Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Jonesville – Yvonne’s Birthday – Bay Islands Nov 11, 2009

We are back in Jonesville. This is a special treat as we are invited to share in Lady Yvonne’s (Don and Yvonne) 65 birthday bash shared with their friend Glen and Ana, being Glen’s birthday as well. This will be the first party at the new Casa. It was a beautiful setting, the weather cooperated, and the new deck over the ocean was alive with guests, live music (Kristofer and friends, of which Gary has become one) and some of the tastiest eats you ever partook of, thanks to Anna’s excellent buffet and Yvonne’s suburb Chocolate Birthday cake.

The evening was a total bash and complete success with kids and PiƱata’s and Candy. While Kaija and group were Congo dancing, Gary blew his lips off with the band, least that’s how it felt the next morning. Harmonica is tougher than it looks folks, you try it!!…although I must say, Glen made it look easy and can also sing and serenade a fine melody.

While here we were able to re-acquaint ourselves with Ed and Julie of S/v Spirit of Free Radical...actually Canuks with not one beautiful no...they have two. They charter and know these waters well. We needed some sail repair work done and Julie is not only equipped with the proper tools, she did good repairs to both our headsail and dingy cover. They have a website and can be reached by email at

Kaija has taken one last trip to town with Senor Don to pick up final provisions and Gary’s new spear gun which has arrived from Florida (we hope) (a big yahoo and yippie I eh to bringing home da filets :o). Hunting is not permitted in the Bay Islands but is in many places along the Belize reef. With some sadness in leaving old and new friends here, we look forward to our departure to Utila to meet up with our friends Byron and Denise s/v South of Reality. The girls will leave shortly for their excursion to Copan Ruins and upon their return we begin the next leg of our journey…north to Cuba!!!

Barbareta – Bay Islands – Honduras N16.25.99 W086.08.77

Barbareta is a good sized private island and a small piece of paradise. This is a return visit for us and Kaija longed to return to the Pigeon Cays located about two miles offshore. There is the saying…that…”you can’t go back”…the first thing we noticed was the heavy equipment driving back and forth on what only three years ago was a small horse path (where Gary and ‘Doc’ met some of the herd and developed a friendship with one of the crippled ponies and enjoyed our daily walks with him…)…now there is an active party of workers along with a new herd of cows grazing the private airstrip and lazing in the heat by the newly constructed hanger. So much for progress!...

And for Kaija, we made our way out to the Pigeon Cays…as we remember, a grouping of three small island cays. Unfortunately, her favorite, the smallest was gone…taken away by the seas and nature in only the past three years.

The Piece da Resistance, was the arrival of Hurricane Ida. When it comes to hurricanes...the best remedy I know is distance, so be weighed anchor and sailed 50 miles east to the west end of Utila where we were tucked in safe and sound.

We enjoyed our stay, but it wasn’t the same.

Jonesville – Roatan – Bay Islands N16.23.21 W086.22.51 Oct 21 – Nov 2 2009

Jonesville is becoming like home away from home. We really enjoy coming here to visit with Don and Yvonne s/v Usquaebach, should say formerly, as they are only days away from moving into their beautiful, new home. Situated on the ocean, with a view you cannot buy, in a new home designed and built by Senor/Capt Don. We enjoyed watching the progress as the new windows, doors, lights, plumbing, and electrical are installed. They hope to be in by Christmas 2009 and what a wonderful gift that would be to them. Don & Yvonne hosted a Halloween Party for the local children and what fun they had trying to get the biggest handful of candy. Halloween is not a ‘known’ holiday here in Roatan, but this is year three of the Don and Yvonne Hallowed Party and it is fast becoming a tradition.

By the way...see the two shots of the gecko and the fly bottom left and center...they were there, and they are real!! Way to Go Mr. Gecko, excellent photos Kaija...we are so easily amused.

French Cay Harbour - N16.21.17 W086.26.32 Oct 17 – 21 2009

French Harbour has three anchorages, the old port, the French Harbour anchorage, and the French Cays Anchorage which is home to Fantasy Island. This is the anchorage used by most cruisers. With reasonable closeness to many of the cruiser friendly amenities it is a convenient stop.

Somehow this anchorage and us have not got off to a good start. When we first arrived in Roatan 3 years ago, we came into this harbor and we did not like to look of the entrance, and even with charts and guide books decided to pass it by. Well, we thought we’d give it another try. Unfortunately, the weather did not help us. We found ourselves in the middle of a squall, and radar telling us more was coming…trying to beat the storm into the harbor. We lost!...missed the mark ( a 2 foot black stake in the water), and slid up on the shoal! Not a happy moment. We lowered the dinghy, and with the assist of a local boater (thank you stranger) we managed to slide KS back into deep water. They say that All’s well that ends well, so after spending a couple of days in the French Cay Anchorage in heavy squally weather we departed back to the safety of Jonesville.

Port Royal – Bay Islands Honduras – N16.24.24 W086.17.38 Oct 13 – 17 2009

Port Royal is an hold pirate’s hideaway, with a good deal of nooks and crannies to hide ‘the loot’. This applies to pirates of old as well modern day. We have found a small anchorage by a private island with its own runway that is mostly deserted. It’s a wonderful spot with beautiful clam shaped sandy beach with enough shells to keep Kaija happy, enough distance to amuse Doc and gin clear water to amuse the Capt. We don’t spend enough time here, but when we do it’s a good opportunity to get in the water and clean the bottom.

East Bay and West End - Diamond Cay – Utila – N16.05.59 W086.53.88 Sept. 15 – Sept. 23 2009

East Bay Utila is one of the diving capitals of the Caribbean. It is an open anchorage to the South and West and one needs to gauge the weather in determining whether or not to anchor in East Bay. In either of those cases, there is a surprisingly good anchorage in the West Cays behind Diamond Island. We always enjoy our stops here as the food is good and Capt Rob of s/v Carmelita has kinda taken up residencia in the anchorage. He is always fun to talk to and if you need anything, he knows where it can be found.

Ranguana Cay –Belize N16.19.77 W088.09.16 Sept 14 2009

This is one of the waterway crossroads thru the reef in and out of Belize from the east. As we approached this small island we were met by a large pod of frolicking dolphins and Doc was in Love…if he had his way…he’d be over the side and swimming along with his buddies. Ranguana, albeit remote is close enough for a quick day sail there to enjoy its beauty with a small restaurant and bar to quench the thirst. We had planned to spend the night with an early morning departure but after a few hours the winds increased in our favor and we decided to do an overnight passage back to Utila, Bay Islands, Honduras. It was a beautiful starlight sail Southeast to Utila.