Well, the rainy weather is still around but we have had some little breaks in between. The last couple of days at French harbor were pretty nice. On the morning of Obama's inauguration, we took an early morning dive with Tashmoo on the wall outside the anchorage. It was a little rushed since we didn't want to be late getting to the resort where they were going to show the ceremony on TV, but we did see a pipefish- it is a little creature that is in the seahorse family. They are uncommon in this area and are hard to spot but this one just jumped out at me as I scanned the reef. We took pictures but they didn't come out. The resort was nice to let several of us cruisers take over the lobby and watch Obama. We certainly have high hopes for him! It's common down here for businesses to have monkeys and parrots and this resort had monkeys that hung out in the bar area. At one point as we were watching TV, one came walking up on the ledge of the window right next to us. He was on one side of the glass and we were just on the other- it was funny. And another one got on the bar and grabbed something we didn't see- probably after the cherries they use to garnish drinks. The staff will give you a maraschino cherry on a toothpick so you can feed them.. When they take the cherry, they don't take the toothpick; they just slide the cherry off the stick!
On one of the sunniest days we've had lately, we moved East on the coast of Roatan to another town named Jonesville. It is a quiet fishing village and it connects to other neighboring towns on each side via dinghy canals that are inside the barrier reef. The canals are like little highways of local boats zooming along inside the protected waters. What struck us as funny about Jonesville is that most of the boats you saw had large outboard motors on fairly lightweight boats so when they were speeding along, the boats would bob up and down, sometimes to the point of looking quite unsafe. Everywhere you looked, there was a bobbing boat zooming in the distance. Like a lot of things I see down here, it just doesn't make any sense! We used these dinghy canals to get to the next town- Oak Ridge- and go for a walk with John & Cindy. At some point in the past, shrimping became big here in Honduras. There is a sizable fleet of old shrimp boats from the US here, but they are most always in port. I hear that the shrimp are fished out. Most of the harbors we visit have several shrimp boats in them and coupled with the gray, overcast weather we've been having, I feel like I'm in Maine! Except for the shorts & tank top.
We took a nice walk through the town of Oak Ridge and we all agreed that it was one of the nicer towns we'd visited. As is typical for us, we went in to all of the little grocery stores looking for anything exciting. And we did find mozzarella cheese and lentils! Grocery shopping is so hit or miss down here. If you see something you want, you can't wait to get it because it most certainly won't be there when you return. On the way back to the anchorage, we visited the "famous" Hole in the Wall bar that is written up in the cruising guides. It was filled with ex-pats, who by and large we don't really relate to, so it really was a just a hole in the wall for us. We made a delicious pizza with the mozzarella for dinner, along with a great salad from the South Beach diet book.
The next day it rained all day. There was a beautiful rainbow at one point between clouds. Jon and I took a long walk in the rain on some of the dirt roads that lead down to Jonesville. It was nice to get outside, and it was nice to get back in too. That night we got a little squall to shake things up but then it calmed down and we slept well. Both us and Tashmoo busted out of Jonesville first thing the next morning- in the rain of course, and headed to West End with a following sea. It was so nice to get in here, pick up a free mooring and go into town to walk the sandy streets. Our friends Bob & Maggie got here a couple of days ahead of us since his son is visiting and we all went out to a great bar with a view for happy hour. For once, the happy hour drinks included gin & tonics for $2 each and they came in a big glass with a heavy handed dose of gin! The restaurant sits over the water and they have their own friendly parrots.
One of them came walking over to our table, made the rounds sitting on everyone's finger and then settled in for the night on my shoulder. Even when I had to get up to use the restroom, he came with me. It was hard to resist not walking right out of the restaurant with him at the end of the evening. I couldn't really see what he was doing but supposedly he liked my hair and just wanted to snuggle in close to my neck and snooze. Needless to say, we plan to visit that bar again tonight since we had such a nice time. Great place for sunsets, if the sun happens to show itself today.
We did some great snorkeling yesterday but didn't bring the camera because we thought the underwater case might be leaking. Of course, we saw a bunch of things that would've made for wonderful pictures. We now know that it wasn't leaking after soaking it all night in a bucket so we'll take it out today and probably see nothing! We replaced the leaking o-ring in our scuba tank this morning (routine maintenance) and now we're filling them with our dive compressor so we can do a dive this afternoon. What a luxury to have this compressor on board. Everything we've done to this boat we're appreciating now that we're out using it. When we were working and installing all this stuff, it seemed hard to imagine that this trip was actually going to happen. But here we are.
I made some chocolate chip cookies this morning and they are asking to be sampled. It is SO hard not to eat the raw dough but we can't take the risk for salmonella poisoning. The eggs down here look just like they popped out of the rear of the chicken and right into the box. Bob's son brought us 3 more bags of Trader Joe's chocolate chips so our supply is replenished. I wish some American would open up a Trader Joe's down here. I would be their best customer!