Journeys on Jacob's Ladder

10 December 2018 | Halifax
10 December 2018 | Norfolk, VA
20 July 2018 | 32 46.350”N:080 03.797”W
16 May 2018 | 24 33.725'N081 48.138W United States
01 May 2018 | Isla Mujeres
01 May 2018 | Guatemala
29 September 2017 | Rio Dulce
29 September 2017 | Placencia Belize
29 September 2017 | Cayos Cachinos Honduras
29 September 2017 | Belize
29 September 2017 | Merida Mexico
29 September 2017 | Isla Mujeres Mexico
29 September 2017 | Trinidad Cuba
28 October 2016 | Santiago De Cuba
20 May 2016
20 May 2016
20 May 2016
20 May 2016
02 March 2016 | Rodney Bay

New York to Halifax

10 December 2018 | Halifax
Judy Hart
New York - Halifax

It turned out to be a lovely afternoon sail to New York harbour. The fog rolled back and the sun came out (it is a beautiful site to see) and we dropped anchor right next to Lady Liberty herself. We only spent the night here (too many ferries back and forth) and timed the East River and motored to Port Washington first thing in the morning. Its always busy here but they have lots of free mooring balls available. We had just shut the engine down and the Police boat arrived with two custom agents on it, they were very nice, checked our paperwork and then told us we still had to call in, apparently the greatest country in the world but no one communicates with each other, eye roll. This is a great spot to stop as well. The Publix has a big dinghy dock, liquor stores and lots of places to eat. There was a festival going here and everything was set up on the city dock. When we were here in 2014, we had anchored at 49th st basin but it was on Sept 11, and we thought it was not a good time to visit the 911 memorial. But we realized we would not be back here for awhile so we decided to take the subway into the city and have a look.

I must say I'm not a big city girl, I could care less about all that busy vibe, but I am glad I went. The 911 memorial was beautiful but very sad, so many lost lives, even the unborn. They do have a total of 7 buildings now, a couple of huge shopping centres underground, but I couldn't wait to leave.

We left the hustle and bustle of the city and arrived back on JL in one piece and the next day set sail for Mystic CT. We were getting tired by then, everything is becoming a blur, in a rush trying to get home. I was glad to get to New Port, RI. It is one of my biggest sailing towns I'veever seen. The boats here are absolutely stunning and I love to just sit and watch them glide through the ocean under full sail.

Our next stop was Madapoisit for fuel and an overnight to time the Cape Cod Canal for the next day. We travelled through the Cape Cod Canal at noon the next day and anchored in Plymouth. We were going to try and stop in Boston, but decided against it and instead headed to Glocester MA. We had gotten an email from Anchor Group wondering when we would be home. I guess we had the job, yay, but now it was not fun, we were doing long days, not a lot of sleep, but there was an end game. We arrived in Portsmouth, NH mid morning, a lot of tide here so we had to take a mooring ball. It was a nice little marina, a nice gentleman came and and offered us help if we needed it, went back to his house and raised the Canadian Flag, another couple apologized for there president. This is a beautiful little town with old historical houses everywhere, its just lovely to get off the boat and walk around to take in the views.

We left Portsmouth and headed to Booth Bay, ME we had talked about doing Province town but we didn't have the right weather or angle. This place is a tourist town for sure, lots to see and do but a bit on the pricey side for sailors, but you are able to anchor here. We stayed here for a few days waiting on a weather window, this was our jumping off point to Canada.

We left Booth bay for an over nighter to Yarmouth, NS, it was a pretty good crossing, it was a nice clear night but damn it was cold. I remember the radio crackling to life about 2am while i was on watch, it was the Canadian Coast guard and I must say I did do a Happy Dance. We arrived in Yarmouth around 2pm, it was good to be tied up in Nova Scotia. Two days later we headed to Lock Island. We didn't go ashore here as they had not yet put their docks in the water so we just rested for the evening. We were getting anxious, so close but not there yet. We set sail the next morning and headed to Lunenburg, where we were greeted by Laurie and Steve from SV Cactus. It was so great to see them. An hour later Dave from At Last, showed up with Greg fromm Wish Wind II to sail the last day back to Halifax with us. But us being all sailors we went out for dinner and cocktails, but you know how that goes. We hadn't seen each other for two years and had a lot of catching up to do. The captain and I left the next morning with Dave who was a bit under the weather from the previous evening activities. We didn't actually sail until we were coming in the harbour, but oh it was good to be going by the waterfront on our Tupperware, New York – Halifax

It turned out to be a lovely afternoon sail to New York harbour. The fog rolled back and the sun came out (it is a beautiful site to see) and we dropped anchor right next to Lady Liberty herself. We only spent the night here (too many ferries back and forth) and timed the East River and motored to Port Washington first thing in the morning. Its always busy here but they have lots of free mooring balls available. We had just shut the engine down and the Police boat arrived with two custom agents on it, they were very nice, checked our paperwork and then told us we still had to call in, apparently the greatest country in the world but no one communicates with each other, eye roll. This is a great spot to stop as well. The Publix has a big dinghy dock, liquor stores and lots of places to eat. There was a festival going here and everything was set up on the city dock. When we were here in 2014, we had anchored at 49th st basin but it was on Sept 11, and we thought it was not a good time to visit the 911 memorial. But we realized we would not be back here for awhile so we decided to take the subway into the city and have a look.

I must say I'm not a big city girl, I could care less about all that busy vibe, but I am glad I went. The 911 memorial was beautiful but very sad, so many lost lives, even the unborn. They do have a total of 7 buildings now, a couple of huge shopping centres underground, but I couldn't wait to leave.

We left the hustle and bustle of the city and arrived back on JL in one piece and the next day set sail for Mystic CT. We were getting tired by then, everything is becoming a blur, in a rush trying to get home. I was glad to get to New Port, RI. It is one of my biggest sailing towns I'veever seen. The boats here are absolutely stunning and I love to just sit and watch them glide through the ocean under full sail.

Our next stop was Madapoisit for fuel and an overnight to time the Cape Cod Canal for the next day. We travelled through the Cape Cod Canal at noon the next day and anchored in Plymouth. We were going to try and stop in Boston, but decided against it and instead headed to Glocester MA. We had gotten an email from Anchor Group wondering when we would be home. I guess we had the job, yay, but now it was not fun, we were doing long days, not a lot of sleep, but there was an end game. We arrived in Portsmouth, NH mid morning, a lot of tide here so we had to take a mooring ball. It was a nice little marina, a nice gentleman came and and offered us help if we needed it, went back to his house and raised the Canadian Flag, another couple apologized for there president. This is a beautiful little town with old historical houses everywhere, its just lovely to get off the boat and walk around to take in the views.

We left Portsmouth and headed to Booth Bay, ME we had talked about doing Province town but we didn't have the right weather or angle. This place is a tourist town for sure, lots to see and do but a bit on the pricey side for sailors, but you are able to anchor here. We stayed here for a few days waiting on a weather window, this was our jumping off point to Canada.

We left Booth bay for an over nighter to Yarmouth, NS, it was a pretty good crossing, it was a nice clear night but damn it was cold. I remember the radio crackling to life about 2am while i was on watch, it was the Canadian Coast guard and I must say I did do a Happy Dance. We arrived in Yarmouth around 2pm, it was good to be tied up in Nova Scotia. Two days later we headed to Lock Island. We didn't go ashore here as they had not yet put their docks in the water so we just rested for the evening. We were getting anxious, so close but not there yet. We set sail the next morning and headed to Lunenburg, where we were greeted by Laurie and Steve from SV Cactus. It was so great to see them. An hour later Dave from At Last, showed up with Greg from Wish Wind II to sail the last day back to Halifax with us. But us being all sailors we went out for dinner and cocktails, but you know how that goes. We hadn't seen each other for two years and had a lot of catching up to do. The captain and I left the next morning with Dave who was a bit under the weather from the previous evening activities. We didn't actually sail until we were coming in the harbour, but oh it was good to be going by the waterfront on our Tupperware,New York – Halifax

It turned out to be a lovely afternoon sail to New York harbour. The fog rolled back and the sun came out (it is a beautiful site to see) and we dropped anchor right next to Lady Liberty herself. We only spent the night here (too many ferries back and forth) and timed the East River and motored to Port Washington first thing in the morning. Its always busy here but they have lots of free mooring balls available. We had just shut the engine down and the Police boat arrived with two custom agents on it, they were very nice, checked our paperwork and then told us we still had to call in, apparently the greatest country in the world but no one communicates with each other, eye roll. This is a great spot to stop as well. The Publix has a big dinghy dock, liquor stores and lots of places to eat. There was a festival going here and everything was set up on the city dock. When we were here in 2014, we had anchored at 49th st basin but it was on Sept 11, and we thought it was not a good time to visit the 911 memorial. But we realized we would not be back here for awhile so we decided to take the subway into the city and have a look.

I must say I'm not a big city girl, I could care less about all that busy vibe, but I am glad I went. The 911 memorial was beautiful but very sad, so many lost lives, even the unborn. They do have a total of 7 buildings now, a couple of huge shopping centres underground, but I couldn't wait to leave.

We left the hustle and bustle of the city and arrived back on JL in one piece and the next day set sail for Mystic CT. We were getting tired by then, everything is becoming a blur, in a rush trying to get home. I was glad to get to New Port, RI. It is one of my biggest sailing towns I'veever seen. The boats here are absolutely stunning and I love to just sit and watch them glide through the ocean under full sail.

Our next stop was Madapoisit for fuel and an overnight to time the Cape Cod Canal for the next day. We travelled through the Cape Cod Canal at noon the next day and anchored in Plymouth. We were going to try and stop in Boston, but decided against it and instead headed to Glocester MA. We had gotten an email from Anchor Group wondering when we would be home. I guess we had the job, yay, but now it was not fun, we were doing long days, not a lot of sleep, but there was an end game. We arrived in Portsmouth, NH mid morning, a lot of tide here so we had to take a mooring ball. It was a nice little marina, a nice gentleman came and and offered us help if we needed it, went back to his house and raised the Canadian Flag, another couple apologized for there president. This is a beautiful little town with old historical houses everywhere, its just lovely to get off the boat and walk around to take in the views.

We left Portsmouth and headed to Booth Bay, ME we had talked about doing Province town but we didn't have the right weather or angle. This place is a tourist town for sure, lots to see and do but a bit on the pricey side for sailors, but you are able to anchor here. We stayed here for a few days waiting on a weather window, this was our jumping off point to Canada.

We left Booth bay for an over nighter to Yarmouth, NS, it was a pretty good crossing, it was a nice clear night but damn it was cold. I remember the radio crackling to life about 2am while i was on watch, it was the Canadian Coast guard and I must say I did do a Happy Dance. We arrived in Yarmouth around 2pm, it was good to be tied up in Nova Scotia. Two days later we headed to Lock Island. We didn't go ashore here as they had not yet put their docks in the water so we just rested for the evening. We were getting anxious, so close but not there yet. We set sail the next morning and headed to Lunenburg, where we were greeted by Laurie and Steve from SV Cactus. It was so great to see them. An hour later Dave from At Last, showed up with Greg fromm Wish Wind II to sail the last day back to Halifax with us. But us being all sailors we went out for dinner and cocktails, but you know how that goes. We hadn't seen each other for two years and had a lot of catching up to do. The captain and I left the next morning with Dave who was a bit under the weather from the previous evening activities. We didn't actually sail until we were coming in the harbour, but oh it was good to be going by the waterfront on our Tupperware, as the old sailors called it when we started on this journey four years ago, but they are eating there words now. In that four years we have travelled to the West Indies, Central America a total of 15000 nautical miles. We have over 55 stamps in our passports. The Captain, First Mate and boat kitty have lived a dream.

To be continued after we plan our next adventure!

Norfolk to New York

10 December 2018 | Norfolk, VA
Judy Hart
After transitioning the lock from the Dismal Swamp, we reached Hospital Point early afternoon. On our way we noticed that the little hurricane hole (Deep Creek) that we had sheltered in for a big blow on the way south is now surrounded with a new sub division, and is no longer an anchorage.

We headed over to the downtown area for some free docks but no luck there although Mark and Elaine on "See Ya" were tied up, but we ended up anchoring just out side the Marina. We all got together that evening for some cocktails and dinner. We ended up leaving next morning for Chisholm Creek, but the other two boats were still hanging for a few more hours, too much partying the night before lol.

As we were leaving Norfolk harbour, we saw the HMCS Ville du Quebec, so of course the captain hailed them on the radio They were headed to Halifax, much faster then us by the way, and told us the entire bridge crew all aspired to be like us one day.

The next morning we got up all excited because we had a telephone interview with Anchor Living in Halifax. This would be a turning point in our lives, a new chapter so we were hopeful. The interview went really well and all we had to do now was have a criminal background check and references completed. While we were doing this the other 2 buddy boats had caught up and moved on ahead of us. We all got to Deltaville later in the day, it was sad arriving here as this was where Maggie, Steve and Joey, would haul out and head home to Indiana for a few months, the end of our journey with them.

Deltaville is not a big town, but is surrounded by Marina's. They do have courtesy vehicle here that you can take for a day at a time, which was really convenient as we had running around to do. All 6 of us hitched a ride into town one night for dinner and the cook brought us all back to the marina. Nice to see there are still good people around.

We stayed in Deltaville for a few nights and we were dreading saying good bye to SV Blessed. They have been great friends for the past two years and we had a great time ending drinks and dinner on JL. But it was time to move for us, as the weather was warming up a bit and we still had a long way to go. We also left Mark here promising us he would catch up and continue on to Canada with us. He did make it to Maine eventually but due to the weather being a little to chilly for his thin Florida blood he never did make it across the gulf.

We moved on alone and made it to Solomon's Island. This place was very busy but we did not go ashore, we only stayed one night we wanted to get to Annapolis, to see Debbie and Steve on Delphinia. We hadn't seen them since Belize the year before. It was our third time here and we love this place, its walk-able, and a naval town. Loads of bars and restaurants. Deb, Steve and Libby came and got us, took us out shopping and then went for the best Bloody Mary's in town.

We anchored around our usual spot in Spa Creek but someone complained we were too close to his property. The Harbormaster guys came and measured saying we were fine so we didn't bother moving. Not sure why someone would buy a big piece of property on the water with hundreds of boats anchored or moored, if you didn't want to see them. Anyhow after a couple of days we headed on out to Chesapeake City, it was a very dismal foggy morning and there was a fishing tournament on we almost ran into a Boston Whaler. We didn't go ashore here, just stayed overnight and sailed out to Cape May NJ. This is another beautiful town, lots to see and do and we ended buying a painting for what would be our new home. We fuelled up and left for Sandy Hook in fog that was thick as pea soup, we could hear the horns but could not see a thing. It was miserable wet and cold and we didn't dare turn off the radar. Six am we stopped in Sandy Hook for breakfast and a quick snooze and then decided we would just head on out to New York, NY.

ICW - Dismal Swamp

20 July 2018 | 32 46.350”N:080 03.797”W
Judy Hart
After leaving Beaufort we headed on up the ICW to Charleston with Mark and Elaine on See Ya. We had a day of thunderstorms and ended up anchoring just off the waterway in one of the many creeks. Because Mark had left early he was a couple of hours ahead of us and we lost radio contact so we used the internet to communicate. We had actually caught up to him but he was in a different anchorage. We were swinging badly during the thunderstorms and got really close to the bank, so we decided to move out in the open and then found See Ya.
Following morning we got up to find See Ya already gone. Mark always seems to have a bee up his ass. The rain had cleared and it was a beautiful day so we headed out too. We had not gone too far when the engine oil light came on. The captain had a look and it seemed as we were leaking oil. We put more in but within minutes it was all gone. We shut the engine down and had to anchor right in the middle of the waterway. A couple of boats did stop by to see if we needed help or if they could call anyone, but a little breeze came and we decided to pop the sail. We ended up making it to a boat yard called Ross Marine, on John’s Island.
Andy went up to the office and they arranged to contact a Westerbeake dealer but it would be a few days before they could come to the boat. Ross Marine was kind enough to let us stay on the dock as long as necessary at no cost. It’s a boat yard so there are really no facilities; it is a 3 mile walk to the grocery store and the town. Mark and Elaine rented a car and did come pick us up and show us around. Mark had lived near here for several years and worked as a pilot. It was just across the bridge from Charleston and we got to hang out and have some fun. Maggie and Steve finally caught up to us and waited for us to get the repairs done. The mechanic showed up after a week and installed a new oil pan and raw water pump. The oil pan took almost a full day. It was quite costly but as you know everything on a boat usually is.
Once the work was done we then left with Blessed for Georgetown and two days of motoring up the ICW. Georgetown is a touristy place with just bars and restaurants on the main street. The following day we headed outside at 4:00am for Cape Fear to hook back up with Sea Ya. This is a hopping place but the last time we were here it was the fall so it was not busy. There is not a lot of anchorage space but we were able to get along side at one of the restaurants, The Provision Company, which offers free docks if you eat there and if it’s not the weekend, allowed us to stay overnight.
We all went out for dinner and drank our faces off. One of the six of us, not me, fell off the dock into the ocean ha ha, but was able to get back out with some help (that was a cold dunk as we were now in North Carolina). Lots to see here, everything is accessible and you can walk to Wal-Mart and ABC liquor or it’s a cheap Uber ride.
After a fun few days we headed on to one of our favorite places Oriental, NC. All three boats were here and had a great time. This is a very cruiser friendly place, some free dock space, a marine store where you can get most anything, also they have free bicycles you can you. I did use one but did a face plant on the road, few scratches nothing serious, pride was hurt as a paramedic pulled up to see if I was okay. You can also call the Piggly Wiggly and they will come in there SUV and pick you up and take you shopping at there store and bring you back to the dinghy dock. There is also a really good dollar store here very well stocked. Two ex Cruising friends stopped by to have dinner with us, Sheena and Kinsley off Almost There, which has now been sold. Tinka, Bill and Cora off, Proud Mary, we met them all on our way to Grenada and spent hurricane season with them there.
From Oriental we went to Elizabeth City with an overnight stop in the Alligator River. Elizabeth City had the Potato Fest on this time around, which was really fun with some great live bands and cheap food. It’s always free docks here, nice walk to the grocery store and second hand places.
Left here with Blessed and headed to the Dismal swamp, you must do a lock but this is a must do if you have not done it, it’s a very narrow channel with tall trees on both sides lots of wildlife to be seen. It takes two days to get through, we were going to stop at the welcome center but it was full, about 6 miles further you will come to a dock alongside the highway rest stop that you can tie up too. You have to be very careful doing the swamp as there are some dead heads, with some shallow spots. I was driving at one point and intent on looking out at the water and forgot to look up and took out a few large overhanging branches with the mast. The captain was not impressed with me but oh well shit happens. We stopped for the night and he had to go up the mast and retrieve the mess of trees, fortunately nothing was broken. The next morning we all left and headed to hospital point in Norfolk, VA which is the end of the swamp.

United States Part 1

16 May 2018 | 24 33.725'N081 48.138W United States
Judy Hart
United States Part 1

24 33.725'N081 48.138W

We arrived to Key West early morning just after day light, it was a little on the cool side and a shock to our systems after the heat these past 3 1/2 years. We checked into A & B marina, which was a really cool spot but on the pricey side. The anchorage was out the question as the wind was extremely high and big chop.

We checked into customs and it was not a big deal at all, took a walk around this very scenic town, it had a ton of shops, restaurants, bars and lots of tourists. After two days we headed to Marathon to meet up with Nice Tri, Viva and where Todd would head to the airport for the trip back to Canada. While we were here we managed to attend the Fish Festival and hang out at the legion. The dingy dock here is quite expensive but there is no place to go ashore without it. Facilities were decent, nice showers, coin laundry and within walking distance to the Publix, Home Depot and other big box stores.

We hooked back up with our buddy boat Blessed and headed on up the Keys, but on the way Steve took ill and had to be flown to Miami. With Steve and Maggie at the hospital, Andy and i took over looking after Blessed, the animals. We sat here for 5 days before they were able to get back on board, Steve wasn't feeling great but well enough. After a couple of days of rest he was ready to carry on, we stopped at No Name Harbour and then headed onto Miami Beach. Sadly here Maggie and Steve lost there beloved little puppy "Fancy" to heart disease.

Over the next few days we continued north only stopping overnight to anchor, we then made it to Vero Beach where we hooked up with Paul and Laurie, on Imagine Squared. They came out and picked us us to visit with Laurie's parents, they hosted us foran Itailian Easter dinner, i have to say i have never experienced anything like this. It was a five course meal, which was prepared by mom Maureen, and Paul and her dad kept the red wine flowing. We will hook back up with these guys in Acetonic.

we carried on to Saint Augustine, one of our favourite places, caught back up with Viva, and Sea Ya. The weather was a little better here but still on the cool side, so we stayed a few days in the anchorage and then headed on out to Brunswick, GA where we were going to hook back up with some Newfoundland sailing friends Paul and Mary on Genesis 11. We had an uneventful trip, the seas were pretty good and we managed to sail most of it, we arrived at 7am where our friends met us for breakfast.

Brunswick Landing is a beautiful marina, lots of boats here, free wine, beer and laundry, what more could you want, we stayed 5 days and did some touring around, took a day trip into old Savannah which was lovely. Mark on See Ya turned up and stayed for 3 days as well. The town of Brunswick is small but very quaint, it is a must see and easily walk able. We left here and headed onto Beaufort, SC, we had stopped here on our way south and loved it so much we thought we just had to stop on our way back. While we were on our way here we had heard from one of our friends on Viva, the cater man had dragged and sunk, Bobs sailing days were over. It was sad to hear as we had know him quite awhile and he had been on the water for 17 years.

After Bob headed back home to Tucson, Elaine his crew hopped on See Ya to continue the journey north with us.


Belize To Mexico

01 May 2018 | Isla Mujeres
Judy Hart
Belize to Mexico
20 30.000'N:087 13.383'W

We had a good run to Texan Bay, decided to stay one night in the anchorage, but the next morning got ready to haul anchor and the water pump failed, ugh, again more boat problems, pulled it out and the guys worked on it, used JB Weld for the repair. They then hitched a ride to Livingston with Susimi, they decided to go ahead and clear out. The following morning we got the hook up and crossed the bar, and headed to the next anchorage.

The following day we left for Placentia, it was nice to see the old gang at Yolis', we only stayed here overnight and then headed on to Sanctuary Marina where we fueled and topped up our water tanks, the next day we headed out to Aye Caulker, only stayed here for a night, but there was a tragic accident the following night, a Canadian friend of ours was dinghy back to his boat with his son after dark, and got run over by a water taxi and suffered life threatening injuries, he was flown back home where he eventually passed away. Always have lights on your boat after dark or it can be very tragic.

We headed on up to San Pedro to spend the day as Blessed was here previously and didn't get off there boat. We went ashore and showed them around this busy little tourist town, had a lovely meal and went to the Sharky's marine store. This is a lovely store you can get most everything here, we purchased new speakers.

The next day we left early we had big seas and a beat all the way to Xclak, this is a beautiful little village in southern Mexico, it is a tight entrance in through the reef only do in daylight hours. There is a dive center here with a nice bar and restaurant with good wife called XTC.

Then it was onto Chinchilla Bank, Cayo Norte, it was a beautiful day with great sailing, this is one of our favorite stops it has crystal clear water surrounded by reef, good snorkeling or diving. There is a navy base on the island, they did come to visit us, four in all, three came on the boat to do an inspection, one guy spoke really good English. No hassles from them very friendly looked at our paperwork and took a photo of the captain and I. They did tell us that they are busy chasing drug boats through here.

The next day we left at 2pm, as we were doing an overnight-er to Puerto Adventures, we wanted to get in around 8ish, after the sun came up. We had a great night of sailing actually had to slow down, we arrived just after dawn, called the marina several times but no answer, so we took the chance of entering here, it was extremely busy, lots of powerboats and charter cats. This marina is somewhat different then most. It is a big concrete wall that goes right around a condo village, it is huge. We finally got a hold of Jerry who came in a golf cart and got both vessels tied up. No facilities hi other then water and electricity. The place is full of restaurants, shops, pharmacies and Dolphin Discovery,
only WiFi is from a restaurant. The rate here is only $19.95 per day, so we stayed for 3, it was the Captains 55 birthday so we decided to stay and celebrate, we even got to eat a turkey dinner as it was American Thanksgiving as well. There is a nice walk from the marina out pass the golf course to a big Chedrui, next to the highway. It only takes about half an hour and it is all shaded.

25 miles up the coast is Puerto Morolos, we stopped here before, we did have some confusion when we arrived and anchored where we did the previous time, but they came out and made us move to the other side of the big ferry dock, no reason was given. After a night of cocktails ashore we headed out to our favorite place, Isla Mujeres, it was another beautiful day of sailing and we were happily greeted by our old buddy boat Molly J, he was lovely enough to make us his famous chicken curry. It was great to be back home. We spent 3 ½ months in Isla, visiting old friends, and making new ones. It went by quickly, Christmas was a blur, but we did get to have some turkey at the lovely Topaz restaurant on the Caribbean side. One of the nicest things about our second trip here was the captain was feeling great and we were able to get out and explore along with some volunteering at the Isla animal shelter for dogs.

One of the nice things about the shelter is if you adopt a dog, they will neuter and spay, which I had the opportunity to help out with, also West jet will fly the dog any where it fly's in North America for free.
Our friends on Blessed, adopted a 7 month old long haired Chihuahua named Fancy, she is about 5 lbs and a heart melter.

We did get to see the Mayan ruins on the South end of the island, it was interestingly, lovely walk but a little on the small side, you have a great view of the hotel zone in Cancun here. We also got to do some of the music festival that was in February. We also spent a lot of time with the lovely Luis, the owner of the cruisers fave Scorpion Bar, it was great to see the bar doing so well.

We did have some family come and visit on New Years week, but sadly the weather was kind of wet and chilly. As the months passed by the weather got warmer and the island got busier with all those vacationers coming for the day from Cancun. But as March rolled in it was time to move on North, we had crew fly in from Canada, our friend Todd joined us to do the 3day crossing. Our buddy boat left a week before us as they had some priorities in the US, that needed there attention. We managed to get anther buddy boat for the Crossing, Selin and Dennis on Nice Tri who we knew from the Rio.

We set off around 2pm to head across the Gulf, we figured it would take at least 60 hours, we had a lovely crossing for the first 2 days, no one got sea sick, but the captain did come down with a nasty head cold. We had hoped to stop in the dry Tortuga's, the national park but that was not to be, the wind came us, got a nasty squall, and ended up going North East, we were beating and taking on a lot of water, so we changed course and headed to Key West, once we changed it got a lot better, however we did lose contact with our buddy boat, it so happened they did stop at the Tortuga's. We arrived early the next morning and we were all excited to be back in the USA.

Guatemala Part 2

01 May 2018 | Guatemala
Judy Hart
Rio Dulce, Guatemala
15 39.420,N:88 59.740'W

The lazy hot days of August was starting to take a toll on my mind and body, I couldn't wait to change marina's, I was going stir crazy. September rolled around and we moved Jacob's Ladder to Nana Juana, just across the river about ½ km. So first day new marina to explore new friends to make.

We checked out the place and was pleasantly surprised that they had a nice palapa where we could hang our hammocks and also a lap pool along with a yoga room, I knew the next three months were going to be better for me. There were not a lot of live aboards here, a couple that had been on the dock for 4 yrs, and another one for over a year. Most people had left there boats and headed home for the season, but mid September they started to come back.

Over the summer we had meet two lovely locals from the community who ran Hacha marina, Anna and her sidekick Oscar. They were trying to get cruisers to come by and have a drink, so we started advertising it on the net, having karaoke night and some other little events. The little marina started to come to life and Anna was very happy, Oscar loved to help everyone with there needs if we needed anything he was our goto guy. At the same time we were still volunteering with Pass It On, at one point I was afraid we weren't getting our boat work done.

By mid September we had decided it was time to get the boat ready, we hired our friend Roberto and got JL back in shape, the time was flying by now as I was busy again, lots of laps in the pool, yoga I was feeling like my old self again. We also started doing regular shopping trips with the help of Oscar, people were starting to need hardware stores and provisions for the next season.

By the first of October we had stopped volunteering, our time of departure was coming up really fast only 6 more weeks and so much to do. Maggie and Steve on Blessed had left the San Blas and were headed up our way to connect with us for the trip north to Mexico. In the meantime I was really enjoying Nana Juana, along with Zoe as she was tethered for 2 weeks but we were convinced by others to let her roam and we did, she hardly left the palapa, she loved all the attention of the local cruisers.

On Oct 10th, we headed to Puerto Morolos for our regular shopping bus trip, there were about 12 of us along with our guy Oscar, he didn't seem to be his usual happy self that day, we asked if he was okay, he assured us he was, we knew he was suffering from a terminal disease. I was feeling concerned and so was the captain. On the way back from the trip he asked Andy if he could sit by the window, he was feeling nauseous, he slept most of the way back. When we arrived we had to help him out of the van, I asked him if there was anything I could do for him and he said yes please help me to the bathroom. I did, then I heard him puking, so I got Andy to check on him he had collapsed and was coughing up blood. I got Anna to call the ambulance, he didn't want to go but we insisted, we said goodbye to him and we assured him that he would be back tomorrow. We got the call that evening, he had passed at 7:30, our little wonderful friend was gone from us forever.

It was a very sad sad time for us all especially the captain and Anna, they had become great friends, we all relied on him for so many things. That night Andy and some of the cruisers gave the family the money to get his body released from the corners office. The next day his family who lived right next door under the bridge notified us that they were having a wake. We were a little surprised as he never mentioned his extended family, he only ever talked about his mom and sister in the states. About 15 of us got together and headed to the wake, at which, to my shock, his father was introduced to us, he looked identical to his son. His friend Jerry a US Marine, told us a bunch of stories of all the good things that Oscar had done for the community, he said if he had not had so many demons from his earlier life he would have been considered a saint, wow who knew. The next day at the funeral, Andy had met his mom and aunt who had flown in from California, she had one request for us. She wanted his crypt to be painted black along with a black cross, she said it was his favorite color, of course the captain said yes not realizing how we would finance this. The funeral was very sad, we all said goodbye to that wonderful little guy, and told him we would see him on the other side, the captain ended up being the only gringo to carry his coffin.

The next day on the net Andy put out a call for donations to help pay for his headstone and paint, we were overwhelmed with the response everyone gave what they could afford, we ended up with over $2300.00 Q, one of his friends donated a piece of granite. So with the money and the granite we got the ball rolling, we had it encased with stainless steel along with the cross on it, the captain and I provided the paint, so on Oct 31, Andy and two of our friends went to the cemetery and got it all done, November 1st is the day of the living in this country, so all the families visit there loved ones. Oscar did know he was dying, he was diagnosed over 2 years ago, although he never complained or talked about, he however had said what he wanted written on his headstone.
We did receive a note from his sister and mom through Anna, they thanked us for everything and said that Oscar was very lucky to have so many friends that loved him.

Halloween was here and there were lots of parties, we started at the Shack, then Mar and on to Backpackers, it was a lot of fun, the captain even took second place for his costume of Caesar. We met the cockpit guys from Canada who were a real hoot. Hope to see those guys again.

It was November 1st only one week to go, and we were headed out, so exciting. We headed down to Morgans Manor to wait for Maggie and Steve to arrive. They got here ahead of schedule and we were very happy to see our old buddy boat. We then headed back to Shell Bay and decided to anchor, oh to be on the hook again was a real joy. Larry on Star Stream wanted to take us out to dinner, so we headed out to the new Dream Catchers restaurant, it was lovely. Then to give us a big send off Larry and Anna threw a going away party at Hacha Marina. The place was packed, lots of hugs and goodbyes we had not realized how many friends we had made here in the last six months. The next morning we had hauled anchor and did a pass by for Anna who was on the dock in tears, we knew we would never forget this place and we are really happy that we made it to this beautiful country.







Vessel Name: Jacob's Ladder
Vessel Make/Model: Beneteau Oceanis 381
Hailing Port: Halifax, NS
Crew: Andy and Judy
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Jacob's Ladder's Photos - Getting Ready

Who: Andy and Judy
Port: Halifax, NS