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053111 El Cid Marina, Puerto Morelos, Mexico: Here is the engine with everything disconnected...waiting for the truck to show up...they are having mechanical difficulties.
060211 Here is the space where the engine was. We get to stare at it in shock for three weeks .
060211 The truck canít come (was there ever really a truck?) so the mechanic commandeers a backhoe to lift the engine. It leans over to one side as it turns and the engine hits a small rock. Then it goes to his friendís truck to haul it off. I want to cry as I see it bounce off down the road.
060311 The head before it went for service. Oh, by the way, this is an additional charge...different shop.
060311 The worst cylinder after a little cleaning. We just replaced them all.
062811 New parts are in and the engine runs. Our mechanic Michel is on the left as they attempt to keep the running engine from bouncing off the table..
050111 El Cid Marina: Deep sea fishing is popular. There is a tournament almost every weekend in the summer. Here some large fish are displayed from a fishing charter at the marina. The largest is well over 4 ft. maybe 5.
Most of the boats in the marina are power boats. Nilaya is dwarfed by a yacht in the next slip. An even larger one joined us later. If only they would provide a little shade.
050511 The city park in Puerto Morelos. Notice the gorgeous view to the east of the waters and outlying barrier reefs.
051711 Mex: The beach at Playa del Carmen, just to the south of Puerto Morelos. We vacationed there 7 years ago and it was a busy but small tourist town. Now it's big and pricey. But still beautiful.
050211 Enjoying one of the many restaurants in Puerto Morelos. We think it must be subliminal advertising that they post English language signs to attract the gringos.
050211 Puerto Morelos MX: A very wise sign--drink, don't drive.
051011 We enjoy an afternoon with the rich people at the all inclusive hotel. At this point in time, we don't know our engine is seized. You can tell because we're smiling.
051111 El Cid Hotel MX: Jim giving a yankee welcome to new friends from the United Kingdom, (L to R) Denise and Linda. Their surprised look is not because of anything Jim did, rather I said I'd post this on the blog with the caption, "A couple of broads Jim picked up in the pool."
070911 Saying goodbye to Mexico--or so we thought. With the sea buoy on our stern, we motor out of the channel. Details of the trip in Blog dated Aug 15.
070511 MX: A view of El Cid Marina from the top of the mast. Notice the emptiness of the marina? All the other boats have cleared out. Why was Laura at the top of the mast? We had to tie a safety line at the last minute as we found a frayed cable on our rigging that we'll have to fix in Guatemala.
071111 Cayo Norte, Mexico at the north end of Chinchorro Banks where we waited for a low to pass. These two small islands, another in the middle and one in the south are surrounded by a kidney-shaped reef. You can enter safely only through a couple of breaks in the reef and this one at the north end is deep and wide. It is a park and conch sanctuary. Read about what happens while we are here in Blog dated Aug 15.
071511 Across "the bar" and anchoring next to Livingston, Guatemala. Silt builds up at the river mouth creating the notorious "bar" that you need to cross at high tide if your boat has a draft of more than 4 1/2 or 5 ft. Ours is 6 feet. Boats that get stuck usually have to be heeled over by pulling a line from the top of the mast then towed through. The majority of the main river is deep enough for worry free navigation some areas even over 90 feet deep.
080411 Fronteras Guatemala - We've been enjoying the availability of fresh fruits and vegetables. Some we've never seen before. This is called a mangostino. The skin is hard like a pomegranite. The center is like a peeled grape in sections like an orange.
072311 Rio Dulce (Fronteras), Guatemala: Jumping right in to the social scene, we attended a dinner with a Jungle Party theme. There were prizes for the best Tarzan or Jane costumes. Jim won a prize for best Tarzan yell and Laura won for wearing something that resembled a costume. (Looking more like "Jane goes to Bali".)
081211Rio Dulce-The full moon above Texan Bay. Our friend David on SV Expectations invited us for an outing aboard his nice catamaran. We had a great few days touring a resort just outside the entrance to the river on the coast of Guatemala.
091511 El Relleno Guatemala-One night our marina (Mar Marine) hosted a marimba band. A very traditional instrument made almost entirely of wood.
On marimba night, our waitresses dressed in traditional clothing. A lace overblouse and handwoven skirt.
100811 El Estor Guatemala-We got out of the marina for a long weekend to go up river to a small town call El Estore (which means The Store). It was a much nicer town than Fronteras as the streets were nice and wide with less traffic. Since we were in unknown territory, we rafted together at night, and posted a watch. Which was good because someone swam up to the boats around midnight to try and steal something. They swam off after being spotlighted. The entire river area is plagued with thefts as many of you will recall we had our dinghy and outboard stolen two years ago when we were here.
102911 Rio Dulce Guatemala-It's not uncommon to see very young children alone in a cayuca (canoe). No adult, no life vest. They start their independence at a very early age. These two were selling small carved wood figures of anteaters and cayucas.
103111 Rio Dulce-Pumpkins were scarce, so for Halloween Jim found this gourd. At night we set it out at the dock to keep the security guards company.
102911 Rio Dulce-On another short trip out of the marina we rafted with three other boats near a small island in the middle of the river. We anchored there for a couple of nights. Laura took this photo from the top of the mast. (Since the river was calm, we decided to replace a block on one of the halyards.)
112211 Construction techniques are a little different in the rural cities. Who needs expensive steel scaffolding when you have a huge rainforest at your disposal? This hotel is slowly adding on more floors. Jim took the photo from the big bridge that spans the river.
We threw together our various firework collections for an early New Year celebration. Fireworks are readily available and mostly of a very large and loud nature. Being the old people we are, we knew we wouldn't make it until midnight so we walked to a spot under the bridge to get a good percussion and reverberation against the concrete walls to set them off. The overage children in the photo are Kent and Faye of SV Southern Mist, Steve and Roberta (taking photo) of SV Chanticleer who were our cohorts that evening.
Rio Dulce Dec 2011: Our meager decorations for Christmas-a few LED lights strung on the bow.
Rio Dulce Dec 2011: Snowing in the bedroom! There is always a project. Here Jim is cutting an opening for a new door in the rear of the bedroom hanging locker where we will make shelves to try and better organize the space. Space is always an issue so we must stay organized.
Rio Dulce Dec '11: Posed for the requisite holiday shot in front of the Christmas Tree at Backpacker's Hotel & Restaurant located under the bridge on the side of the river away from the main town. They also run a small orphanage and grocery at different locations.
Rio Dulce Dec '11: The gringos gather for dinner and a white elephant gift exchange. The restaurant looks out over the water. When the river is swollen with rain and a launch zooms by, the waves spray water up through the floorboards on the dance floor.
Fronteras, Guatemala Dec '11: The bridge over the river is a local tourist attraction. Vehicles stop and people gather to take photos. There are even snack and trinket vendors.
Catamaran Marina Guatemala Dec '11: The inviting pool area. Catamaran is a resort with small cabanas, a tennis court, pool, bar and restaurant.
Catamaran Marina, Guatemala Dec '11 A shot of the beautiful grounds at Catamaran Marina, the first marina ever built on the river. We moved over to one of their docks for a couple of weeks before we left the river to work on a couple of boat projects. (Better access to our intended labor pool; i.e. Les on Wilde Mathilde was helping us install a watermaker.)
Jan '12 Utila, Honduras: Friends on the beach-(LtoR) Steve & Roberta of SV Chanticleer, Faye & Kent of SV Southern Mist. When they weren't chasing us around in a golf cart, they were leading us astray through mud pits and people's backyards. We covered every road and path we could find, only having to retreat at the town dump and once due to a threatening sign warning we shouldn't go any further.(Probably put up by an ex-pat.)
Feb '12 Utila, Honduras Bay Islands: An interesting sign on the main road. Straps included!
Jan '12 Utila, Honduras: We rented a scooter to tour the island with friends who rented a golf cart. Here we drive along one of the many beautiful beaches this one in front of some gorgeous homes.
Jan '12 Utila, Honduras Bay Islands: The Jade Seahorse is a boutique hotel, gift shop and restaurant where the owner has decorate almost every foot of space in unusual and artful decor. The blue building on the left is one of the rental cabins, the pointed roof shades a lounging deck and chairs line an octagon stairway also bordered by large sculptures of coral, tile, concrete castings, shells, art glass and more. You could spend hours here and not see it all.