Visiting Ecuador

Puerto Lucia Yacht Club And Marina

Overlooking the inner mooring basin at the marina.  

Overview of the marina basin. The mooring style is called "med-moor" (from its popularity in the Mediterranean). There's no dock or finger pier next to the boat, so you must dinghy ashore.  

The boatyard is very close to the Pacific Ocean, with just a narrow strip of rip-rap as protection.  

Yacht club members racing sailing dinghies in the ocean near anchored tankers. The tankers are waiting to dock at a nearby oil refinery.  

The marina has a couple dozen boats on the hard, and a couple dozen more in slips or on moorings, so it's a fairly small marina. About half of the boats on the hard are being worked on by an international assortment of cruisers, but most of the boats in the slips are Ecuadorian, since the marina is actually part of a local yacht club. The manager of the boatyard is a Canadian man who has an Ecuadorian wife, but all the boatyard workers are native Ecuadorians.

It's a fancy marina, certainly by Ecuadorian standards, but even by American standards. The grounds are landscaped and well-maintained, all the roadways (and even the boatyard) are fully paved, they have modern, clean restrooms with hot and cold running water, a clubhouse and restaurant (which I haven't tried), tennis courts, a playground, a gated entrance with 24-hour security, etc. Quite nice, actually.

According to Marcie, they pay about $400 a month rent, but many other miscellaneous fees are not charged. For example, moving and blocking the boat, launching and recovering the dinghy (using the marina's crane), other miscellaneous "favors" like that. In a stateside marina, there aren't any favors. If a worker has to do something for you, you have to pay. I should point out that the boatyard is actually part of the yacht club, so the services and facilities are for the benefit of the members. I expect the yacht club membership fee covers the cost of the "favors".

The boatyard is next to the ocean, with just a dozen feet of rock rip-rap between us and the Pacific. The water is a pale aqua color (green-blue) and the waves are usually quite small. This section of the coast actually faces north, so we don't get the full force of the Pacific waves.

The harbor for La Libertád is a short distance offshore in the darker blue, deeper water. There are about a dozen small tankers at anchor waiting their turn to dock at the small port facilities (there is a major oil refinery just up the coast). Usually, we can see pelicans flying around close to shore, and frequently a frigate bird goes soaring overhead. (In fact, frigate birds sometimes roost on our masthead and leave bird poop on the deck.)

Looking up the coast, you can see a stretch of beaches leading away into the distance, with numerous mostly small buildings spreading back from the beach. Way in the distance, you can see mountains, since the entire west coast of South America is quite mountainous. Looking the other direction, you can see beaches and buildings leading down to the major point of land at Salinas (Punta Elena). Near the point, there are many high-rise hotels and apartments, since Salinas is a popular resort. This is our little territory, on the coast between the mountains and the point.

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