04 May 2017 | Myrtle Beach, SC
28 April 2017
25 April 2017 | Port Antonio, Jamaica
23 April 2017 | Port Antonio, Jamaica
15 April 2017 | Port Antonio, Jamaica
08 April 2017 | Port Antonio, Jamaica
06 April 2017 | Port Antonio, Jamaica
01 April 2017 | Georgetown, Bahamas
31 March 2017 | Georgetown, Bahamas
26 March 2017 | Lee Stocking Cay, Exumas
20 March 2017 | White Point, Exumas
17 March 2017 | Staniel Cay
02 March 2017 | Governor's Harbour, Eleuthera
24 February 2017 | Little Harbour, Abacos
16 February 2017 | Green Turtle Cay, Bahamas
14 February 2017 | West End, Bahamas
11 February 2017 | West End, Bahamas
10 February 2017 | Offshore South Carolina
09 February 2017 | Old Bahama Bay Marina
06 February 2017

We Are Home

04 May 2017 | Myrtle Beach, SC
Michael
Thank you all for the heartfelt messages we have received since the loss of Aria. They have been a comfort at a difficult time.

We are back home in Myrtle Beach. I will not sugarcoat it; we are devastated at the loss of Aria and completely unable to talk about what happened. We are trying to focus on our many blessings and not dwell on what we have lost.

That's all I have to say at this time. Thanks again for your support. It means more than you can know.

Aria is Lost

28 April 2017
Tammy and I are okay. We were rescued by four Jamaican fisherman, who ferried us to a freighter bound for Cartegna.
Aria is lost.

Departing for Providencia, Columbia

25 April 2017 | Port Antonio, Jamaica
Michael
We hate to leave Jamaica, but it's time. We depart tomorrow at first light for Panama, with a stop-over in Providencia, Columbia. The voyage to Providencia is about 400nm. Conditions look good.

If you've never heard of Providencia, don't feel bad; neither had I till I began following sailors in the Caribbean. The island is located off the coast of Nicargua, but it is the territory of Columbia. And that's about all we know, except that it is a great stop to break up the long sail to Panama.

Our final days here have been filled with wonderful times meeting a colorful cast of dozens of sailors from countries around the world - old salts, retirees, young people, a Dutch female double-hander team - even a young couple from Germany with an infant. Most have crossed at least one ocean. We have discovered that, besides being a great place in its own right, Port Antonio serves as a stopover for sailors criss-crossing the Caribbean. Many are heading for Rio Dulce, Guatemala, a popular place to pass the hurricane season. Others, like us, are going to or coming from Panama. Still others are heading for the Bahamas, Cuba and Haiti. Sundowners are never dull.

If you care to follow us on our passage, I will have the tracker on. Click the link that says "TRACK US" below, or click here.

How Tammy Buys Bananas

23 April 2017 | Port Antonio, Jamaica
Michael
Life on the hook in Jamaica is, well, different. We love Clive, who lives in the mangroves at the harbor's edge. When it's not raining, he paddles to a nearby deserted island, picks bananas and mangos, then sells them to the boaters. As you can see, he can drive a hard bargain!

UPDATE: We are still in Port Antonio, Jamaica. We are waiting on weather to depart for Providence, Columbia, probably later this week.

Our Jamaican Life

15 April 2017 | Port Antonio, Jamaica
Michael
We have settled into a Jamaican rhythm here in Port Antonio. When we go ashore, we greet people by name. We end sentences with mon, not because it's cute, because that's how they talk. We go to the market for the day's shopping. We walk. We experiment with Jamaican produce and recipes on our own stove. We have our favorite ice cream parlor, coffee shop, restaurant, grocery, market. We consume so much data on our phones, they now know us by name at the phone company. Our wallets are filled with Jamaican money, and we recognize and make change easily with their strange array of coins. We've learned a few words of Patwan, their strange English dialect, e.g. "How are you?" equals "Wahgwan?" (What's going on?).

Today was market day, and we returned with a great haul. We particularly love the papayas, which are almost creamy and are great in smoothies. Also among our loot is soursop, mango, coconut, peppers, pineapple and much more.

Our plans may be best described as "fluid." We arrived here on our way to Cartegna, Columbia. We are now looking at the jungles, gorges and rivers of Guatamala with stops in the Caymans and Roatan, Honduras. But that could well change again.

While in the Bahamas, a cruiser noted our slow progress through the islands and commented that we were "circumnavigating 100 yards at a time."

Well, okay.

A Few Words About The Ganja

08 April 2017 | Port Antonio, Jamaica
Michael
On a busy street corner here in Port Antonio, Jamaica, the raft captain was giving us his excursion pitch, showing us his credentials, including an official looking license. I had a hard time getting past the marijuana roach tucked in the corner of his mouth. On another occasion we were in the market buying produce, and ganja sellers approached me with the ease of someone selling mangoes.

In a nearby park, we met a lovely man (pictured here), who showed us a few local fruits and vegetables he had gathered himself. He let us taste a Star Apple, smell the lemon grass and take home some large Bay Leaves that were the most aromatic I have ever smelled. Then, just as naturally, he moved on to the ganja.

Marijuana, or ganja as it is called here, isn't just here and there; it's omnipresent. Technically, small quantities are subject to a $5 fine, but for practical purposes it is legal. And it makes perfect sense. Alcohol, the vice of the first-world, is expensive and difficult - even dangerous - to produce yourself. Ganja can be grown with a few seeds, rain and sunlight, raw materials in abundance here.

As for Tammy and I? While we are all for walking in another man's shoes, we really don't need to take on yet another vice at this point in our lives. I'll stay with my cigars and scotch; Tammy with her wine.
Vessel Name: Aria
Vessel Make/Model: Island Packet 350
Hailing Port: Myrtle Beach, SC
Crew: The Hetzers: Tammy & Michael
About: Email: aria (at) webhenmedia (dot) com
Extra: We're on YouTube! You Tube Channel
Home Page: http://www.svaria.com
Social:
Aria's Photos - Abacos-Easter 2012
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