Adventures of Hiatus

08 June 2009
31 May 2009 | Portland, OR
14 May 2009 | Seabrook, Texas
13 May 2009
12 May 2009 | Texas
11 May 2009 | Gulf of Mexico
10 May 2009 | Gulf of Mexico
08 May 2009 | Gulf of Mexico
07 May 2009 | Mexico
01 May 2009 | Mexico
27 April 2009 | Belize
22 April 2009 | Lighthouse Reef, Belize
21 April 2009 | Lighthouse Reef, Belize
17 April 2009 | Cay Caulker
08 April 2009 | Belize
29 March 2009 | Lighthouse Reef, Belize
27 March 2009 | Honduras
16 March 2009 | Honduras
09 March 2009 | La Ceiba, Roatan
04 March 2009 | Roatan, Honduras

Hiatus Wrap Up

08 June 2009
Heather and Kent
We came up with a few bullet points from our trip to wrap up the Hiatus blog. Enjoy!

• Number of churches Kent had walked into and didn't combust: we stopped counting after Mexico where we visited at least 20 churches and Kent had still survived.
• Guest with the most hours spent on Hiatus: Glenn Belshaw - El Salvador to Ecuador, Panama Canal to San Blas Islands, Mexico to Texas.
• Countries visited: Canada, US, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Costa Rica , Panama, Ecuador, Peru, Belize, and Colombia.
• Miles logged: over 8,000
• Number of times boarded unexpectedly by the Navy: 6 (1 time in Canada, 1 time in the US, 4 times in Mexico)
• Most expensive item lost overboard: pair of $100 sunglasses - two different pairs.
• Best fishing: Baja Coast, Mexico. Had to pull in the lines after the freezer was packed to the top with yellow fin tuna and mahi mahi.
• Average number of books read: 104 for Kent (based on 1 book per week), way less for Heather.
• Most unusual item purchased: bull scrotum in Zihautenejo, Mexico. They make them into baskets that hold pens and other office supplies.
• Number of electronics that couldn't stand up to 2 years of use in a sailboat: 2 hard drives, 1 GPS, 1 laptop, 1 AIS receiver.
• Best place for a local lunch: Ecuador at $1.50US for a large bowl of soup, beef/chicken/fish, beans, rice, small salad and a big glass of fresh juice.
• Nicest hotel room for $15US a night: Galapagos.
• Best deal on Tangaray gin: Copan Ruins city, Honduras at under $10US a bottle.
• Most frightening moment traveling inland: Bus ride from Quito to Guayaquil in Ecuador. It was 10 hours of single lane winding roads through the Andes as speeds exceeding 50 mph.
• Best trade: $5US for 2 ginormous fresh lobsters delivered to our boat in the Sea of Cortez.
• Best snorkeling: Cayos Cochinos, Honduras. It is a small group of islands between mainland Honduras and Roatan.
• Best diving: Roatan, Honduras. Yes, we thought it was better than Belize.
• Best country for ice cream: Panama. Think we just got lucky and found an outstanding gelato place.
• Favorite city: Cartagena, Colombia. Walled city, forts and some wonderful architecture made this our favorite.
• Best place to see wildlife up close and personal: Galapagos Islands.
• Items we learned are sold in all grocery stores in each country we visited: Pringles chips and Coca Cola.
• Food items that were almost impossible to find outside the US: chocolate chips and beef jerky.
• Favorite ruins: Kent: Copan ruins in Honduras. Heather: Tikal in Guatemala. Machu Picchu was amazing and a class of it's own.
• Favorite place to anchor: San Blas Islands, Panama. Small palm tree covered islands, Kuna Indians, the remoteness and the clear waters made this a place we could have spent months exploring.
• Cannot cruise without items - Kent: internet antenna to access all those unsecure networks out there, Heather: ipod to make it through the night watches. For Hiatus: a Rocna anchor to keep us secure in the nastiest of storms and an AIS receiver so we have the details of surrounding commercial traffic (name, speed, closest point of approach, length etc).
• Worst cruising moment - Kent: violent food poisoning in Mexico, and from a really nice restaurant not the local street meat. Heather: Being bit by a very scary dog in Honduras while on a run.
• Best cruising moment: Anytime we were not working on maintaining or repairing the boat. We had heard that the definition of cruising was "working on your boat in exotic locations" and can now attest to the truth of that definition.
• Most frustrating inland traveling moment: Traveling 10 hours on a red eye midnight chicken bus to Tikal in Guatemala. We decided a plane ride was in order for the return, regardless of the cost.
• Worst boat project completed: cleaning out the hoses that run to/from the head and holding tank.
• Number of blog posts: 67 (give or take a few)
• Most unusual local food we came across: Guinea pigs (Ecuador).
• Number of books aboard that were supposed to teach us Spanish: 4. Number of weeks in Spanish classes: 4. Amount of Spanish we have retained: 4%.
• Most comical moment: A small town in Mexico where we attended a full blown Mexican wrestling event. Kent and another cruiser bought wrestling masks and jumped in the ring prior to the real event and showed off their WWF moves. It was quite impressive and had both cruisers and locals cheering as they body slammed each other!
• Visitors from home that came aboard Hiatus: Brittany and Mike (Oregon), Bob, Doug (Kent's dad) and Paul (Oregon to Washington), Laura (Heather's sister) (Washington), Charles (Oregon to California), Brittany and Mike (Los Angeles to Catalina Island), Kelly and Oscar (Catalina Island, CA), Dane, Stephanie and Dave (San Diego to Cabo San Lucas), Sandy and Doug (Kent's parents) (Puerto Vallarta, MX), Brittany and Mike (Barra de Navidad, MX), Laura (Heather's sister) and Justin (Barra de Navidad, MX), Charles, Jenny and Ryan (Ixtapa & Ztown), Glenn (Nicaragua to Ecuador), Bob and Glenn (Panama Canal to San Blas, Panama), Lara, Joe and Cobin (San Blas, Panama to Cartagena, Columbia), Dane and Steph (Honduras), Glenn (Mexico to Texas, USA).
Inland travels with: Kerry, Amy and Wyatt (Peru) and
Charles, Jenny and Ryan (Ecuador).
• Best exchange: 2000:1 in Columbia. We were millionaires every time we saw our ATM bank statement receipt with the balance in pesos.
• Most unusual item found aboard Hiatus: A gecko.
• Best sail: 4 days from Ecuador to Panama - all sails, no motor.
• Number of seasick experiences: Kent: 0. Heather: lost count.
• Number of people we have met who have shaped our cruising experiences and lives for the better: countless.

Thank you to our families and friends for supporting our adventures, to those fellow cruisers we crossed paths with and to those who followed our blog.

"Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover" - Mark Twain

Back in Portland

31 May 2009 | Portland, OR
Heather
Hiatus is still in Texas for sale but we are now home in Portland, OR. In just a few days we found hurricane insurance for the boat, bought a used car (Subaru wagon), packed everything we owned into it and headed for the Pacific Northwest. With over 2,000 miles to drive we stopped to enjoy the company of friends in Texas, Colorado Spring and Denver.

We are now in the process of moving back into our house, Kent is drumming up business again as a real estate broker www.kentsisk.com and I am searching for a job. We are grateful to our renters who took great care of our house and yard and we will reunite with our dog this week, who has been living it up at friends house these last 2 years.

Portland is unseasonably warm right now so the weather feels like it did when we were on the boat, but life is certainly different - as Kent says, he misses jumping off his house(ie Hiatus) and into the water.

We will post a few cruising recap emails shortly.

Back in the USA!

14 May 2009 | Seabrook, Texas
Heather
As Kent mentioned in his position reports, we had great wind our first day out of Isla Mujeres, Mexico. Unfortunately it shut off and we motored the other four days of our trip. The passage was quite uneventful but it was still very nice to have crew so that everyone got 6 hours of sleep each night (or at least in theory could try to get 6 hours sleep each night). Coming into Texas is a bit crazy, there are hundreds of oil rigs offshore to avoid and lots of shipping traffic - we love our AIS receiver and radar which help us locate where everything is and where it may be going!

We arrived in Galveston Tuesday afternoon but by the time we got checked in with US Customs we would not have enough daylight to make it to Seabrook so we stayed the night, had a fantastic dinner out and a great night sleep. Wednesday morning Joe jumped aboard and we headed to our dock spot at Seabrook Marina. Joe is the previous owner of Hiatus (well, it was Crimson Tide when he had the boat) and exudes that famous southern hospitality. It was great to have him aboard and share the short trip to Seabrook with him. We pulled into the same dock we first saw the boat at in December 2006, talk about coming full circle and back to where we started!

The next few days will be filled with the local boat show we are a part of with our broker, finding a car to buy and getting back in the swing of things - activating cell phones again, job hunting, etc.
We noticed that most of the areas we have seen here have rebounded quite quickly from last year's Hurricane Ike. It is amazing though that the streets we were standing in where covered with over 10 feet of water at one time. It should be said that not everyone has been fortunate to recover so quickly and there are constant reminders of the power a hurricane can inflict on homes, buildings, streets and the landscape.

By the way, it is over 90F during the day here and we are really looking forward to summer in Portland.

Picture is of the biggest flying fish we found on our boat. Usually they are just small ones that land on the deck.

Glenn's Guest Blog

13 May 2009
Glenn Belshaw
The final leg of SV Hiatus two year voyage was an uneventful 600+ mile, 4+ day passage for Cancun to Galveston Island, Texas. Before departing Cancun I had hoped to visit some of the Mayan Pyramids but, fear of the next world pandemic had closed the sites to tourist. We were able to leave Cancun before the World Health Organization had a chance to close Mexico because of Swine Flu fear. If you've had thoughts of cruising in the Gulf of Mexico keep this in mind, there's nothing there but Oil Rigs and Freighters, we saw one sailboat during the trip. Once in Galveston we saw the results of Hurricane Ike which hit the Galveston, Houston area last Fall. Talking to the locals it had a very devastating effect on the low lying areas; the entire area is low lying. The high light of the trip was a ride on a wooden roller coaster, it seems, our Skipper (Kent) has no interest in riding things that move quickly and make shape turns. I guess that's why he's such a good sailor.

I'd like to congratulate Kent and Heather on completing a trip most people only allow themselves to dream about and to thank them for inviting me along to share parts of their adventure.

-----------------------

Thank you Glenn for joining us along the way in our adventures! We appreciate your willingness to do night watches, help in some repairs and of course offer us your seasoned sailing advice. Our passages from Nicaragua to Ecuador, through the Panama Canal to San Blas and from Mexico to Texas were a lot more fun with you aboard! When you have s/v Medicine Man ready for cruising know we will be there to return favors. :-> -K&H
Vessel Name: Hiatus
Vessel Make/Model: CT-47
Hailing Port: Portland, OR USA
Crew: Heather and Kent Sisk
About: Email: sisk@svhiatus.com Skype: svhiatus
Extra: "Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover" Mark Twain
Hiatus's Photos - El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala
Photos 1 to 52 of 52 | Adventures of Hiatus (Main)
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Barillas area, El Salvador - We hiked into the jungle to meet this man who has been watching after a family of 20 or so wild monkeys over the years. Here he hand feeds plantains to a mother with baby clinging on her back.
Barillas area, El Salvador - Monkey showing off.
Barillas Marina - Fishing fleet.
Barillas Marina, El Salvador - Yickes!  It is expensive to fill up with 150 gallons of diesel in Central America.
Barillas Marina, El Salvador - Flowers are everywhere and the landscape is beautiful.
Barillas area, El Salvador - Woof! I am a skinny jungle dog.
Bahia del Sol, El Salvador - Exiting the bar. Photos do not due our crossing justice - it was a bit of a roller coaster.  Photo courtesy of Moody Blues.
Bahia del Sol, El Salvador - Exiting the bar. Photos do not due our crossing justice - it was a bit of a roller coaster. Photo courtesy of Moody Blues.
Bahia del Sol, El Salvador - We came back from our inland travels to hundreds of bees inside our boat. They were getting in through a small hole in our cockpit and starting a hive somewhere inside our boat. Fun and games for Kent and Heather. Luckily they were not aggressive.
Bahia Del Sol, El Salvador - An ex Canadian started this beachside English school. Kids can attend for free after they put in their half day at the local school.
Captian Kent prepares to follow a panga pilot into Bahia del Sol, El Salvador.
Bahia del Sol (El Salvador) has a couple of photogenic macaws.
The chicken bus - Central America is where yellow US school buses find their 2nd life. Most are given some flare with bright paint on the exterior and packed to the max with locals.
Tikal Temple V - This was an amazing view from atop this 180ft temple that is currently under restoration. It dates to around 768AD.
Tikal Temple V - As you can see the temple extends way higher than the forest below. Unfortunately the picture doesnt due the height and view justice.
Tikal Temple IV - View from atop Temple IV, also knows as the Temple of the Two Headed Snake. Simply a spectacular view.
Stairs at Temple IV - In order to see the amazing view from the top you have to brave these stairs. You climb up and down as you would on a ladder they are so steep and narrow.
Tikal - Exterior remains of a palace. You have to use your imagination when you are looking at the ruins as to what it truely looked like.
Tikal - Here is a great example of how the jungle overtook the city of Tikal. Of course alot of it has already been removed but you can see the depth and destruction that can occur from the roots and vines.
Tikal Grand Plaza - We are atop Temple II (Temple of the Masks) looking towards  looking towards Temple II (Great Jaguar).
Tikal - Kent scrambles up one of the sets of stairs in the North Acropolis. The steps in Tikal were built steep and tall - not for the unfit!
Tikal - Temple II (Great Jaguar). Visitors can no longer climb this temple but it doesnt stop it from being one of the most photographed ruins in Tikal.
Tikal - North Acropolis.
Tikal - Grand Plaza and Temple II (Temple of the Masks) as seen from the North Acropolis.
Joya de Ceren Ruins, El Salvador - Mayan house that was preserved under layers of volcanic ash.
Joya de Ceren Ruins, El Salvador - excavated ruins from the village that was covered in ash. No bodies have been found  although the people left behind utensils, ceramics, furniture, and even half-eaten food in their haste to escape.
Landscape in El Salavdor.
Cashews - Carlos shows us how a cashew grows. It is the part on the top of the fruit.
Copan Ruins, Honduras - View of the plaza.
Copan Ruins, Honduras - classic stelae. Copan is known for the large number of stelae.
Copan Ruins, Honduras - Sacrificial alter. Here is where scarifices took place and the blood was collected to offer to the Gods.
Copan Riuns, Honduras - Ballcourt. Winners of the game were sacrificed to the Gods - the highest honor.
Copan Ruins, Honduras
Copan Ruins, Honduras - View of the surrounding Honduras landscape.
Copan Ruins, Honduras - The ceiba tree, with its sharp rose like torns. This tree will loose its thorns as it grows to over 200ft tall. It is the national tree of Guatemala and had significant importance to the Mayan as they believed the tree reached to heaven and the roots to the afterlife.
Antigua, Guatamala - Woman carrying her items, quite the common scene on the streets.
Antigua, Guatamala - Arco de Santa Catalina. This structure allowed nuns to pass between different sections of their convent without stepping into the street.
Antigua, Guatamala - Guatemalan women outside an artesian market.
Antigua, Guatamala - Colorful streets of the city.
Antigua, Guatamala - Tuk Tuks are popular modes of transportation in the city.
Antigua, Guatamala - Young Guatemalan girl.
Antigua, Guatamala - View of the Volcan de Agua from our hotel.
Antigua, Guatamala - Meet the faces behind s/v Moody Blues! Gene and Susea are from Friday Harbor, WA and have become wonderful friends.
Antigua, Guatamala - Fountain Fuente de las Sirinas was designed in 1738 and serves as the center of the Parque Central. Cathedral in the background.
Antigua, Guatamala - This cathedral was built in 1743 but multiple earthquakes have left this as well as most of the Colonial buildings in Antigua in ruins.
Antigua, Guatamala - Cathedral ruins.
Antigua, Guatamala  - Cathedral ruins.
Antigua, Guatamala - Churchfront.
Panga with some flare!
Sunrise one morning during our crossing from Mexico to El Salvador.
Thunderheads approaching - On our way to El Salvador. Photo courtesy of Moody Blues.
Sunset during our crossing from Mexico to El Salvador.
 
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"Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover" Mark Twain