Monthly Archives: May 2014

Guanja, Honduras 5/12 to Providencia, Columbia 5/17

Because of the weather we, including our crew Martina and Dimitri, have stayed anchored in Guanaja, Honduras The only disappointment is because of the weather, we have been limited to what we could do. The first day and the best weather day we went through the canal to the north side of the island to snorkel at a place called Micheal Rock. This was a great snorkel. We spotted many small turtles an octopus a nurse shark and spooked a ray. The rock is surrounded by lots of beautiful corals and sponges so there were lots of the colorful reef fish as well. By the time we were on our way back the winds were filling in and the ride was getting bumpy.
Two of the other boats that left Roatan with us headed for Panama didn’t want to wait for the next weather window and had taken off that morning leaving Sylvester and Stray Catz to travel together.
The following day it was blowing 20 knots all day, but it was fresh vegetable delivery day for the island, so we had to venture into the main cay to load up on provisions. It’s only about a mile downwind dinghy ride from where we were anchored, but by the time we got back to Stray Catz, with the wind waves building in the harbor, all of us and all of the groceries were drenched in salt water.
We’ve visited most of the places at this end of the anchorage. A reopening resort invited us to check them out, so we went there where Anna found another monkey friend. A very young Capuchin who it looks like may have been taken from its mother a little soon. Anna’s maternal instincts kicked in and she has visited the monkey many times since bringing stuffed animals, a rope to swing on, and fruits to eat.
Delayed an extra day by an engine issue on Sylvester, we took Stray Catz out to visit our new friends that we made on Clarks Cay. We spent most of a wonderful day, swimming, snorkeling, and chopping up coconuts to be used for rum drinks. Just before sunset and the rise of the full moon, nine of us took off on four kayaks for the resort two islands over, Grimm’s Place. It was quite a challenge paddling against the wind on the overcrowded kayaks, and I was already looking forward to the downwind, moonlit cruise back. Just as we were loading the kayaks (or should I say, overloading?) for the return trip, heavily armed military personnel swarmed the property and docks giving us orders to return to the bar. Normally I wouldn’t have a problem with that, but it was getting late and I had an early departure time scheduled the next morning.
After nearly a four-hour delay during which we watched an alleged thug dragged out of sight, we finally begged them enough and they let us go. At midnight we made the moonlit trek back down to Stray Catz still planning a 4 am cast off of which we made.
The almost 60 hour trip to Providencia was one of our better multi-day passages. With five able bodies on board, we could do two-hour watches with eight-hour breaks in between. I haven’t had it that easy since I left the FAA. The first 130 miles are usually the hardest because the normal trade winds are directly on the nose, however the winds were out of the NE and before too long we had the sails up and we were doing what sail boats are supposed to do. We played leap-frog with Sylvester the whole trip and pulled into the harbor at the Colombian island early Saturday afternoon under a beautiful blue sky.

Roatan

This visit to West End, Roatan has been wonderful. We have been SCUBA diving almost every day. We arrived on Friday and went diving the same day. The folks at Roatan Divers have been great and we’ve been getting our tanks filled there daily. Sea turtles are numerous and we’ve swam with them multiple times while diving. Anna deserted Kylan and I to make one turtle her dive buddy. Breaking all the PADI rules. The only complaint of our stay in West End might be that we arrived just in time for Semana Santa (the week before Easter). This is otherwise known as PARTY WEEK! The music is blasted out across the beach and can be easily heard all the way down at the mooring balls which are half a mile away. The winds at least have been strong most every day and that helps drown out the noise. (do I sound old?)
We’ve met several other cruisers here and in Utilla and that has been a lot of fun. Hikes, brunches and the three of us all now know how to play Mexican train, dominoes.
After a week or so of West End we needed fuel and wanted to head further east to check out another popular cruiser spot, French Cay Harbour. On Easter morning we headed out the channel and within a half an hour we were in pouring down rain and confused seas. On the way to French Cay, we stopped at a highly recommended dive location called Mary’s Place. Glad we did. The top of the reef was only about thirty feet down, but there were three or four foot wide crevices that dropped down to over ninety feet which made for a very cool dive. After the dive we continued to French Cay Harbour, found an anchor spot and went to explore the bay.
Here too like West End, the dive spots are right out side the reef, so we have been diving here almost daily as well. Kylan developed an ear infection, so he missed a few dives. The two main marinas here are quite the social clubs with happy hours daily, pot lucks, burger nights and so on. This has added greatly to our cruiser social-network.
Just before leaving French Harbour some friends Anna had made while in Antigua, Guatemala came to join us. Dimitri and Martina are a couple of young adults from Switzerland who are working their way around, well now Central America, but also the USA, and who knows where else. Anna had invited them to join us on the boat but they had other commitments to fulfill first before they could join us, but because of our weather delay, they had the opportunity to catch up to us.
After two weeks in French Harbour a weather window opened so we and three other boats took advantage and headed to Guanaja.
Guanaja, the furthest east of the Bay Islands is actually made up of two main islands and many small cays surrounding them. There is a canal that runs between the two main islands which makes visiting the other side of the island do-able in our dinghy.
We went on a hike one morning and stumbled into the summer home of Marcelo and Karen. They are developing a property here on top of a ridge on the north east island, and currently live in a large geodesic dome tent. The rest of the year they have a guest house in Chile which you can check out at www.farmhouse.cl They were kind enough to guide us on another hike later to a small waterfall with a large pool at the base. This made for a refreshing swim on an otherwise very hot day.
We’ve yet to find internet here, so we’ve been completely out of touch for about a week. If you’ve tried to email us and we didn’t respond, that’s why.
We are hoping to leave here for Providencia, Columbia sometime on the week of the 12th . Weather permitting, and after a visit there, be in Panama before the first of July.
We will be in Panama or Columbia till the end of the year, so if you’ve ever thought of visiting one of those places, now may be a good time, because on our boat, visitors are welcome.