Friday, February 18, 2022

Free At Last?

 On Tuesday Jerry and Debarah on Czech & Mate got their call from our agent Raul that they and 2 other boats had been approved for departure. They were told they had to leave by Monday. He didn't have permission for us yet. We were a little surprised as we had applied several days before them.  Our friend Peter on "Dora" was down checking out that day and emailed us that 3 boats had been approved and were leaving that very day. So they were in the second group of cleared vessels.  We managed to talk to Raul and he informed us that we were in the next group of three to be investigated. Jean on C'est Si Bon and Jean Jacques from here at Tortugal were the other two. 

That's Peter on "Dora" on the front left and Jean Jacques in the third row right. Jerry and Debarah are in the last row on the left at the back, the furthest left and the third from the left. I organized a trip down river to a great restaurant run by a Swiss/German man, Casa Pericho, for dinner. We hired a big launcha to take all 18 of us!

It was a stressful night and most of Wednesday thinking that we would not be able to leave with Jerry & Debarah and that there might be additional problems with our application, but finally late in the afternoon on Wednesday we got our call. We too were approved and must leave on Monday too. Well that's good news but now we have additional complications. Our friend Jenny Wolf had planned to join us in Belize from 2/21 to 2/28 but was flexible enough to change her flights to land in Guatemala on Saturday afternoon. So not having any news about our clearance, we reserved an Airbnb in Antigua for Friday and Saturday nights to meet her and bring her down on Sunday. 

A fun little cloud hovers over the river. That's our swim raft in the center.

We have to leave on the high tide and it is at 11:30 AM on Monday. That is 3 hours away from our Marina and we have to start the check out procedures at 8 AM (includes COVID test). We have to sail down river near the mouth on Sunday. There was an earthquake on Wednesday leaving some roads with landslides. YECH! So we canceled our trip and hired a driver to pick Jenny up from the airport on Saturday and bring her down to us. We can then leave Sunday morning and sail down to Cayo Quemado near the mouth of the river. Join us crossing fingers and toes that the weather cooperates and we have a comfortable exit from the river. It's not a great tide so we'll need to be pulled over by our halyard and may even need a second boat to tow us across the bar. But we'll be OUT and headed to Belize. I'll send another post when this is all accomplished.

Happy Hour with Dave & Ellen who got COVID on their trip to Tikal - they are in quarantine on their
boat. Happily, they have only mild symptoms. Peter and Bill on Minx came down with COVID as well on a separate trip to Tikal (we think it was the bus) and they are almost recovered now but still on their boat waiting for a negative test. Dave on the boat, Jerry, Rick & Marsha and Ellen on the dock.

Debarah sat on our boat with us and that's Ellen
over on her's. 

Just an update - it's Friday night and the weather is looking good for our departure Monday. I'll let you know more after we get to Belize. 

Dave & Ellen on Cordelia had their great friend
and former band member with Dave, Janice,
down for a visit. They gave a terrific concert one
night at Tortugal. Janice played the fiddle - but
she is a violinist and music teacher.

We have a number of good restaurants here at
Rio Dulce, Las Amandas' owner was formerly
chef on a super yacht. Here's his Eggs Benedict.

Scott Free looks towards the full moon and yearns for the open water!

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