Cruising with Vida Dulce

22 October 2020
04 September 2020 | Loggerhead Marina, Hollywood, FL
22 August 2020 | Hollywood, FL
20 August 2020 | Greenville, AL
18 March 2020
09 March 2020 | Isla Mujeres, MX
29 February 2020 | Isla Mujeres, MX
14 February 2020 | Isla Mujeres, MX
14 February 2020 | Isla Mujeres, MX
13 February 2020
22 January 2020 | Isla Mujeres, MX
10 January 2020 | Isla Mujeres, MX
06 January 2020 | Isla Mujeres, MX
04 January 2020 | Islan Mujeres, MX
31 December 2019 | Isla Mujeres, MX
30 December 2019 | Isla Mujeres, MX
29 December 2019 | Isla Mujeres, MX
28 December 2019 | Isla Cozumel MX
26 December 2019 | Cay Caulker, BZ
25 December 2019 | Bluefield Range Cays

End of a Chapter

22 October 2020
Today officially marks the end of this chapter in our lives. We took delivery of Vida Dulce (from the Lagoon delivery crew) in Oct 2008 and closed on her sale to a new owner today, Oct 22, 2020; 12 years of adventures and memories, 10 of which were live-aboard exploring new places, meeting new friends, and hosting friends and family in various places in the Caribbean. As this blog is dedicated to the boating / cruising life, this is my final post. Take good care everyone, the Coronavirus / COVID-19 pandemic is still far from over...

Vida Dulce Listed for Sale

04 September 2020 | Loggerhead Marina, Hollywood, FL
35 boxes, 852 lbs of goods shipped to Sedona; at least that again donated or put in trash / recycling. A few items sold. Many thousands of dollars of spares, etc. left onboard for Vida Dulce's next owner. Other than those items, she is now empty, clean, repaired, and mostly storm-ready. It was a hard, hot & humid, 12 days of work.

The broker lives in a Lagoon 450 just behind her on the 500 T-Head, and we've made friends with many of the other dock neighbors so we are confident there will be eyes on her while we're back home. 🤞 she sells before we need to worry about a major storm, yet if a storm does come this way, we have a contract with a company to take in the staging items we've left outside and unhook her from shore power for the duration of the storm.

On the sales front, there was a showing yesterday afternoon while we were boxing up the last of items to be shipped, and at least two today after we left. With this being Labor Day weekend, we suspect she'll be looked at quite a bit.

So... mission accomplished getting her ready for sale. A sad farewell as we kiss her goodbye.

Getting Vida Dulce Secure in Florida

22 August 2020 | Hollywood, FL
Susan | Hot & humid, 96 degrees F
We arrive at the marina at 3:30pm.What was planned to be a 2 day trip turned into a 5 day one. Since we had plenty of clothes on Vida Dulce, we brought only changes of underwear so we ended up wearing the same clothes for 5 days. Another reason we're happy to be on Vida Dulce; clean clothes!

Tomorrow starts the process of packing & moving, fixing & cleaning, and getting her ready for the hurricane season in addition to getting her ready to show / sell.

And thankfully TS Laura has diverted to the south and west with the forecasted storm track missing us now.

Trying to Get to Vida Dulce

20 August 2020 | Greenville, AL
Susan | Cloudy with incoming storms
Vida Dulce arrived in Hollywood, FL from Isla Mujeres, Mx in early August with a delivery crew. Not the FL arrival we'd hoped for, however at least she is out of the still-closed Isla Mujeres, MX.

We left home Wednesday morning and are making our way down Hollywood in our airplane to avoid commercial airports and flights. Last night we overnighted in Natchitoches (pronounced Nak-a-tish as we found out by mispronouncing it several times...), GA with a fuel stop in TX. In Natchitoches, we got a hotel room and then phoned in an order for pickup at Sam's Southern Eatery for dinner and ate in the room. A true GA southern meal; yummy seafood!

We departed this morning to continue our trip. Our planned first stop, for fuel, was in northern FL but we didn't get that far. We were watching weather on the Garmin 1000 display / scope, flying in quite a lot of haze, around and under clouds, and the thunderstorms in the gulf kept encroaching on our planned route. From the forecasts we expected to need to divert a little north to get around the lighter parts yet those turned into more moderate conditions then severe ones. We made the decision to land prior to encountering any of the nasty stuff in Greenville, AL.

So, we're in a hotel room looking at weather forecasts and see that not only is it not looking soo good for the next several days, it will likely get worse before it gets better. There are two!! storms headed this way. Tropical Depression 13 is forecasted to become a Tropical Storm, then Hurricane Laura before it makes a direct hit on southern Florida. Tropical Depression 14 is forecasted to hit the greater Cancun area including Isla Mujeres, Mx before heading across the gulf to hit TX, LA and perhaps AL as Tropical Storm Marcos or hopefully Tropical Depression.

One of our favorite NWS meteorologists just happened to call on a Mintaka question so we took the opportunity to chat with him about the current weather and near term forecasts for FL, the storms that would become TS Laura / Marco, his additional info confirmed what we were thinking... Jerry called the Greenville airport manager to find out if they had an available hanger for rent (Jerry had already looked for hanger space in Hollywood, no joy); he had a space that Zelda would fit in so we left her there, rented a car and will drive the rest of the way.

Uncertain Times

18 March 2020
We cruisers are used to "plans written in sand at low tide" yet this is a differnt thing all together. As the Coronavirus / COVID-19 spreads worldwide, countries are closing their borders to non-residents. Make sense to ensure the medical capacity is used first for their own citizens / legal residents.

This profoundly affects the international cruising community based in, and seasonally out of, Guatemala. The regular cruising grounds in this area include Belize, Honduras (Bay Islands), Mexico and some may come or go as far as Cuba, the Caymans, or the Colombian islands of Providencia / San Andres. There are open questions about whether cruisers who store their boats in the Rio Dulce, Guatemala will be able to bring them back in, if so when and what the quarantine procedures will be. If it's a no-return situation, many will have to make difficult decisions on what to do for this upcoming hurricane season. For former cruisers who call the Rio Dulce or other areas in Guatemala home but are not official residents - meaning the they must renew their visas on a regular basis - it is not clear how they will be handled in the near term nor when their current visa is up. Some of these folks no longer have a functional cruising vessel. And for those that "commute" between one of these countries and their home country during the cruising season, the question is whether they will be able to return to their vessels if they had returned home previous to these border closures.

What is certain, wherever we are, social distancing and extra diligent personal and vessel hygiene is a must. We'll just have to see how this plays out...

Soo Much Wind!

09 March 2020 | Isla Mujeres, MX
Susan | partly cloudy, windy!, 75 degrees F
It’s been whiplash windy here - blowing hard from the North as the cold fronts come thru, then windy from the SE as air funnels into the strong high in the Gulf of MX behind it, only to do it all again a few days later. We’ve been glad to be in a marina; the anchorage has had its share of excitement.

All of this wind has disrupted the season for several folks: cruiser friends who planned to join us here are now not going to make the journey; the sport-fishing fleet has spent way more time at the docks than usual and with their sailfish season coming to an end, some are pretty frustrated; tourists haven’t been able to dive and snorkel as vacation-planned. March is the “in like a loin, out like a lamb” month so all of this roaring should calm down in a couple of weeks. 🤞
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 - Holidays 2010
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