Off The Dock
21 December 2015 | Gringo Bay aka Buenavista Bay, Rio Dulce
Beth / mostly wet, but warm
We untied our spiderweb of lines and pulled away from the dock at Tortugal on Friday, the 18th. It was time; we had been in Rio Dulce for a month. And what a lovely departure it was. Jim and I enjoyed coffee on the deck one last time, said our goodbyes to friends around the marina and then waved back to a dozen friends standing on the dock as we left. We both felt so treasured to have these folks come down to help untie lines and see us off.
Jim circled around in the bay off the town while I took the dinghy ashore for one last shopping trip to the produce stands, and then we were really off down the river. As much as we enjoyed being at Tortugal, we both found that our spirits lifted and the free feeling of being on a boat took hold as we motored into El Golfete, and saw the expanse of water with the mountains beyond. I hadn’t realized how much I missed that.
Our time in Gringo Bay was much too short – but we fit in what we could of the things we love to do there. We jumped into the water immediately for a swim in the beautiful bay, and we sat in the cockpit and watched the fishermen head out with their nets in the late afternoon. We dined on pineapple chicken stir-fry in the cockpit and watched very pretty fireworks set off somewhere the other side of Jennifer’s place (We found out later it was the Columbians’ display) just before the rain sprinkles started on Friday night. During the afternoon we paid visits to several friends and picked up the new pennant Tom the sailmaker had crafted for our foresail. While we were in Texan Bay, we stopped by Burnt Key Marina to see what is happening there. There have been some changes in management since last year and I still can’t tell you what the plan is for this season. Chris and Dani (from the Round House) were there and we got a couple of Gallos to enjoy while we chatted with Keith the plumber who was ensconced in the hammock. Whatever happens, it is still a lovely breezy palapa on the hill with a pool table and some comfy chairs and shelves full of interesting books. I don’t know if they were serving food later or not.
Oh my, how it rained on Saturday morning. Our rain catcher was buried somewhere in the aft cabin, but we managed to top up our water tank simply by placing buckets under the run-off from the cockpit canvas. We cleaned up both ourselves and the boat before the skies cleared and we headed to Jennifer’s for a visit. As always it is so lovely to engage in interesting conversation over coffee on her porch. We left a few items for her to sell at the swap meet (at Mar Marina every second Sunday) and picked up a fresh bottle of Clementina’s wonderful coconut oil.
Evening found us at Martin and Karen’s for dinner. Pork chops cooked with apples and onions served with steamed cauliflower, broccoli and carrots, and wild rice that Karen brought with her from the USA made for a fine dinner – and it was topped off with banana/coconut bread and succulent slices of papaya with a squeeze of fresh lime juice. SO good!
It rained again overnight and during the early morning hours. I kept trying to catch pictures of the rapidly shifting clouds over the mountains, but as soon as I fetched my camera they changed again. By noon, the skies cleared and we set off for more visits – to Casey’s and Sarah and Tim’s in the little bay between Gringo and Texan Bays. Tom came by Madcap to survey the rigging while we were out so we were able to discuss his report that evening when we joined Chris and Kelli (Godzilla) and Debbie and Don (Inca Rose) for dinner at the Mother’s restaurant – now run by Texan Mike. It was a very long wait for dinner (we were glad to have friends to talk with) but delicious Tex-Mex food when it came. Tom has a few recommendations for minor repairs, and eventual replacements on the rigging, but we are good to go for now.
The timing wasn’t right for either Yoga or a walk back through the ranch land, so we had to take a pass on both those activities.
We will leave the river on Monday, and despite our previous plans to go east to the Bay Islands, we will first go north to Belize. Because of wind direction and our strong desire to be somewhere with internet connection for Christmas, we will go to Placencia for a few days before deciding what to do next.