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
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 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
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: 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 - Galapagos Islands
Photos 1 to 118 of 118 | Adventures of Hiatus (Main)
Giant tortoise foot.
Giant tortoise. These guys can weigh as much as 300 kg (660 lbs), can grow to be 1.3 m (4 ft) long and live over 100 years. Oh yeah, they can also go without food for over a year.
Giant tortoise peering out from under a bush.
Tailless lizard.
Ryan Turner sports his latest gift, a soccer jersey and shorts so he can look just like the Ecaudorian team players.
Lava tunnels on Santa Cruz Island. Charles and Jenny give the picture some scale as these were long tall tunnels.
Iguana on Santa Cruz Island.
Kent makes himself at home at the hotel front desk in Santa Cruz. Couldnt resist the free internet connection.
Iguana on Santa Cruz Island.
Iguana on Santa Cruz Island moments before he fell out of the tree.
Pretty flower.
Puerto Aroya, Santa Crux Island.
Octopus in a hole, diving at Kicker Rock.
Fish at Kicker Rock.
Fish at Kicker Rock.
Charles diving at Kicker Rock.
Rock wall at Kicker Rock, the camera doesnt pick up all the amazing colors. There are a couple of fish hidden amongst the coral.
The Tunnels on Isabela Island.
Penguin on Isabela Island.
The Tunnels on Isabela Island. Really shallow waterway made from lava.
Kent watching the turtles swim at the Tunnels on Isabela Island.
Our panga boat among the Tunnels on Isabela Island. Our driver was amazing, he backed us all the way in barely missing lava and rocks by inches. Very skilled.
The Tunnels on Isabela Island. The water here was perfectly clear.
Really - do you need a sign when there is a visible pool full of sharks?
Sharks! And lots of them.
Sea lion nursing off of Isabela Island.
Sea lion, water iguana and red crab all enjoying themselves off of Isabela Island.
Lava lizard claws.
This was a HUGE iguana off of Isabela Island. Probably 4 ft from head to tail.
Iguanas all huddle together to stay warm, even in the sunshine. This is just a small pile of them, we saw piles twice the size.
Up close and personal.
Big ignuana again. I didnt like getting too close to them.
Coral that washed up onshore after El Nino brought warm than usual waters and killed the coral.
Blue footed boobies off of Isabela Island.
Street signs on Isabela Island. Each one was unique and gave the town character.
Star fish snorkeling off of Isabela Island.
Cool rock off of Isabela, it was covered with birds and sea lions but they didnt show up very well in the picture.
Baltra harbor on Isabela Island.
Penguins on Isabela Island.
Penguin on Isabela Island. Came right up to this one snorkeling and snapped a picture.
Penguins on Isabela Island. Came right up to this one snorkeling and snapped a picture.
Kent on his trusty horse for the ride up to a volcano rim on Isabela Island.
Only in the Galapagos ... Iguana crossing - slow speed traffic sign.
Heather on her willey horse getting ready to ride up to the rim of a volcano on Isabela Island.
Pink flamingo on Isabela Island.
Pink flamingo searching for food on Isabela Island.
Snorkeling Isabela Island.
Snorkeling Isabela Island.
Galapagos Eagle on Islabela Island.
Looking out over Isabela Island and the bay. It was a hot but great hike through volcanic lava.
This was a huge chunk of lava that was slipping away.
View of Isabela Island and the bay.
Heather with a view of Isabela Island and the bay in the background.
Crater of an active volcano on Isabela Island. The black part is new lava from 2005.
Crater of an active volcano on Isabela Island. The crater is huge, like 5 miles by 6 miles.
Cactus, these were huge trees almost, the truck looked like a tree and when you looked up you saw the cactus part.
Blue footed boobies and penguins off of Isabela Island.
Baby turtle at a breeding center. This guy was the size of your palm.
Lots of baby turtles.
Ok, really there is a shark in this picture. Saw lots of them diving at Gordon Rocks, off of Santa Cruz Island. Unfortunately they dont photograph very well with our outdated camera.
Fish at Gordon Rocks where we dove.
Fish at Gordon Rocks where we dove.
Kent doing his safety stop at Gordon Rocks.
Fish at Gordon Rocks where we dove.
Fish at Gordon Rocks where we dove.
Fish at Gordon Rocks where we dove.
Fish at Gordon Rocks where we dove.
Close up of Charles diving at Gordon Rocks.
Fish at Gordon Rocks where we dove.
Flying over Galapagos Islands.
Volcano on Floreana Island.
Turtle fly by.
Turtle swimming. This was off Floreana Island where we went snorkeling.
Tortoises eating on Floreana Island. It is as active as tortoises get.
Snorkling area off Floreana Island.
Sea lion sleeping on Floreana Island. He was belly up and loving life!
Sea lion on shore, came up from snorkeling and saw them on the beach.
Penguins on Floreana Island.
Pelican on Floreana Island.
Look - Boobies!
Iguana that just came in from swimming. They change colors during the mating season. This guys was ready to go!
Cool red plants growing in between rocks.
Pretty flower.
Red crab.
Blue footed booby. According to our book, these birds are so dumb that they will only move when stepped on.
Blue footed booby.
Face in the rock on Floreana. Nobody is sure who carved this but it
San Cristobal - Wind power!
View of the ocean from San Cristobal.
San Cristobal.
Sea lion feet.
Sea lion flippers. Thought they looked cool.
Kicker Rock where we snorkeled and dove one day through a giant split in the rock.
Kent poses with the public statue in San Cristobal.
Fresh water lake in the crater of a volcano on San Cristobal.
Crab, crab and more crab.
Cactus. This tree was about 15 feet high.
Sea lion and baby.
San Cristobal harbor.
Baby turtle at the breeding center on San Cristobal. Was the size of your palm.
Baby sea lion on San Cristobal. Tons of them came up on the beaches in the evenings.
Baby sea lion on San Cristobal. Too cute!
Baby sea lion on San Cristobal. These guys were the size of a small puppy dog.
Stairs going up to the viewpoint on Bartolome. Charles, Jenny and Ryan are starting to descend.
Sea lion with a lizard on his head on Bartolome Island.
Pinnacle Rock on Bartolome Island. The sand color on this island was a beautiful tan color.
Penguins sleeping on their bellies on Bartolome Island. They kind of blend in with the rocks but there are 2 there.
Kent snorkeling off of Bartolome Island.
Kent and Heather at the Bartolome lookout point.
Snorkeling off of Bartolome Island.
Snorkeling off of Bartolome Island.
Our boat for the day off of Bartolome. You can see a small volcanic crater underwater.
"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