Sunday, September 22, 2013


On the 'Hard" in the Rio Dulce

Dry docking at Abel's boat yard Rio Dulce
We're "on the hard", in dry-dock, "hauled out", out-of-the-water (or whatever you call it) in Abel's boat yard on the Rio Dulce. It's been many years since we last performed the routine maintenance of slapping on a fresh layer of anti-fouling paint on the bottom so it is simply time to bite the bullet and do it. Also, our insurance company requires us to have the boat surveyed by a professional periodically and Jonesy wanted to do a couple of repairs.

Hauling out is EXPENSIVE, inconvenient and the logistics are a nightmare. Terry has to be back from playing in the states to help, the yard has to commit to a date when they have space and labor crew available, the hotel has to have a room for us, and Jonesy has to have all the parts and materials ready. Remember, the boat is our home so we had to pack everything that we thought we might need for being away for an undertermined length of time. Why pack? Because take a look at the ladder we have to climb to retrieve things from the boat - and there's no A/C once you're inside that hothouse!
View from our room at Vista Rio

The expense part is already recognized in our cruising budget, and Jonesy is a pro at managing the logistics, but there's no good way past the inconvenience of living in a hotel for a couple of weeks. Sure, I don't have to cook (yippeee!) but being gluten-free is tough when you need to eat out for most meals.

Blisters in the fiberglass hull
Of course there's an upside to our new temporary lifestye. We get to experience life in a friendly and funky hotel on the river and are getting to better know some folks we've only seen at parties or casually passing in town before now. There's a whole different social scene here at the Vista Rio Hotel and Marina than at Mario's Marina where we have been docked and it's been fun getting to know folks.
Jonesy has gone to the boat yard every day not only to work on his own projects, but also to manage the work being done by others on the boat's bottom. See, we had blisters in the fiberglass below the waterline. This is not a new or unusual problem
Jonesy on Tijax nature walk
for older boats in general or for our boat in particular. The solution is labor intensive which is what makes it expensive and requires a long stay in the yard. Thankfully, labor is quite reasonable in Central America.

Yesterday was World Peace Day and Hacienda Tijax Jungle Lodge and Marina extended an invitation to all to come and celebrate (with a shaman?) in the tower on their nature reserve. Apparently there were different types of celebrations, get-togethers, pray-ins or whatever taking place around the world. Of course we went! The first part of the trail was over swing bridges which were suspended over a wetland type of jungle. Yes, I know the picture is blurry - it's tough to get a photo in the dark shadows of a jungle when the bridge is bouncing from all of the people walking on it.

The next series of elevated walkways were much higher off the ground. No photos. I had to concentrate on not falling off! It was beautiful! I'd like to return and just spend some time sitting on the walkways and looking at the life in the tree canopy. After a moderate climb on a well-manicured gravel trail we reached the top of the hill. The view is fabulous! Here's me with a background of the Rio Dulce (river) towards our hotel and the town of Fronteras/Rio Dulce.
Terry in the Tijax tower

We skipped the ceremony part (just not our thing) and as the sun slipped behind the distant mountains we headed down on the faster (roadway) route back to the hotel and our little launcha. What a great way to spend an afternoon. So now when I vie for the Miss USA title I can honestly say that I have actively participated in promoting world peace - right?

Back in the hotel room we discovered that the water had been turned off due to a pipe leak at the water pump for the well. That's life in Guatemala, you just roll with the various outages and be thankful for the modern conveniences when they do work. We (thankfully) turned on the cable TV (whooo hooo!) and enjoyed a few English language shows...and I knit.
Monster Socks

For this hotel stay period I have been working on Monster Socks made with wild combinations of leftover yarns. These pairs are knit mostly from yarns donated to me by the campers from Meg Swanson's Knitting Camp last year (thanks Leanne! and Al). Yes, they are all different but they all have one thing in common...a secret pocket! I'm experimenting with different methods to insert little pockets on my socks. I've made several before but all used the same method. This current batch has 3 more different kinds of pockets just for fun.

Why am I not working on designing something more
Yellow Bamboo clump at Vista Rio Hotel
interesting? Because I was not seeing well this past week - couldn't use Excel or read - but I can practically knit plain socks by feel.

Last Wednesday I suddenly couldn't see much out of my right eye!!! Just black swirls and my entire field of vision was covered in a dark grey filmy speckled pattern. Thankfully it was the one day of the week when an Opthomologist comes to town and I got in to see him. No big was a "Posterior Vitreous Detatchment" and possible a little bleeding into the eye "gel". He said it would clear up in a few weeks...and it already is much better. It sucks getting old, but it's better than the alternative and life is good.

Seeing the old girl up and out of the water is disconcerting! I felt like I wanted to reach out and give her a pat and say that everything was going to be alright.

As usual, absolutely love your socks! And, it is fun to see some of your land-lubber adventures.

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