26 December 2014 | Guatemala
Dear readers, you may be curious about the adventures and welfare of Hekla after 18 months of an inactive blog. Not to worry, Hekla is well but the adventures have been moderate, at least in comparison to the first 18 months. I have postponed plans to cross back to the Pacific while Zia sorts out her interest in that sort of thing, and we became involved in a couple of construction projects, a figurative anchor in Colorado, and spent the intervening time going deep in the exploration of the Belize reef systems. After Nick and I layed-up Hekla in the Rio Dulce of Guatemala in June of 2013, Zia and I returned in December of that year. We spent a few days touring Guatemala, including Antigua near the modern Guatemala City, and the Mayan ruins of Tikal. These were lovely visits, and we enjoyed the kindness of the Guatemalans and their easy-to-understand accent in Spanish. Eventually we got to the boat, aired things out, ran a bunch of maintenance, then made our way to Belize, arriving on Christmas Eve and a very jolly customs and immigration office (this is the same office that boarded Hekla with 8 armed officers 15 months earlier when I declared that I was arriving from Columbia). Weather was unstable, typical for November and December, and we suffered some monstrous squalls that rolled us and enjoyed the brutal beauty of those that passed nearby. We made our way to my favorite Glover's reef, where we snorkeled and made arrangements for dive training for Zia later on. Zia returned to Colorado after the first of the year and I sailed to Mexico to check out some new dive territory.
We returned in March with Kati and Zach, where Zia and Kati completed their dive training at Glover's Atoll Resort. Somewhere in there I soloed to Utila Honduras for more diving. The reefs there were fairly devoid of fish, no wonder after the immigration officer bragged that no fishing licenses were required in Honduras!
Back in Guatemala for the summer, I relocated the boat to a new marina with a great two-man crew who treated Hekla to weekly ventilation and regular maintenance. When I returned in November of 2014, she was in fantastic clean shape free of mold! A rare treat in the tropics.
I suppose the adventure in this is hanging out in one place for a while, quite unusual for me. I have a nice set of safe passages through uncharted coral mazes, a list of favorite snorkel and dive spots, and know my way around Placencia and Rio Dulce. I confess, I have the itch to move on. Does the US allow its flagged boats to visit Cuba yet?