Sunday, March 23, 2014

A Walk Around Utila, Honduras

We had been checking the weather carefully for several days and tentatively decided to go overnight to Utila, Honduras on 2/28. We talked to our weather guru Chris Parker on the Single Side Band Radio at 7am and got a better than expected forecast. We could expect light winds, unfortunately mostly in front of us, but waves only 2 -4 feet. So we motored out to the reef near Ranguana, about 3 hours, and in good light found the cut in the reef just south of the island. After going through it, we backtracked and anchored in the cut. It was a little bouncy but fine. We didn't want to leave until 6 pm when it was almost dark (we expected the trip to take from 13 to 17 hours and didn't want to get into Utila until we had good light as it is a tricky entrance through the reefs there). It was an easy evening although the waves and wind were against us the whole way so we still had a bit of bashing.
We checked into the NW Cruiser NET on the SSB at 8am so when we got to the entrance to the harbor at Utila, Czech N Mate called us and gave us some good advice on the navigation. Actually we could see the deep channel between the reefs quite clearly once there. We were anchored by 10:30 am. After checking in with Customs/Immigration and the Port Captain we spent most of the day just resting up.
Munchie's Cafe is a favorite breakfast hang out on their
breezy front porch.
The enormous number of wires strung in a
haphazard fashion force some strange
pruning on the trees.

The local elementary school during a boisterous lunch session

The variety and well kept cottages and gardens are a delight
for the eye

This huge private motor yacht anchored in the harbor
along with the cruisers. In the background is the
Honduran mountain range on the mainland over 40 miles
away (and the mountains are even further)

Walking along the shore west we came to some lovely
public beaches

Where the sunbather can have a long private stretch of beach

After a few hours of walking we needed some sustenance.
Here, the nachos from El Picante.

That's John the owner and now a friend.

Walking east from the town we enjoyed the charming
private homes and small Inns

Most have a Victorian cottage look about them

And most are quite small and have a front porch where we
often saw the residents sitting and watching the foot traffic

Most of the food was local but occasionally the chefs
branched out.

Debby and Jerry from Czech N Mate, our cruising friends
from Tortugal Marina and Oklahoma.

And new friends Cindy and Scott on Amazing Grace. They
headed up to Cuba from Utila while we and Czech N Mate
went on to Roatan.

On the next day we explored the town, walking up to the east. We became friends with Judy and Chris. She runs a lovely gift shop and he runs a cafe/theater. We had lunch with Czech N Mate and their friends Amazing Grace at the Bucchaneer and met the owners Melly and Patrick. Previews of that night's Academy Awards were on and I expressed regret that we couldn't see it because we were worried about leaving our boats for the evening (our guide book calls this harbor Burglery Bay). Patrick picked up the phone and called the Mayor and arranged for a patrol boat to keep an eye on the harbor! So we all came in for dinner and managed to stay awake till about 9:30 pm (Cruiser midnight). On Monday we took a long walk down to the end of road going west. A lagoon entrance there prevents going further by foot - most traffic on the island is by boat. There are few roads. For lunch we went to El Piquante and met owner John. We were the only ones there to start and he sat down with us. What an interesting life he has led, born in the Congo, immigrated with his parents to California and 8 years ago he married an Honduran and they moved here. That after noon we had some great snorkeling out on the main reef, right on the edge of the drop off. Our good friend Barbara who we stayed with in Florida in January arranged for us to contact her friends Maria and Roger who live down on the western end of the island. They picked us up on our boat and took us out to lunch on Tuesday. We really enjoyed their company and will spend more time with them on another visit. Due to weather constraints we decided to move on to French Harbor, Roatan the next day with Jerry and Debby. More to come...

1 comment:

Christine said...

Lovely! Still no baby.