Saturday, April 25, 2015

Belize to Guatemala and up the Rio

Our new friends Nadia, Richard and Selma on "Callisto"
After our exhausting 24 hours at sea we anchored at Blue Ground Range and ate a huge breakfast. Our neighbors called on the VHF to chat and introduce themselves. Richard and Selma and their daughter Nadia became our new cruising friends. They were concerned about the weather that night and we all decided to continue on to Sapadilla Lagoon - a favorite hideout for rough weather. We certainly wanted a quiet evening. And we got it! That is after a tea with deserts over at their boat. Richard built this steel boat Callisto himself in Vancouver and they sailed it down the Pacific Coast and through the Canal.
Next day we sailed down to Placencia. Our good friends Linda and Mike Odom on "Casa del Mar" needed to leave the next morning to head north to the States and we wanted to celebrate my birthday with them. Dave, Ellen and Ellen's daughter Kerri from Cordelia joined us at MoJo's Restaurant in Placencia. It was a marvelous evening - great company and food. This was April 13th. April 14th was our 36th wedding anniversary and we spent it with Dan and Barb Hankey at Rick's Cafe also in Placencia. Dave went to high school with Russ and his sister Judy and lives half the year here and half in Newton, MA.
April 15th was Sean's birthday and we talked to him on the phone while he was enjoying a birthday dinner in Boston with friends. He and I are celebrating our 100th birthday (I'm 70 and Sean is 30) by going to Martha's Vineyard together June 5 -7th.
We love Placencia and enjoyed lots of walks, great food and drink, ice cream at Tutti Fruitti and swimming in the bay with Russ until Friday the 17th. On that day we sailed down to Tres Puntas in company with Callisto and Cordelia, anchored for the night (a lovely quiet one), a had a 3 person party to celebrate my birthday for the last time.
It was an easy crossing the next morning at 7 am with only a few bumps on the bottom to slow us down a bit. The officials came out right on time and we spent the morning walking around Livingston and eating lunch with Dave and Ellen. There was a brief scary moment not long after we pulled up the anchor when our engine overheated. The fresh water level was way down. We anchored and waited till the engine cooled down and then filled it up and continued slowly. There's a leak in our water pump and Scott has ordered a new one from the States.
We stayed one night anchored off Burnt Cay Marina in Texan Bay, about 1 and 1/2 hours up from Livingston. The river widens up into a big lake, Golfite, which extends 10 miles before narrowing down again to a river. In another few miles you cross under the 80' high bridge at Fronteras before reaching Tortugal Marina on the right. Just past us the river passes by the San Felipe fort and then widens again into another even larger lake. If the security was better you could cruise this area for many weeks but there has been a lot of thefts away from the marinas.
Russ had 2 nights here before taking the bus up to Guatemala City. He stayed in the Grand Tikal Futura hotel for one night and then flew back to the U.S. the next day. Scott and I will be here for a couple more weeks getting the boat ready for the summer. We're having a new cover made for the boat, cleaning out the water tanks, cleaning the whole boat outside and inside, and lot of other things. We hope to have a number of days relaxing in Antigua before leaving Guatemala. It is VERY hot right now, 102 degrees, so a challenge to keep working. Happily we have air conditioning in the boat while tied up to the marina and it cools down at night (to 85).
Russ, Dave, Ellen, Linda, Mike, me, Scott and Kerri

Barb and Dan at our Anniversary Dinner - Rick's Cafe

My actual birthday party anchored at Tres Puntas, Guatemala

Two of my gifts Belize coffee cups

Russ and some of the officials checking in at Livingston

Nadia's shot of Russ while visiting the water lilies

Beautiful Texan Bay where we spent our first night in the river

Scott Free at anchor

And the other boats there

Exploring the mangrove creeks all around

With lots of water lilies

And here and there a house over the water

This one bordered both the creek and the lake

One of the entrances onto the lake with mountains behind

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