In Rio Dulce, Guatemala

In Rio Dulce, Guatemala

So, here we are, two weeks into our new life, living fulltime, more or less, aboard Rocinante. She (our boat) is now in the Rio Dulce, Guatemala and thus so are we.

The Rio Dulce is a large estuarine system that joins Lake Izabel to the Caribbean.  Think ranches, jungle, mangrove, exposed limestone, Mayans, lots of bird life, the occasional manatee, the odd snake.

Rocinante was on the hard (on land) for the past 11 months, so as expected we had a few repairs to take care of.  Which is, of course, part of the sailing life.

It took us four days to prepare Rocinante for launch.  She looks great, with a renewed hull and fresh varnish on the exterior teak, as well as a new rudder.  In the cover photo, you can see her in the cradle being launched here at RAM marina, an awesome marina on the banks of the Rio Dulce.

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[image caption=”Testing the torqeedo”][/image]
[image caption=”Imagine a hot waterfall in the tropics”][/image]
Among other things, we got our Torqeedo outboard running.  Torqeedoes are electric outboards—not trolling motors, but true outboards.  We are set up to charge the Torqeedo with two small solar panels.  So, just saying no to fossil fuels, or at least gasoline.  Amazing how much gasoline sheen comes from dinghy outboards.

Last Monday, we took a day off from boat work (hey, it really is work) to travel to a hot springs water fall in the jungle about 40 minutes from here.  Water comes out of a hot spring and tumbles down a limestone cliff, falling into a cold jungle stream.  Below the falls, you can stand with feet and legs in the cold stream but torso and head under the hot water fall.

What else?  Kayaking almost daily, early in the morning before the sun gets too hot.  Lots of howler monkeys calling in the mangroves and adjoining forests.  We’ve also reconnected with several friends and acquaintances on other boats.  We’re also finding time and space to get some paid work done, both consulting and writing.

Oh yeah–the security guards here all carry 12 gauges, ready to protect one and all from grizzlies and polar bears, but so far we haven’t seen a single bear. Makes us Alaskans feel right at home.

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