04/15/2009, Roatan, Honduras
Have you ever done something stupid? Something on hind site that you know is stupid? And you know you aren't supposed to do something as stupid as the thing that you just did, because you know that God gave you a great brain and your parents gave you such a great education that you know better than to do the inane thing you just did??? No, No, I'm not referring to quitting a good job and selling it all to sail away with your family for a few years. That may be insane but certainly not stupid! I'm referring of course to NOT sticking your finger into a dark hole while snorkeling in tropical waters. I knew that you knew what I knew that I forgot I knew.
I quote from A Comprehensive Guide to Marine Medicine, "Sharp-toothed moray eels can inflict deep puncture wounds. If a bite victim pulls away abruptly, underlying structures (nerves, blood vessels, tendons and ligaments), can be cut. If bitten, try to let the eel open its mouth by itself (which it will usually do), to prevent deep laceration."
Riiiiiiiight. When bitten, hold still and don't pull away while waiting for the eel to let go. Like that's going to happen.
To paraphrase, when bitten in the *** by a pit bull, be sure to hold still while you wait for him to let go, as running screaming to mama will surely result in bits of your 'you know what' being ripped out for said Fido to savor later for desert.
Surely I'll remember such sage advise for next time. ASSuming of course that I could possibly be dumb enough to stick a digit where it don't belong, again! It's a darn good thing it was a bitty 'lil eel rather than one the size you might see in a Discovery Channel special on 'Digit Consuming Carnivores of The Deep'. And no, I won't be their next guest celebrity as I am already booked on Letterman's next episode of Stupid Human tricks.
I did not loose a finger tip, and nor did Rennie get to dig into the Major Laceration section of the immense first aid kit in order to perform minor surgery. She hid her disappointment well and did a fine job of band-aid application. As it was an infantile thing I did we topped it off with a Sesame Street band-aid.
Needless to say I learned my lesson. I think.
PS: The aforementioned attacked occurred at 16 21.28N 086 26.58W in French Harbour, Roatan, Honduras
We are now in Utila Bay, Utila, Honduras at 16 05.53N 086 53.75W
04/02/2009, Guanaja Honduras
Over the last several weeks we have put just under 550 miles under the keel as we work our way north. That's a lot more overnights than we like or are used to. Thank God only the leg from Panama to Providencia sucked. Providencia to Guanaja, Honduras, where we are now, involved two passages. One was a beautiful sail with everyone feeling and doing great. The other involved no wind and a lot of diesel, but was also comfortable. We aren't great fans of overnight passages and are glad that from here to Isla Mujeres, Mexico, shouldn't require any more. So we think!
We left Providencia and went to Low Cay (13 31.26N, 81 20.40W), a whole 8 miles away at the end of the reef. We haven't seen that clear of water and filled with so much beautiful coral, fish and lobster since the Bahamas. Everyone loved the snorkeling and Patrick (Migo) and I came back with a bucket full of fish and lobsters, with Liam's help on the biggest lobster! When I saw a 5-6' reef shark we knew it was time to skeedaddle. We sailed away at dawn the next day for the Vivorillo Cays of Honduras (15 50.50N, 83 18.08W). It was a great sail. Nobody was sick and great attitudes prevailed. The wind had shifted further south than usual and piped up to 20-25 knots which made the anchorage fairly rolly and the water cloudy. As the wind was predicted to blow out in 2 days we decided to wait before pushing on to Guanaja.
Of course when the wind blew out it really blew out. We tried to sail for the first couple of hours but finally gave in and fired up the engine. 24 hours later it was still on. Guess we should have left the Vivorillo's earlier! Oh well, we were in Guanaja safe and sound and ready for an ice cold beer at Graham's Place (16 27.65N, 85 50.03W). Our 'plan' is to enjoy the remote beaches and reef of Guanaja for a few more days and then onto the larger Island of Roatan.
We are going to start adding our latitude and longitude coordinates for all our stops so we can be tracked easily on Google Earth. Consider it homework for all of you following along! More photos to come as soon as we find a strong internet connection.
03/10/2009, Panama City
Every now and then life comes full circle, and it's a beautiful thing. Tonight we slumber in Jeff Remily's apartment. Yes, Jeff of 'girlie-man,' 'Rem-dog' fame, and one of the original founding father's of B.O.B.. Several things are unique about this. One of course is that we are hangin' with Jeff in Panama City, 18 floors up above the din and roar of the city, overlooking the Pacific Ocean, (almost two years in the Caribbean and after a 2 hour drive across Panama we are looking at the Pacific, tides and all). The other is that we are off the boat for a few nights, which hasn't happened other than our visit home in September. Jeff is great and desperately missing his wife and kid's, who should be moving to Panama from Hawaii in about a month. We will miss Tanya, Jake and Jordyn but look forward to catching up someday soon.
We arrived to Shelter Bay Marina about a week ago, after several weeks of loving the San Blas Islands. We had a great couple of stops along the way, including Portobello, which was founded by Columbus and became a famous transfer point for all the gold headed for Spain. It was quite popular with pirates as well.
The Shelter Bay Marina is located on the grounds of the former US base, Fort Sherman. The jungle is slowly taking over all the grounds, but the marina is brand new. It makes for an interesting contrast as you walk past the pool and several minutes later you are deep in the jungle walking past gun batteries rapidly being overgrown. Jeff and his coworker George came over for a visit and we all had a grand time. Jeff brought his guiiitar and we managed to mangle our way through a few Grateful Dead classics before a neighbor boat came over and asked us to please shut up as he was leaving early AM. Some people just have no appreciation for art.
We had so much fun we decided to rent a car and come to big Panama City for the weekend. Much pork and beef was sacrificed. Bacon wrapped asparagus, bacon wrapped mushrooms, bacon wrapped filet mignon... you get the picture. We did have some veggies, but not enough to get in the way.
One or two nights stretched into three so we could do some inland exploring and serious grocery shopping (Costco style!). Our inland trip was a couple hour drive up into the mountains to a town called El Valle. It was a beautiful town with lots of flowers and a renowned framers market. However, we came for the zip-line at Canopy Adventures. One of Rennie's 'bucket list' items for this trip was to do a zip-line through the jungle canopy. Mission accomplished. It was awesome! Nothing like free falling through the jungle across waterfalls! I'm not sure but I think I heard a Tarzan yell or two!
We all had a great time staying with Jeff and George, and the kids almost had their fill of TV. Another highlight was getting to see our new friends aboard m/v Seven C's. They had gone through the locks a few days ago and were still here in Panama City. We had a great afternoon hanging out with them, and are hoping they turn back through the canal and cruise north with us. Either way we are sure to see them again somewhere!
Our time here in the big city is done and now we must go! All we need is weather window to start off towards the great white north!