Thursday, June 07, 2012


Goodbye Honduras ~ Hello Guatemala!

Brooksy Point Marina 
We said our "Goodbyes" to Roatan, Honduras as we shopped for our last food treasures. This is our last view of the new Brooksy Point Marina looking back as we dinghy'd away after dropping off our final bag of (really smelly) garbage.

We had been into the town of Coxen Hole to do our check-out-of-the-country paperwork cha-cha with the Port Captain and Immigration. Next steps were to raise the dinghy up onto the davits on the stern (back) of the boat for the long passage to Guatemala. But first, a couple of photos of some interesting finds in Roatan.

This sign is posted at the entrance to the dirt road where we walk from the grocery store to the derelict shrimp boat dock where we are allowed to park our dinghy. We've chuckled at it a lot over the past couple of months and  finally I remembered to take a photo. "Trafiking"? What are we trafficking? Drugs? And if this is a residential area (which it is) what are the "office hours"? So, then is OK to transport drugs or other contraband M-F from 9 to 5pm?

The shrimp boat dock? Actually we are very thankful to be able to have a place to tie up our dinghy that is so convenient to the stores and taxis to other places. See? You just drive your dink up in between the shrimp boats here. This fleet of boats are waiting here for the shrimping season to begin soon. As they wait they have the rust hammered off of them, are sandblasted, then repainted. There is a complete machine shop on the dock and always a lot of work going on during the working hours.

After the work done is done, the mean dogs are released (dogs = Honduran security systems) so we can only use the dock during the work hours. Now, the little yipping why-bother chihuahua dogs that come running up to us along the road don't count. These  tiny scaredy-cats turn tail and run back up to their house as soon as they get within 5 feet of us. Sure are cute though.

In Roatan, there are some curious attractions. Here Jonesy is pointing at the Handicapped Parking Space. Why? Because it is the farthest parking space from all of the stores in this shopping mall. Whose idea was this? I don't think that there are even handicapped parking laws here. Perhaps they are trying to look like an American (USA) shopping center and thought that this would give the mall a certain ambiance.

Just like last year, our Honduran courtesy flag has suffered from the rays of the tropical sun and relentless (and welcomed) trade winds. When we took the flag down when approaching Guatemala this is all that was left of it.

We left Roatan, Honduras in the early morning hours and motored out towards Guatemala. The seas were very calm and the winds were light and variable. Our route took us past the coastline of Honduras, then past some of the outer cays (islands) of Belize and finally to Guatemala arriving at about 10am the following day. It was pretty much an uneventful trip, well, except for the squall with lightening at night and the mystery small sailboat which came within a few feet of hitting us at 2am.
Livingston, Guatemala

We anchored overnight in the protected bay of Grasiosa  because it was Sunday and if we tried to check-in to Guatemala we would have to pay overtime charges. We're too thrifty for that! Bright and early Monday morning we motored over to Livingston, Guatemala, and uneventfully crossed the sandbar.

First, the officials (Port Captain, Medical Doctor, Immigration, our Agent the popular Raul of ServaMar, and a couple of other folks) arrived by launcha to our boat to start the paperwork cha-cha. There were 3 French-flagged boats waiting ahead of us but it all went very quickly and professionally. Raul kindly allowed Jonesy to ride back into town with him so we wouldn't have to lower our dinghy from the davits (which is a pain). I stayed aboard to guard the boat (Guatemalan security system?) In town Jonesy shopped for bread and bananas and waited for the documentation to be completed. After paying $410 US for our 90-day visas and an annual permit for our boat he came back out to me in a water taxi launcha.
s/v Southern Star - they were robbed by PIRATES

While Jonesy was ashore another US flagged boat showed up - s/v Southern Star out of New York. Bad news. They were robbed at gunpoint while motoring 3 miles off of the coast of Honduras! While we do travel in this same area, we always do so at least 16-miles off of the coast for this very reason. You can read the story in the captain's own words here: Pirates attack sailboat

We left Livingston (which is also a scary place) and headed on up the Rio Dulce to our summer camp at Mario's Marina. The jungle gorge of the river was beautiful even though we had overcast skies and the occasional drizzle.
June 2012 019
June 2012 022As usual, the river gorge was lush and green. Even the water was a bright green! Knitting? Oh yes! Here's the latest pair of finished socks. These are using a few leftover yarns and a touch of fair isle color work. I ribbed (1x1) around the ankle and gusset for a hugging fit just because I could. Should I write this up as a pattern? Not the colors as they aren't special, but the patterning as a guideline for other folks to use?
June 2012 016
June 2012 014

The current pair of socks for the kids in Kazakhstan uses odd balls of Regia hot pink and purple colors in my Handsome Devil Sock pattern.

So, we're back in our same slip at Mario's and have already feasted on the Wednesday night Taco Bar! Whooo hoooo - tamales, empanadas, chicken fajitas, beans, rice, beef, and all the fixings. New this year is a wonderful hot sauce for those of us who like it "Mexican style" versus Central American bland. Yum! We'll be busy for a couple of days making the transition between cruising off the grid and the connected life and activities of the marina. The A/C is on - the electrical power is on - the shadetree awnings are installed and life is good.

Nice post! Cute socks! Hate to hear that about Honduran Pirates. My son is planning a trip back to Costa Rica in August with plans to motorbike into Honduras... sure wish that he'd go to Panama instead.
I am relieved to hear that you have arrived at your summer camp safely.

Love the sock!!
I too hate the piracy. Sort of bugs me when marinas, restaurants and associations have "Pirate Days" and "Pirate Parties"... our harbor has this... so sad. But, yes your knitting is so beyond awesome!!
Love the parking space! Back in 1969, I spent a summer on an American-controlled island in the Pacific. My Texas drivers license was good there, but the people with whom I was staying a teenage daughter who was learning to drive. The process was this:
You learn to drive the vehicle on your own. You go to the drivers license office and pass the driving portion of the test. You get a learners permit to study for the written portion. You pass the written test and get your license. All the parts were there, just somewhat backwards.
I like the colors in the sox!!

I cannot imagine your life. What fun, but I am alittle bit afraid for you after I read your posts.

Glad you are safe and sound for the Summer. See you in a few weeks!

Is there anything you want me to bring to you at camp that you can take back with you?

what a life!! I just love listening to your tales and stories living adventurously through you.. thanks!
I would love to have the pattern for the ribbing in the ankles. What a great idea. S
All I can say is, "Wow". I love reading your blog.
Yes, please, write the pattern for the sock with ribbing around the ankle and fair isle bit. I'll test it for you if you'd like. :)
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