Tuesday, February 17, 2015

West End, Roatan, Honduras

Mike and I spent a few weeks in West End before we left to find a better protected anchorage for the cold fronts that were coming our way.  West End is a beautiful anchorage with lots of coral reefs and sandy beaches.  We spent a few days in French Harbor and are now in Jonesville Bight until this last cold front passes.  We then hope to head back to West End to enjoy some diving.  My BC failed on our first dive, but we have found one that I can buy when we get back to West End.

You can walk along the beach front from West End to West Bay where we had lunch at Bite at the Beach.  Below are pictures of the walk along the beach.






Bite on the Beach Restaurant
The food there was amazing, I had the fish tacos of course and Mike had a cheeseburger.  The beer Salva Vida is very good also.

The picture below is West Bay, a very touristy spot especially when the Cruise Ships dock.
Not sure how dangerous this walk was, we saw nothing we were worried about, maybe the water taxis put these up so they could get more business.
Lost in Paradise Inn they put all the things they find on the reef or in the bay on their wall.
The street view in West End.
Beautiful sandy beaches.

We had a cold front come through the West End during our stay, with 27-29 knot sustained winds asnd gust to 35 knot. We were on a mooring ball and worried about it's strength so we had a pretty sleepless night.  Below is the picture before the storm.

This is the picture during the storm.  Photo taken by s/v Adventure.

So this is why we moved to a better anchorage for the next cold front.  Cheers and pictures of French Harbor and Jonesville Bight soon.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Bay Islands of Honduras

Wow, Roatan is beautiful. We have only been here 2 days but we are loving what we see. We left Placencia, Belize at 7:00 AM on Tuesday the 28th. We went through Ranguana Pass into the Bay of Honduras at 10:30 AM and headed for Roatan, Honduras. We arrived at West End, Roatan at 7:55 AM Wednesday the 29th with a travel time of 25 hours. By the time we got close to the Island we had to take all the sails down and slow ourselves down because we would of reached the break in the reef in the night, not good. So we hung out and motored slowly, dodging the cruise ships that come in at dawn.

We safely navigated the reef and picked up a mooring ball. We didn't check in immediately, we were a bit tired so we had a nice breakfast and an anchor down beer and took a long nap. We did check in yesterday Thursday the 29th and checked out Roxen Hole, where the Port Captain and Immigration are, then the town of West End where we are moored. It is a beautiful island and the people very friendly. Our check in costs were only $10 US dollars which is quite a change (inexpensive) from the other Central American countries we have been visiting!

We have a bit of rain this morning but that should clear up. We may change mooring balls later today because the boat next to us has a very, very loud generator. That is not too bad a thing if you run it for an hour or two, but this guy turns it on mid morning then leaves his boat not returning until sunset. That is too much noise for us! It is all good though there are plenty of mooring balls.

Can't wait to share some pictures, but we are not having much luck getting internet on the boat so we will have to take our laptops to shore. Not so bad, we can get free internet there at any bar and restaurant.

Cheers Kim and Mike

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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Ranguana Cay

We were able to get away from Placencia for a few days before a strong cold front arrived and sail to Ranguana Cay. A little island near the outer reef of Belize, we had sunshine and clear waters. The snorkeling was nice and the island had some nice beaches. We were in heaven. The only downfall is they charge you $10 per person to step foot on land.  It is good for the entire time your there, but we felt it was a bit much.  We had planned on eating in the restaurant and having a couple beers but after forking out $20 bucks we decided not to. 

Looks like Gilligan's Island.

Lots of palm trees and coconuts.

Nice beaches.

Ka'imi

More nice beaches.

Lots of crabs on the island.

Yep, Ka'imi again.

A content Pelican.

One of the cabins they rent. They also allow you to camp.

Showers, urinals and bathrooms.

Another cabin.

A sandy path through the island.

Sea Birds.

Booby's

Pelican

Nice sunset.

Cheers Kim and Mike

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Road Trip to Spanish Lookout

When we sailed into Placencia Harbour a few weeks ago our raw water pump failed AGAIN! We were in 30 ft. of water so we threw the anchor down and Mike fixed it AGAIN! We were determined to fix this problem once and for all. The problem is the set screw in the coupler that attaches the raw water pump to the injection pump, it just kept slipping.  The old coupler had a hole in it as did the shaft from the injection pump and a bolt went through it.  When we had a new coupler fabricated in Marathon, FL we did not put the hole in it, thinking we did not need it.  After all these failures we decided we did need it.  So now we needed to find a machinist, no easy task in a small Belizean town.  We asked around for a few days and got various suggestions. We woke up one day no closer to a solution and decided to hit the shore and not come back until we figured it out. We first tried to find a guy behind Paradise Restaurant, we tracked down his dad who said he could probably do it if we bought a special drill bit. We looked at his rusty drill press and decided against that option. Someone at Yoli's told us there was a guy in the next block over that had a drill press, but we were never able to find him. Next up, Steve, he is married to a fire fighter and is a welder. We found out where he lived and went to his house but he wasn't there. We then went to the fire department but they didn't know his whereabouts either.  We had a phone number but no phone and no Internet to Skype :(. We wandered over to the Barefoot Bar and Grill for a beer and free Internet when we ran into a charter captain that we had met before. He made some calls for us and we finally determined that we would have to rent a car and drive 124 miles one way to Spanish Lookout. We needed to try to track down a guy called Abe who was the closest machinist. We headed into the Office Supply store, where they had the best Internet, to try to Skype Abe. Hmmm...their Internet was down...arrgh. The guy behind us at the Office Supply store overheard us saying we needed to make an important Skype call and he told us that One World rents phones. We were so excited, we were at the right place at the right time, it's funny how things work out like that. We rented to phone for a couple of days and called Abe. He said he could do it if we got there tomorrow so we rented a car and drove 248 miles roundtrip to have a hole drilled into a Stainless Steel coupler.  LOL...it is not always an easy life, but certainly an interesting one.


We left Placencia at 5:30 am, it was still dark and very rainy. The only road out of the Placencia Peninsula had huge speed bumps about every 500 yards. They had signs for most of them, but some were very hard to see in the dark and rainy morning. We would speed up to 40 and get into third gear (the car we rented was a manual transmission) and then come to a stop to cross this bump in the road. We called it third gear alley. Once we got off the peninsula we took several roads to get to Spanish Lookout and they all looked like this. There were tons of pot holes but it was a beautiful drive.  I took lots of pictures but they are mostly blurry because we were going 50 mph. The picture below shows one of many one lane crossings over rivers.





This horse was just hanging out at the side of the road when we got to Main Street in Spanish Lookout.


Abe had given us directions to his place but no street address and he said there wasn't a sign on the building but we should be able to find it. The directions were as follows: Once you get to Spanish Lookout get to Main Street, go about 2 miles and pass Caribbean Tire. Take Center Street to Route 50 and go approximately 1 mile. Take the second drive way past the radio station and you can see it on a hill to your left.  Main Street and Center Street were the only paved roads in Spanish Lookout.  The picture below is the radio station.


We found it!  There is his house at the top of the hill and his shop below it.

 

We met Abe, who was very nice, and his three young sons who also worked in the shop.  He said he could have the work done by 1:00 PM and he suggested we take a look around town.  We had 3 hours to wonder through the small, small town of Spanish Lookout.  We asked Abe if there was a good restaurant for breakfast and he said that Midway Cafe had the best coffee in the town.  We're not sure what they consider good coffee, but this was NOT it...I drink mine black and almost had to put sugar and cream in it to get it down. After breakfast we just starting driving down roads, and everything was very picturesque.  Abe and most of the residents of Spanish Lookout are Mennonites.  It is mostly a farming town with some light industry.  The Mennonites practice their religion to varying degrees in Spanish Lookout. Some are still horse and buggy but there are the progressives, like Abe, who use a little more technology.   We found a very well stocked hardware store and actually went back 3 times, it was almost as good as Home Depot. You just don't find that out here and we were sure there was something else we needed at that store.







Below is a picture of the non progressive Mennonites.


The raw water pump is working great!  We were able to get out of Placencia and sail to Ranguana Cay for a few days with some beautiful weather.  We are now back in Placencia waiting out a cold front and looking for a weather window to head to Roatan.

Cheers Kim and Mike




Friday, January 09, 2015

Where's Ka'imi?

We are in Belize.  We didn't make it out of the Rio in December as planned. We made our way down to Burnt Key on December 14th and took a launcha to check out in Livingston.  When we returned we started the engine to top off our power supply and our engine started smoking like crazy. We were not sure what the problem was but we had recently had the injector pump rebuilt and thought it might be related to that. We had also just done an oil change and used oil we purchased in Mexico.  That oil didn't look so good.  We decided to head back to Tortugal, get some non Mexican oil and have the Mechanic check things out.  We did an oil change with some good oil, after we found that we had a fuel leak in the oil crankcase.  We fixed all our engine problems, but could not leave the Rio because the tides were not right.  We need a high tide to get past the sand bar at the mouth of the Rio Dulce.  We found a high tide on December 31st and decided to leave then.  
Burnt Cay Sunset
The next problem was our boat documentation, it would expire on December 30th.  The documentation was delayed in processing (they said they were backlogged) so we were going to try to get it once we reached the Bay Islands.  Well that plan wouldn't work now!  They had sent us a temporary documentation so we sent for the mail that would possible make it to the Rio on December 30th.   Jeesh...we are cutting things close.  The good news is it all worked out, we got our mail and made it out of the Rio on December 31st at 4:30 PM.

We anchored off the coast of Cabo Tres Puntas, Honduras.  The weather was not looking good for a trip to the Bay Islands.  It was 20-25 knots of wind on our noise and 7-8 foot seas, which probable meant 25 knot winds and 10 ft seas...LOL.... We had a good window to make it to Belize so we headed there.  We are in Placencia, Belize where we will hang for a bit.  We had an issue with the raw water pump and are fixing that, then we will head out to some of the islands on the reef for some snorkeling and diving :)
Oh the joys and woes of cruising!

Cheers Kim and Mike
Dolphins on the Bow

This path takes you to the main street past the soccer field to the Grocery Store

This path takes you to the main street and the Town Pier


Placencia Harbour

Placencia Harbour

Placencia and the Caribbean Sea

Placencia Beach on the Caribbean side

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