Madcap Sailing

31 December 2018 | Gold River Marina, Nova Scotia, Canada
06 August 2018 | Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia
26 May 2018 | Gold River Marina, Gold River, NS
18 May 2018 | Gold River Marina, Gold River, NS
24 March 2018 | boat in Gold River, NS and crew in Halifax
22 May 2017 | Whittaker Creek, Oriental, NC
15 May 2017 | Boat in Oriental, crew in New Orleans and Nova Scotia
26 April 2017 | Oriental, NC
26 April 2017 | Oriental, NC
20 April 2017 | Ocean Isle Marina, Ocean Beach, NC at Mile 335.6
17 April 2017 | Dewees Creek, near Charleston, NC
14 April 2017 | St Simons Island
12 April 2017 | Fernandina Beach, FL
11 April 2017 | St Augustine, FL
07 April 2017 | Vero Beach, Florida
03 April 2017 | Ft Pierce, FL
30 March 2017 | Ft Pierce, Florida


11 January 2013 | El Tortugal Marina, Rio Dulce
Beth / shorts and T shirt
We started the day with gratitude - for a clean 15 passenger collective bus with good springs – and the16 passengers plus driver who were cheerful and smelled good. Such good fortune is no small thing when we were crammed (note: more bodies than seats) into this little bus for an hour of togetherness, travelling up hill and down with every bit of our luggage tied on the roof!

Our brief stay in La Antigua was a pleasant one too. We had a triple room at Hotel Aurora – just a couple of blocks west of Parque Central – and a lovely oasis of colour and calm in the hustle of the town. All the rooms here open onto the wide shady patio that forms the four sides of a flower filled courtyard, complete with tinkling fountain. The rooms are well lit, beds comfy, bathrooms modern with lots of hot water. One of these days we’ll try another hotel for comparison, but so far our pattern is: why mess with a good thing.

We have our son, Liam, with us for two months and enjoyed giving him a brief glimpse of this old town that has been reborn as a UNESCO heritage site, and is a destination for many tourists and language students. We revisited the Jades SA factory, museum and store on 3a Calle oriente where we bought a Tikal mask last year and confirmed our memory that this is the best Jade store to visit. (We toured another one with Sue and Terry in November, and while it was interesting, the guide was not as well informed and we felt more herded around with the hope that we would buy something.) Here, Carlos knew his jade (Jadite is found in Guatemala and Myanmar and is different from the Nephrite type of jade). All the workers were having a party that day so we didn’t see the factory in operation. While Carlos was helpful in the shop (and of course would have liked to sell us a piece of beautiful jewellery or a statue) there was absolutely no pressure and when the time comes for us to buy – this is where we will go. (A navigational note: Calles are streets, running east and west – oriente and poniente; avenidas are avenues and run north and south – norte and sur)

We toured the cathedral with Elizabeth Bell last year and received a thorough description of the ruins and what is being done for restoration, but we hired an on-site accredited guide this time. Unfortunately, his English for encouraging us to hire him was better than his English for guiding so we found him hard to understand, but he was serious about what he was doing and wanted to make sure we were all paying attention, and despite beginning every explanation that involved dates with “more or less” he always came up with a precise number. As we paid him the $10 US at the end of 40 minutes, he thanked us, asked if his tour was OK and said that he wants to do this as a service, not just a way to earn a living. While we could have wandered around on our own for just the $1 per person (foreigner) cost, we didn’t feel we wasted our money doing it this way. (But take Elizabeth Bell’s tour for a top notch experience)

Of course Happy Hour time found us at the now familiar Ocelot bar, where amiable bartender Dave recognized us and waved, dropping by with a question, “Have you been on your boat? I haven’t seen you for a few weeks.” It is always nice to be remembered! Liam and I visited the Antigua Tobacco Shop on Calle 3a poniente where he picked up a few cigars and we shared some good Scotch. Jim skipped this bit of entertainment because he is neither a scotch drinker nor a cigar smoker. Christa gave excellent advice to Liam regarding the merits of all the different cigars – Honduran, Cuban, Guatemalan among the assortment – and I just enjoyed the evening with my kid!

And as for food – we enjoyed two lunches at different Calle de Fonde Real locations – with every selection a success. I don’t think you can go wrong here. Our dinner at Fusion was less successful, with fish, pork and pasta that all tasted a bit off, a little less than fresh maybe, and service that was on the slow side.

We snagged a “good bus” this time for the trip to Rio Dulce and made an uneventful 6 hour trip east to the Rio, ready for the next stage of our trip back to the boat. It rained a bit as we drew near the coast but stopped before we reached town, and we arrived at El Tortugal with a mountain of dry luggage (3/4 of it boat parts and supplies) to hugs and “Welcome back” from familiar cruising folks.

Jim booked us into the Ranchito – an open air loft in the palapa down the wharf from where we have docked Madcap before – a whole new sleeping experience. It’s really cute and I’ll let you know how that works out – right now there is still loud music coming from the “general’s house” across the bay … and we have no walls.

But anyway, gratitude was our state of mind the whole day long – and the very most wonderful thing was all those sweet-smelling folks in a warm bus!
Vessel Name: Madcap
Vessel Make/Model: Bayfield 36
Hailing Port: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Crew: James D Bissell (Jim) and Elizabeth Lusby (Beth)
About: Beth and Jim have spent several winters sailing southern waters on s/v Madcap. They love Halifax in the summer, but loved to spend the winters exploring warmer places - the Bahamas, Cuba, Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras.
The Madcap crew left Ottawa in 2007 to go sailing in the Bahamas. After a highly successful year, they returned to Canada, settled in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and in the fall of 2009 they left to do it again! Journey #3 (2010/11) took them back to the Bahamas and then on to Cuba for several weeks [...]
Madcap's Photos - Mad Cap Sailing (Main)
19 Photos
Created 15 May 2017
20 Photos
Created 20 April 2017
62 Photos
Created 30 March 2017
11 Photos
Created 6 April 2016
13 Photos
Created 6 April 2016
5 Photos
Created 6 April 2016
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Created 9 March 2016
11 Photos
Created 9 March 2016
23 Photos
Created 25 February 2016
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31 Photos
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20 Photos
Created 19 February 2016
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51 Photos
Created 24 November 2015
12 Photos
Created 28 October 2015
16 Photos
Created 9 October 2015
24 Photos
Created 3 December 2013
our Oct/Nov 2013 trip to New Zealand
36 Photos
Created 22 November 2013
9 Photos
Created 20 January 2013
Guatemala pics starting Nov 22, 2012
43 Photos
Created 6 December 2012
54 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 8 November 2012
trip to Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park (via Las Vegas)
23 Photos
Created 4 November 2012
20 Photos
Created 1 November 2012
18 Photos
Created 12 February 2012
43 Photos
Created 29 January 2012
62 Photos
Created 19 May 2011
21 Photos
Created 19 May 2011
76 Photos
Created 19 May 2011
8 Photos
Created 19 May 2011