As we made our way to the Islas Secas, we went through a narrow cut between some reefs and islands. Up on the top of one of the hills in this cut, hidden behind a canopy of trees was a house overlooking the bay.
This journey took us 5.5 hours to motor sail 33 miles from Bahia Honda to the Islas Secas, which means “Dry Islands.” This chain is made up of 3 small islands: Isla Pargo, Isla Cavada, and Isla Coco. The largest island, Isla Cavada is privately owned with an airstrip and an expensive eco-resort called Islas Secas Beach Resort. Evidently, you can rent a luxury tent for $600 per night with all amenities. We tried to snoop, but when we went ashore, we were told they had VIPs on property and we would need to come back in 2 days. Since we saw the helicopter land earlier, we figured it wasn’t a fib, plus they were really, really nice.
Isla Pargo, the island to the South of Isla Cavada has one anchorage, a white sandy beach, small stream, and a trail that leads you from one side of the island to the other during low tide. Isla Coco is the smallest island with a poor anchorage. However, it is known for its amazing diving and snorkeling.
We anchored near Isla Cavada (which means Concave Island). When we arrived a Navy boat and a small monohulls were already here. By dinner time, the Navy boat left, the storm rolled in, and another catamaran anchored on the opposite end of the bay. It was a peaceful anchorage, but we set three alarms due to the precarious anchorage.
When we set the anchor, we were in 10 meters of water. However, with the storm and wind shift, the boat shifted over 3 meters of water. We can easily float in 1 meter of water, but with the tide changes, we don’t want to be anywhere near a 1-meter spot. So, we set a depth alarm, wind alarm, and proximity alarm. Several alarms went off during the night which meant a disturbed sleep.
The next morning, we got up and took the SUPs to one of the beaches on Isla Cavada. It was a pretty beach tucked into the side of the hill that is submerged under water during high tide.
Image below: Top view of beach coming in on SUPs, and view of Sugar Shack from beach. 2nd Row view of beach and blossoming rock. 3rd Row Amazing air plants growing in a tree and view of beach on opposing side. Bottom row one of the many hermit crabs playing with my toes and Matt resting on his SUP on the way back to the boat.
After resting a bit on the boat, we hopped in the water to explore the underworld surroundings of the Islas Secas. It had been awhile since we were able to swim and we did not want to miss this opportunity. We could tell that there are a lot of coral heads in this bay, but we did not know what else lies beneath the boat.
There was a very abundant coral life growing strong and healthy, but not too many fish. We did spy (2) puffers that were black with radiant blue spots, a bright yellow puffer, and several pretty large trigger fish. It’s hard to be impressed when you’ve been diving in Bonaire, but this was pretty and unique.
The next day, we decided to hit the road early to get to our next destination, Isla Parida. A short 22-mile journey took us just over 3 hours. We had planned on anchoring at Punta Jurel, but when we arrived it did not look anything like the guide book. So, we moseyed on over to a neighboring island called Isla Gamez that showcased two beautiful beaches. And, there are 4 more beaches on surrounding islands that are easily accessible.
We arrived before lunch, dropped the hook and admired the Sunday Funday going on with 8-10 tourist and local boats. After lunch, we decided to take the SUPs over to the island to join the fun. It was a lovely little beach, pretty water, and good music. We did not stay long as each group seemed to be doing their own thing, but everyone was lovely.
Later in the afternoon, we took Sweetie out to explore some of the other beaches on Islas Secas. We found one hidden beach with lots of palm trees in a little bay that would be delightful to stay for a week or more. Unfortunately, we needed to get going, so we packed the boat up and headed for Golfito.
- Overnight passage to Golfito
- Clearing into Costa Rica