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Showing posts from March, 2015

Porpoises following Asperida

In the morning of the 5th day on the passage a large pod of porpoises came and swam along with Asperida about a half hour.  I was 4 am to 8 am shift and Walter briefly panicked when he didn't see me in the cockpit.  We were sailing along at a pretty slow speed on auto pilot.


It's always fun when a pod of porpoises come swim along with the boat while sailing. This was the most I've ever seen perhaps almost 50 but it's just an estimate.

Looking back

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This was taken after clearing into Guatemala in Livingston just before heading out to the boat.  I thought it was a nice photo of Asperida.


Guatemala City

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I've really only been within walking distance of the Hostel I chose to stay at.  Anyway it's a big city with plenty of familiar franchise presence.  The hostel recommended a couple places with good and inexpensive food.  I only tried the one but it's only a breakfast and lunch place and on my first day I arrived 10 minutes after 3 and they stop serving lunch at 3.  I walked further to a big fancy modern mall and mistakenly chose to eat at a restaurant called Skillets.  It was a total of Q 104 which is about $13.65.  A typical lunch or dinner price back home.  The next day I had lunch at the recommended place and it was Q 25 or $3.35 US.  After that good inexpensive lunch I decided to walk over to the grocery store to get a few things for later rather than going out somewhere.  I stopped at that same mall and was going to get a coffee but since just a cup of coffee small was over half the cost of my lunch I changed my mind...it was a Starbucks.  The mall had many familiar b…

The bus ride

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The cruising guide books on Asperida covering Rio Dilce were from 2009 and another from 2013.  Even the more recent guide made reference to taking the chicken bus from Fronteras (Rio Dulce) to Guatemala City concerning a flight to where ever.  Well I'm not sure if they still had chicken buses for the route to 'The City' from Rio Dulce back in 2013 but the don't anymore.  Old repainted school buses from the U.S. are still used on various rural routes possibly even with the occasional customer bringing a chicken?  I suppose the success of tourism has the 2 main bus lines in the country using big comfy air conditioned Mercedes or other buses.  I took Litegua and the almost 6 hour bus ride only cost $10 U.S.  You start out heading up over the bridge spanning where the Rio Dulce becomes Lago Izabel.  Then you travel around 40 to 80 kph with occasion short stops.  Just short of half way there is a longer break at a hotel, cafeteria with restrooms.  About an hour past that st…

Bugs?

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You hear about how bad the bugs are and that you need to have insect screening on your boat.  During the 12 or so days I was here I don't think I counted more than a dozen mosquitoes?  Maybe it's not the worst bug time of year?  Maybe if your accustom to minnesota mosquitoes they just aren't real thick in comparison?  Anyway it's 5 am now and I had a nice last night and a mosquito around 4 am.  Now I'll rest another hour before getting up.

Last sunset in Rio Dulce at Monkey Bay Marina.


This is actually a few nights back when the moon was full.  The boat is just a random boat anchored in Monkey Bay.  It's a steel hulled gaff rigged schooner with a lot of corrosion.

Another Pizza

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Last evening we decided to go try a pizza at the nearby Catamaran Hotel and Marina.  It was better than the pizza at Sundog Cafe I think but still lacked ... It was a medium size pepperoni pizza and I doubt there was even one piece of pepperoni per slice of pizza.. Plenty of goey mozzarella cheese though...too much really.  The Catamaran restaurant was deserted so at first we decided to go check out another little restaurant up a creek in the next bay.  That one was devoid of customers as well so we returned to Catamaran.  We sat at the bar as there were other people though we spoke to no one besides the server.  The owner or manager was right next to me.  I asked about wifi and was surprised that at that Hotel/Marina you have to buy time on it?  Or perhaps actual Marina and hotel guests are giving it free?  Anyway he said I don't recommend it as it's not that great.... I think he didn't want to bother though I doubt he would have felt with selling it.  The bar had a big s…

Rain

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Just 3 more nights for me.  Then 3 in the City.. It's the 5 days of a reunion visit of a best friend in high school and his wife I'm really looking forward to.  Then I fly to Duluth on March 18, spend one night home then go visit my dear old mom for her 94th Birthday!  It was another rainy day.. Not all,day but off and on with one particularly long and heavy rain in the late morning.  I was over in the big hang out area and stranded there for a couple hours?  The generator was running which is the main reason I. Decided on the alternative hang out.  Mostly the shared mobile hotspot with a 250 MB limit per 24 hours is adequate as long as you don't stream videos etc... And the manager says not for Skype video calls or FaceTime but a Russian guy here is using his 250 MB exclusively on FaceTime I'm guessing as he has a Mac laptop.  During these times loading of websites or even getting emails is slow to non successful.  I'm looking forward to better WiFi at Quetzalroo …

Monkey Bay Marina

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It was a calm night and morning so after breakfast we hauled up the anchor and docked stern in using the dinghy to haul a line in for other cruisers on the dock to pull us in.  It's nice to have access to bathrooms and showers and garbage etc.. This marina actually composts and recycles.. The 2 drawbacks to me are the Internet is a shared cellular data plan with a 250 MB daily limit per device.  That's why Walter wanted to get his own plan.  The other is isolation as Tijax was within walkable distance to town.. Here there is no road or even path..it's probably swampy?  It's called Monkey Bay due to the howler monkeys which we heard last night and early this morning...along with the barking dogs at the private places across the small bay.  Also no restaurant which maybe ends up saving you money but I kind of like having one at the marina or to at least be able to walk to one.  Tijax was $40 less per month also.  Right now we are running the generator rather than shore p…

Flooding and anchor drag

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Yesterday March 2nd we had the most rain during the night and into the morning.  One of the first things I,saw as I was opening the companionway during a lull in the rain was our closest neighbor waving frantically as we had dragged anchor during the night and were quite clost to his boat.  We hauled up the anchor and moved out somewhat and dropped it again.  We were there quite a while drying things out as the rain finally seemed to have stopped.  There was quite a breeze too.  At one point we went to shore as Walter wanted to see about the cost of a cellular data plan as part of deciding between Tijax Marina or Monkey Bay Marina.  We dinghyed to Bruno's and quickly checked email.,  then some guy yelled who ever has the red dinghy immune saw come from the big black ketch...you better get out to your boat as you've dragged anchor and your against someone else's boat.  We went out and untangled the mess.. It was the boat of a nice British couple who we've talked too sev…

About the boat I crewed on last winter

I heard mention on VHF the name of a boat I'd met in Isla Murejes while volunteer crewing in the boat I eventually jumped ship from in Punta Allen.  Aparently that captain had a friend he contacted come to help crew for the remainder of the way to Rio Dulce.  Those who followed last winters blog know it was not agoodmatch myself and that captain but I was toughing it out as I really wanted to see Rio Dulce.  It came to ahead just past Punta Allen and I jumped ship.  Well I'd emailed that captain about how the rest of his voyage went but never got a reply.  Sadly he and his friend crew who replaced me ran aground on the reef near the channel into Xcalak to clear out of Mexico.  The 2 of them had to jump off the boat and swim to shore.  Then they were fined $200,000 US for damaging the reef.  Once in prison while trying to arrange legal council the police offered to let them escape if they paid $4,000.  They could only scrounge up $2,000 which was excepted and they fled Mexico f…