Posts Tagged: ‘Flying Fish’

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.

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Rio Sauce

Rio Sauce

Claudia & Deb

Claudia & Deb

RiverElBoqueronCanyon

Ceremonial Cueva With Juan Tacaj

Ceremonial Cueva With Juan Tacaj

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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

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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.

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