Monday, March 5, 2018

And Life Goes On

Mountains of Guatemala from our ancorage off of Tres Puntas
Tonight we are at anchor off of Tres Puntas, Guatemala. The Rio Dulce lies within the mountains we see off the stern. Tomorrow morning we will head to Belize, spending a couple of nights out on the reef before joining up with the cruising community that calls Placencia its homeport.

Though there is a hole in my soul It seemed time to make my fingers clatter away at a keyboard once more. If children are our hostages to fate Roy and I can now only feel that our fate has been cast to the wind without anchor or rudder. Appropriate, though a bit dangerous, for sailors I guess.

So, what’s been happening on Wahoo? 

Tortugal Marina is builts over the river on stilts
After 6 months in the States we arrived in Guatemala City Jan 21, spent a couple of days there and let our dentist see to our oral needs. After the typical 6 hour bus ride we arrived in Fronteras on the Rio Dulce to be fetched in Tortugal Marina’s launcha and finally ended up home, aboard Wahoo. Even though we were late in this sailing season, weather and boat issues had kept many fellow cruisers on the River. We were warmly welcomed, which felt just fine. Weather, ha, a simple term for what was weeks of monsoon type rains. The River rose, several Mayan villages endured mudslides and a couple of bridges washed out. For us our leaks had leaks. The cold fronts sweeping through North America were ending in the tropics. 

There were lots of boat projects on our to-do list but we were watching the rain as we waited for our crate to arrive. It was filled with the supplies we’d packed and shipped back in November. Of course, as usual, wherever cruisers gather in great numbers there are lots of cruiser generated activities to keep us well lubricated and entertained. In slickers and under umbrellas we went to movie nights, pub trivia and musical events. Dinghies and launchas headed up or down the River as we all tried to keep jolly and dry. Plus it can’t be too bad when the Casa Guatemala boat delivers groceries to the marinas each Tuesday and Saturday.

She is really singing in the rain. (I'm new to embedded videos, hope this comes across)

Twice each week
we get the grocery boat
The crate, finally arrives
Eventually the weather improved and our crate arrived. Roy slaved away to create our beautiful new Galley. I was only great at handing him tools and keeping him fed and watered. In addition to the Galley we finally replaced the bimini and dodger as well as repaired Saloon cushions and even spruced up with new throw pillows. Leaks were traced and hopefully fixed and the heads were replumbed or something like that. 

In the meantime while all that was happening our 3 propane tanks (used for cooking) all decided to die at once. In sympathy our large house batteries did the same. (Their job is to store all the lovely electricity created by solar panels and wind generator, then give it back to us as needed to run the refrigerator and freezer plus a few things like lights, TV and computers). Both propane tanks and house batteries need to come from the States. Like the crate we’d been waiting for, they must be shipped in, inspected by Customs and delivered. Shipping into Guatemala is on GMT ( Guatemala Maybe Time) friends say. So far we’ve only received one propane tank, the other decided to go walk about and didn’t make it onto the plane as ordered. Some parts that haven’t arrived will be brought to us in Belize by cruisers leaving the River after us, just as we are taking things to cruisers who left before us without things they ordered. It’s a game of sailing musical chairs over here.

                                 Hard at work...............................................................................Finished project

The new bimini and dodger, like the old one, just better.

The really really helpful dock boys
at Tortugal
So, on to Belize where we can trust Belize Freight to collect, ship, and usher things through Customs for us. The batteries will come through them as will the wayward propane tank. Things are particularly dire without the batteries. All’s good during the day while the solar panels turn sun into amps and the wind generator spins away. But each day the sun moves on and here in the Western Caribbean the diurnal wind pattern means that even the trade winds disappoint when evening comes. It will be April before our ship arrives.

But what would the cruising life be without a few hardships.

In the meantime we know that Tortugal will be waiting for us to return, The jungle along the River is beautiful and we've just spent two lovely days in the small Mayan river village of Cayo Quemado. Best of all we're ready to set sail once again on the tourquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea.

Scenes from Cayo Quemado

Mayan Home on the river
Who can resist a family of ducks

But always we remember our boy-

and happier times aboard

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