Archive for: ‘October 2013’

And the Rains Came

October 30, 2013 Posted by Deb

We got an introduction to the rainy season … it poured on and off for days. Several marinas and Tienda Reed were/are going under water. Our trip to the chandlery is knee deep, the boat is up three feet on the dock, and it’s sandals-only for walking.

We hitched a ride with Kallima both to help and check out the bridge dogleg. The bridge has 90′ of clearance and our mast is 65′ so no problem. The Guatemalan utility company, in their great wisdom, hung power lines over the river about 30 feet from and parallel to the bridge that are quite a bit lower. This requires taller masts to hang an immediate 90 degree turn to port, run parallel to the concrete bridge all the way to within 20 or 30 feet from shore, and then hang a 90-degree starboard before hitting a rock. All this with wind and current. An error to port of a few feet would knock the mast off on the concrete bridge and an error to starboard of a few feet would fry the electronics of the boat and take out power to the entire town of Fronteras.

FronterasBridge2

FronterasBridge

MastUnderBridge

The trip under the bridge to Abel’s with Kallima was uneventful. Abel’s itself was another story. The travel lift was sinking in mud and, a few days earlier, bashed a Venezia catamaran into the sides, doing damage. There seemed to be a general cluster f*@k going on and, after a four-hour wait, Kallima decided to bag the haul out and Neytiri did as well. Now we are in search of a haul out and crew to get our new Gori props installed, replace the lower unit seals, and do a bottom job (all in Spanish).

The New "Modern" Front to Abel's Haulout Facility

The New “Modern” Front to Abel’s Haulout Facility

Jacks over Fives

October 27, 2013 Posted by Deb

Fifty two people, seven marinas, and a bunch of dinghies. That was the theme for dinghy poker day starting at Marina Rio Vista and including Marios, NanaUana, Ram, BackPackers, Xcellala, Tijax, and El Progresso Marinas.

Each marina had a deck of cards, food, drinks, and a tour if you were inclined. To cut down on cheating, we had to initial the back of our card when we received it; and marina staff signed off on the card and a visit sheet. The top ten poker hands got the money.

We didn’t hear what first was (four 7’s) but second (9’s over kings full house) got $1,700 quetzels (over $220 and he donated it to local charities). Jacks and fives came in 20th and we got skunked in the raffle. Good time, though.

VistaRioDock

NanaJuanaDockDeb

Deb used to teach fitness classes here 19 years ago -- had to commute 45 minutes with a trolling motor from Suzanna's

Deb used to teach fitness classes here 19 years ago — had to commute 45 minutes with a trolling motor from Suzanna’s

PokerResults

Our Back Yard: Cayo Quemado or Texan Bay

October 21, 2013 Posted by Deb

It was a long, hard week just to get to where we could move the boat even though it was handed over to us in excellent shape.

The folks at SeaKist were/are great. We were running out of water and did not want to fire up the watermaker, the internet was non-existent, and only one of our phones would reach civilization. So we left for Fronteras and Ram Marina for at least a few days.

We also need to practice getting under the bridge with a 65-foot mast. The bridge is not a problem but the power lines about 30 feet beyond the bridge require an immediate 90-degree turn to the left, a run parallel to the bridge, and then a sharp right. Oh … and there is current.

The SeaKist Crow's Nest Summer Home for Neytiri

The SeaKist Crow’s Nest Summer Home for Neytiri

Dinghy Ride to Check Out the Neighborhood

Dinghy Ride to Check Out the Neighborhood

Water Lillies Along the Way

Water Lillies Along the Way

Swirly Wake

Swirly Wake

Neighbors Down the Way

Neighbors

Living On the Water in the Mangroves, No Land

Living On the Water in the Mangroves

Jet Pack Expo At Backpackers, Sunday Afternoon in Fronteras on the Rio

Jet Pack Expo At Backpackers, Sunday Afternoon in Fronteras on the Rio

Four Hundred Pounds

October 11, 2013 Posted by Deb

We decommissioned our U.S. visit which included putting away two cars, winterizing the Sea Ray, mouse poison everywhere, and stashing all the toys we got out. The trailer and old Sanity dinghy found a new home over the summer; and we built a second floor in the pole barn in Iowa so for the first time, we had room.

We planned on shipping several hundred pounds via ocean freight to Guatemala but Deb decided to try and fit everything on the plane. After two trips to Wal*Mart for new bags and shuffling stuff around to make five 49.5 lb. bags, we were packed with, including very heavy carry-ons, a total approaching 400 pounds. Of course we had to pay at the airport but it was cheaper than shipping. The only problem was that we had to carry it through airports and bus terminals and fit it all into the odd cab. It is quite doable in the U.S. where you can rent large carts but imagine a scenario where five or ten guys are trying to grab everything to “help” or get you to go to their cab, all in a foreign language. It was too much luggage for two people so we were planning on the old Venezuelan caterpillar approach of advancing about 20 feet at a time moving quickly between piles and yelling NO a lot.

All That and Three People in One Cab for 5 Hours

All That and Three People in One Cab for 5 Hours

Waiting at Bruno’s for the Final Boat Run to Texan Bay and Neytiri

Waiting at Bruno’s for the Final Boat Run to Texan Bay and Neytiri

Decommisioning - How Many Boats in This Picture?

Decommisioning – How Many Boats in This Picture?

Wrapping up a U.S. Summer

October 5, 2013 Posted by Deb

We had a U.S. wish list when we arrived from Guatemala for a cold Memorial Day Cast Iron Canoe trip. We thought we had the summer under control until September snuck up on us. We had to shift into a whole different gear with no more than a few days between final medical, dental, and end of season functions. Oh … and some of the boat part orders had 23-day shipping estimates on them and we cut that a bit thin. Our biggest regret was missing friends that we had promised to visit and we’ve been taking some jabs for that.

A Day at Our Private R/C Field with Dan and Anca Smith and Our Housemate, Bob Dreyer.

A Day at Our Private R/C Field with Dan and Anca Smith and Our Housemate, Bob Dreyer

After a Year of Training and Anticipation, Rubber Duck Racers Walk to the Starting Line

After a Year of Training and Anticipation, Rubber Duck Racers Walk to the Starting Line

And They’re Off

And They’re Off