Cruising with Vida Dulce

06 June 2018 | Rio Dulce, Guatemala
04 June 2018 | Rio Dulce, Guatemala
01 June 2018 | Rio Dulce, Guatemala
31 May 2018 | Cayo Quemado, Guatemala
30 May 2018 | Livingston, Guatemala
29 May 2018 | Tres Puntas, Guatemala
28 May 2018 | West End Roatan, Honduras
27 May 2018 | West End Roatan, Honduras
27 May 2018 | West End Roatan, Honduras
26 May 2018 | West End Roatan, Honduras
24 May 2018 | West End Roatan, Honduras
23 May 2018 | West End Roatan, Honduras
22 May 2018 | Fantasy Island Marina, Roatan, Honduras
20 May 2018 | Fantasy Island Marina, Roatan, Honduras
19 May 2018 | Fantasy Island Marina, Roatan, Honduras
12 March 2018 | Roatan, Honduras
10 March 2018 | West End Roatan, Honduras
08 March 2018 | West End Roatan, Honduras
06 March 2018 | Cayos Cochinos, Honduras

Almost Ready for Hurricane Season

06 June 2018 | Rio Dulce, Guatemala
Susan / partly sunny, afternoon thunderstorms, 93 degrees F
Vida Dulce & Dulcita are almost prepared for the stormy season. All that’s left to do is defrost the freezer and fridge, wash the last of the laundry, do a final interior cleaning, and pack. We’ve given Vida Dulce a good “spring cleaning” and are bringing back quite a bit, more than usual: duplicate items, items rarely/never used, items needing dry cleaning after several years onboard, items that will be more useful in the new camper-trailer, and so on. We’ve got a busy summer planned, and are looking forward to getting started on it soon.

Volcano Fuego Erupting

04 June 2018 | Rio Dulce, Guatemala
Susan / ash falling, afternoon thunderstorms, 88 degrees F
Yesterday and early this morning, Fuego, one of the active volcanos near Guatemala City erupted. Big-time eruptions: lots of ash spewing high in the air, lava flowing down all sides of the volcano burying some villages, dozens of people have been reported dead, many more missing. The Guatemala City International Airport is closed. Ash is falling on Vida Dulce and the other boats here in the Rio Dulce, some 300 miles away. Guatemala President Jimmy Morales declared three days of national mourning. This national disaster has been in the news so I’ll leave it at that.

So much for not needing to wash down the topsides…

Getting Settled

01 June 2018 | Rio Dulce, Guatemala
Susan / scattered thunderstorms, 92 degrees F
We spend a few minutes today walking around the marina getting oriented to our new surroundings. We think this spot will work out pretty well. Here’s our view from the salon. We’ll be in a “fish bowl” if lots of people are using the pool when we’re here but since our plan is to get out quickly it shouldn’t be an big issue. As a plus, when we return, getting into the pool for some laps and/or relaxation will be a hop, skip & a jump!

We also walk to town to get a new Guate Tigo SIM and time. As with most places the WiFi here is ssoooo sslloooww. And since it’s June and mango season, we buy a couple of ripe ones.

Weather-wise the rainy season seems to have arrived early. Mornings are usually cool-ish (mid to high 70’s) and cloudy. A good time for a walk. Mid-day the heat settles in (low to mid 90’s). In the afternoon it is really windy and thunderstorms build in the area. Each day there’s an 80% chance of rain; and when it rains, it’s torrential. Vida Dulce is getting such a good rinsing, I’m not going to bother to wash her topsides. Cushions and canvas, however will be cleaned for storage. That’s right, sad to say…we’re not sitting around that pool sipping cold beverages, we’re busily getting Vida Dulce clean, organized, and prepped for the hurricane season so that we can get back to the States asap.

Cayo Quemado Rigging & Sails Appt

31 May 2018 | Cayo Quemado, Guatemala
Susan / scattered thunderstorms, 92 degrees F
It was a beautiful evening and calm night here at Cayo Quemado. We run the genset for air-conditioning to keep the bugs at bay.

Tom, Cay Quemado Rigging & Sails, arrives at Vida Dulce at 7:30am. Good thing Jerry dinghy'd over when we arrived yesterday to find out the plan, usually we're still in our night-clothes ;-), me making tea / coffee while Jerry wakes up reading at that time. This morning we're up, dressed and ready when Tom arrives at 7:20am. He's a early bird! He takes the measurements & photos required to order Vida Dulce's new rigging; a full replacement needs to be done before next cruising season. He & Jerry also take down the genoa to get at its roller-furler, it needs to be replaced as well. Actually that sail needs to be replaced too, it has been patched many times in many locations / countries. If it sported a country emblem for each place it was repaired, it'd be well adorned. LOL

The plan: After Jerry approves the quote, Tom will order the materials (we pay for them) this summer; we'll schedule the actual work to be done here after we return.

As an aside, Tom is also waiting for that Trascargo shipment to be released from Guate Customs (SAT). His generator has been held along with our beverage fridge. We ask him what we can do, he shrugs his shoulders and says, nothing we can do but wait... I guess it good to know we're not the only people pestering them to get our goods out of SAT jail.

At 10am we're off to the Rio Dulce Marina Zone to get Vida Dulce settled for hurricane season. It takes a bit to get secured at the dock with the winds kicking up however it gets done before any rain falls.

Guatemala Check-In

30 May 2018 | Livingston, Guatemala
Susan / sunny, calm, hot & humid, 90 degrees F
We lift our anchor at 7am for the 2 hour motor from Tres Puntas to Livingston. The four other boats anchored in this area last night, all monohulls, left earlier to attempt the bar crossing as close to the high tide as possible. Many had to be kedged-over and pulled thru the muddy bar by one of the enterprising locals who stand by to provide that service at cost of USD $50 to $100, depending on the draft of the keel. We motor in on our past tracks and see no loess than 1 ft under our keels; all good.

At 10am, the lancha carrying Raul and the many officials arrive at Vida Dulce. They take the needed paperwork and our passports, and tell us to report at the office at 12:30. Jerry leaves the boat at noon on the off chance our paperwork is completed. He’s back at 1pm. Cost for immigration, customs, the 3 mos permit and the 9 mos permit, plus Raul’s fee is Q.3400, same the past two years, with this year’s exchanger rate that’s USD $475.

After the trip up the Rio Dulce canyon, we’re anchor-secure close to the entrance of Cayo Quemado, near Cay Quemado Rigging & Sales at 3:20pm.

Tres Puntas Arrival

29 May 2018 | Tres Puntas, Guatemala
Susan / a calm moon-lit passage
This last passage of the season, West End, Roatan to Livingston, Guatemala was quite nice once we got past the west wind-driven sea swell built up over the past several days of west winds. This took 4 hours or until sunset. After that we got the expected trades east swell at 2 ft or less, and a night lit by a full moon. The full moon set as the sun was rising, making for an entire night of beautifully lit surroundings. No squalls / rain. No winds to speak of, so we were a motor boat cruising slowly along without troublesome company or the rocky-rollys. The picture was taken inside the Belize reef - Snake Cays with a hint of mainland between them - hot, humid, sunny, calm.

We’re anchor secure at Tres Puntas about 3:30pm. A 25 hour passage.

As a side note, we were able to use our Honduras Tigo minutes / data in roaming mode here. They’ve upgraded the network to LTE, making it much faster than previous stopovers.
Vessel Name: Vida Dulce
Vessel Make/Model: Lagoon 440
Hailing Port: Seattle, WA
Crew: Jerry and Susan Barber
About: Jerry and Susan moved aboard Vida Dulce in late October of 2010. We are currently in the Caribbean.
Vida Dulce's Photos - Main
26 Photos
Created 20 October 2017
17 Photos
Created 2 September 2017
4 Photos
Created 15 December 2016
9 Photos
Created 17 October 2016
20 Photos
Created 1 September 2015
North Coast, West section 2015; Havana to Baracoa Bus Trip 2016
100 Photos
Created 15 May 2015
38 Photos
Created 11 March 2015
50 Photos
Created 25 December 2014
The road trip included 7 States: WA, OR, ID, WY, CO, UT, MT
16 Photos
Created 3 August 2014
Hurricane Season 2014
1 Photo | 5 Sub-Albums
Created 14 June 2014
Pictures of our stay in Honduras 2014
1 Photo | 5 Sub-Albums
Created 4 January 2014
10 Photos
Created 18 October 2013
4 Photos
Created 20 September 2013
Our Dec 2012 - Feb 2013 visit
55 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 31 December 2012
Happy Holidays from Isla Providencia, Colombia
11 Photos
Created 31 December 2012
Photos of my on-board garden
16 Photos
Created 28 September 2012
4 Photos
Created 26 December 2011
Pictures of our time in Panama, Sept 2011 - Dec 2012
1 Photo | 5 Sub-Albums
Created 29 September 2011
Pictures of our visit to Columbia, May-Oct 2011
1 Photo | 5 Sub-Albums
Created 15 July 2011
Photos of our series drogue and May 2011 practice deployment and retrieval
24 Photos
Created 13 May 2011
Pictures from our brief visit to Bonaire, Curacao & Aruba in May 2011
35 Photos
Created 11 May 2011
Pictures of our short stay off Isla Pelona in May 2011
17 Photos
Created 11 May 2011
Pictures of our time in Grenada, April 2011
48 Photos
Created 23 April 2011
Pictures of our island stops in the Grenadines, April 2011
36 Photos
Created 4 April 2011
Photos of St Vincent, April 2011
11 Photos
Created 2 April 2011
Photos of St Lucia March 2011
46 Photos
Created 15 March 2011
68 Photos
Created 7 March 2011
Photos of Dominica 2011
3 Photos
Created 7 March 2011
Photos of Iles des Saintes, Feb 2011
12 Photos
Created 17 February 2011
Photos of Guadeloupe, Feb 2011
49 Photos
Created 13 February 2011
Photos of Barbuda, Jan 2011
15 Photos
Created 14 January 2011
20 Photos
Created 30 December 2010
2 Photos
Created 26 December 2010
Photos of Red Hook, St Thomas and Vida Dulce getting a new bank of batteries and the installation of her new custom made arch which will support 4 solar panels.
28 Photos
Created 9 November 2010
Haul out of Vida Dulce in November of 2010.
23 Photos
Created 9 November 2010
Lots of photos of various places not in other albums. Most are included directly in a blog entry.
27 Photos
Created 31 October 2010
15 Photos
Created 11 September 2010
A "Working" Trip with Jim to start outfitting the boat for cruising.
31 Photos
Created 10 September 2010
11 Photos
Created 5 April 2010
34 Photos
Created 5 April 2010