Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Banco Vivorillos, Honduras

August 12, 2009 Position
15* 50' N
083* 21' W

Location: Anchored Banco Vivorillos, Honduras

Pleasantly surprised to find a gem of a place here in the Vivorillos. We are anchored behind a breaking reef so as we look around we see nearly nothing but ocean. There are a few pristine little islands, but the anchorage has us feeling like we are anchored in the middle of a calm ocean. Anchorage over sand bottom with solid holding and good protection in everything except West component winds.

A great abundance of fish on the reef. Nurse sharks, trigger fish, hog fish, snapper, parrot fish, grunts, rays, and trevalli to name a few. Plus conch free for the picking off the sea floor. On the way into the anchorage we caught a nice King Mackerel so it's a sea food lovers paradise. To top it off a shrimp boat anchored nearby and we traded a $4 dollar bottle of rum (this is the more expensive stuff) for a huge bag of shrimp tails maybe seven or eight pounds worth.

The other day we had the good luck to meet up with some South bound cruisers Bonita and Bill aboard s/v Alcheringa a very nice 44' aluminum sloop. By pure chance we saw them about ten miles off the island of Guanaja and were within about ten miles of each other the remainder of the voyage to the Vivorillos. Tonight we enjoyed a wonder dinner of fresh shrimp aboard s/v Alcheringa.

We recently installed a class B AIS transponder aboard s/v LightSpeed and what a great piece of equipment. A transmitter aboard s/v LightSpeed sends out our position, speed, course and vessel name every second or so. Other vessels equipped with AIS receivers can then plot our position real time. Why? Collision avoidance which is pretty much the number one concern while at sea.

With our AIS receiver we can see ships on our navigation computer fifteen miles out which is far greater than can be seen with the naked eye or even binoculars. Like wise ships can see us fifteen miles out and thus we can both adjust our course so that we never even have to see each other or at a minimum keep a very safe distance. Very cool and much better than radar for being seen by big ships.

Since AIS transponders have just recently been approved for use by pleasure craft it unusual to see them on small yachts. But, we hope they will be adopted widely soon as this is an amazing tool. Our new friends on s/v Alcheringa also have a transceiver so on our recent passage we could track each other progress in real time. Can't say it enough... very cool.

Wishing we didn't need to leave, but it is hurricane season so we need to be moving along to get out of the hurricane zone. Otherwise we could and would spend weeks out here in the Vivorillos.

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