Thursday, May 28, 2009
Sunday, May 24, 2009
The first few days of sailing were smooth as we slid North behind the protective barrier reef of Belize. Then as we crossed out of Belize into the open ocean of Mexican waters the wind picked up until we had 25 knots on the beam most of the night. The problem then was slowing the boat down to a more comfortable 8 - 8.5 knots as we were skipping across the waves going much faster than was comfortable. The first few days at sea are always rough and despite our experience I still felt a little sea sick. After my watch I got some great sleep and today I have my sea legs.
Hoping to make Key West, FL by the 27th.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
We hitched a ride in the back of a pickup truck after out bus broke down about one hour outside the Mayan ruins of Copan, Honduras
Zip line adrenaline rush. We rode down 18 different cables strung high in the jungle canopy. One cable was a full kilometer long (0.62 miles) and you got going pretty darn fast.
Blue butterfly we spotted on the Jungle canopy zip line tour.
Kathy heading in for a landing on the zipline.
Pre-Zip line tour. Notice how far we are from the ocean... that's because we are way up the mountian side and this was one kick butt zip line ride that just kept going and going.
Honduran friends from our zip line adventure.
Jungle River where we had lunch. We spent a night at an eco-lodge in the jungle of Honduras. Our room was built over a creek and the jungle sounds in the night were pretty awsome.
Riding one of the many buses from our week of backpacking. This one was a vintage early 70's model exactly like I rode on in grade school. I liked this particular bus and driver as he was very tranquillo which is Spanish for relaxed. I doubt we broke 30 MPH... not sure if the bus could go any faster or the driver was just super mellow. Anyway, a nice change from the (machismo spanish for macho) dare devil drivers that scare you half to death.
Our bus after smashing into the silver pickup truck. No major damage or injuries. Lucky us! We decided not to wait around and instead flagged down another bus. We never got to where we were going that day, but since we didn't have a schedule it was all good fun.
Kathy checks out some fish drying in the sun. I have to tell you this place did not smell good.
Kathy checking out another little town.Can you find the third girl on this bike?
Thursday, May 07, 2009
Huge canyon walls maybe 600' tower over the river gorge.
Checking in to Guatemala was a breeze. A quick VHF call on CH16 to the local yacht agent Raul and within 20 minutes all the officials were on board. Complete with masks to protect against swine flu... to bad they did not wear the masks.
Livingston, Guatemala. A river city and primary check-in point for entry into Guatemala by sea.
Traditional homes along the river.
Dave driving Pacifica up the jungle river.
Kathy on the radio with Raul. Livingston, Guatemala
Last Thursday, we went to renew our tourist visas in Placencia, Belize. We HAVE to renew this day because our visas expires the following day, which is a holiday of course and then it's the weekend. We could get in serious trouble if we don't get the paper work through. Oh, who would have guessed it would take ALL day and that we would end up checking out of the country instead. All the while the Swine Flu epidemic is exploding across the border in Mexico and the local chatter is close to panic. Many locals suspect it's here too, it's just that government isn't so speedy in detecting and reporting. We take our chances but try to stay at least 6 feet from everyone we meet.
Step 1: 8:30 AM Take dingy 2 miles across open choppy waters and up Big Creek to the shipping port. Walk down dusty road amongst shipping cranes, trucks, etc. Lucky us! We passed some other sailors who had determined the immigration officer was "away" until maybe 2PM. Turn around and go back to boat.
Step 2 Go shopping non stop, get fuel, water, propane, beer and groceries to last a few weeks. If there really is a pandemic we want to get the heck out of here and out to the reefs.
Step 3 1PM head for immigration office. Take dingy 2 miles across open choppy waters and up Big creek to the shipping port. Walk on dusty roads, get really lucky and find a cab driver to take us on the rounds to immigration and customs for only $25BZD (12.5USD). Go to police station (immigation) officer not there, "he'll be back at 3PM maybe" Go to immigrations officers home, airport and favorite restaurant just to check to see if he's there... it's a small town so all this is actually possible. Along the way get propane tank filled and pass fields of dusty homes, roaming chickens and pigs and people walking around with face masks. But hey! That truck looks like the immigration officer truck. Chase down truck to police station and meet really friendly immigration guy. He hasn't had lunch yet, but is happy to help us out.
Dave: We would like to renew our visas.
Officer: I can't renew visas.
Dave and Kathy: Oooo!
Kathy: I guess we are checking out then.
Dave: Ok, can you check us out?
Officer: Yes I can do that. Can I have your crew list please?
Dave: Oooo, crew list?
We get it all worked out and back into the cab and off to Customs. We walk in door to some nice cool A/C but some other people are in the office so he asks us to wait outside where we sweat for ten minutes wondering if we've contracted the swine flu from the taxi driver. People leave.
We quickly get the international clearance and we are out the door.
Step 3: Back to boat and try to sail to Honduras. Bu the wind does not cooperate.
So we end up in the Rio Dulce in Guatemala, like all cruisers do at one point or another. It's hot here!