Thursday, February 20, 2014



Charlie, Terry, Saundra, and Jonesy
It's that time again. Time to say "Good-bye" to our cruising friends as we all go our separate ways. Yes, we've been doing this hello-goodbye thing for 8 years, but it never gets any easier.

Here's a photo of us with our cruising buddies Charlie and Saundra on s/v Island Sol at Temporary Cal's restaurant deck on the island of Roatan, Honduras. We first met these new cruisers in the Rio Dulce, Guatemala last summer. Well, that is met them face-to-face. Saundra and I had been corresponding via email for quite some time before that after finding each other on the Sailors forum of Saundra has been my crafty/fiber buddy and I'll miss her company dearly. S/v Island Sol has many more cruising adventures to experience, but in the opposite compass direction than the one we're taking. We did change our plans for these past few months to return to Roatan rather than head up to Mexico just so we could hang out more with these folks - and we're glad we did.
The infamous Derelict Dock

Last Friday, we tossed off the lines to the docks at the Roatan Yacht Club and motored over to West End. This move not only puts us 2 hours closer to our next destination but it also puts is smack dab in what we consider to be the primo location on Roatan! What's not to love about beautiful reefs to explore, cool breezes, fun bohemian village of dive resorts, and beaches to walk. We're BACK! We loved our times here in previous years, but there was some political nonsense and cruisers were turned away from the moorings.

Thankfully, there is a new mayor in town and the Roatan Marine Park is standing by ready to re-install the mooring buoys (pending legal paperwork)! We have picked up a private mooring because we know those folks have left the country - but there are also many sailboats anchored out here - like 15! That's a sufficient number for a traditional "Derelict Dock Party".

Over the years, we have gathered here on what used to be a nice, but never used, dock for a real estate development (that never developed except for the dock). At 5pm, we set up folding tables and all bring finger foods to share and our own beverages. Here we can chat without loud music and enjoy the last
couple of hours of the day and watch the sun set. Although the dock has continued to decay due to neglect, there is still enough square footage and strength left to support our event. Last night we had a couple dozen cruisers come share food, swap stories and celebrate the end of another glorious day in paradise.

Monster Socks
And it certainly has been glorious! I took a scuba diving refresher course and then went out for a dive on the reef. Lovely. Then I had to do my diving chores - clean the barnacles off of the prop and shaft and clear the thru-hulls, run a safety line to the mooring concrete, and inspect the tackle. We are in only about 15 feet of crystal clear water so all these chores were actually enjoyable (after all the physical effort of getting geared up that is - whew!). So our boat bottom is ready for the long passage up to Florida. We are heading out day after tomorrow!!!

Besides doing chores and eating out with friends in the village, there has been a lot of knitting going on (duh). Just socks...more and more socks. These child-sized monster socks were knit with various left-over and donated yarns. Again, I used a 2-round pattern of 1x1 alternating stitches each time I changed colors. I think it adds a little pizazz.

With the last little amount of leftover Socks That Rock Lightweight sock yarn, I added some plain navy blue Regia and knit up another pair of child-sized socks. The Socks That Rock yarn is thicker than the Regia and does not have any nylon added for protection against abraison. So that yarn goes on the legs and the tough-wearing Regia goes on the feet.

I'm still behind on my 52-pairs in one year challenge but I am catching up a bit. I'm at 30 socks in mid-February and I should have completed 32 by now. No worries...I have several single socks awaiting their mates and a few more socks on the needles. Sitting here in the cockpit of the boat at the West End and knitting while watching the dive boats on the reef is one of my favorite ways to pass the time.

Finally, here are another pair of child-sized socks knit where I combined that ghastly self-striping yarn with the soothing navy blue Regia yarn. I only used the green and white mottled stuff in the leg as stripes against the blue. Then I cut it off completely for the foot. Ah, much better.

Tomorrow will be a busy day for us. First we must clear out of the country with visits to customs, immigration and the port captain.
Then we'll head to the grocery store to finish provisioning for the long trip. We've read that there is nothing to purchase on the Dry Torgugas so we really need to have some shelf-stable foods aboard. Then, we have to get rid off (eat or toss) any fresh produce, meats, etc. that we have before we are boarded by US Customs in Key West.

Life is good.

Terry, your Monster socks are to die for!
With that said, your title scared me! I thought you were saying goodbye to US, your fans! Whew!
It is hard to say goodbye to good people.
Terry, So excited for you!!! Will miss all the news from the tropics, but now maybe our wakes will cross.

Safe Journeys
Safe sailing! I must admit that even though I love the winter, I have had enough, and while I am listening to the sleet mixed with rain pour down tonight, I really enjoyed your photos of the beautiful weather and water!
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