We made it back safely to the boat and all is well here. We managed to get all the way from Ft Lauderdale to the boat in 1 long day because everything went smoothly from start to finish. There was a little scare at the airport in FL when we were checking in because we didn't have a "return ticket" to leave Guatemala- the airline was telling us that we couldn't fly out without a return ticket booked, but we managed to show our boat paperwork and get through. Other sailors that we ended up riding with in a van from Guat City to the Rio later that day, weren't so lucky- they had to purchase a return ticket even though they didn't actually need one and then hope to get a refund later. You just never know what kinds of problems you may encounter when you're traveling outside of the mainstream way.
We've been enjoying being back on the boat and getting everything ship-shape again. The marina was fantastic at keeping the boat clean and waxed and overall, we're very happy with what we see. We did find some unusual damage to a small part of our teak toerail and think it may have been a sidestrike of lightning since several boats got struck here this summer. We haven't found any other damage to our electronics or anything and Jon has already repaired the teak; now we just need to re-varnish it there, along with the routine maintenance coats on the rest of the wood. Lightning is scary stuff.
We've made our plans to attend the San Pedro Spanish School and leave this Saturday for San Pedro Laguna, in the Guatemalan Highlands on Lake Atitilan. It is supposed to be beautiful, dramatic scenery. We hope to do 2 weeks there at the school and come out with a much better working knowledge of spanish. We're planning to live with a Mayan family, have 4 hours of instruction per day and then partake in the activities they have for students in the afternoons and evenings such as salsa dancing, volcano hikes, lectures, biking, etc. We'll see how it goes! It's hard to pick up and leave the boat again but we want to get going with this and then on to Tikal so we can then start thinking about leaving the river for Honduras. Now that we're planning to do the Med, we have to DIVE, DIVE, DIVE this winter and get our fill while we can.
We sure do enjoy being here at Tortugal marina and the grounds are just gorgeous. I love the treehouse feel and elevated boardwalks with bromeliads, airplants and exotic birds. The marina dog- Jefe is fun and loves to lean in to you when you pat him. It's really easy to pass away the days here. And, in keeping with our budget, we're doing rum-ritas for sundowner. Limes are ridiculously cheap, Guatemalan rum is good and inexpensive; just add sugar and ice and there you go! Other cruisers are starting to trickle in from their visits back home and it is slowly getting more lively here. It's hard to believe another season is about to begin. We're excited for all of it.