Posts Tagged: ‘Cayo Quemado’

One Last Trip to Neytiri?

November 5, 2017 Posted by Deb

We routed through San Pedro Sula, Honduras, again because it will be at least a year before the highway is finished between Guatemala City and the Rio Dulce. It’s a four-hour trip versus a trip that can go up to ten hours. Of course San Pedro Sula was voted one of the most dangerous cities in the world, and passports can fill up getting multiple stamps. There’s great scenery but we usually get a torrential downpour. This trip was no exception … we watched houses falling into rivers.HorseRainHondurasCowsTaxiHonduras

Familiar Scene in the Rio Dulce

Familiar Scene in the Rio Dulce

Cayo Quemado: Recommissioning

We put the sails back on with the help of Tom at Quemado Sails and got all the systems running again. Mike, at Texas Mike’s restaurant, gave us our last meal and drinks on the house before we moved up the river to RAM Marine for further boat work.

Dinghy Ride Around the Neighborhood

Dinghy Ride Around the Neighborhood

Pulling Up to Cayo Quemado Sails & Rigging

Pulling Up to Cayo Quemado Sails & Rigging

Getting the Main Back Up

Getting the Head Sail Back Up

CayoQuemadoDinghyRide2

Oh … somewhere in there we accepted an offer on the boat and had to get seven to eight years of accumulated belongings off the boat and into luggage. That is, of course, impossible so we sold and gave away personal stuff and left behind anything that might be useful to the new owners. We did keep some family heirloom tools, a chair, and two folding bikes. At the last minute, RAM Marine had a cancellation in their apartments so we had a convenient staging area for the hopeless task of packing.

Birthday with Old Friends

We celebrated Deb’s birthday with Jacque and Annette on Panache at Back Packers Restaurant. We last saw them in Georgetown, Bahamas as they headed on down the thorny path to St. Maarten and clockwise around through the ABC’s, Columbia, Panama, and eventually Guatemala. We turned back to Florida to sell the boat and eventually made it back to Guatemala via the Bahamas, Florida, Cuba, Mexico, and Belize. We don’t really have to say goodbye to old friends because our paths will cross again. Good times and good stories.

Sundog Cafe with Panache

Sundog Cafe with Panache

Oh … Deb’s birthday present was first class tickets home. In all honesty, we had no choice because first class allows 70 pound bags and more of them. We took empty luggage for the trip home but had to buy even more in Fronteras. Wow.

Picnic Barge Cruising the Rio

Picnic Barge Cruising the Rio

Sea Trial

Captain John returned to the Rio just in time to conduct the sea trial. The new owners showed up the day before, and we had a beer or two with them. The boat was ready and performed very well during the sea trial. We had to scramble at times to answer the surveyor’s questions and Deb was at the helm while we were all talking wondering if we were ever going to tack away from looming shores. The hard part for me was running the engines at maximum RPM. We had never done that since the sea trial in 2010. The boat took off like a rocket and the engines sounded really good at maximum … guess we should have done that more often.

Old & New Owners Watching the Haulout

Old & New Owners Watching the Haulout

Chuck on the Sidelines Wondering, "What Did I Do?"

Chuck on the Sidelines Wondering, “What Did I Do?”

Tom & Lisa on Their New Boat

Tom & Lisa on Their New Boat

The Trip Home in Style

Our friends kidded us about enduring the stares of the masses as they filed by the first class section. We didn’t look up. We’ve both been upgraded for free in the past, but this trip was on our dime, and we tried to make the most of it. Deb lost her carved wooden canoe from Panama because the security folks pulled it, one of our new bags got trashed, Deb had to put on an orange vest and go down to baggage handling because of a problem with a bag in Honduras.

The Canoe from Panama Had Graced the Back of our Salon Sofa for a Long Time

The Canoe from Panama Had Graced the Back of our Salon Sofa for a Long Time

They freaked out about our leftover money from many countries, and homeland security in the U.S. could not get one of our bags back together, so they taped it and put it in a giant ziplock. Try recognizing that on a carousel. But the leg room, food, booze, and movies were great.

The Voyage of Neytiri

Neytiri will sail on with the same name but our voyage has come to an end. We wish Tom and Lisa the best and hope Neytiri treats them as well as it has us. We have mixed emotions about being boat-challenged, though we will always consider ourselves sailors, and we will maintain contact with all the old crowd from over eleven years on the ocean in two boats spanning the last twenty-four years. We figure that we have over 25,000 miles under the keel and there are very few islands and countries in the Caribbean, the northern parts of South America, and Central America that we have not visited. It’s been a party.

Parting Shot

Parting Shot

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

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

Putting Neytiri Away for the Sixth Time

June 16, 2016 Posted by Deb

We’ve decommissioned in St. Martin, Curacao, Guatemala, Georgia, Florida, and now Guatemala again. There’s no escaping the fact that it takes seven to ten days of really fun work like pulling heavy sails down, oiling anchor chain, heads, and other wonderful jobs. We took breaks and hit the pool at NanaJuana often but the happy hours were lonely until the last day there when boats started pouring in for hurricane season. That was nice. We finally did the hike at Hacienda Tijax and our guide said we were the best “old people” she had seen for dealing with the heat and humidity. For us, it was cool in the jungle compared to working on a boat. Once we moved to our final storage location in Cayo Quemado, the air conditioning was stowed and we cooked at 97°F with 87% humidity for the final teardown.

Oiling the Anchor Chain in the Guatemala Heat

Oiling the Anchor Chain in the Guatemala Heat

NanaJuana Pool Time

NanaJuana Pool Time

Swing Bridge at Hacienda Tijax

Swing Bridge at Hacienda Tijax

Found a Spot for a Skinny Dip

Found a Spot for a Skinny Dip

Old People Hikers

Old People Hikers

Saturday Market in Fronteras

Saturday Market in Fronteras

How to Cross the Road

How to Cross the Road

Tucked Away for Another Day

Tucked Away for Another Day

Honduras

Deb pieced together a cab to San Pedro Sula in Honduras followed by a flight to Phoenix via Dallas.

Trip from Rio Dulce to San Pedro Sula in Honduras

Trip from Rio Dulce to San Pedro Sula in Honduras

Breakfast Under Coca-Cola Mountain??

Breakfast Under Coca-Cola Mountain??

We had a two-hour window to switch planes, and we missed by about 12 hours. It’s funny that we made all our sailing deadlines for three months and a little storm over Dallas blew the endgame. We waited until 2:00 a.m. for a crew to show up for our plane; and as they walked up to applause from the crowd, they announced that they had “timed out” and the flight was cancelled. We found a hotel for the night and cancelled our reservations for a car and hotel in Phoenix. They were pretty nice about refunding some of our money. The next day we slept in and did our first UBER ride to the airport. It was $45 for a taxi to the hotel, and we split a $16 dollar fair back to the airport the next day with UBER. Wow!

Casa Grande

Both the town and the RV were right where we left them. The difference was that Palm Creek, where we did the early winter last year, was a ghost town. We found the odd human at the pool from time to time but 119°F for three days kept the few that still lived in the RV park inside. We ran 48 amps of A/C around the clock and the refrigerator pretty much gave up trying. It was nice to be back in the land of big box stores but the ghost town RV Park had us feeling like we late getting out of Dodge. We headed up the hill (8% grade) to Flagstaff and the V10 got a workout. We did not need A/C again until we got out into the flats of New Mexico and Kansas.

An Entire Wall at Palm Creek Labelled Romance

An Entire Wall at Palm Creek Labelled Romance

Lake Afton in Kansas - Almost Home

Lake Afton in Kansas – Almost Home

Propane Fill - Short Hose Workaround

Propane Fill – Short Hose Workaround

Staging in Iowa

We stop for a week or so at the pole barn in Iowa where we store all our summer toys. Oh … and the odd car and van. This year we’re extending the layover to attend a birthday party for the kids of nieces and nephews. It feels like they were kids themselves just a few years ago. Tick Tick.

Our Private Trail Got Popular. Great Western Trail from Martinsdale to Des Moines

Our Private Trail Got Popular. Great Western Trail from Martinsdale to Des Moines

Calorie-Positive Biking at Cummins Tap – Great Western Trail

Calorie-Positive Biking at Cummins Tap – Great Western Trail

Deb Even Took Time Help Out with Bible School

Deb Helped Out with Vacation Bible School

Sunday Pool Day with the Family in Iowa

Sunday Pool Day with the Family in Iowa

Guatemala: Rio Dulce Shuffle

November 14, 2013 Posted by Deb

We’re supposed to be mobile but stopped at RAM Marina for “a few days” and left 22 days later. The rains have continued and the river is at a six-year high. Walkways, volleyball courts, dog crapping areas, and boat storage areas are under water. Even the legendary store, Tienda Reed, is fighting to stay dry.

Sand Bags and Drive-Thru Dinghy Shopping

Sand Bags and Drive-Thru Dinghy Shopping

Of course, that also means that anything resembling sewage systems have been flooded and … well … probably shouldn’t have any cuts on your feet or calves when you wade through it.

How the Well-To-Do Guatemalans Get to Their Boats

How the Well-To-Do Guatemalans Get to Their Boats

We finally fought through several rain delays and motored down to Cayo Quemado Sails to pick up our newly tuned up main and genacker. We have always had to dodge fishing traps but the river was also full of the invasive water hyacinth.

Turning a Boat into an Island

Turning a Boat into an Island

CayoQuemadoSalesLaunch

TomUpMast

This Little Guatemalan Nutria was Swimming Around the Boat and Teasing the Dogs in the Sail Loft

This Little Guatemalan Nutria was Swimming Around the Boat, Teasing the Dogs in the Sail Loft

We hung out with Chris, Kelly, Carlos, and Oscar at Seakist Services for a couple of days and got re-acquainted with the real tropics with lots of rain, heat, and odors from us and the boat. It was a good trip though, and all the boat parts are together in one place and most are installed. We had the rig inspected by Tom at Quemado Sails and the report was “old, tired, but not broken.” That’s a $15,000 maintenance chore that we’re hoping to put off until next season.

Mar Marine

November 13, 2013 Posted by Deb

Neytiri_MarMarine

We are, as of November 13, on the main dock at Mar Marine waiting for a slip to open up. We have the restaurant and sports bar literally right out our cockpit and stepped off the boat in time for movie night. Tonight it was “Two Guns” with Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg.

The unusually bad rainy streak let us catch up with a lot of boat work. Several tricky wiring projects later we now have isolated permanently the starting batteries from the alternators and have ripped out all the “battery combining” relays that were cooking them. The starting batteries get their juice as a trickle charge from the solar panels and that is more than they need. If we get a month or so of complete darkness, we can still jump them if necessary.

I Would Rethink the Name of My Battery Company

I Would Rethink the Name of My Battery Company

Less than a Year in the Elements – Looks Like It’s Time to Sand Down the Spar Also

Less than a Year in the Elements – Looks Like It’s Time to Sand Down the Spar Also

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?

Cayo Quemado

May 19, 2013 Posted by Deb

RAM Marina informed us literally as we were arriving in Guatemala that our boat was too wide for their travel lift. Our reservation to be stored on land was history but we could get our deposit back. That’s OK, we only cancelled out of Shelter Bay, Panama, and sailed about a thousand miles to hear that.

DebGennaker

Casa del Mar met some folks in Texas Bay or Cayo Quemado who had a new, in-water boat storage operation called SeaKist Services. Chris and Kelly have a great storage package and the bay is almost completely surrounded by land. We got into one of their last slots and moved on down there right after we got both engines running and the alternator fixed.

NeytiriCayoQuemado

For those following the engine battle, this time it was the main power switch to the engine room but both the mechanic and Doug on Aquadesiac said the relays made no sense and were probably another problem. Doug climbed into the engine room one day and started ripping out the relays and rewiring the battery, starter, and alternator leads. After he finished, we had a much simpler wiring diagram and a lot of leftover parts. We’ll see how it performs over time.

We decommissioned the boat in four days, about six days quicker than ever before. We pulled all the sails, shut thru hulls, shut down and covered solar panels, oiled 150 feet of chain, shut down refrigeration, pulled the outboard and stored and greased it, checked and lubed all the hatches, laid out bug poison, gave away food, packed, made travel arrangements, and doubled up lines and chafing gear and that is the short list.

ChuckSailMaker

oilPainter