Cruising with Vida Dulce

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
31 December 2016 | Fantasy Island Marina, Roatan, Honduras
30 December 2016 | Fantasy Island Marina, Roatan
29 December 2016 | West End, Roatan
27 December 2016 | Tres Puntas, Guatemala
27 December 2016 | Rio Dulce, Guatemala
21 December 2016 | Rio Dulce, Guatemala
19 December 2016 | Rio Dulce, Guatemala
16 December 2016 | Rio Dulce, Guatemala
15 December 2016 | Rio Dulce, Guatemala
12 December 2016 | Rio Dulce, Guatemala
07 December 2016 | Rio Dulce, Guatemala
02 December 2016 | Rio Dulce, Guatemala
28 November 2016 | Rio Dulce, Guatemala
27 November 2016 | Rio Dulce, Guatemala
24 November 2016 | Rio Dulce, Guatemala
22 November 2016 | Rio Dulce, Guatemala

Short Move to a Better Dock Spot

12 January 2017 | Fantasy Island Marina, Roatan, Honduras
Susan / partly cloudy, 80 degrees F
Two boats leave the front marina docks in the early afternoon. The Dockmaster, true to his word, offers us the corner space on the front docks. It may be one of the best spaces in the entire marina with clean water flowing by, some breeze, lovely sunset views and far enough from the road, tiki palapa and pine trees to be relatively clean. Thrilled we quickly agree to move. Right now. Jerry is feeling rather poorly however he rousts himself from a nap and we untie from the back dock to slowly motor around to the other side. We initially back in to the space and tie on the starboard side to get more breeze via the stern, but no matter how we run the power cord, it is short of the power pedestal. We untie and leave the dock. I move fenders and lines to the port side then we return pointed on the opposite direction. Everything fits and connects. Secure and with shore power connected, Jerry retires to finish his afternoon nap while I make a solo run to Eldon’s for needed OTC meds. Mango juice laced with rum, another bowl of restorative homemade soup, a dram of NyQuil and Jerry is off to a restful nights’ sleep.

Nasty Weather

08 January 2017 | Fantasy Island Marina, Roatan, Honduras
Susan / windy, stormy conditions, 79 degrees F
A strong cold front swept through the area overnight bringing gale and near-gale force winds, massive thunderstorms and lots of rain. Behind it this morning we have continued stormy conditions with quickly rising barometric pressure; check out the pressure graph. We compare our pressure readings with the NOAA weather chart and sure enough, right on forecast.

In these conditions it’s good to be at the marina dock rather than in the drag-strip anchorage, especially at night. Sleep is soo much better than anchor / storm watch! We even turned our VHF radio off as to not disturb our sleep because there are no boats in our area that could cause us distress. The Dockmaster and his wife do that have that pleasure; they’ve been busy with boat emergency calls and rescues.

A couple of mornings ago a rather large motor-yacht went on the rocks at the entrance; it was totally his fault because he was following a sailboat very closely and when the sailboat turned sharply to port, he says he had to turn sharply to starboard to avoid hitting them thus missing the break between reefs. Well.. I thought, first, following too close, and second, ever heard of engine-reverse? Being a Big Boy on a Big Motor Yacht, he insists it’s the small sailboat’s fault. This was a brightly sunny morning too. A commercial-size tug boat had to come from Coxen Hole to French Cay to pull it off, and as of this morning it’s still on the docks behind us. Not sure if the boat needs to be hauled for repairs but honestly I’m only spending enough time thinking about it to write this paragraph.

The “Russian Boat” that has way overstayed their welcome (soo many stories, most unfit for print) on the mooring ball in the lagoon behind the back docks ran aground after nearly hitting several of the boats on that dock this morning. They blamed the mooring line. Common sense storm preparedness is to put a safety line and/or anchor out for exactly this reason; mooring lines should not be blindly relied upon in any conditions, much less storm ones. They blithely allow their boat to drift toward the others, not bothering to disconnect themselves from the now broken mooring ball line nor dropping an anchor to halt their progress. Thankfully the boat ran aground before any of the marina dock boats were damaged. But it was very close and caused much distress on that dock. The Russians has been asked to leave every day for over a week now; hopefully this incident will galvanize the marinas and nearby resorts into taking coordinated action to get them out of resort waters and dive operations channels. Good riddance.

Meanwhile in the anchorage proper, two boats call for assistance and dock space however with completely full docks, they are turned away. One needs to be towed to safety, after refusing assistance overnight because they didn’t want to pay a rescue boat; now they need a tow boat however with no available dock space, it’s uncertain where they will be towed to. My word, what is with these people!? Everyone remotely paying attention knew this storm was coming.

Back to us: securely tied to the dock, tucked behind a wall of mangroves, a bridge between us and the Russian Boat, with plenty of what is needed, we’re hunkered down working away on our task lists. We are making solid progress yet still have much to do before the Seattle Boat Show

Officially Checked In

02 January 2017 | Fantasy Island Marina, Roatan, Honduras
Susan / a bright & sunny 84 degrees F
It’s a fair distance, a bus or taxi ride for sure, to Coxen Hole from the marina. Rather than paying fare for two people Jerry goes by himself to the Port Captain’s office to get our cruising permit while I go to Eldon’s / French Harbour with Charlie. The produce pick-up truck usually comes to the marina on Tuesdays but with the holidays, the schedule is uncertain. Beer, club soda, fruit, veggies & a few other items is on my short list for today and I’m back on Vida Dulce well before Jerry is, especially since he had to wait for over an hour for the Port Captain to arrive. He wasn’t alone in the wait so had an opportunity to chat with other cruisers and a few locals. Once his turn, the Port Captain simply handed over the paperwork, no charge.

Monkey Visitation

01 January 2017 | Fantasy Island Marina, Roatan, Honduras
Susan / a bright & sunny 84 degrees F
New Years Day morning brings bright blue skies, sunshine, and monkeys. Curious, will take anything and eat everything, monkeys. We were warned and we heeded the warning, putting away all of the items we intentionally display in the aft cockpit and those casually left about while projects are underway. Good thing.

We wake to the pitter-patter of little feet on the decks. I head upstairs to make coffee / tea and see two monkeys running around inspecting everything. Last night we grilled tenderloins wrapped in bacon; well, the monkeys opened the bbq cover and were eating all of the charred bits and pieces left. (Note to self: must clean grill before bbq-ing again) The male spots me, watches me and tries to get in but the windows and doors are closed and locked. They are friendly so it's not a security risk however they do like to climb on people and they obviously have flees itching themselves all of the time, and they "do their business" whether sitting on someone's shoulder, sitting on your boat or in the trees. Plus they leave muddy prints everywhere. Honestly I'm not enamored.

Mid-day we join many of the other cruisers here for a New Year's brunch potluck. We contribute crustless vegetarian quiche, which turns out to be the most healthy offering other than the plate of watermelon and pineapple. There we meet Casey, a resident of the Rio Dulce, here with a friend on another catamaran, s/v Vida Libre. We get talking about traveling, Montana, floatplane flying, and boats of course. Jerry mentions the recent problem we had with the port engine and Casey offers to take a look. An hour, two cups of mocha, and several small yet important adjustments later the engine is running more smoothly. Plus Jerry learns a few tips along the way. A nice karma beginning to the year.

Our current spot in the marina leaves much to be desired. Buggy mangroves close in (both Jerry & I are getting chewed up), the monkeys, water not as clean (quickly clogging the watermaker filters) and less breeze than many of the other spots. None of the spots have wifi, so we're all even there. I chat up the Dockmaster at brunch and request a move as soon as one of the other boats in a better spot departs. He indicated it may be the 10th or 11th before one opens up and he'll keep my request in mind. Fingers crossed. Until then, this is not the time and place to visit us. And even with the theoretical move to better spot, it would be better to wait until after the Seattle Boat Show when we can get out of the marina and back to the West End.

Ringing Out 2016

31 December 2016 | Fantasy Island Marina, Roatan, Honduras
Susan / mostly cloudy, periodic rain, 84 degrees F
Charlie, Saundra & John, s/v Island Sol, join us for dinner on Vida Dulce to ring out 2016 and welcome 2017. As usual when we get together with them, many beverages and excellent food is consumed. We do manage to stay awake for the New Years fireworks display, but just barely. Happy New Year!

West End to Fantasy Island Marina

30 December 2016 | Fantasy Island Marina, Roatan
Susan / mostly cloudy, breezy, 82 degrees F
What?! In a marina again?! “They must really like marina living these days or Fantasy Island Marina must be a special place.” you’d be forgiven for thinking. Not especially, and No. Needs must. We need to return to Seattle in late January and Fantasy Island Marina is the best option on the island.

Jerry has been emailing our friends Charlie & Saundra s/v Island Sol who arrived at Fantasy Island Marina several days ago. He has also been emailing the Dockmaster at Fantasy Island Marina re: space availability. Both say the marina is very full. At 8am this morning the Dockmaster says there is only one space open that can take a boat of our size. The other two are now promised, although it is a first-come, first-served, no reservations marina. We go. By mid-day we’ve got our spot, the second best of those available, which only means it is not directly beside the generator that runs 24x7. Power but no potable water. No WiFi. In mangroves which means bugs, and we’re told morning monkey visitations. On the bright side, we have several friends from the Rio Dulce here so it should be a fun New Years Eve.
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