A Week Flies By
04 February 2014 | Fantasy Island Marina, French Cay Harbour, Roatan
Beth / mostly sunny and windy
So what does a week on Fantasy Island look like? Well … a few boat chores, chatting with the neighbours, lots of eating at home and at local restaurants, some music, book reading, movies and grocery shopping – kind of like at home except we add in swimming and snorkeling… oh yeah and it’s 28 C here!
Our first try at a fridge fix didn’t work so Andy came back on Monday with his gauges to test for a leak. He found it inside the icebox, added more refrigerant, and when that still didn’t work, he hooked up a vacuum to suck air out of the system and voila! We have ice again! He charged us a very reasonable price and we can highly recommend Cool Wind (near BoJangles). At a swap meet here at the marina the next day, Jim bought a set of gauges and 2 cans of coolant so if this happens again he will be equipped to deal with it. We are hoping however, to sell them unused at a swap meet sometime in the future!
It rained for another couple of days meaning not much beach time for us, but we made up for it by getting together with friends for delicious meals. The cruisers enjoyed a Mediterranean potluck at the Tiki Palapa here, we joined friends for a fabulous buffet lunch and lively gospel music at the Roatan Yacht Club, and shared a happy hour with Jan and Dave on Odyssea. On another night, we met Matt and Renee (Outlandish) at Frenchy’s 44 for a tasty meal. This area is blessed with a number of good eating spots within dinghy range – and we cruisers know how to put on some good spreads too. Suzie and John hosted a brunch at Brooksey Point one Sunday – with biscuits and sausage gravy and eggs on the side, or French toast topped with strawberries, whipped cream and a drizzle of chocolate. The Fantasy Island crowd has a potluck every Saturday, and we’ve also enjoyed 2 feeds of lionfish, fries, and coleslaw there.
A troupe of young Garifuna drummers and dancers entertained at the hotel here one evening – and how those girls – and especially the two older women – could move their bodies was awesome. I guess if you start dancing when you learn to walk, you can learn to move those hips!
A truck loaded with fresh veggies arrives on Tuesday mornings and on one particular morning I bought 1 pineapple, 1papaya, 1 cucumber, 1 christophene, 2 red peppers, 2 yellow peppers, 5 tomatoes, 3 apples, enough green beans for 4 healthy servings, 6 bananas, 1 head of garlic for the grand total of 285 lempiras (a little less than $15.) I really do love shopping this way – from little stands along the street or from the back of a pickup truck. The agoutis and ducklings love the scraps – and the iguanas, peacocks and monkeys don’t go hungry either.
Steven comes every few days to pick up or drop off laundry, and while I wash t-shirts and underwear in the sink and hang them on the lifelines to dry, I really hate washing towels and sheets and heavier items in the sink, so I hand over $10- $12 to a local person to do it for me. The water truck comes once a week or so and we fill our tanks with fresh water – at the last fill up, we figured we had used about 60 gallons in 2 weeks. (The water here at the marina is brackish so while we use it for showering, we order in water for our tanks.)
And of course we go snorkeling most days – from the gazebo on the east end of the island, or from the dinghy off the anchorage or on the other side of the deep water channel. It’s a protected area so those great big spiny lobsters wave their antennae at us as if to say,”Nah na na nah na – You can’t get me!” and multi coloured parrotfish and angelfish and sergeant majors and grunts and dozens of other gorgeous creatures go swimming by. Even in the winds and waves we’ve had lately, it is possible to just drift along over coral heads watching the feeding and nibbling. Some of them turn their bodies sideways and eyeball the huge white creatures floating above them while some dart away quickly and some just ignore us. I came up behind Jim one day to see his hand pointing down toward a stationary barracuda just hovering with his mouth open – definitely creepy.
I’ve been restitching seams in our bimini and dodger (the canvas coverings over our cockpit) where the thread has rotted in the sun, and we are gradually getting ports sealed so they don’t leak quite as much. It will soon be time for another round of stainless steel cleaning, and one of these days we’ll get in the water with our scrapers and scrubbers and have a go at removing the growth on the bottom. The fresh water crop of green growth has now been replaced by a salt loving crop.
We’ve met new cruisers and reunited with familiar folks, from Canada and the US, from England and Poland and Australia and France and the Netherlands – boats that have come up from Panama and those that have come down from Mexico - boats that have been around the world and boats that cruise along coasts, and we’ve chatted with landlubbers at the hotel who have come for a week or two in the sun. One fellow came down the dock, looked at our boat name and said, “Do you know Mary and Blair?” Well of course we do! We left Trident Yacht Club with Strathspey in 2007. Mary had told Perry to keep an eye out for us – and sure enough he did. We had fun visiting with them over lunch and a very wet dinghy ride. Oops – we meant to introduce them to a bit of the boating life but not necessarily to “dinghy butt”!
So the days fly by – a week, and then another one, and it would be easy to stay here for yet another one … but we are nomadic sailors and it is time for us to wander off and find a spot to droop the hook. While many boats here are headed either north or south, we are wandering through the Bay Islands this year. Jim recently answered a question about our plans with, “We are catching a flight in Guatemala City in mid April.” And that is about all we know for sure.
The wind looks like it will allow us to sail a few miles south to Cayos Cochinos tomorrow – a cluster of cays between here and mainland Honduras that is reputed to have crystal clear water and lovely snorkeling. We’ll get up in the morning and pour some coffee and check the wind and if everything still looks good, we will go there.