Cruising with Vida Dulce

26 April 2017 | West End Roatan, Honduras
25 April 2017 | West End Roatan, Honduras
23 April 2017 | West End Roatan, Honduras
16 April 2017 | West End Roatan, Honduras
12 April 2017 | West End Roatan, Honduras
11 April 2017 | Fantasy Island Marina Roatan, Honduras
10 April 2017 | Fantasy Island Marina Roatan, Honduras
09 April 2017 | Fantasy Island Marina Roatan, Honduras
05 April 2017 | Fantasy Island Marina Roatan, Honduras
30 March 2017 | Fantasy Island Marina Roatan, Honduras
25 March 2017 | Fantasy Island Marina Roatan, Honduras
24 March 2017 | Fantasy Island Marina Roatan, Honduras
23 March 2017 | Fantasy Island Marina Roatan, Honduras
22 March 2017 | Fantasy Island Marina Roatan, Honduras
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

A Nice Thank You Mango

26 April 2017 | West End Roatan, Honduras
Susan / a clear sunny humid day, 88 degrees F
As expected, the winds kicked up around sunset and blew hard until early this morning when they collapsed. Mid-morning the gentleman we assisted yesterday afternoon arrives at our stern with a nicely ripe thank you mango. He says he’s Russian, and more alert this morning so his English is slightly better. He is thankful for our help and he slept very well last night.

Then he asks Jerry about changing the oil in the engine. Jerry shows him his engine oil change setup and the man asks to borrow it for a few hours. Jerry agrees even though he’d normally only do this for a friend. Jerry’s faith in the goodness of most other cruisers is reaffirmed with the Russian is back with the setup a few hours later.

Tonight the wind pattern will repeat. On Thursday into Friday the winds will be the strongest with sustained winds in the 30 kt range with gusts to 40 kt, remaining very windy until Monday. While the winds are light we check our anchor - it’s well set - and make a quick trip to town. If the winds even approach forecasted strength, we’ll be boat-bound for the duration.

Contribution To The Karma Bank

25 April 2017 | West End Roatan, Honduras
Susan / a clear sunny breezy day, 87 degrees F
Yesterday late afternoon a monohull arrived in the anchorage. Single-hander older man, which is not unusual for the Caribbean. He looks around at us three boats anchored and deciding "we're lonely" he drops his anchor close in. Elina & Greg were on Vida Dulce so they got to see the "Susan: Big Anchorage, Go Somewhere Else!" communication with waving arms, pointing arm, shouting, etc. When that didn't deter him, Jerry joined me on the deck to shout that he needs to go farther down the anchorage / mooring field. It worked; he anchored a decent distance from us.

This afternoon, I look out & around since the winds have picked up and notice this same monohull is not where he was, and it's not because of the wind shift. I watch some more. Moving slowly toward the reef? Maybe. Watch some more. Yep. Slowly at first then pretty quickly moving toward the reef. I mention this to Jerry who immediately readies himself and the dinghy to rush over to assist while I make 2 radio calls, one on the local hailing channel and one on channel 16. After all, if we were dragging and didn't notice, we'd want someone to alert us on the radio or failing a noticeable response, a knock on the hull.

We speed over. He's sitting in the cockpit. Completely unaware his boat is dragging until we alert him & he looks around. Oh, he says. There's a language challenge as he speaks little English and no Spanish. Not sure what language he speaks; didn't sound to be any we do. We gesture to him that we'll help him onto a mooring; pointing at a couple of the white floats & saying mooring several times slowly. This is for his benefit and ours. Forecasted winds are really going to pick up to literally blowing nearly a gale this weekend from the SE and we'd like him to be settled in a parallel direction to us, not in front of us. He is happy to agree to our help in moving. We hover around while he gets his anchor up; it's not fouled. Hhuuumm. He motors over to where our dinghy is now waiting at a mooring and as he eases up as to not run over us I place the mooring line w/ float on the bow of his boat. He rushes forward, grabs it and attaches the lines to a cleat. I think he thanks us. He has some work to do to completely secure the lines yet with our Good Samaritan work done, we head back to Vida Dulce to resume our afternoon activities.

Exploring Roatan Once Again

23 April 2017 | West End Roatan, Honduras
Susan / mostly sunny, 84 degrees F
We rented a car with Elina & Greg (s/v Sapphire) on Friday. We all take the collectivo into the Coxen Hole area and while Elina & Greg head to the Port Captain’s office to get their check-in paperwork and hopefully check-out, Jerry & I walk to the airport to pick up the car.

Even though they’re at the Port Captain’s office before noon, Customs is closed and that is where the required form must be acquired. Greg is incensed. There’s a beautiful weather window for their passage towards Panama this weekend & early next week but they now cannot start the check-out process (which can take one, two or three days) until Monday (tomorrow).

We make the most of the rental car time, touring Roatan & purchasing needed items at the various stores. Today we visit Punta Gorda to visit the much-talked-about Garifuna community on the island. On Sundays the local band(s) play their traditional music and the local dish machuca - a savory broth with a small whole fried fish, small lobster tail or large shrimp(s), conch, and a large dumpling made of mashed plantain, yucca & corn - is available. Jerry & I split an order; smart choice as it’s a very large bowl. We’d expected to see Sunday be a community day with locals gathered beach-side enjoying the day, perhaps selling wares in stalls, music in various places on the beach, etc. but it turned out to be a tourist-trap experience with just one restaurant offering the dish at an exorbitant price (you can bet the locals’ don’t pay that price for their bowl of traditional Sunday soup!!) and one band playing in an open covered area that looked ready for cruise-ship tourists. We listened to a song or two then headed back to the West End. Good to see once. At least the meal was tasty and the beers cold.

Sunday Get Together

16 April 2017 | West End Roatan, Honduras
Susan / mostly sunny, 82 degrees F
Yesterday we took our much-loved beach walk with Elina & Greg, s/v Sapphire, who arrived West End yesterday. Later than usual to time lunch at the Hangover Hut. Best hamburgers for miles around, perhaps the best on the island, even better than Herby’s (Sorry Charlie!) and cold cold beers. Not being a burger-eater, i had the chicken club wrap. We all went away with way-full tummies to continue our beach walk back to the dinghy. A quick change of clothes, then off to town for whatever they have fresh for Sunday dinner sides and ice for the cooler as we no longer have a working beverage fridge.

Today was the last of the clean-up from the Fantasy Island Marina to ready Vida Dulce to host Sunday dinner. She’s ship-shape in time for happy hour when Elina & Greg, Trish & Tom arrive. Sadly Kim & Mike won’t make it, nor Jens & Daniela, as they are still (separately) in Belize. So a smaller than planned gathering. But hey, the best of the Tortugal gang are here because they are here!

Delighted To Be Back In West End

12 April 2017 | West End Roatan, Honduras
Susan / mostly cloudy, showers 80 degrees F
Wouldn’t you know it, after days and days of nothing but sunshine it rains this morning for several hours; the morning we’re finally getting out of the marina and heading to the West End. Gotta love it. LOL We don’t need to be in a hurry as the West End is just 3 hours away so we wait out the heaviest before dock lines are released and we motor out of the marina, anchorage and to the fuel dock to top-off the diesel tanks. We also fill the diesel jerry jugs. All of which should get us to the Rio Dulce.

Anchor-down, we are over-joyed to be out of that filthy-dirty, buggy, shabby (yet not cheap) marina. Instead of our usual cold beer we celebrate with Cuba Libre’s. Man… it will literally take days to clean Vida Dulce up inside & out, and get her back to an reasonably organized state. And just days we have: Our friends Trish & Tom, s/v Double Up are here after spending a bit of time in Barefoot Marina. Elina & Greg, s/v Sapphire, will arrive this weekend from the Rio Dulce (Tortugal Marina). Kim & Mike s/v Ka’imi escaped Tortugal / Rio Dulce a week ago and will hopefully be here too (currently in Belize). We’ve invited all to join us on Vida Dulce for a Sunday reunion happy hour & meal. Everyone celebrating being out of a marina and anchored in a beautiful place.

Yes, Progress

11 April 2017 | Fantasy Island Marina Roatan, Honduras
Susan / mostly sunny 80 degrees F
Yes, Progress is positive on the watermaker. With the watermaker & genset now working reasonably we make immediate plans to get out of the marina.

With today's Eldon's run, Jerry walks to Mega Plaza to pick up the laundry & get what he needs for the battery project he wants to make progress on, and stop at Ace Hardware for needed supplies on his way back to catch the return bus at Eldon's. Mega Plaza and Ace Hardware are a long way away from the West End so we take advantage of their relative proximity before we depart. Meanwhile I pick what ever Eldon's has for fresh supplies and a few other items. We don't need much now that we know we will not be making the Grand Cayman & Cuba destinations.

Tomorrow morning we'll settle accounts & throw off the dock lines.
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