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 - Honduras - Caribbean side
Photos 1 to 61 of 61 | Adventures of Hiatus (Main)
George our gecko. They say if you find a gecko onboard it is good luck. We are not sure how he came to us, either stowed away in our backpack or groceries that we brought onboard but we like him as he eats all sorts of little bugs. He does seem to frighten us though as he shows up in the oddest of places. Last place we saw him was dropping out of the fridge when the door opened. He was in a cold daze and we are not sure how he even got in there in the first place!
Roatan – West End area. Seems you can never have too many sunset pictures.
Roatan – West End area. Two stories here – First we are with a fantastic couple we met from Colorado who were in Roatan for a vacation. We ended up spending quite a few evenings with them over dinner or drinks sharing stories. Second story is of the bar itself – The Crooked Palm. When we were in Barefoot Cay Marina (with our friends Dane and Steph visiting from Portland) we parked next to a nice yacht with the owners onboard, captain and his wife. When we left Barefoot Cay they were talking of buying an establishment in West End. A month later we returned to West End and found that they had just opened up The Crooked Palm. It is a great little bar, fun people who own it and we wish them luck!
Cayos Cochinos - BIG scorpion.
Cayos Cochinos - Kent saves the day with a meat pounder and cutting board. The scorpion does not survive.
Kent with his birdie friend, who would sit inches from his head.
Kent and Heather at sunset.
Sunset in Roatan.
Panga tour of Roatan. We met a couple who work on a mega yacht at Parrot Tree Marina. One calm day the 4 of us set out on the yacht
Mangroves line some of the islands boat traffic areas that allow the locals to get from town to town instead of the more traditional road on land.
Parrot Tree - Kent waterskiing. Not bad when the last time was 20 years ago.
Parrot -Tree - Heather waterskiing. It took a few tries to get up but then it all came back from 15 years ago.
Conch. The shells are so pretty and conch fritters are tasty but the conch population in Roatan is way overfished. We came across a huge pile of discarded shells from locals who use a knife to kill the conch through the shell and then pull out the meat. The shells are then useless and left to become part of the beach.
Eastern side of Roatan.
Roatan waters are beautiful - colors fade into each other. This picture doesnt quite do it justice but you get the idea.
Cayos Cochinos - Sunset.
Cayos Cochinos - Glimpse of the reefs from a point along our jungle hike.
Cayos Cochinos - Heather in front of a
Cayos Cochinos - Lighthouse at the end of our hike. This sits a top Isla Mayor which is where we were on a mooring ball for 5 days. Good hike up to the lighthouse through the jungle but disappointing we couldnt climb to the top of the lighthouse and get a really good view from on top.
Cayos Cochinos - Hiatus.
Cayos Cochinos - Hiatus.
Cayos Cochinos - Kent in the dinghy, the waters were so clear here.
Roatan - View from Coco View Dive Resort. They are located in French Harbor and is a place we would return to on vacation in a few years for diving.
La Ceiba - Gotta love this street sign.
La Ceiba - This butterfly museum had a collection from over 100 countries and row upon row of beautiful butterflies in boxes. They also had some of the most unusual and scary bugs we have ever seen.
Roatan - Bar sign.
La Ceiba - Classic electrical set up for Central America. It is a box nailed to a tree with about 15 extension cords running into it. Not covered from the rain or sun and surely would not pass any code in the US - but it works just fine.
Jungle River Lodge - This is where we stayed and went white water rafting from. The scenery was beautiful.
Jungle River Lodge - Kent is on the left hand side in a blue shirt watching a zip liner go across the river to the other side where the rest of the group is waiting.
Rio Cangrejal - This is where we went white water rafting. The river is a natural boundry for a National Park so the entire area was beautiful and a rainforest (minus the rain).
Parrot feathers are just spectacular, could not resist a close up picture.
Another parrot picture. This one bit so taking pictures was a bit of a challenge.
Parrot Tree Resort and Marina - They have a nice sheltered bay set up ready to go once the condos are all finished here.
Our boat is torn apart like this for a single project. All tools come out, parts are of course stored in the worst possible area so things are pulled out to get to other things that are behind the front things and then of course it is such a small space there is nowhere to work! Classic moment here, if only we took a
Parrot Tree Resort and Marina - Foot bridge leading to rows of palm trees with tables around them. Perfect spot on a sunny day!
Do not know what it is about hybiscus, just cant seem to get enough pictures of them everywhere we go.
Parrot Tree Resort and Marina - Beautiful tile work.
Roatan - Steph waves hi to everyone!
Roatan - Kent diving.
Roatan - One of our dive boat with West End Divers. All the dive sites are 10 minutes or less from shore which is nice. Pretty amazing diving here in Roatan despite the crappy underwater pictures we get, the colors are really powerful in reality.
Roatan - Giant sea sponge, this one is probably 5 ft wide. We have seen some as big as 10 feet tall and over 200 years old.
Roatan - Underwater this is bright bright neon green coral. The design was kind of interesting.
Roatan - Sea turtle with sucker fish type things hitching a ride.
Roatan - Sunset at Sundowners Bar.
Roatan - Kent, Steph, Heather and Dane waiting for the sun to set.
Roatan - Where there are tourists there will be cheesy beach salesmen.
Roatan - We witnessed a huge rainbow  on our passage from Columbia.
Roatan - Other side of the the rainbow.
Roatan - Diving at Marys Place, which consists of a huge canyon. A few places we had to wiggle through single file.
Roatan - Diving at Marys Place. The canyon is almost completely covered with sea fans and so we were single file through it.
Roatan - This lobster was big, although the picture didnt turn out well.
Roatan - Mango Creek Resort. This is where we pulled into the first night in Roatan. We entered at dark, barely missing the 2 reefs on either side of the entrance. We know better than to try to go into an anchorage at night that we have not been to and we were lucky not to get in trouble entering this one.
Barefoot Marina - Dane snorkeling.
Barefoot Marina - Kent, Dane and Steph prep for snorkeling in the protected reef around the marina and resport.
Barefoot Marina - The palapa and view of their protected reef.
Barefoot Marina - Kent relaxing.
"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