20 February 2017 | Frenchy's, Roatan
20 March 2017
Adventures with Captain John on C’est si Bon
Our sailing trip with John, Arie & Rachel started on March 1st, 2017 from Frenchies Marina, Roatan Island. The boat was moored in a beautiful bay and after John orientated us to the boat, including safety procedures, we hopped into the dingy and zoomed to the closest shopping area - for food and drinks!
The very first night started with a pot-luck dinner with other cruisers – our first insight into the interesting folk who cruise annually in the Caribbean. They become a close-knit group.
We enjoyed a day of snorkelling and Arie and John went diving. Jim and I saw a very large barracuda (had to be 6’ long)!! We got prepared to sail to the Island of Guanaja the next day. Later that evening the wind really whipped up quickly and it started pouring. John suddenly realized that the boat was moving – dragging the anchor. Scary! We had a French boat to port and two Russian boats to starboard! Could have had a war on our hands if we had bumped into them!
Despite not being able to see well, due to it being dark, wet and windy, John managed to re-secure the anchor and also dropped a second anchor for added security. I don’t think John got much sleep that night – watching, in case the boat slipped back again.
For the trip over to Guanaja we had wind on the bow that was not good for sailing, so we motored for 6 ½ hours. We had the most amazing view of a water spout.
This interesting island of Honduras is in quite a natural state (very little tourism) – lovely. We moored in a beautiful bay with several other boats. There were a couple of restaurants (boat access only), so no roads or cars to be seen. Wonderful.
The town of Boracca is quite fascinating, in that the 3,000 inhabitants are all crammed onto an island located a km from the mainland – it was a mystery to us why people would want to live there instead of on the mainland. It is totally build up with very basic structures – many on stilts, narrow alleyways and very little green space –no vehicles at all.
The grocery selection was very basic and we could not find good vegetables. Apparently fresh vegetables are delivered one day a week – we missed it! The beer and wine were cheap and in good supply! Rum punch became a daily favourite for some. The fruit juice mix was more expensive than the rum!
We took the dingy ashore to the Manati pub (run by a very friendly German family) and had beers and a pork roast dinner.
The following day Arie organized for a water taxi to the opposite side of the island. We hiked to a beautiful waterfall and enjoyed a powerful wash! This beautiful remote bay had a restaurant located at the end of the dock – The Green Flash Restaurant. After a great fish lunch we did some swimming and snorkelling. It was very interesting chatting to the owner whose family had owned the land for generations.
The boat driver ‘William’ had purchase some shrimp and lobster for us, and we had an amazing meal that night – thanks to John and Rachel.
March 7th – Arie, John, Jim and I went for a hike from the back of Manati Lodge onto the ridge where we had views in all directions. Heavily vegetated and little development to be seen. Rainy and foggy so views were not great but wonderful to stretch the legs out with a good, slippery hike back down. Another amazing meal of steak and lobster was had on the boat.
The following day we had to check out of Honduras. William picked us up and took us into Boraca to Immigration – a long slow process in a hot and humid office.
Back at the boat, we prepped for the voyage – closing all hatches and putting away any items that would slide or fall. At 3:00 PM we motored out and set sail. It started off smoothly but quickly turned to a very choppy sea, 25 knot winds and 2-3 metre swells.
Within an hour John was sea sick – very unexpected! Rachel and I had taken sea-sick pills and they worked wonders.
Venturing down to the galley or toilet was very challenging, and even dangerous. Arie was thrown across the cabin, hurting his back and head – he was in rough shape, being sea-sick as well. It was a bit worrying having two of the crew unwell.
We all took our turn doing a 3 hr watch during the nights. It was exciting seeing a cruise-ship sail by – fortunately not too close! It made me feel very small in comparison – I was just relieved they didn’t mow us over! John stayed in the cockpit for the two nights (trying to sleep) and to be close at hand if needed…..thanks John!
It was great to finally see land – the Island of Cozumel, and also nice to have less wind. It ended up being a 46 hour voyage. We docked in the lovely El Cid Marina which is beside the fancy El Cid Resort, however, we could not use the Resort facilities until we had gone through the immigration process that was slated for the following day: 4 military men; Health Inspector; Agricultural Inspector; & the Customs Officer.
We enjoyed 4 days in the marina with beautiful warm weather. Jim and I visited the Mayan ruins in Tulum while John, Arie and Rachel went deep-sea fishing. They had great success.
March 13 was sadly our last night on the boat, so we went out for dinner at the Resort.
Thanks John for giving us this great adventure on your beautiful boat.
Patsy & Jim
20 February 2017 | Frenchy's, Roatan
On the 9th we motor up to Placentia with our friends on Maskali following us. Luc worked for Amel as the sales manager for 40+ years. Luc and his wife Martine own an Amel super Maramu. We met them in Panama a couple of years ago. As we were on the way to Belize I heard an anguished scream and I thought Terry had fallen overboard but just then I see Terry running down the side deck chasing his new hat he just had gotten from Ram Marina, I almost had a heart attack.
We anchored in Placentia lagoon without further incidents. The next day we went to Big Creek with a launch service and taxi to check in with immigration, port captain and customs. Total cost: $133 us.
Spend a couple of days there, went to the Tipsy Tuna for drinks lunch, to Yoli's for happy hour. A lot of cruisers and expat Canadians come there. We also bought 4 big juicy lobsters from a fishing boat, filled the water tank at the dock. On Monday the 13th we checked out of Belize, when we got to immigration Terry realized he forgot to bring his passport.
The next day we motored up to the Pelican Cays, just a two hour trip where we anchored in 60 ft of water in the middle of coral reefs.
Our friends on Maskali came as well. From Luc we learned how to catch lobster with a snare, a simple rig that he build. Teach a man how to fish.... We spend just one night there, the following day we raised the anchor, threaded our way out between the reefs and sailed to Tobacco Cay. There's a break in the outer reef there called Tobacco entrance. The next day, the 16th at around 3 pm we went trough this pass and sailed east and passed Glover Reef on the north, at around 7pm we were past it and headed southeast to the Island of Utila (Honduras) in very light winds, some sailing some motoring. Met a freighter and a cruise liner. It was necessary to leave in the afternoon and sail during the night so we could arrive in Utila in daylight. This island is a preferred place to check in for cruisers with authorities rather then Roatan where the officials are more used to clearing in big ships. The costs were only $3.00us per person. We spend one night there, we are now in Roatan. On our first night here, the wind blew 20-25 knots, I got up at two am for some reason and went on deck and noticed that we had dragged anchor, we were very close to some house lights with a foot of water under the keel. I woke up Terry to help pull up anchor, we reanchored this time I stayed up make sure the boat stayed put. A guy came by this afternoon and sold us some lobster, lobster tonight. Terry is leaving the boat Thursday to go home. The new company is coming March first. I'll have time to do laundry and clean the boat. Thanks for the comments and I mis ou guys too!
11 February 2017
My first attempt at blogging and my mind is blank. Terry came on Monday the 6st from Calgary to help sail the boat to Roatan, Honduras. Neighbours tied to the dock next to me, Will & Diana from the Cornelis, Bob & Nina from the Moondance untied the lines, took pictures and waved us of off. We motored to the halfway point to Livingston to a bay called Cayo Quemado. Pulled up anchor on Wednesday morning to go down the Rio Dulce for a two hour motor sail to Livingston to clear out of Guatemala. After the paperwork and $85us we waited for the the tide to reach its max height at around 6pm. When the time came, the anchor was raised and started to go over the bar. The keel bumped on the bottom almost right away, I unrolled the genoa to heel the boat and we almost got halfway, then we were really stuck. Waited for the fishing boat to pull the boat over and continue on our way. Terry handed him $50us for his service but he was not happy, he needed $60. While I ran down into the boat to get more money, he got the bow of his boat under my swim step and bend it. I did not notice until later what had happened. Around 8pm we dropped anchor in a bay called Cabo's Tres Puntas. Next day at 8am we left to go to Placentia, Belize, about 7 hrs sail.