Saturday, January 13, 2018

Getting Squared Away

Hola Peeps, well time is steadily moving forward and we are attempting to keep up.  We took advantage of the delay in the delivery of our shipment by visiting with friends and squaring away Saga Sea’ systems.  Steve also got back into his fabulous bread baking.  

When we first arrived in the Rio Dulce, three years ago, neither of us saw the charm of the culture.  We see the culture here as a bunch of expats living among the locals only on the surface level.  They deal mostly with the locals that profit from providing services to the cruisers/expats.  

When we walk down the busy street of Fronteras, we are not met with smiling faces or daily greetings unless they want to sell us something.  It may be because the street is so busy with foot and vehicles traffic but we are left with a cold emotional feeling.  Basically you go to town to do your business and get out!  

The word fronteras means borders, so Fronteras town seems to be a sort of border town, yet it is not bordering two countries.  What it does border is the Rio Dulce, which means sweet river.  Fronteras has been built next to the bridge that crosses this river which I believe is one of the only spots vehicle traffic can cross.  So this attracts lots of the people from the neighboring villages for commerce reasons.

In the past, we enjoyed visiting places that we could get to know the locals and their culture.  To tell you the truth that type of place is difficult to find, but we did find it in Honduras’ Bay Island, Guanaja and Providencia Colombia.  The other places have been congested commerce or tourist driven cities.  

This is basically our third time here, and the place is growing on us.  We are learning to appreciate the Rio for what it is: learning where to find things helps tremendously.  Friending the regular visiting cruisers, the expats that decided to stay full time, and the locals that provide services to the cruisers has made us much more comfortable and welcomed here in the Rio. We can simply enjoy the Rio with its beauty and wonders, which it is magnificent.

I love the jungle and mountains with all of it’s creatures and profile.  Steve enjoys white sandy beaches, but I love it all.  Taking adventures up narrow rivers excites me.  The narrow branch rivers here have really sprouted a lot of vacation yacht storage and homes, so others seem to appreciate them as well.  

Okay, enough of that..  So our shipment arrived on Wednesday, all 22 boxes.  We were a little disappointed but not surprised when the shipping service here tried to raise the price that was stated on her info sheet, by $600. Yeah…  So we agreed on a little more but we only paid an extra $160 verses $600.  

We were able to use the launch service here at the marina to transport the boxes over to our boat.  Once we got them all there we quickly unloaded all the boxes on the dock and tried to find homes for everything.  Much of the big stuff is wire and rope to replace the standing and running rigging and material for the new sun cover and cockpit cushions.   We quickly sent the material to the canvas guy we use here to get the material off the dock.  Steve has replaced all the running rigging and has started on the standing.  

When owning a boat something always happens that throws you off the current projects.  We have had two things come up that need attention that weren’t on the list of projects.  The first thing that happened was our cap rail was damaged from an ass that made a huge wake while speeding near the marina.  So for all you power boat people.. Slow the hell down when near other boats and people..  The boat next to Saga Sea got caught under the cap rail and broke off a piece of the beautifully varnish teak.. So that had to come off and sent to a carpenter because Steve is way too busy to fix it himself at the moment.

The second thing that has happened, a mast car for the spinnaker pole broke.  For non-sailboat people, it is an aluminum and stainless piece that slides up and down the mast and it stabilizes a pole that holds out a light weight sail (spinnaker sail) on the front of the boat.    The sail is used when light wind is coming from behind the boat.  So Steve is looking into replacing the piece or some how fixing it himself.. Believe me if there is a way he will figure it out, just like MacGyver.

Guess that is about it.  We are back to getting on track.  Back to keeping written records of our spending.  Back to worrying about important things in life, like clean drinking water.  Back to taking time for ourselves and others.  Next time I will try to take pictures of the items we brought back for Saga Sea and explain them all.  

Oh I forgot something.  I am sure this is just some sort of way for another site to generate more traffic but this blog was “Awarded” Top 75 sailing blogs by  I have proudly displayed it here on the blog.  

Ok Peeps, until next time.. Be good to yourself and OTHERS!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Houston, We have landed

WOW! WOW We are home!!!!!  IT is such an Awesome Feeling!!!!  We are so grateful for EVERYTHING!  We sure have missed our little Saga Sea boat.  She did awesome with the help of the Harbour Master, Oscar, here at Tijax Marina in the Rio Dulce.  This will be her home every Hurricane season for the foreseeable future.  

Well, let's see where did I leave off with the blog…?  Ok, we struggled some with packing and staying within the 50 lb limit for each bag.  Our two huge suitcases went to four for weight reasons and we still had one 3lbs over the limit.  Our two carry on bags were completely full with electronics as well.  But we managed and got everything here with no other issues.  Steve’s carry on bag was searched because he had the boat zincs in his bag and they looked suspicious.  Schooner’s paperwork all passed with NO problems or questions… actually the airlines Never asked for her paperwork which was interesting.  

Our driver, William, with Otto’s Tours met us and whisked us out of the city with very little delay. The rest of the drive was slow and lots of vehicle exhaust.  Vehicle exhaust is always something that takes us some time getting used to in the cities. 

 The road to the Rio is a two lane road that has been under lots of maintenance but we were lucky enough to miss the work because it was suspended for the holidays.  The road has a lot of large truck traffic taking supplies in and out of Guatemala City.  Schooner and I slept for most of the trip down.  

We managed to get the bags in the water taxi across to the marina and had the bags unloaded about 10pm that night.  Score!  Saga Sea looked awesome inside and out and I slept like a rock.  The next day Steve and I got right on our projects, well after some well deserved coffee and a good breakfast at Tijax Marina’s  restaurant.  I unloaded all the lockers (cabinets) and washed them all out with vinegar then a spritz of clove oil and water.  I washed everything in the galley.

Steve stayed busy bringing back all the systems in working order.  DC and AC power, refrigeration, the toilet, the propane and stove, VHF radio, AIS, the Wifi booster, got the dinghy back in the water and outboard running, of course all the covers off, and then he flushed the water tanks.  He has been steadily going down his huge list.  Cleaning all his tools and getting everything back in their place.  

We have also tried to see some of our core group of friends that happen to still be here.  We know a lot of people but we of course have our core friends that we just really click with.  We were so excited that many of them are here… of course others are all over the world.  I can’t tell you how good it is to be with like minded people.  We are no longer the misfits. Now we are with all the other misfits, well misfit boat people.  

So we brought in the new years on top of the bridge here in Fronteres.  It is a pretty popular bridge in Guatemala. We were surprised that more people weren’t on it at midnight. You can see all the fireworks from that spot, a 360 view.  We haven’t celebrated the 1st in many years, it was a nice change but a nap was needed to pull it off.

Other news is that we have beat our supply shipment.  The hurricanes this year really pushed the shipping industry back so everything is being processed very slowly.  They are extremely backed up.  We hope to have it arrive next week, which works out because it is giving us a chance to get the boat ready to receive it and Steve won’t be too overwhelmed with projects.  

Guess that is about it. We will continue to get the boat ready to sail back to the Bay Islands then onto Isla Mujeres.  Remember everything takes a lot of work, even to do simple things, so we are back on “Island Time” …  Time to enjoy Life and all its twists and turns.

Until next time my friends, be good to Yourself and OTHERS..