20 December 2017 | Rio Dulce, Guatemala
Susan / AM showers, afternoon sun, 84 degrees F
Used to be, Tortugal was a nice place to be here in the Rio Dulce. The most expensive marina, yes, but that keeps out a certain number of people, plus it's well away from the issues of Fronteras, and the gun-toting night guards make sure dinghies and other items are secure. While we still get jake-brake noise from the highway overpass in the distance, it's not directly overhead as in some other marinas.
Used to be, at least on the north end of the marina docks where we've shared space with cruiser friends old and new. Everyone mostly getting along, sharing periodic happy hours, board games, and potlucks. And each year we've employed marina workers to do stainless steel cleaning, extra boat wash & wax, bottom cleaning and so on, providing them money to augment their pay, especially around holiday time. And whenever we needed to do woodworking or like projects - our projects are minimal in terms of sanding, varnishing, fiberglass work, etc as compared to others - we've asked for permission from marina staff, especially if we need share their workspace, and have brought & used our own tools, with the exception of the table-saw.
All in all, it's been worth the additional cost. Which is why we've recommended this marina to others over the years, bringing in a fair amount of business.
This year is different. A bunch of white-haired undies-in-a-bunch rude & complaining people. Even us long-term customers on the north docks are not immune to their negative impact. And now, todays edict from owner Daphne: As of today, no boat work is allowed in the marina that disturbs the peace or creates pollution to insure a quiet and tranquil place for marina & hotel guests. We have just one more small job to complete, an opportunistic project to replace the bow seats with solid teak ones; wood we purchased from a local lumber yard. Just an hour or so of sanding is needed to finish. With this edict, there are questions: Will our power sander disturb someone's peace? It has a built-in collector however if a bit of teak dust drops to the floor, is that pollution? Other cruisers are not so well positioned for the edict, being mid- large project. This will unquestionably have an impact on marina customers; I mean, what cruiser doesn't need to do boat work at the start of each season?
As a result, as of today we can no longer recommend Tortugal Marina. In fact we will actively be a non-recommender. Plus we're very tempted to move elsewhere as a matter of principle.
It's lunchtime, late lunchtime, when Daphne's email is received. We decide to head to Kangaroo Las Mexicanas for lunch and to talk through our options. Jerry orders the Assie Burger; lettuce, tomato, onion, cheese, bacon burger topped with a fried egg. It's a Dagwood. I have chicken green chile enchiladas. Both good. In the end, we decide to see how this plays out - Will people who continue to do work be asked to leave? Will people needing to complete projects leave on their own? Is the workshop no longer available to marina customers? I think we've decided to go ahead and use the workshop during the marina workers Christmas Day break to finish our bow seats. If we're asked to leave as a result, so be it.