Mar 08

Iguana Farm Visit

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Just a short dinghy ride from our marina there is unique attraction. A wildlife preserve, known as the Iguana farm. We had passed by it a few times , but up until now, we never dropped in to see what it was all about. Soon after tying up our dinghy we were greeted by the numerous Tarpon, Snook, and Snappers swimming around the docks.

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Founded in June of 1980, by Sherman Arch and his family. They have strived throughout the years to educate and inform the public in regards to excessive fishing and poaching. The family practices conservation,preservation, and protection of Roatan’s wildlife. On their property, hundreds of iguanas roam freely, and reproduce on the reserve. In the attempt to safeguard the Green Iguana, as well as the aquatic life, the Arch family works to earn a profit for the purpose of continued conservation of Roatan’s wildlife, as their love for the environment.

www.roataniguanaexcursions.com

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Check out the video at:………https://youtu.be/3LlCoql8zkM

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Mar 01

East End Trip

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Spiny Tailed Iguana, are found only on the island of Roatan, in the Bay Islands of Honduras. The species is listed as endangered, with a population of around 4,500.

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We went for a drive out to the East end of Roatan, visiting the bays , and stopping for lunch at a waterside restaurant. This is the least tourist side of the island, with some beautiful homes and out of the way resorts.

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A Robinson-Crusoe type living can be enjoyed in this remote area of the island. Spending days on the beach, wind surfing, swimming, or just lounging, it is beautiful.

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This is a unique disco bar, roadside shipwreck that is visited by up to 700 persons on weekends listening to the state of the art sound system. Grand Opening was in 2016 to a fantastic fireworks display. Isery means New,  in the native Garifuna language.

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Feb 20

Sargassum

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Sargassum is abundant in the ocean. Upon close inspection, it is easy to see the many leafy appendages, branches, and round, berry-like structures that make up the plant. These “berries” are actually gas-filled structures, called pneumatocysts, which are filled mostly with oxygen. Pneumatocysts add buoyancy to the plant structure and allow it to float on the surface.

Floating rafts of Sargassum can stretch for miles across the ocean. This floating habitat provides food, refuge, and breeding grounds for an array of critters such as fishes, sea turtles, marine birds, crabs, shrimp, and more. Some animals, like the Sargassum fish (in the frogfish family), live their whole lives only in this habitat. Sargassum serves as a primary nursery area for a variety of commercially important fishes such as mahi mahi, jacks, and amberjacks.

When Sargassum loses its buoyancy, it sinks to the seafloor, providing energy in the form of carbon to fishes and invertebrates in the deep sea. Sargassum may also provide an important addition to the food sources available in the deep sea.

Because of its ecological importance, Sargassum has been designated as Essential Fish Habitat, which affords these areas special protection. However, Sargassum habitat has been poorly studied because it is so difficult to sample. Further research is needed to understand, protect, and best conserve this natural resource.

Taken from the NOAA website, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

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Since we have had a southeast wind for the last little while, the island has masses of this floating weed pushed in to most of the bays, plastics of all kind are mixed in. Workers at the resort raked and picked up, and trucked away all the debris in a couple of days, leaving the beaches, pristine once again. 

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The main port , French Harbour is open but the small bays are covered with this floating mess. We got stuck and had to paddle up to the dock, where we were greeted by the attendant with his small fury friend. This is usually the easy access to town, which is a short walk.

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Early, this morning we came across this boat stricken on the reef. So sad to see someone lose their home and dreams, and brings to mind the dangers of sailing.

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Soon after leaving the boat, the first of the looters showed up.

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Feb 09

The Monkey and Sloth Hangout, Roatan

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One of the most amazing attractions here on the Island of Roatan, is a visit to The Monkey and Sloth Hangout.This is not you typical, here you interact with the residents who seem to enjoy your company. The highlight was holding young 3 Toed Sloth. Our guide had climbed a tree overlooking the water to bring him down, All the animals move freely from inside the protected area to outside within the  compound. When a Cruise ship is in port, this is one of the attractions that is booked, but not today. We spent plenty of time with each group on animals.

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Watch our Video at:

https://youtu.be/7w8vsi5tNmU

Fantasy Island Marina has been a enjoyable stop, great snorkeling, beautiful beach, safe docks, and friendly people. Each evening we sit and watch the sun set and relax on the ……..Dock of the Bay.

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Dec 21

Guanaja, Honduras

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As was the case in most of the Caribbean, the first European to arrive was none other than Christopher Columbus. His first stop was right here at Isla de Guanaja, in the Bay Islands. Columbus named the land, Honduras, meaning, “depths”  for the deep water he found here, along the coast.

The history of Honduras began a long time ago, with the first settlers arriving by either walking across the Bering Strait Land Bridge, or by floating on rafts across the Pacific Ocean. Anthropologists theorize that these early Hondurans arrived around 10,000 BC.

For almost 20 years after Columbus’s visit, only a couple of Spanish explorers visited Honduras until 1522, when an expedition came. Their only true goal was to acquire wealth and power for the explorers involved.

The Spanish fought the local native tribes into the latter 1530s, and at one point almost were driven out. If only all the indigenous people in Central America had banded together, the outcome would have been far different. One leader, Lempira whose name means “Gentleman of the mountain”, was unusually successful against the invaders. Lempira, a tribe chief organized 30,000 fighters into a resistance force that the Spanish could not defeat in battle, so they resorted to treachery and deception.  Under a white flag of truce both sides met to negotiate a peace treaty. During the meeting, the Spanish shot and killed the Great warrior stopping the resistance movement entirely. Today Lempiras name is synonymous with the indigenous peoples heritage and so honored is the great leader that Honduras currency is named after him. By 1841  the number of indigenous Indians were around 8000,  approximately, 1%  of what their numbers were when the Spanish arrived.

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Dec 14

Route To The Rio

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Fellow Cruisers, Marj and Tom Lamb on mv 3/4 Time

 

After reviewing cruising guides, FB groups, numerous weather sites and Chris Parker { weather guru }, and considering advice from fellow cruisers, it looked like we had a solid sail plan. Years ago when we were in the Bahamas we bought a world radio off our friends Pat and Karl on Ishmael. This radio allowed us to pick up SSB channels and most important the weather report broadcast every morning from Florida, when internet is not available.

All was a go, we checked out of the country….. again, and  prepared Mistress, put together our defense system,  and enjoyed a beautiful sunset.

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Early the next morning we hoisted the anchor and motored out of the harbour to a mark 3 miles from the island. From there we turned north to pass through a reef and the coastline of Nicaragua this is where most of the boarding and thefts are reported to happen. Some say it is the fishermen trying to supplement their income others say if just a bunch or rowdies in boats. When you rob a boat you are a pirate and this is a known problem area.

For the first day, we motor sailed almost directly into the wind, doing a surprisingly 5 knots. The wind had been predicted to be more east, meaning the waves would be from the side. Even though the wind was light it seemed like we were travelling faster than we were, the sound of the wind can fool you. After sunset the wind became lighter and constantly shifted  direction. This caused the boom to slam, and the sails to pop, hard on the rigging but kept the boat steadier and avoid rolling. The next morning we were completely by Nicaragua. and at a place we could begin to ease the sails, and turn west and get a gentler ride. As the sun rose higher in the sky the wind died completely leaving us to sail along at 3 kts. The light wind lasted all day and night, we were still 200 miles away from our destination.

Day 3  Again light winds all day, we had been running the engine al night but now had to conserve fuel to make sure we would not run out. In the evening,a group of dark heavy rain clouds passed over us  one after another we got rained on till we were soaked to the skin. Our old foul weather  was no match. we must have changed 3 or 4 times only to get soaked again.

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Day 4, brought another problem, if we continued along at the present speed we would arrive at nigh tin the dark. The Harbour entrance is reef  strewn on both sides, no place for error. We could turn on the engine, but we would take the chance of running out of fuel,  or just slow right down, and drift for the last 75 miles.  This is what we did.

On the morning of day 5 we had Guanaja in sight and slowly made our way into the harbour.

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Honduras Immigration Office