the cockpit (life jackets on and all)  while Bill and a local met us in their panga.  After discussing the point of entry Bill guided us over the bar with very specific instructions over the radio.  We had to wait for the right moment to time with the waves, which were fairly large between 2 – 3 metres to leave and under full throttle we crossed.  We were told later that the waves were at the upper limit of us being able to come over the bar, any larger and we would have had to continue on to Chiapas. 


Photo of Utopia crossing the bar courtesy of Bill and Jean

One of the waves following us through the bar.  Bill and crew in the panga.

After an exhilarating crossing we went up the river to the Bahia del Sol Marina where Bill and Jean met us with welcome cocktails for the adults and juice for the kids.  After the 8 hour check in, in Cost Rica it was a pleasant surprise when it took only about 20 minutes to clear in with immigration and the port captain. After paying our $14 weekly fee (internet, access to resort facilities, $1 beer and rubbish service) and $25 for the pilot we anchored in the calm anchorage.


Us enjoying the welcome drinks on Utopia.

For information on crossing the bar click on the link here.

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