Thursday, April 29, 2010
In keeping with our theme of butts, we did finish San Pedro with a sore butt adventure as we rode Bicycles from San Pedro to a Bay called Tranquility Bay, 16 miles as the crow flies, but we were not crows but sailors and had to tack our way up. We had to follow roads, dirt roads, sandy dunes, through the surf, through the dump and cross country. But we made it! We had company, Rhonda and Bruce as well as Jan, people staying at the condos called the Belize Yacht Club. There we had a lovely lunch a snorkel and walked the beach. And then we had to go back! While, we made that too and the next day we were all pleasantly surprised to find that we were not sore!! Although we did not ride the next day!We checked out and spent our last night in San Pedro with Steve and Monica, from Fedelis 11. Our friends from the Belize Yacht Club helped cast off our lines after some teary so longs. It is always hard to leave when you have been in a place so long. We left, slowly as we had to plough our way out to the channel. We received a round of applause, or Interlude did, as we hit open water. The passage to Roatan, a Bay Island of Honduras, known for it’s diving, was 24 hours. We motored most of the way. We had a great visit from our passage making friends, a pod of dolphins. They entertained us by doing flips, racing us and giving us a smile and a wink.Coxen Hole, our first anchorage was a great introduction to Roatan and Honduras. As we were going into anchor a yachty, named Mark on Cool Breeze, directed us in and gave us the scoop on Coxen Hole. We went ashore the next morning to clear with Customs and Immigration. Customs did not want to see us! Immigration came around 2:30pm, after he was called by the Port Captain. So we wondered around town, shopped, had lunch and drinks, then cleared in with Immigration and the Port Captain. So we have permission to stay for 90 days with no need to check in every 30 days, or at every island we visit in Honduras. Such freedom!Mark had given us the scoop on how to address people: if they are black say ‘hello’, if they are brown say ‘ola’. He was right! You can do all you basic shopping in Coxen Hole, and we did notice that wine was back to $5-10 a bottle!! Yeah!!Off to French Harbour, a bay some 5 miles east along the coast. The entrance was tricky, especially with 15 year old cruising guides. We figured we were in the right place when we saw a bunch of masts. It was great to be back in a cruising community! We went to a raft up, which is were all the dinghies raft together and share appetizers. We went to a couple of sundowner nights at coco view resort. The cruisers all got together for a pot luck on Fantasy Island. We also had a lovely massage, a Christmas present from Bruce. We ventured out by car and toured west one day and east the next. The highlight of the west end is “West End”, which is a diving village. The road is unpaved and they have voted to keep it that way. Wall to wall dive shops and restaurants. We had lunch in West Bay, on the water as usual. We then headed back before the cruise ship crowd plugged up the road.The east end is less populated, which means that the roads are worse. We had a drink out over the water in Camp Bay. We had lunch as a resort which was mostly empty, also looking over the water. While we had the car we stocked up on diesel and wine and topped up the propane.In French Harbour itself we did take some time do to a few dives. We saw 3 lion fish on Coco view’s home reef, not a good sign. We did a dive with Mark and Liesel (from Cool Breeze), and a couple of dives from Trouble, our dingy. We went to Marie’s place, a dive site recommended by Cool Breeze, and a good recommendation it was. The topography was great and we got a good picture of a seahorse.We also spent the usual cruiser time changing oil in the diesel, fixing the outboard, replacing fuse holders, polishing the stainless steel and recommissioning the water maker.Then we headed to Utila, another of the Bay Islands. Utila is another divers paradise, known for the back packer crowd, who like to party (very loud) all night and dive the next day. Also the holding is not good. So sleepless nights for us. We have done a couple of dives. The topography has been good, but the fish life seems limited. Today’s dive was made exciting by the ‘shop’ getting the mooring line caught around the shaft and propeller. We had to hail a passing boat so that we would not be thrown ashore while the dive master and a friend of the captain went down with knives to cut off the line. Oh well, shit happens!