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.


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.

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Check out the video at:………


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.


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


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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. 



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.


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:

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 28

Roatan, Honduras

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The island rests on an exposed ancient coral reef, rising to about 270 meters (890 ft.) above sea level. Offshore reefs offer opportunities for diving.[1] Most habitation is in the western half of the island.

The most populous town of the island is Coxen Hole, capital of Roatán municipality, located in the southwest. West of Coxen Hole are the settlements of Gravel Bay, Flowers Bay and Pensacola on the south coast, and Sandy Bay, West End and West Bay on the north coast. To the east of Coxen Hole are the settlements of Mount Pleasant, French Harbour, Parrot Tree, Jonesville and Oakridge on the south coast, and Punta Gorda on the north coast.

The easternmost quarter of the island is separated by a channel through the mangroves that is 15 meters wide on average. This section is called Helene, or Santa Elena in Spanish. Satellite islands at the eastern end are Morat, Barbareta, and Pigeon Cay. Further west between French Harbour and Coxen Hole are several cays, including Stamp Cay and Barefoot Cay.


Located near the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the largest barrier reef in the Caribbean Sea (second largest worldwide after Australia’s Great Barrier Reef), Roatán has become an important cruise ship, scuba diving and eco-tourism destination in Honduras. Tourism is its most important economic sector, though fishing is also an important source of income for islanders. Roatán is located within 40 miles of La Ceiba. The island is served by the Juan Manuel Gálvez Roatán International Airport and the Galaxy Wave Ferry service twice a day.

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Text from Wikipedia

Nov 29

Touring around San Andres

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.Using public transit, we decided to tour the island to see some interesting sites. Stopping at the Casa Museo, were shown a typical house from the early 1900s, and learned how people lived back then. Very much like the early habitants of Canada, without snow. The locals here, for most part speak English, but in their own dialect known as Creole. Spanish is taught in schools, but those who do not speak English are considered foreigners. Colombia has restricted mainlanders from moving to these islands.

It is believed the first people who discovered  the islands were the Spanish who were heading to Jamaica in 1510. However some historians say it  was Christopher Colon [Columbus], on his second trip to the Americas.

One hundred years later, Dutch and English corsairs, Adventurers, and Smugglers referred to the islands as a group of cays, islands and islets surrounded by a sea of seven colours.

In 1629, a group of English Puritans arrived on the island and started to traffic black slaves from Africa. When they arrived at Providencia, they met the Dutch who had already settled here, and were in charge of trading throughout  the Antilles, the English colonized the land. Around that time, the king of Spain gave the order to expel the English, which took 36 years, before they finally settled in the territory. So the residents here are a mix of all the early visitors.

We were also given lessons on “ How to Dance”


We visited a site which looked like a Film Set, that has a small cave, that is said to have been used Henry Morgan. A tourist stop, but an enjoyable way to spend the afternoon.

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Off to the Dungeon………!!!!!



We would like to thank our agent in San Andres, Julian Watson. He not only helped us clear in, but was our personal guide, who was a phone call away to answer any of our questions. We enjoyed our stay in your beautiful harbour.

Nov 05

San Andres, Colombia

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The many places that we visit, the deciding factor to leave comes down to one thing, It’s time to move on. The last few days are spent readying Mistress, working on all the systems, which makes them quite tiring. The last night is spent  tossing and turning, trying to get some sleep, anxious to get going.

The winds were forecast to be light, with the possibility of rain over the 212 nautical mile trip. Getting away from the coast of Panama, the waves settled to around 3 ft. It was a bit uncomfortable due to the fact that we hadn’t sailed in almost a year.

We did manage to miss most of the storms, but had one pour down on us for more than an hour, our old raincoats weren’t much help, but kept us warm.

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We had calculated to arrive early in the morning, thinking to spend 2 full days at sea, travelling around 5 knots. Mistress sailed along,  pushed by the current, faster than we thought , making landfall in the dark, 11:30 pm.

This has got to be one of the most confusing harbours to enter at night. In the dark we could not make out anything, only guided in by the chartplotter. We were well inside the harbour before we could recognize buildings on shore.

When we were slowing  down getting ready to anchor the motor would not react, the linkage had come disconnected. We drifted along, narrowly missing a huge ship with no lights, before quickly dropping the anchor. We Arrived, it was now 2:00 am.


The culture in the islands have their origin in the mix of the African and European traditions Spanish and Creole { Bende or Carbeau English used by Raizales} are the native tongues., although most of the people of the island speak English.

Calypso, Reggae, Polka, Waltz, Mento, Schottist and Mazurca are the main music genres visitors can hear around the islands.

Architecture is of note as the are colorful and vivid. The diversity of the touristy attractions, hotels and the beautiful landscapes invite visitors to know the islands and have an amazing stay.

The south winds or hurricanes which cause serious problems to some islands and cruisers., are strange to these islands as the are located on the southeast of the Caribbean Sea basin. The archipelago is considered a good shelter from winds.

Many cruisers who arrive in San Andres or Providencia, come from Honduras, Guatemala ,{ Rio Dulce}, Panama, and other places in the Caribbean Sea.

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The next  day, we were invited by our friends, from Linton Bay Marina, Iris and Carl Meredith, who were here celebrating their 9th anniversary to tour the island. We spent the day driving completely around, stopping for a great lunch at one of the seaside restaurants.


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After the whole day at the beach, and tired from the sun, our anchor decided to drag across the Bay. A French Canadian couple came out to visit us, and as they were leaving, actually they got scared away by a storm cloud, the bow of the boat swung around. I quickly went to the front to have a look, and could see the anchor skipping across the bottom. Returning to the cockpit and attempting to start the engine, we were handed our second problem……Won’t start. Calling the marina, and Coast Guard, problem number three……No answer.  Luckily there were 2 small fishing boats near by that noticed our problem, and came to our assistance. Both boats had only 15 hp. motors but they were willing to help us re- anchor. With the wind pushing us they gave it their best, urged by a large fishing boat it was decided to tie up along side them. We found out that they had a mechanic onboard who would look at our engine. He quickly found a corroded connection, cleaned it and repaired. Next he looked at a small problem we have had for awhile, the button to Stop the engine. We have been taking the cover off the engine and manually pushing the solenoid to shut it down.


After spending about 1 1/2  hours, we now have a new stop switch installed. Touching the 2 wires together and holding them, will shut the engine off.  Works!!!



We are the showcase of the main town dock.

Sep 09

Rainy Season in Panama

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We are back in Linton Bay Marina, preparing Mistress for the next leg of our journey. When ready we will travel north to the  small Colombian island of San Andres. It is still hurricane season til the middle of November, then there is a short break before the Christmas winds kick in. Right now, here in Panama the rainy season is in full swing, the seas are calm and the wind very light.


By the time we got back, the bottom of the boat had grown quite beard. It took 2 local divers more than 2 hours to scape all the barnacles and growth off. The bottom looks good, the paint is in good shape. Humidity is around 85%, with the temperature most days in the mid 90s. Need to get things done early in the day.

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While going over our systems on the boat, we discovered a faulty alternator. This was caused by the sea water bath our engine took last season when the heat exchanger broke. We had washed everything down with fresh water and sprayed with WD 40, but I guess that wasn’t enough. We now learned about, a new to us product called, Corrosion X, which if performs as stated should rid or stop any ongoing rust. So far it seems to be doing a great job.

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We found a company in Panama City that service Starters, Alternators, and other electrical components, so we caught the bus early in the morning to visit them. It involves a 2 hour ride to town, where you cross the highway and catch the Expresso to the City, as it’s known.

We were kicked off about 1/2 way due to a demonstration that had the only road blocked off. Apparently the small town are not happy with their officials. So a group of women decided protest, the police stood by and made sure it didn’t get out of hand. We had to walk past the blockage and get the bus on the other side, to continue our journey. We were only held up for about 1 hour.


Around 11 o’clock we finally arrived at Internacional De Partes Electomecanicas, a leading dealer in downtown Panama city.It seems the more we come here the easier it gets to find our way around. The cabs are great.

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After determining that our expensive Balmar alternator could not be fixed, we were offered a replacement at a very good price. Successful shopping trip.

We treated ourselves to lunch in the mall before boarding the bus to return to the marina.


Everything here seems to take all day to do, it was a long day. we arrive just in time to see the sun go down.



Installing the new alternator will be put on the list of things we have to complete before we are ready to move on. Hopefully we get in done quicker than some of the residents here, who have been working for years.

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Apr 16

Our Animal Friends

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 Awhile ago, I shot a video of the monkeys on Linton Island, if you haven’t seen it…

[ Click Here]….

Animals, and nature in general have been an interest to me, my whole life . When I was young boy, my mom used to take the end of the bread, we called it the heel, and feed it to the pigeons beside our house. She herself had been raised through the depression of the 1930s, and could not see anyone or anything go hungry. I guess that’s where I get it from. I have a soft spot for ‘Mans best friend’, and I seem to attract local dogs and cats where ever we sail. I collect our table scraps then give them to our 4 legged friends near us. Muriel always makes extra so there is usually lots to spare. Most of the dogs are living a hard life, eating out of garbage sites. Some places a large number that become a nuisance. There are not enough  programs in place to control their numbers. Most dogs are afraid to come close. Probably chased away too many times. We don’t have a pet aboard Mistress, other than a small gecko that we discovered about  leaving Colombia, about six months ago who hides most of the time, but comes out at night to feed on insects. We would love to have small animal, but when we go home, we would have to find someone to look after them.

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The dogs known as coconut hounds, beach dogs, in Bahamas, as Potcakes, Puerto Rico, as Satos. Every island has a stray dog problem.

There is a lady, Kim Watson, who lives in Luperon, Dominican Republic, has dedicated her life to helping stray dogs and cats. Along with a team of veterinarians they have set up a program to spay and neuter local animals to help with the overpopulation problem.


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The first day we arrived in the marina here a thin brown dog came over to us and has sort of adopted us as parents. He is an alpha male, challenges any other male that approaches his territory, But usually gets his arse kicked. We call him Itchy cause he’s always scratching. When we first met him he had ticks on his head. We bought him a flee collar and they are now under control. We are now working on his ear problem. He is a very docile dog who follows us everywhere.

Another marina pup that came along, we call her Lady, is a calm dog who sleeps on our dock at night, [she’s just making sure we don’t leave]. For some reason, and I have seen this on other dogs around here, she has a problem with her front teeth. They seem to be wore away, but it was a mystery of how this would happen, until a fellow cruiser explained how this happens. This woman is a veterinarian, she said it is probably caused by the dogs picking things up or, attempting to eat off the concrete docks.

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All of this friendship only cost us a bowl of kibble once a day. I feel good feeding them its not like I haven’t done this before, In the past I have had favourite dogs or cats in other places. When we first arrived in Luperon D.R. a small white dog known as Cotton became our pet. All the time we spent there we fed her scraps and loved her.. A cruiser who settled there adopted her.

We have had many encounters from “High five” in Carriacou a dog that would slap your palm, to 2 pups that chose to guard our dinghy in Aruba. These animals sense, I won’t harm them.


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  Nature will teach you lessons…… I sat down on a stump, to relax while I waited for the paint to dry on something I was working on. I had picked a place out of the hot sun, under a shady tree, with one of two dogs who shadow our every move. I was just getting comfortable when I felt like someone had lit a fire under my butt. I stood up quickly, and found a colony of ants had come out, to get rid of the trespasser, trouble was they were also inside my shorts…….So hiding behind a tree was the best I could do in short notice.

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Early one morning just as the sun was coming up I had awoken and was just lying there when I noticed something flying inside the boat. Here, we leave everything open at night, usually there are no bugs to worry about, [too much wind]  I first thought it was a bird, then I recognized it as a bat. We had seen them upside down on a patio at a restaurant. Seems we had attracted one of them, by our stash of fruit and veggies that we keep in the shade under our dodger. I learned where the term “bat shit crazy” comes from as I cleaned up the mess he left……. Sorry go eat insects.

Feb 23

Panama City, Old Section and Isla Taboga

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The old city, Casco Viejo is where the City of Panama was founded , after the original settlement was invaded, looted, and destroyed almost to it’s totality by an attack lead by the pirate, Henry Morgan, in 1671.

Two years later, in 1673, the new Panama was founded again, but this time strong walls were built around the city in order to avoid further attacks. In 2003 it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

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This Barber, even has a line up waiting,….. just provide a bucket to sit on, an old banner, and a pair of clippers.

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Been described as Little Dubai…..Panama City

Off the coast lay, 39 islands , known as the Las Perlas, a real tropical paradise: The Pearl Islands. it’s name derives from the abundance of pearls that were extracted during the time of the .Spanish colony. It was here where during the 16th century, the famous “La Peregrina Pearl” was discovered, a gem of unusual form and size which history is really fascinating. Since it’s discovery, it has belonged to countless famous people around the world. In modern times, it was owned by Elizabeth Taylor, after her husband Richard Burton gave it to her as a gift. In December 2011, the legendary pearl was auctioned for 9 million Euros.


Taboga Island, also known as the, “Island of flowers”, is a volcanic island in the Gulf of Panama, it is a tourist destination only 7 nautical miles from Panama City. The name derives from an Indian word “aboga”, meaning many fish. Isla Taboga has been the home of Conquistadors, Pirates,Gold Rush prospectors, Artists, Soldiers, and rests in the glory of being the birthplace of a Saint. In the era of the French Canal construction, a hospital and sanatorium for workers with yellow fever and malaria was established.Among those who recovered and survived  was Paul Gauguin, the famous French impressionist.  Through it all, the island has remained it’s tranquil self.

San Pedro was founded in 1524,. The small town is pleasant and clean, with tiendas and nice restaurants, there is also a bakery and several hotels. The church of the same name is clamed to be the second-oldest church in the hemisphere.

Tourism is the major economic activity on the island, on weekends boatloads of people come from the mainland to enjoy the beaches and restaurants.

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Hotel…..overlooking the beach

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With as much as 20 foot tides, we actually motored the dinghy right up to the beach. When it came time to leave we found it high and dry. Back to the patio for a couple more beers while we wait………