Cruising with Vida Dulce

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
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

So Much For Good News

25 March 2017 | Fantasy Island Marina Roatan, Honduras
Susan / a beautiful sunny day, 80 degrees F, light breeze
So much for the potential good news of Joel & Misti’s arrival in Roatan. All flights are booked, they’re not going to make it. Bummer for them, a lost opportunity to enjoy the sun, snorkeling / diving, and beach-time. Bummer for us as they were to carry the needed genset part, a yard of sail-cloth, mail and other items. Most items we can pick up from Joel when we arrive in Seattle for the summer. The critical items we’ll bring in via RASXPRESS.

The timing of the genset, watermaker & sail repairs will determine the rest of our cruising season. Earlier this week we got our cruising permit extended to May 23rd (it was to expire March 30) so we can be in Honduras until we need to head to the Rio Dulce. That’s our baseline. At least we don’t have to go back to the Rio Dulce early. If repairs can be made by very early April, and we get a weather window to Grand Cayman we’re good to go with our original plan for the season.

On a positive note, the weather is to be quite nice this week: abundant sunshine, 80-85 degrees F, not too humid, breezy most days. Yesterday afternoon we moved from the buggy dock to one of the front docks so our view and environmental conditions have improved. Having the rental car for a couple of days was fantastic. We ran our errands in a fraction of the time it usually takes us, plus the freedom to explore. I’m sad we have to return it this morning.

Watermaker Feed Pump

24 March 2017 | Fantasy Island Marina Roatan, Honduras
Susan / morning rain, afternoon sun, 80 degrees F
Watermaker update: Jerry calls Spectra technical support as soon as they open, and then gets to work. We’re back to the feed pump as the likely culprit. He removes it, tests is again and yep, no suction. That’s the problem. Spectra technical support says she has three customers with the same problem right now. The closest other one is in Panama, so no way to commiserate over drinks with them. LOL. Jerry calls Marine Warehouse; they say it’s no problem to ship the needed Spectra feed pump to Roatan. While we wait, we’ll use bottled water and disposable plates / plasticware.

Joel & Misti update: Last night’s flight was full so they didn’t get standby seats. They continue to explore all flight options.

Potential Good News, Bad News

23 March 2017 | Fantasy Island Marina Roatan, Honduras
Susan / a beautiful sunny day, breezy, 80 degrees F
We decide to go ahead and pick-up the reserved rental car to do the errands we planned to do tomorrow while Joel & Misti relax & unwind on the resort beach and snorkel this area. The process of turning that reservation into an actual car takes 50 minutes at the airport. And we were first in line! From the airport we drive to West Bay - changing a flat tire along the way - just to do something different. Jerry smiles & says "it's nice to have a day of no boat projects, barograph tasks, software projects, tax prep & paperwork". We explore a bit then enjoy an excellent lunch at Hangover Hut. It's not far from the beach we walk mid-mornings when we're at West End. We'll be back: beach walk, lunch, beach walk back sounds like a plan if only we can get out of the marina & back to the West End. While waiting for our food we discuss options for getting the needed part if Joel isn't able to make it down. Jerry sends a text to Joel to get his status. Within a few minutes he gets a text back saying that they're in Seattle expecting to get Misti's renewed passport and are planning to catch tonight's red-eye to Houston. Good news!

We get back to Vida Dulce around 3:30pm. Jerry turns on the watermaker; we need full tanks for their arrival. Uh Oh, Problem. It's been working just fine; in fact we made water yesterday. A day without boat projects just went down the drain. To get at the watermaker, we have to move everything from the "garage" / forward port cabin to the guest suite; the freshly cleaned, bed made, etc. for Joel & Misti's arrival guest suite. Not crowding them out shortly after arrival is the silver lining to their delay. Jerry tests. He reads the manual, and tests some more. He calls Spectra technical support. They give him some additional things to test / try. At first it seems like it could be the feed pump, the one we had repaired in Cuba. This is a fairly large heavy piece of equipment; too heavy to air-ship down without breaking the bank. If this is the problem, Bad News. More testing reveals that the boost pump isn’t getting any voltage. Jerry calls technical support back with this update and is given a set of updated suggestions / options. He continues testing. One test reverses the voltage finding; the boost pump is getting voltage but not working. He calls technical support again however they’re now closed for the day. He’ll start on this again tomorrow morning.

We can work around the genset problems with marina shore power until we get the needed part. The water-making problem is trickier as there is no potable water available at this marina. Even the Tiki Palapa shower is straight salt water from bay. Potable water is delivered by a water truck.

For now we'll stick with the potential good news, Joel & Misti's planned arrival tomorrow.

Honduras Passport Requirement Surprise

22 March 2017 | Fantasy Island Marina Roatan, Honduras
Susan / mostly sunny, 84 degrees F
Joel & Misti arrive at SEATAC for their red-eye flight to Houston to only be turned away; Misti’s passport expires in 4 months, Honduras requires a minimum of 6 months on a valid passport. All that running around, packing, getting our packages fit into their suitcases… all for naught. Well, for tonight anyway. They’ll try to get her passport extended / renewed tomorrow.

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.
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