Cruising with Vida Dulce

20 March 2017 | Fantasy Island Marina Roatan, Honduras
19 March 2017 | Fantasy Island Marina Roatan, Honduras
18 March 2017 | Fantasy Island Marina Roatan, Honduras
17 March 2017 | Gibson Bight Roatan, Honduras
14 March 2017 | Gibson Bight Roatan, Honduras
13 March 2017 | West End Roatan, Honduras
11 March 2017 | West End Roatan, Honduras
09 March 2017 | West End Roatan, Honduras
06 March 2017 | West End Roatan, Honduras
27 February 2017 | West End Roatan, Honduras
22 February 2017 | West End Roatan, Honduras
19 February 2017 | West End Roatan, Honduras
13 February 2017 | West End Roatan, Honduras
06 February 2017 | Fantasy Island Marina, Roatan, Honduras
05 February 2017 | Fantasy Island Marina, Roatan, Honduras
21 January 2017 | Fantasy Island Marina, Roatan, Honduras
12 January 2017 | Fantasy Island Marina, Roatan, Honduras
08 January 2017 | Fantasy Island Marina, Roatan, Honduras
02 January 2017 | Fantasy Island Marina, Roatan, Honduras
01 January 2017 | Fantasy Island Marina, Roatan, Honduras

Busy Morning

20 March 2017 | Fantasy Island Marina Roatan, Honduras
Susan / mostly sunny, breezy, 83 degrees F
This morning we need to move to another dock. The sailboat that’s usually here splashes and they need their space back. We resettle in the (one) spot vacated a couple of hours earlier. I understand we can be here two days before we need to move again.

This morning also brings a flurry of phone calls as Jerry tries to locate the replacement genset brain-board, first on mainland Honduras, and then when attempts to reach someone for information / assistance fails, to Hatton Marine in Seattle. Hatton Marine is perennially helpful and today is no different. They locate one that can be sent overnight. The question is then where - to Miami for air-freight-forwarding? to Joel for luggage-arrival? The freight-forwarding service here can have it on their Wednesday plane however customs processing timing is a question. They say Friday availability, however a delay is always possible. Thankfully Jerry is able to get ahold of Joel who agrees to bring it down in luggage. Thank You!

So bottom line: the part will not be here today, the job will not be completed today. Joel & Misti arrive Thursday mid-day with the (fingers-crossed) correct part. Jerry & Robby agree on genset reconstruction Thursday late afternoon / evening.

Sunshine & Shore Power

19 March 2017 | Fantasy Island Marina Roatan, Honduras
Susan / mostly sunny, breezy, 84 degrees F
Sunshine & shore power has the battery bank back to a happy state. We make water, filling the tanks. We take showers. I do a load of laundry. We get in a morning walk on the way to French Harbour Elden’s & Ace Hardware; purchases there are short-term needed supplies & long-term stock-up items that we won’t have to carry far or dinghy to Vida Dulce. While waiting for the bus or a taxi on the main road, we get an unexpected treat: a family traveling that direction stops to pick us up. They’re going that way and have room. No charge, just a shared ride as if we’re one of the locals. We get to chat a bit along the way. Nice!

We’re back on Vida Dulce by noon. With the entire Sunday afternoon ahead, you’d think we’d relax in the sun, read a book yet no, too much to do before our friend Joel arrives with his girlfriend on Thursday afternoon. Various projects has Vida Dulce in a state of disarray; some semblance of order must be imposed before they arrive.

Bad Brain-Board

18 March 2017 | Fantasy Island Marina Roatan, Honduras
Susan / sky of clouds & rain, windy, 81 degrees F
We wake early and get underway early. Good thing. All out power is needed to get out of the bight due to strong currents and swell running in thru the narrow break in the reefs that is the entrance / exit. Some exciting! moments. Half an hour or so later we round West Bay and head NE long the coast to Fantasy Island Marina. Along the route the NE wind picks up; a steady 10, 15, 18, 25 kts with scattered rain as we near the marina / CoCo View entrance. We're arriving before the worst of this wx system hits Roatan. A sharp turn to port gets us into the channel and out of the swell. And then as we round the corner to the marina docks we get protection from the worst of the wind. Jerry does a fantastic job of docking between two boats with little space to spare fore & aft.

Robby & his friend arrive at 2pm. They repeat many of the tests of yesterday and agree it's a problem with the electronics. By 3:30pm they've dismantled the genset frame and extracted the brain-board. Encased in some sort of plastic protection layer, Jerry's prediction comes true; there's no way to fix components on it. It must be replaced.

The Cummins / Onan dealer for Central American is in San Pedro Sula. Both men believe they will have this part in stock, and if so, it can be flown in on Monday. They'll plan to come by after work on Monday to install it, re-build the genset, and get her running all fine. Wow... sounds caution-ably optimistically great! Jerry will call the dealer Monday morning. For this to happen Monday or sometime this week, the part needs to be in stock; the (correct) part needs to be flown-in to Roatan; we need to be able to pick it up at the airport and carry it back to Vida Dulce (since in-country, no need for customs); the workers need to be able to use their Monday / whatever evening(s) to do the work; the genset needs to get put back together and then run reliably.

Next installment on this subject Monday.

More Genset Troubles

17 March 2017 | Gibson Bight Roatan, Honduras
Susan / mostly cloudy, 84 degrees F
Well… the generator is acting up again. No amount of fuel bleeding will keep her running. We decide to call in a diesel mechanic. To find a recommended one we dinghy to the fuel dock at Gibson Bight. The fishing and tour boats come in here all of the time to fuel and overnight and we’re hopeful to find someone who knows someone. And we do! The owner of a sport-fisher highly recommends Robby Brown. He even calls Robby right then, who agrees to come out mid-day if we pay for his taxi.

Robby arrives with his girlfriend. Not sure why the girlfriend, but there you go. Between he & Jerry the issue is identified within an hour: the genset is not running because power to the shut-down solenoid goes away. It’s an electronics issue, not a fuel issue. He bypassed the electronics and the generator runs however that means the raw water pump doesn’t work and clearly that is not good. Jerry didn’t realize this was happening until the generator running along, with Robby feeling great about his work, started making unusual noises; it overheated. Yikes!

To further troubleshot, Robby wants to bring his electronics friend in and we agree. He calls him on the spot using Jerry’s phone; since this friend works for Hyper (French Harbour) and they’re closed on Sat. he can come by with Robby tomorrow. French Harbour is much closer to wherever they live so we agree to move Vida Dulce to Fantasy Island marina / anchorage first thing tomorrow morning even though the weather will be crap (which is why we’re in Gibson Bight).

Jerry is not confident the brain-board can be fixed however we’ll know more after it’s extracted from the genset frame, and he and this other guy can look at it.

Generator Fixed, Storm Prep

14 March 2017 | Gibson Bight Roatan, Honduras
Susan / overcast, humid, 84 degrees F
Generator testing continues after breakfast. Next test: running directly from the starboard fuel tank. All good. Jerry reinstalls the Raycor fuel filter; she continues to run like a champ. With that, the only fuel line not set back to original is the one we cannot get to, nor see to inspect. Jerry will leave the bypass in place. We seem to be back in business with the generator for those cloudy or rainy days when the solar panel charge isn't quite enough. And we seem to have several especially rainy days ahead of us this week. The generator is also a blessing on those days and nights when we want to run the air conditioning. Before we leave the Rio Dulce next season, we'll likely want to have both fuel tanks ultrasound polished; this will scour the tank walls, pulverize tank debris, crud, & bacteria, and polish the fuel, which is beneficial to all three diesel engines.

With the strong Norther with a long tail sweeping down from the States the anchorage / mooring field clears out by mid-afternoon. Most cruisers head South then East for French Cay / Fantasy Island, we move North to Gibson Bight. True North winds are nearly as bad as West ones at West End, and there are two fronts moving through in the next several days with winds 30+ kts in squalls. Gibson Bight is small - only room for a couple of anchored boats - buggy and swelly at times during the day with the tourist water taxi, tour & dive boats coming and going from the fuel dock here, however it's protected from nearly all wind & sea directions.

We're pleased to see the bight free of anchored boats upon arrival; we anchor on our waypoint. Validating our decision to move, several local boats arrive after we're settled to dock at the marina or tie-up in the mangroves. We'll wait out the weather & jerry jug the last bits of needed fuel via the dinghy, then head back to West End after this, hopefully last of this season, winter weather event.

Generator Update 2

13 March 2017 | West End Roatan, Honduras
Susan / sunny, 84 degrees F
To complete generator testing Jerry needs fuel hose and various fittings. Some shops are closed on Saturday (7th Day Adventists), others are closed Sunday so our first opportunity to catch all shops open is this morning.

While Jerry goes to Parkers (French Harbour), Ace Hardware (French Harbour), the water-sports / chandlery at Mega Plaza, and an automotive tienda to purchase what he needs, I grocery shop at Plaza Mar & Eldon’s near Coxen Hole. When Jerry grocery shops with me it’s an as-quick-as-you-can affair; he hates to grocery shop. Today I can take my time. In fact if I take a couple of hours, he’ll likely be back in the Coxen Hole area and we can share a collective taxi back to the West End.

I comparison shop and validate the best prices for liquor in the area is at Plaza Mar; they also have a wider selection of snacks / chips / cookies. Eldon’s has the better selection of meats and other items on my list. I make the Plaza Mar purchases first then head down the hill to Eldon’s. I’m still pushing the cart around - finding this, so needing that; can’t find a base ingrediant, so putting back associated ones, back & forth through the store - when Jerry calls to say he’s found everything he needs. Just the in-stock-today cold & frozen stuff is left on my list so he takes a taxi and meets me @ Eldon’s as I’m checking-out. Good thing as 4 hands are needed for the bags plus a case of beer.

First generator test is fuel in & out of the jerry jug, bypassing everything. The generator runs flawlessly for an hour. Jerry turns it off. We have a baseline.
Next test: plumbed directly to the port fuel tank. 1 hour, no problems.

It’s now close to happy hour, Trish & Tom will be arriving soon so Jerry shuts things down, cleans up a bit. More mañana.
Vessel Name: Vida Dulce
Vessel Make/Model: Lagoon 440
Hailing Port: Seattle, WA
Crew: Jerry and Susan Barber
About: Jerry and Susan moved aboard Vida Dulce in late October of 2010. We are currently in the Caribbean.
Vida Dulce's Photos - Main
4 Photos
Created 15 December 2016
9 Photos
Created 17 October 2016
20 Photos
Created 1 September 2015
North Coast, West section 2015; Havana to Baracoa Bus Trip 2016
100 Photos
Created 15 May 2015
38 Photos
Created 11 March 2015
50 Photos
Created 25 December 2014
The road trip included 7 States: WA, OR, ID, WY, CO, UT, MT
16 Photos
Created 3 August 2014
Hurricane Season 2014
1 Photo | 5 Sub-Albums
Created 14 June 2014
Pictures of our stay in Honduras 2014
1 Photo | 5 Sub-Albums
Created 4 January 2014
10 Photos
Created 18 October 2013
4 Photos
Created 20 September 2013
Our Dec 2012 - Feb 2013 visit
55 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 31 December 2012
Happy Holidays from Isla Providencia, Colombia
11 Photos
Created 31 December 2012
Photos of my on-board garden
16 Photos
Created 28 September 2012
4 Photos
Created 26 December 2011
Pictures of our time in Panama, Sept 2011 - Dec 2012
1 Photo | 5 Sub-Albums
Created 29 September 2011
Pictures of our visit to Columbia, May-Oct 2011
1 Photo | 5 Sub-Albums
Created 15 July 2011
Photos of our series drogue and May 2011 practice deployment and retrieval
24 Photos
Created 13 May 2011
Pictures from our brief visit to Bonaire, Curacao & Aruba in May 2011
35 Photos
Created 11 May 2011
Pictures of our short stay off Isla Pelona in May 2011
17 Photos
Created 11 May 2011
Pictures of our time in Grenada, April 2011
48 Photos
Created 23 April 2011
Pictures of our island stops in the Grenadines, April 2011
36 Photos
Created 4 April 2011
Photos of St Vincent, April 2011
11 Photos
Created 2 April 2011
Photos of St Lucia March 2011
46 Photos
Created 15 March 2011
68 Photos
Created 7 March 2011
Photos of Dominica 2011
3 Photos
Created 7 March 2011
Photos of Iles des Saintes, Feb 2011
12 Photos
Created 17 February 2011
Photos of Guadeloupe, Feb 2011
49 Photos
Created 13 February 2011
Photos of Barbuda, Jan 2011
15 Photos
Created 14 January 2011
20 Photos
Created 30 December 2010
2 Photos
Created 26 December 2010
Photos of Red Hook, St Thomas and Vida Dulce getting a new bank of batteries and the installation of her new custom made arch which will support 4 solar panels.
28 Photos
Created 9 November 2010
Haul out of Vida Dulce in November of 2010.
23 Photos
Created 9 November 2010
Lots of photos of various places not in other albums. Most are included directly in a blog entry.
27 Photos
Created 31 October 2010
15 Photos
Created 11 September 2010
A "Working" Trip with Jim to start outfitting the boat for cruising.
31 Photos
Created 10 September 2010
11 Photos
Created 5 April 2010
34 Photos
Created 5 April 2010