Roatan Wrap and Return to Guatemala 2017

April 23, 2017 Posted by Deb

The Changes in Roatan

A great island but evolving with up to five cruise ships at a time and thousands of cruise ship people on a power vacation clogging up the roads and filling up the beaches. Fantasy Island has suffered a big change. While the west end of the island parties and booms, Fantasy has hit the skids. Here’s a list:

  1. The well went salty so tap water and showers are with sea water now
  2. The generator partially died so they cut of power to the boats on the dock (us) from 7:00 a.m. to up to 8:00 p.m.
  3. The garbage piled up and the flies invaded
  4. With no A/C from shore power, the flies invade the open hatches and companionways
  5. Boat temperatures run around 93 degrees in the sheltered marine environment
  6. The WIFI bounces between 750 bytes to 10K with some spurts to 200K
  7. The pine trees get sap and debris all over the boat

FrenchCayDockSo … we paid for a month, we stayed two weeks, and we left for the anchorage to get comfortable … no refunds. We were also waiting for our 90-day “stay out of Guatemala” time restriction to expire on April 20.

We each thought Roatan was great for two different reasons. One of us voted for the La Pina Fitness Center followed by Herbie’s Sports Bar and Grill and the other voted for our day trips east and west. We definitely underachieved on the tourist stuff … maybe because we were coming to the end of our year or we were fresh out of buddy boats.

LaPinaPoolLaPinaFitnessCenter

Rather than go through the five-day port captain shuffle on Easter we elected to pay for an agent to clear us out. Bateman did a great job and even topped off one of our phones. Those who didn’t use Bateman missed their weather windows because the port captain told them to come back after the holiday in a week.

The Short, Easy Hop from Roatan to Guatemala

Don’t believe it. We’ve had lots of friends and acquaintances run into real trouble with weather on this stretch, not including the recent incidents of piracy in broad daylight. We motored in calm weather to get to Roatan and figured we would wait for a good breeze to sail downwind back to the west and Livingston, Guatemala.

The forecast from three sources all had the wind from the East North East at 15 to 18 gusting to 21. That is perfect for a downwind run and we put up the gennaker in case the winds were a bit light.

We Had Big Hopes for This Sail

We Had Big Hopes for This Sail

We did not bother topping off with fuel and probably should have. The actual wind was about zero for a few hours followed by mostly winds right out of 270 to 310 degrees at 10 to 15. That’s basically in our face. When the wind clocked, we put of the main and flew for about 45 minutes. The wind finally shifted to the east as predicted and was too light to sail so the main came down. We had a few more teasers and put up sails only to take them down minutes later. Of course, at night we had a squall with blinding rain and lightning in all directions.

Sailing through the Corner of Honduras, Belize and Guatemala

Sailing through the Corner of Honduras, Belize and Guatemala

Star Trek Trivia: Admiral, There Be Whales Here

Star Trek Trivia: Admiral, There Be Whales Here

We crossed the bar at Livingston about an hour ahead of schedule and again very close to low tide. Raul’s office informed us that the computer had us a 89 days, not 90 as is required. It was touch and go as to whether we were going to be let into Guatemala; but when the correct palms get greased, the rules can be bent a little. We grabbed our old berth at the Crow’s Nest in Cayo Quemado and Carlos had his extended family out there to give Neytiri a thorough cleaning and a wax job to get ready for showings up at NanaJuana Marina.CayoQuemadoWaterLilliesNanaJuanaSunsetPoolNanaJuanaDockSunset

Roatan 2017

April 6, 2017 Posted by Deb

We can’t believe it has been four years since Casa del Mar, Aquadesiac, Neytiri, and others visited these waters. We staged at Hatchet Caye in Belize with Jim and Renata of Emerald Seas for the overnight trip to Roatan. Emerald Seas detected some banging in their rudder on the way over to Hatchet and decided to head to Guatemala and RAM Marine to get it checked. We took off at about 3:00 in the afternoon alone. The wind dropped to somewhere in the 2 to 6 knot range and we didn’t even bother putting up a sail. The seas were calm and we motored on one engine at a time through the night. Not much to report except a lot of cruise ship dodging and a bit of adverse current at times.

We pulled into French Harbor, dropped the hook, and wondered where all the boats went. We practically owned the whole anchorage except for a couple of derelicts. An empty anchorage is a security concern since we learned four years ago that we had anchored in “Bandit Bay” one night. It turned out the boats had bailed for West Bay due to weather.

Neytiri in French Harbor

Neytiri in French Harbor

The Port Captain Shuffle

Check in procedures have changed and not for the better. Immigration moved to Plaza Mar in Coxen Hole, the Port Captain has to run everything through the capital now causing up to a five-day delay, and they want three pictures of the boat in digital form to be emailed to the capital. The Port Captain is also AWOL much of the day due to heavy cruise ship traffic (or long lunches) and he walked in at 2:30 p.m. We had been waiting since 1:00 and others longer. Deb had done a great job of putting our three pictures on one 8.5×11 piece of paper; and when we found out they wanted digital only, we took a picture of the piece of paper. No good. They wanted individual shots.

So … we failed. Eighty percent of the cruisers waiting in line until 2:30 also failed. The dockmaster here said they are trolling for tips, but they are on camera so it’s tough to pull off. We did not see anyone trying to buy their way in or out and we really felt sorry for the folks trying to catch weather to get out only to find that it could take days to get their Clearance (Zarpe). To make this short, we paid taxis three times over five days to take us to the Port Captain and back to French Harbor before we got our Entrada. On the positive side, Roatan is a free check in.

Fantasy Island

Fantasy Island from the Air

Fantasy Island from the Air

Zee plane, Zee plane. Not the same place. In fact, very little maintenance has been done on this resort since the last time we were here. All the wood buildings are kind of right out of the Dirty Dancing era but a little more faded each time we come back. There are no longer fresh water showers for the cruisers but there is a bathroom that works most of the time with a dirty salt water shower. The WIFI is a whopping 10 to 30 K. The Dockmaster, Rob, said that if we were here four years ago, we would really notice the difference now. There are themed events much like Dirty Dancing for the guests and another set for the cruisers in the Palapa bar. We do BBQ night, movie night, and 2-for-1 ladies night. Some of the guys are showing up in dresses for the 2-for-1 ladies night. We even got a pole dance from one of the guys.

Dirty Dancing Agenda for the Cruisers

Dirty Dancing Agenda for the Cruisers

Dirty Dancing Agenda for Resort Guests

Dirty Dancing Agenda for Resort Guests

This Is Our Back Yard

This Is Our Back Yard

Seaweed

Roatan is in the middle of a seaweed invasion. Massive islands of seaweed are floating in and the staff rake huge piles off the beach. Front end loaders and trucks haul the smelly piles away. The resort is usually losing the battle though the invasion seems to be tapering off lately. One cruiser said he hit an island of this stuff in the middle of the night and his boat came to a complete stop. This level of seaweed in the ocean has not been seen before.

Seaweed Invasion

Seaweed Invasion

The Animals of Roatan

Fantasy Island Peacock

Fantasy Island Peacock

Agouti

Agouti or Roatan Rabbit

Fantasy Island mixes zoo animals with people. We mostly see agoutis, peacocks, monkeys, and iguanas. Of these, the monkeys are a good story. They have been known to run off with cell phones, shoes, anything left in boat cockpits, and they climb up on people as part of their routine. Deb’s encounter was fun as he tried to get inside her shirt but the little …. did tear a key off her laptop keyboard.

Quit Monkeying Around

Quit Monkeying Around

Road Trips

We had our car rental from hell the week of April Fools Day. The morning of our big road trip to West Bay, the battery was dead. No problem for a cruiser, just grab any one of the jump starters and off we go. Our jump starters had partial charges but not enough to bring up the dead car battery so we had to haul out the extension cords and 110 charger. Eventually that worked and off we went, wondering what we had left on the night before that would drain the battery. I dropped a tire off the edge of the road and it got punctured. We pulled off on a hill in the middle of nowhere on a Sunday when everything was closed and started the spare tire drill. We were partially blocking traffic so that was an added bonus. The spare tire had an even bigger hole in it. A Honduran on a motorcycle who happened to own a car wash and gas station stopped by and took our main tire to his shop to try and inflate/fix it. He couldn’t but we gave him something for trying.

So…we called the Alamo manager and actually got him on a Sunday. He drove out, put his spare on our car, and took our two bad tires. Over the next two days, we had to jump the car if we let it stand for more than a couple hours and our newly charged car starters worked great. We did have to drive all the way to the airport to pick up a new tire and there was no one there to put it on so, once again, we got to use the “toy” jacks that they include with those little cars.

Flat Tire and a Flat Spare

Flat Tire and a Flat Spare

After the March Madness final on April 3, the jump start battery just wouldn’t cut it one more time. It was 10:30 at night after way too many drinks in the parking lot of Herby’s Sports Bar and Grill (great place). Thankfully a security guard came over and said “No problem” (the only English he knew) and grabbed a hotel van, jumper cables, and a buddy to get the show on the road again. The next day we called Alamo and swapped cars.

West End, West Bay

West End

West End

Nice places right out of the brochure. We bought a beach pass at the Paradise Hotel for $10 U.S. each which gave us a place to park and access to the pool, shower, and beach chairs. The highlight was the snorkeling. The Roatan wall is right off the beach with massive coral formations and a steep drop into the abyss. We also swam with the most fish we’ve seen in a long time. We got a kick out of diving down to the scuba divers and waiving like “we’re down here doing this for free and you’re paying a bundle.”

Underwater World

Underwater World

We lounged until the end of the day and the flies got too bad. On the trip back, we got beat badly by a guy on a bike. It wasn’t because of traffic, just potholes.

Beacher's Bar, West Bay

Beacher’s Bar, West Bay

East Roatan

On April 4, we teamed up with M.J. and Louisa from CarieAnn and headed East. We took almost every side road between Fantasy Island and the end of Roatan. The highlight was a trip to the Hole in the Wall restaurant in Jonesville.

The Famous Pirate Bar Was Only Open 2 Weeks

The Famous Pirate Bar Was Only Open 2 Weeks

Two Norwegians

Two Norwegians on the Way to Hole in the Wall

Hole in the Wall in Jonesville Bight

Hole in the Wall in Jonesville Bight

Last Chance Gathering?

March 16, 2017 Posted by Deb

Family and friends from the Eldridge side took their best shot at a cruise on Neytiri before we sell the boat or move to faraway shores. It started as a suggestion from brother Bill; and before we knew it, all the berths were full with an Alaskan (Bill), two Panamanians (sister Barb and Michael Karsh), and a Texan (Joe Sautner). Despite three different points of origin, everyone arrived within hours of each other on February 28 at the Placencia airport. We staged the boat at Robert’s Grove and used their free airport shuttle. Those of you who paid for taxis all those prior years, sorry about finding out about the free shuttle too late.

MayaIslandAirplaneExitJoeArrivalPlacenciaAirport

We moved in, kicked back, and spent the next day in Placencia. Oh … and another free shuttle. We pulled off one of the best jobs of provisioning with just enough booze, water, and food (in order of importance) to squeak back to Placencia as the cupboards were getting bare.

PineappleProvisioningProvisioningBelikin

The Loop

The plan was to hit Hatchet with good snorkeling and the Lionfish Grill, Pelican with Dustin, Kim, Ama and pets at Hideaway Caye, South Water, and Garbutt. We added Tobacco Caye on a nostalgia request.

DebChuckAdjustingSails

Hatchet Caye

Nice blow at 18 to 20 both days and nasty wet dinghy rides. We tried to sneak in the back dock to stay drier only to find a deck full of ladies doing sundown yoga. We spun the dinghy and tried a shortcut across the reef at low tide … also a failure. We did better the second day with the exception of a rough water snorkeling incident that reminded us all of how hard it is to pull a mostly non-responsive person out of the water and into a dinghy. It took three of us. Anyway, we talked the group into trying lionfish tacos and they were a big hit. Oh … the blue light parade of eagle rays was off the list because the yoga ladies had the deck again. They were nice enough people, just working a bit hard at being happy.

BarbLookingOffSternofNeytiriMichaelBarbFishing

Pelican Cayes and Hideway Caye

Hideway is also a favorite stop despite its 60-foot-deep anchorage and only one mooring ball. We’ve gone three for three on the mooring ball this season and Dustin (owner) would say that was nearly impossible. Ama was in rare form and is now 4 years old. She has discovered Uno and is relentless at getting people to play and beating them. Dustin has welded up a drag to try and hook other mooring balls that were ripped out by idiots but has only succeeded in tearing up the lower unit of his outboard thus far. Their guests were avid water people and went out each day spearfishing for dinner with Dustin. He supplies all the fish and conch for the resort by spearfishing off the reef. We took the entire group in for a snapper dinner in two dinghy trips and got tips on where to snorkel. Our second day was the best water day for the group with calm seas, good coral, and a beach to operate from.

BarHideawayCayeFishDinnerHideawayCaye

South Water, Tobacco, Garbutt Cayes

MichaelChuckBillJoe_SouthWaterBar

South Water and Tobacco haven’t changed much over the years. South Water is private and it varies how much poking around you can do from year to year. Their beach shrunk considerable from the hurricane. There are young, mostly female, marine biologists everywhere and we got in on a prep for a night dive and a floating/drinking sundowner session. We went over to Carrie Bow Caye for our snorkeling.

ChuckBillJoeDinghy

Tobacco was a day stop and it was too rough to get in the water. We walked around, checked out places that some hadn’t been to in 15 years, and moved on to Garbutt to get out of a blow that was a non-event at Garbutt. We declined the resort at Garbutt and did a final big meal on the boat.

ChuckDebTobaccoCayeNeytiriBackgroundBillChuckMikeSouthWaterWalkTobaccoCayeBarChuckBillJoe

Placencia

We returned to Placencia on Wednesday, March 8, in a nice 15- to 20-knot NE wind and sailed through the back door of the harbor and a 20 boat fleet at anchor. I always worry a bit about the shallows to port on that entry, especially when the sun is going in and out of clouds but everyone else was worried about getting through the gaggle of boats. It’s a fun way to wrap up a trip.

MichaelChuckDebCockpit

Family and friends have all flown home now and the boat is pretty empty. We converted two berths back into garages, did an oil change, repaired a water damaged bed from prior owners, cleaned and lubed all the winches and the windlass, did taxes, and are now studying up for our next leg … the Bay Islands of Honduras via Turneffe and Lighthouse Atolls.

Belize_Dive_Mapsm

Belize 2017

February 27, 2017 Posted by Deb

Belize starts and ends with Yoli’s. It’s a cruiser bar in Placencia run by Reagan and Yoli, and it is laid back like no other bar we’ve been in. There is only one TV so it’s not a sports bar, and you can gamble on the playoffs and Super Bowl if you’re so inclined. Most don’t watch TV because of the human entertainment floating around and through the bar. A cruiser can run a tab under his or her first name and tabs can get as high as $40,000 US (it was eventually paid off), many walk behind the bar and grab their own drinks, and a few listen to the Lost Refers and buy their t-shirts (we have two). Within minutes of dropping our hook we walked up the dock to Yoli’s and the Lost Reefers were playing. Actually, it was their lead, John, alone that day because the rest of the group were up in Belize City. A great welcome home to Belize.

Yoli's and A Lonely Lost Reefer

Yoli’s and A Lonely Lost Reefer

Jerry Jeff Walker

We caught him at the Minnesota Zoo last year but Belize is home for him, and the two-week long Jerry Jeff Walker Camp Belize in San Pedro started shortly after we arrived. We had friends flying in for the first week featuring a number of concerts and a lot of impromptu music on the beach. We headed north with Flying Fish in the hopes of getting in on the music and seeing friends. We made it to Colson Caye and got a weather update. A potentially tough norther was coming and that part of Belize has little protection from the north or northwest. We spun for more sheltered turf and Flying Fish kept going because they had company coming through Belize City. We watched weather for a few days, but the friends from the U.S. flew home long before we arrived in San Pedro.

Jerry Jeff Walker at Fido's on Ambergris Caye

Jerry Jeff Walker at Fido’s on Ambergris Caye

Roberts Grove Marina

We settled in for a stretch of bad weather and kind of stayed. It’s nice here, there were plenty of boat projects, and we could squeeze in a bit of exercise. The resort is going downhill each year and we hear lots of rumors as to why. This year Habaneros was closed half of each week, the bathrooms had no paper, diesel was not available, they were down to only one working Hobiecat, and the gym was closed. We talked our way into the gym each day and Deb wrote a long letter to management about the other stuff. The next morning we had diesel and from that time on we’ve been treated like royalty. We believe, and rumors support, that there was some kind of a labor/management issues and her letter shook things loose (as in the workers had not been getting paid).

Our Own Private Restaurant With Live Band Just Outside the Cockpit

Our Own Private Restaurant With Live Band — Just Outside the Cockpit

Morning Workout Beach at Robert's Grove

Morning Workout Beach at Robert’s Grove

Floating Gym

Floating Gym

Robert's Grove Sunrise

Robert’s Grove Sunrise

Bike Rise Up the Peninsula to Na'ai Resort

Bike Ride Up the Peninsula to Na’ai Resort

Goodbye Trip with Flying Fish

We spent time with Claudia and Claudius on Flying Fish in their decompression phase after company left. We did the Placencia Sidewalk Art Festival and several restaurants with them. Both boats sailed north to Caye Caulker, and was that a ride! We had up to 31 knots just as we were crossing the English Channel and it was pretty exposed. As a result, we did the length of Belize in two days with hours to spare.

Reggae Band at the Placencia Sidewalk Art Festival

Reggae Band at the Placencia Sidewalk Art Festival

Placencia Sidewalk

Placencia Sidewalk

Finally Got a Photo of Neytiri Under Sail

Finally Got a Photo of Neytiri Under Sail

 

Hurricane Earl

San Pedro and Caye Caulker recovered well from the hurricane. There was a lot of new construction. The Lazy Lizard at the Split survived so the young backpackers still had a place to hang out. The TMM dock was destroyed and rebuilt but TMM is long gone. Sad.

Lazy Lizard on Cay Caulker Post Hurricane

Lazy Lizard Backpackers on Cay Caulker Post Hurricane

New, Shorter Version of the TMM Dock

New, Shorter Version of the TMM Dock

Hurricane Earl on San Pedro

Hurricane Earl on San Pedro

Water Caye, Garbutt, Pelican, Hatchet and Home

We made a point of checking out the new resort at Garbutt and the new bar built by Reagan (Yoli’s) at Hatchet Caye on our trip back south. At Garbutt we ran into Rendezvous (Peter), Wanderlust, and Wahoo (just in back from the East Caribbean) and were invited to one evening of their floating party north. We don’t know how they can keep up that pace because we were partied out after only one night with them (and low on rum).

Floating City Goes by From Water Cay

Floating City Goes by Water Cay

Garbutt Caye Sunrise

Garbutt Caye Sunrise

Hatchet Cay Pet Pelican

Hatchet Cay Pet Pelican

Neytiri & Flying Fish Together at Robert's Grove

Neytiri & Flying Fish Together at Robert’s Grove

Last Voyage of Flying Fish

Last Voyage of Flying Fish

Heading North to Mexico and Key West

Heading North to Mexico and Key West

Where Are We Now? Belize!!

February 4, 2017 Posted by Deb

Hanging out at Robert's Grove in Placencia with Side Trips to the Reef in Southern Belize

Hanging out at Robert’s Grove in Placencia with Side Trips to the Reef in Southern Belize

Rio Dulce Chisme

January 20, 2017 Posted by Deb

We had an article published in the Rio Dulce Chisme on our adventure to Lago Isabel :

http://riodulcechisme.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1371&Itemid=1

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Lago Izabal

January 14, 2017 Posted by Deb

Few venture out on this giant body of water west of Fronteras. The main reason few go there is fear. We were kind of proud of ourselves 21 years ago when we ignored the old sailors advice and spent 10 days circumnavigating Lago Izabal The highlights then were the hot and cold running waterfalls and hot caves at Finca El Paraiso, the town of El Estor, and the jungle rivers full of howler monkeys. We (Chuck mostly) were also concerned this year because of the old stories that wouldn’t die of drug operations and bad guys.

Once again we set out with a buddy boat Flying Fish with Claudia and Claudius from Munich. They were great and together we put together a wonderful four-day lap of the lake. Now they want us to write an article for the local riodulcechisme net and newspaper.

Heading Out Under the Bridge, Flying Fish Takes the Lead

Heading Out Under the Bridge, Flying Fish Takes the Lead

Not Easy

Not Easy

Spanish Castillo San Felipe Built to Guard Against British Pirates

Spanish Castillo San Felipe Built to Guard Against British Pirates

Fronteras to Denny’s Beach

Denny’s Beach was and maybe still is on occasion a party destination. We found the place under new ownership, kind of empty, and with bad weather coming. It was also for sale again. We enjoyed ourselves but had a bit of a bumpy night as the northwest wind caught us on a lee shore.

Champagne Birthday Brunch for Chuck

Champagne Birthday Brunch for Chuck

Denny's Beach Sunset

Denny’s Beach Sunset

DennysBeach

El Estor

The town was a former British outpost for supplies to Honduras, hence the name “The Store.” We remember 21 years ago it as a wonderful small town where the women went nuts over a four year old blonde haired son of our travelling companions on Gooseberry. They kept playing with his blonde hair. There was also a women’s coop with large outdoor fabric making looms. They were churning out fabric for Patagonia. We also remember that we had to keep a tight watch on boats and dinghies.

Now the town is bigger, the troops at the Navy base said they would keep an eye on our boats but that it wouldn’t be a problem, the town administrator treated us like royalty with staged photos, and we had a whole lineup of folks helping set up a couple of days worth of touring in the area.

El Estor Waterfront

El Estor Waterfront

El Boqueron, Juan, and the Boqueron Canyon Project

We walked along the waterfront to the municipal building near the city dock and found Eric, a city administrator, just leaving work for the day. He showed us around, took a few photos, and lined up Juan Tacaj, the man in charge of the Seacacar project in Boqueron Canyon.

Seacacar Mayan Women's Coop Making Pendants

Seacacar Mayan Women’s Coop Making Pendants

Village Children at Q'eqchi

Village Children at Q’eqchi

Hanging Bridge at Q'eqchi

Hanging Bridge at Q’eqchi

With only a partial understanding of what we were getting into, we headed off in a large SUV for Boqueron Canyon and a major serendipity surprise. We first got a tour of the school and the Mayan carvings they were doing to earn money. We then found out we were in for an innertube trip after a hike to their ceremonial cave. Then, as you can see, we were treated to one of the prettiest canyon trips we have ever seen with two young boys keeping us out of trouble. Very cool.

RiverElBoqueronCanyonClaudiusMiniCoconuts

Rio Sauce

Rio Sauce

Claudia & Deb

Claudia & Deb

RiverElBoqueronCanyon

Ceremonial Cueva With Juan Tacaj

Ceremonial Cueva With Juan Tacaj

ReadyToTubeTubingCrewTubingCameraTubingFriends

Here is a link to the project run by Paul Heesaker from Silverthorne, Colorado: http://www.riosguatemala.com/legacy-builders

Ensenata Los Lagartos y Rio Polochic

The next day at 6:00 a.m. we were picked up for a tour of the famous howler monkey rivers that feed into Lago Izabal. Our guide worked the whole shoreline and we caught all the animals waking up for the day. We can’t remember how far up we went 21 years ago but there are enough twists, turns, and side channels to spend a day and more if you get lost.

Sunrise On Way to Rio Polochic

Sunrise On Way to Rio Polochic

River Exploration At Dawn

River Exploration At Dawn

Environmentally Friendly Nickel Mine

Environmentally Friendly Nickel Mine

Chuck & Claudia

Chuck & Claudia

PedroDebChuckPlayaIguanaOnLimbFlamingos3GoingDowonRioPabloMtnBkg

Lago Izabal Wrap

Nothing but a positive experience on our trip and this area. It is a shame that leftover tales have kept so many away. Our security was very important to all of the officials we met and we were treated like visiting celebrities.

Fronteras: Guatemala

January 8, 2017 Posted by Deb

It felt like coming home. We grabbed a slip at Nana Juana’s because they had room and they were the only marina that answered our emails. The danger here is that most of the owners are in jail along with some family members. Some think the Guatemalan government will swoop in and confiscate everything, including all the boats on the hard and on the docks. We should write a book entitled “1,000 Ways to Lose Your Boat.”

Not a Bad Place to Hang Out

Not a Bad Place to Hang Out to Get the Boat Ready to Go

An Early-Morning Visitor in the Rain

An Early-Morning Visitor in the Rain

Cruiser Swap Meet: A Good Place to Giveaway Things

Cruiser Swap Meet: A Good Place to Giveaway Things

Trivia Night at Catamarans

The first set of three questions were math. Our team got zero on that section despite a former economist and some smart Germans. On one question, we were the only team that did not get it right and I (Chuck) was the one that lobbied for the wrong answer. We rallied throughout the evening and did eventually beat out two teams.

Can You See Trivia Brains at Work Here?

Can You See Trivia Brains at Work Here?

Outboard Challenged

Outboard Challenged

 

Lost on Board

January 3, 2017 Posted by Deb

Chris Stanley from Seakist Services picked us up at Bruno’s bar and restaurant and took us the 20-plus kilometers to our boat in Cayo Quemado (Burnt Key). The annual task of remembering where we put everything and deciding where all the new stuff should go started that evening. It didn’t go well. Major items (chargers, VHF radios, and flashlights) were AWOL and we were ripping the bilges and lockers apart trying to find them. On a whim on day 2 we decided to look in the metal computer briefcase and the search was over. We apparently decided to use the briefcase for a Faraday box in the event of a lightning strike and failed to make a note of that. So … a repeat of the story from three years earlier, but then it was the oven.

Cayo Quemado and Texas Mike’s

The night before we left we celebrated at Mike’s new bar and restaurant. He was fileting freshly caught Cobia as we walked in. They have a good thing going at Mike’s and he draws an exotic crowd … too bad we missed the New Years Eve party there. We were off the next morning and stopped at Tom’s place called Quemado Sails to install the lazy jacks, main and main battens, headsail, and a new mainsail halyard block. We also remembered that we had stored all our battens at his shop earlier that year and all of us had forgotten that.

QuemadoSails

Halfway across El Golfete (a very wide and long part of the Rio Dulce) we ran into Flying Fish. We had been monitoring their arrival in Guatemala from Germany and kind of thought we would miss them. We have been with them on and off since Panama. We had our fenders on and the two boats rafted up right in the middle of the lake for a mini-reunion.

NeytiriFlyingFish

San Pedro Sula: Honduras

January 1, 2017 Posted by Deb

The town still has a lousy reputation, and we don’t get it. Our driver held out a sign that said “Chuck and Deb” and we were again treated to a trip full of all the U.S. names like TGIF, McDonalds, Pizza Hut, Wendy’s and the movie we went to was in a Cinemark Theater, the same franchise where we saw Star Wars just a few days before in Des Moines, Iowa. The people go out of their way to be nice. Most importantly, the trip to Fronteras, Guatemala, is only four hours (on a scenic coastal highway) and Guatemala City is over 10 hours with all the new construction. Of course there was this traffic jam …

Honduras-SAN-PEDRO-SULA

Killer Traffic Jams in Honduras

Killer Traffic Jams in Honduras

PuertoCortes