Cruising with Vida Dulce

16 January 2018 | Rio Dulce, Guatemala
15 January 2018 | Rio Dulce, Guatemala
12 January 2018 | Rio Dulce, Guatemala
11 January 2018 | Rio Dulce, Guatemala
10 January 2018 | Rio Dulce, Guatemala
08 January 2018 | Rio Dulce, Guatemala
02 January 2018 | Rio Dulce, Guatemala
01 January 2018 | Rio Dulce, Guatemala
29 December 2017 | Rio Dulce, Guatemala
28 December 2017 | Rio Dulce, Guatemala
25 December 2017 | Rio Dulce, Guatemala
23 December 2017 | Rio Dulce, Guatemala
21 December 2017 | Rio Dulce, Guatemala
20 December 2017 | Rio Dulce, Guatemala
15 December 2017 | Rio Dulce, Guatemala
14 December 2017 | Rio Dulce, Guatemala
04 December 2017 | Guatemala City
04 December 2017
21 November 2017 | Rio Dulce, Guatemala
20 November 2017 | Rio Dulce, Guatemala

Final Prep Work

16 January 2018 | Rio Dulce, Guatemala
Susan / cloudy & cool 74 degrees F
We work our way down our-leaving-the-marina checklist. The last of the shopping, cleaning, cooking, maintenance and repairs.

Speaking of repairs, yesterday I finally remembered to inspect the anchor bridle; I keep thinking about it and then forget to do the inspection before going on to other tasks or taking a shower or…. I’m glad I did. The bridle is half worn through on both sides where it connects to the anchor chain. I ask Jerry to take a look. We need to replace it. Today. Thankfully he locates the appropriate type and diameter at one of the chandleries this morning.

In the afternoon we disconnect shore water and power; clean & store the hoses and power cord. We reinstall all outdoor cushions. Vida Dulce looks good! I give Jerry a needed haircut in the marina palapa; he now looks good as well (LOL). We settle our marina account.

Tomorrow morning we’ll leave the marina for Cayo Quemado for the rigging work, which shouldn’t take too long. We’re not sure whether we’ll be at Tom’s dock or anchored in the bay so keep all lines & fenders handy. Weather in the Bay of Honduras is ugly ugly right now so when that work is complete, we’ll come back to the RioD and anchor in Shell Bay until we get a weather window we both like.

On the fridge front, Jerry confirmed with Giovanni that he can drive the fridge to the San Pedro Sula ferry for Q.2000 (US$ 278). Expensive, but an option if we take a wx window before it arrives here.

Prepping To Leave The Marina

15 January 2018 | Rio Dulce, Guatemala
Susan / cloudy & cool 73 degrees F
The latest cold front has passed, leaving us with cloudy, cool, breezy weather. Well…. I’m pretty sure I’m getting no sympathy from most at 73 degrees F. LOL Long-timers are complaining; they can’t remember it being this cool in a years. Good walking and working weather, I say!

Jerry’s last two packages arrive. Last, besides the bar fridge, that is. Rita is looking into possible ways to ship the fridge to San Pedro Sula (Honduras) as an alternative. Jerry is very pessimistic that we’ll hear good news on the 25th. I’m more optimistic and would like to wait here at anchor until then. It’s good to have a shakedown period, anyway. We had a couple of initial bites on the fridge (selling it) however neither of them have followed up with us.

Power is out here at Tortugal Marina (again!!) - power is out here frequently, even when Fronteras and the other marinas have power - so our scheduled Vida Dulce outside washdown is delayed to tomorrow morning. We’re still planning on getting out of the marina Wednesday morning to travel to Cayo Quemado for the rigging work. From there we’ll checkin with ChrisP on how the weather is shaping up in the Gulf of Honduras.

Upcoming Conundrum

12 January 2018 | Rio Dulce, Guatemala
Susan / fair skies, 86 degrees F
Five of Jerry’s 7 packages arrive today. As did our rigging materials. Jerry’s last two packages will be here early next week. And as expected, no news on the bar fridge although we have to ask anyway. Cayo Quemado Tom can do the work this coming week down there. Which presents us with a conundrum. What seems sure is that when we leave the marina for Cayo Quemado next week, we will not return to the marina. Whether we return to the RioD and anchor out until we hear about the bar fridge or just leave for Roatan (given a good wx window) is the question. If we can find a buyer for the fridge, the choice is clear. If we cannot find a buyer, do we really want to walk away from a nearly $1k equipment investment?

One alternative Jerry came up with is: when the fridge is delivered, rent a car in Roatan (Honduras) & take the ferry to La Ceiba (Honduras) and drive to Fronteras (Guatemala) to pick it up. One day there, one day back. But it appears that the Roatan-La Ceiba ferry is passenger only with limited cargo. Well, Jerry thought, he’ll rent the car in La Ceiba then. There’s the issue of the border crossing but he’ll have paperwork so presumably that wouldn’t be much of a problem. He mentions this plan to our dock neighbor, Luis, a longtime semi-permanent resident here who travels between Honduras and Guatemala regularly when Luis asks about our fridge status. Luis didn’t like the plan, for a number of reasons. So, scratch that.

I guess we’ll make the decision next week when the remaining packages have arrived and we know how the near to longer-term weather trend is looking from ChrisP.

Meanwhile we continue the getting-ready-to-depart process. Jerry did diesel maintenance yesterday; all 3 ready to go. He takes the outboard to the Yamaha dealer for it’s free break-in tune-up. He installs the new Harkin traveler end blocks. We schedule the final exterior cleaning of Vida Dulce with the marina guys for Monday. I draft a passage menu plan and start a final provisioning list. And so on.. It’ll be a busy weekend.

98 Days & Counting….

11 January 2018 | Rio Dulce, Guatemala
Susan / sunny, 84 degrees F
Jerry calls the Transcargo contact directly this morning; we can’t get much information from Rita (here in the RioD) lately. Of course the topic is what’s happening with the items held hostage by Customs. He’s told that she will not know anything until the 25th. The person handling it is on vacation until the 22nd. Holy Smoolley…. that’s 2 weeks from today before something is known! 98 days and counting….

We start actively looking at local options. As a part of our walk for exercise, Jerry looks at local fridges and takes the measurement of a possibility. It isn’t a DC capable fridge but Jerry could make a 120 V only one work. The fridge sitting in the Guate City warehouse is an US $800+ Isotherm marine AC / DC unit, the ones available here are household types, around US $200. He also calls Chris, the local refrigeration expert to find out if he knows of anyone needing a marine fridge that will be in the RioD for several more weeks or months. One option is to sell the one we’re waiting for to someone who’ll be here to pick it up, and buy something else locally or have one shipped to Roatan. Today’s possibility turns out to be a no-go; the measurement is fine width and depth but it’s a few inches too tall. It sits in a locker under the outside sink so too tall or wide or deep is a no-go.

Magnitude 7.6 Earthquake

10 January 2018 | Rio Dulce, Guatemala
Susan / sunny, 83 degrees F
A magnitude 7.6 earthquake struck in the Caribbean Sea between the coast of Honduras and the Cayman Islands last night (Tuesday night) shaking the mainland and causing officials to post tsunami warnings around the region. Some here - 20+ miles up the river - felt the earthquake. As did our friends who have a house in northern Belize. No reports of tsunami waves encountered, and the warning was dropped this morning. We have several friends at anchor in Belize and in Roatan (Bay Islands, Honduras), and three boats are underway to Roatan today; everyone breathing a sigh of relief that a wall of water is not headed their way.

Waiting For Packages

08 January 2018 | Rio Dulce, Guatemala
Susan / sunny, 81 degrees F
Now that the US East Coast storm is easing, several packages are in route to us - replacement Harkin traveler end blocks, the needed rigging materials, items required for Jerry to complete the prototype of the new product and start testing, and our mail. Estimated arrival in the RioD is sometime next week.

In other news:
Late last week, Freedom Rigging got back to us; they need to take additional measurements before they can quote the materials. I know they’ve been working on a boat at Bruno’s so the delay is understandable, however they did promise a faster turnaround on the quote. They also have plans to leave the RioD in the near future and not return. Jerry tells them that we’re going to make-do this season, closing the conversation with them. For several reasons I’m glad we are going with Cayo Quemado Tom on the near term fixes. For one, the needed materials are already ordered.

There is movement on the Guate Customs confiscated partial shipment. Transcargo has supplied all required additional paperwork and Customs has agreed to release it. No date yet. Hopefully we’ll know by the end of the week. As frustrating as this has been for us, we know of a boat with a set timeframe to get to and through the Panama Canal who has been held up these 95 days as well because their radar is part of the confiscated items. They are frantic at this point; they cannot go without radar. To make their schedule (and meet their friends flying down from EU) they will need to go directly to Panama, bypassing enjoying the Bay Islands, Providencia, San Andres, and the San Blas; going direct to the Canal regardless of weather when they pick up & install their radar. A difficult situation. We feel for them, they’re a nice couple. We can only hope all items arrive soon, and that the weather calms down enough to allow them safe passage.
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 - 2017 Rio Dulce
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