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 - Ecuador
Photos 1 to 89 of 89 | Adventures of Hiatus (Main)
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Farewell to Bahia de Caraquez. George and Jan give us 3 horns from the conch shell as the auto ferry passes by.
Bahia - Parade day, military.
Bahia - Parade day, military.
Bahia - Parade day, military.
Bahia - Parade day, military dog tricks.
Bahia - Parade day, each school in the region participates.
Halloween 2008. Thanks to our friends Kelly and Oscar who brought hats to us on Catalina Island, CA this pirate hat has gotten alot of use.
Tuners and Sisks in Banos. We are in front of a large waterfall, similar to Multnomah Falls. We hiked down and then endured the hike back out in the hot sunshine.
Charles, Jenny, Ryan and Heather take the sketchy cable car across the gorge to see a waterfall. Kent declined the ride and elected himself as official picture taker.
Banos - Waterfall next to the hotsprings and visible from our hotel room. Reminded us of Multnomah Falls out in the Columbia Gorge.
Banos - One of the many waterfalls along our bike tour. This one could be visited by getting in a basket like contraption over the river on some well used cables.
Banos - Rain soaked but enjoying our self guided 20 mile waterwall bike tour.
Banos - The infamous hot springs of Banos. There were 4
Banos - A lone woman washes her clothes in the basins that catch water from the nearby waterfall. It is common in this area for many people to gather to do laundry or fill containers for drinking water to take back to their homes.
Banos - Unfortunately we didnt hike up early enough in the day before the clouds came in but you can see the city is settled in a small valley between.
Cotopaxi - Heather hiking at 15,478ft. Cotopaxi is the worlds tallest active volcano.
Cotopaxi - this is where there should have been a fantastic view of the valley but the weather did not cooperate.
Overlooking Quito from Volcan Pichincha at 13,400 feet above sea level. For reference Mount Rainier in Washington is 13,210 ft so we were way high up there!
Another view of Quito from Volcan Pichincha.
Quito - Warnings at 13,451 ft above sea level when we rode up the Teleferico. Basically it says
Quito - Looking down on the rooftops in Quito shows you just how packed in of a city it really is.
Public restrooms in Ecuador are free to use but if you want toilet paper you better carry dimes!
Home security - not so easy to climb over this wall with all the broken glass sticking straight up! This is very common in Ecuador.
Halfway up our climb of the Basilica belltowers with the Virgin of Quito statue barely visible in the background.
View of northern Quito from atop the Basilica bell towers. We climbed some pretty sketchy ladders to get here but the view was worth it.
Gargoyles on the very ornate Basilica in Quito are all animals from Ecuador. Lots of condors, turtles, monkeys etc.
Large stainglass inside the Basilica in Quito.
Inside the Basilica in Quito with light shining through the doorway.
The Basilica in Quito. This place was huge and obviously we loved it from all the pictures we took of it.
The Bank building in Quito at night.
The Virgin of Quito statue, also known as El Panecillo. She is 134ft tall and sits on a large hill in Quito where she can be seen by just about everywhere within the city.
Middle of the World - Kent straddles the Equator line.
Middle of the World - Heather straddles the Equator line.
El Mitad del Mundo (The Middle of the World) just outside of Quito. The orangish line is the Equator.
Ingapirca Ruins - The largest remaining structure is the temple of the sun, an elliptical shaped building that was positioned so that on the solstices, at exactly the right time of day, sunlight would fall through the center of the doorway of the small chamber at the top of the temple.
Sunset at the Ingapira Ruins.
Ingapirca Ruins - largest Incan ruins in Ecuador located north of Cuenca. Llamas roam freely around these ruins.
Ingapirca Ruins - Had to get a picture of the llamas.
Andes - Beautiful view from our van as we headed up the Pan American Highway north of Cuenca to Alaus.
La Nariz del Diablo (The Devil
The Devil
The Devil
Local children with their primary mode of transportation in Alaus - an alpaca perhaps ...
Town of Alaus where we caught the train for The Devil
Cuenca - the new cathedral which is the centerpiece of the town. It was built from 1885 to 1899.
Cuenca - just outside the entrance to the new cathedral.
Panama Hats in Cuenca at Homero Ortega P. & Hijos.
View of Cuenca from Banos, which is a few miles outside of Cuenca.
This is the town of Banos, which is a few miles outside of Cueca. It is a small colonial town with wonderful hot springs to relax in.
Church in Chordeleg. Chordeleg is a small town about an hour bus ride from Cuenca.
Market day in Gualaceo (Sunday), a small town next to Chordeleg. Fruits, veggies, beef, fish, soup, eggs etc and all very fresh.
Market day in Chordeleg (Sunday). The market here was smaller market than the one in Chordeleg. Local women sell the materials that are used to make Panama hats, which are leaves of the toquilla straw plant.
Church in Cuenca.
Cuenca has some beautiful colonial style buildings.
San Francisco church in Cuenca.
This is 1 of the 4 rivers (named Ro Tomebamba)which flows near Cuenca. On warm days local women do their laundry in the river and lay the clothes out on grassy river banks to dry.
The old church in Cuena, which was renovated for the 1985 visit of Pope John Paul II to Ecuador. Construction of this building began in 1557, the year that Cuenca was founded. In 1739, it was used as a triangulation point by La Condamine
Heather takes part in a cleansing at the local market in Cuenca just as the locals do. You see here a medicine woman hitting her with a bouquet of local plants and herbs.
After the hitting the medicine woman spits a combination of alcohol, herbs and flowers onto specific areas of the body (one was the face!).
Heather smiling even after being beat with plants, repeatedly spit on and had a cross painted on her forehead.
Flower market in Cuenca. Ecuador hsa the perfect climate to grow all sorts of flowers throughout the year.
The Church of El Carmen de la Asuncin in Cuenca which was founded in 1682.
Local artisans selling their garb in Cuenca. Wool or llama scarfs and sweaters are popular.
Dog hiding out in a cart near Chordeleg.
View of Guayaquil from atop Cerro Santa Anna (after climbing 444 steps). Guayaquil is Ecuador
Guayaquil - Lighthouse atop Cerro Santa Anna.
Guayaquil - Plaza de Honores is a new chapel atop Cerro Santa Anna but it is modeled after the original from 1841.
Guayaquil - Las Penas neighborhood which has undergone a major renovation. This area winds up from the river to atop Cerro Santa Anna and consists of revitalized homes that are 400 years old. Great area to explore in the evening as there are lots of small bars and restaurants.
Guayaquil - Parque Seminario a.k.a Iguana Park. 100s of 5 ft long iguanas call this park home.
Guayaquil - Parque Seminario
Guayaquil - Cathedral across from Parque Seminario.
Guayaquil - Kent walks along the Malecon 2000 which is a large waterfront walkway and one of the cities greatest renovations in recent years. There are shops, food, play structures, art sculptures, fish ponds and gardens intertwined along this walkway.
Guayaquil - Cool garden along the Malecon 2000 waterfront.
Guayaquil - La Rotonda statue along the Malecon 2000 walkway that celebrates South Americas great liberators - Jose de San Marin and Simon Bolivar.
Guayaquil - Parque Centenario. This is a large 4 block park. An army band plays one evening below a giant statue which is called
Bahia de Caraquez - This is a view of the anchorage from atop a giant cross that is erected on the hillside overlooking the town of Bahia. Typical marine layer weather on the day we hiked up the hillside.
Bahia de Caraquez - View of the town of Bahia which sits on a peninsula. Half of the high rise buildings are unoccupied and in disrepair from a major earthquake that hit in 1989. The high rises that were repaired are 2nd homes for wealthy families from Quito and other larger cities.
No joking, gas is $1.48US per gallon right now in Ecuador. Diesel is even cheaper as you can see. Gas is highly subsidized in Ecuador and can only be sold to citizens of the country.
Thank you Glenn for helping us to bring the boat to Ecuador. We owe you!
Crossing the Equator! Red line on the screen is the equator, red blob is our boat, lat/long is listed in upper right hand corner. We were going too fast to get the exact location to read: 000degrees/00minutes/000seconds.
Offshore 200 miles on the way to Ecuador and we dont catch a single fish on the line but find this little one that somehow made it onto our deck.
Bahia de Caraquez, Ecuador - Arriving at our home for a few months. Boats are shown anchored off the town of Bahia.
Isla Corazon, Ecuador -  We took a canoe trip through the mangroves one day. Isla Corazon is a heart shaped island that is home to mangroves and many species of birds.
Dock at Isla Corazon, Ecuador
Isla Corazon, Ecuador - Male frigate bird. Their red neck balloons up to attract females.
Isla Corazon, Ecuador - The island is home to one of the largest frigate bird populations in South America.
Isla Corazon, Ecuador - Kent and Glenn check out the wildlife on our canoe trip.
Isla Corazon, Ecuador - Crab among the mangroves.
Rio Crone, Ecuador - Pangas anchored outside the city of San Vicente. Yellow covered boat is the ferry that goes back and forth to Bahia de Caraquez.
 
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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