Friday, November 7, 2014

Happy Belated Birthday Lori and Early Birthday to Seaton!!!

(Note - This post was written in October and changed several times as we chased the ghosts of internet. We never did find internet service at Amapala so we had to wait to post it til now.) 


We are missing you muchas and thinking of you often. We hope you had a great birthday! Wish we could see you to give you birthday hugs!

Having left El Salvador and the land of the heart shaped “LOVE” clam we are headed South East again.

We had to cross the bar to get out of our estuary home of nearly six months. It was way more exciting leaving than coming in, partly because we had a little swell running. We were obviously the first boat of the season over the bar as our GPS showed that the pilot took us on the exact same path as we took going in last May. The only problem with that plan was that the bar had clearly changed over the winter season and was now breaking there. We went for it as directed and were rewarded with about 5 waves that came up over the deck, dodger and even over the bimini! So much for our freshly washed boat! Too bad we didn’t have a GoPro for that one.  Once we cleared the breakers, we cleaned up the mess and checked for damage. Fortunately, other than the whole exterior having a saltwater bath up to about 12’ above the water line and some water making it beneath the closed and locked companionway doors and down below, no real damage was done. Next time we’ll put in the actual hatchboards to keep the water from sneaking below. Just another day of Gratitouille taking care of us.   
Just got this photo from Bill as we were posting! Thanks Bill!

It felt good to be mobile again. The wind was light and even though we were chased (and hit) by many thunderstorms, we had a great 4 day sail to the Bay of Fonseca. 

One of our last nights off El Salvador we stopped and anchored in the open ocean for a day near a town called Espino. 

 The next morning I awoke to a strange sound. I sprung from bed like a crazy man thinking someone was stealing gear off the boat or worse we had drug anchor and were head for shore. As I looked to the bow there was a panga with 2 young fishermen in it stealing our anchor, or so I thought at the time. As it turns out their net had dragged into our boat in the night and tangled around our anchor chain. I think I scared them a bit because they quickly removed the net and sped off! Oops! Luckily they understood my shock and came back later, bringing us some delicious (giant!)shrimp and fish as an apology for the abrupt early morning wakeup. We made amends and said goodbye to our last friends to be made in El Salvador. They are a wonderful people. 

Another days sail and we would be ready to head into Honduran waters. 

It’s time to change the courtesy flags, it is a show of respect to the host country. The yellow flag “Q” states that we have not cleared customs and goes back to the days of quarantining a boat until it was cleared by the ports doctor as having no communicable disease. Thus the ‘Q’ or quarantine flag is flown until we are cleared into the country. 

At one point Jodi saw another sailboat just on the horizon. 

And when we arrived in Honduras, who was there to greet us but our good friends from Palarran.  A new country and old friends, what a great way to start this chapter of our journey. 

Our first week here was great. We landed right at the beginning of Amapala Days. It is the annual festival celebrating the town of Amapala here on the Island of El Tigre, Honduras.  Complete with street food (my favorite!), rides and games for the kids, and the Senora Amapala Pagent celebrating the mothers and grandmothers of the 6 villages around the island. What fun! 

These guys live the dream here, well maybe Brian’s, they live in a beautiful country and get to fish every day. The dugout canoes many of them fish from and use to get around the island are amazing. 

Another country and more wonderful people, everybody here has been great and very proud of how safe and tranquil it is here. We even had the Commander of the local navy base come by the boat to welcome us to the country and invite us to the officer’s club!

If we get another chance to use internet we will try to send more updates. Otherwise, we plan to leave in about a week (give or take) and it will probably take a few weeks to get to our next port. Until then we leave you with the current view of our front and back yard here in Honduras.

Happy Birthday Lori and Seaton!
Darren and Jodi
(Ed. Note – we have left Honduras and are now at an island across the bay that we stopped at on our way out as there was rumor of internet service at the hotel here! We just stopped long enough to post and if weather cooperates we will leave here tonight and be without internet for a few more weeks til we get to San Juan Del Sur!)

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