Blog Archives

Winter 2016/2017, Jump for Joy!

(January 15, 2017) Meeting old friends and neighbors! For staying in the Caribbean for last two years, we decided to enjoy winter weather this time. We also have things to take care of on land. Leaving the boat in North Carolina, John purchased a used vehicle. We drove it to Fort Lauderdale with our two cats.

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Sailing from Rio Dulce River in Guatemala to Key West, Florida, USA

An adrenaline pumping sailing trip!

April 26 to May 3, 2016: I found that weather forecasts are about 50% accurate. Maybe it will rain, maybe it will not. Maybe it will be windy from the East, or maybe from somewhere else. Our sailing from Rio Dulce,

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Shiny Bottom of the Keel, Touching the Bottom When Passing the Rio Dulce River Entrance

April 26, 2016: While waiting for a high tide to get out the Rio Dulce Entrance, a local boat stopped by and asked us if we needed his service to pass the shallow spot. We told him that we will follow our previous GPS track that we saved two months ago when we passed the shallow spot.

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My Experiences of Clothes, Food, Water, and Medical Bills in Rio Dulce, Guatemala (February to April 2016)

“All sorts of bodily diseases are produced by half-used minds.” — George Bernard Shaw, Irish Playwright (1856-1950)

Clothes are real cheap in Rio Dulce. Most of the stores sell second hand clothes that appeared to be brought from the USA. John has been enjoying buying work T-Shirts when there is a bargain.

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Burglar Bars for the Hatches

While staying in some anchorages at night, we sometimes wished to have a bit more protection on our deck hatches. We have four small hatches and one big hatch on the boat. These hatches are big enough so we can get out of the boat if needed during an emergency;

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‘Land of Trees’, Boat Projects Accomplished in Rio Dulce, Guatemala

I have read that ‘Guatemala’ means ‘Land of Trees’ in the indigenous language. The country is still very green with lots of forests but most people use wood for cooking meals. Based on the daily wage, there are not enough jobs for the people here, and to compound the problem,

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Quiet and Family Style, Calypso Marina, Rio Dulce, Guatemala

Calypso Marina in Rio Dulce, if one loves tranquility, it is the marina to stay. (

There are many marinas in Rio Dulce River. Selecting a marina is matter of a personal choice. Marina cost in Rio Dulce is about the same, US$250/month including the water but electricity is an additional charge.

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Guatemala – Claro SIM Card

*** My Experiences with Claro SIM Card in Guatemala (February to April 2016) ***

In Guatemala, I bought a Claro SIM card because a Claro store is conveniently located by the Municipal Pier in Livingstone. I paid about 15 Quetzals (US$2) for a SIM card. It came with 150 MB data.

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The Rio Dulce, a River in the Jungle

Sailing to Rio Dulce was an impromptu decision for us. This is the place where the original Jonny Weissmuller Tarzan movies were filmed. While we were passing through the Rio Dulce river gorge, John was more impressed by it than I was. He never stopped saying that “Wow, it’s awesome!” As the river is over 15 miles long to the main town,

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Livingston Town, Entrance of Rio Dulce, Guatemala

It is known there is a shallow spot at the Rio Dulce entrance between the river and the sea. The shallow spot is about 5.5 feet (1.68 meters) at low tide. Most of the sailors wait for high tide to enter this spot so as not to get stuck on the muddy bottom.

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Dry Canal, Anchored near Port Barrios in Guatemala

Growing up as a kid, I liked geography and I dreamed of visiting many countries. I believe the journey of my sailing life, in a sense, is not a coincidence but is related to my childhood dream; ‘Traveling’ is in my blood. Why do I dream about it? Truly, I would have a hard time answering,

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Sailing from Providencia Island in Colombia to Rio Dulce in Guatemala

This sailing trip taught us lots of lessons. We had all kinds of weather during a total length of 600 nautical miles from February 15 to February 20, 2016. It took 113 hours averaging 5.3 miles/hour. It taught me again that sailing is “The sport of fluid dynamics and geometry.

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What to Do in Providencia Island in Colombia

An untouched paradise, ‘donde la magia envulve el alma y el Corazon’ (in English: where magic surrounds the heart and soul!)

We have been in the Providencia anchorage almost three weeks. People here are very outgoing, and most speak English to boot, so that I didn’t feel any distance from the locals at all.

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Adios Mosquitoes and Sandflies: Mosquito Net

Zika Virus, Chikungunya, Dengue Fever, Yellow Fever, Malaria… AHHHH, Life in the tropics. When it comes to bug bites, prevention is the best policy for me. Otherwise, once I get a bug bite, I end up scratching my skin leaving ugly scars. Based on my experiences, a mosquito bite makes me itch for about two days and a no-see-ums (Sandflies) about five days.

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Volcanic Scenery, Hiking to El Pico (The Peak) in Providencia Island, Colombia

February 1, 2016: In order to see the island, we decided to rent a scooter for each of us (50,000 Colombian Pesos = US$16 Per Day/Per Scooter). I was a little worried because I haven’t driven a scooter before. It is the main transportation vehicle in Providencia. The road is good and empty so I was ready to learn a new skill,

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My Experience with a Dentist and a Doctor in Providencia Island, Colombia

I consider that I am active and healthy. I also do regular exercise and try to eat smart even in remote islands. However, since I started sailing in June 2014, I have been seeing doctors in each country we stop at. The two main problems I have are: (1) a tooth crown that won’t stay on,

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Sailing from San Blas to Providencia, Colombia

El Nino, for us, means more possibility of Cyclones in the Pacific. Because of it, we were unsure of our next destination. Finally, we made a big decision postponing going to the South Pacific for two years. That means we are not crossing the Panama Canal in February, 2016. It is disappointing;

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No ATM, Bring Small Dollar Bills to San Blas/Panama

Panama uses US dollars. I brought lots of small denomination bills before visiting San Blas as we had read to do so in another cruisers blog. It was helpful to buy coconuts, vegetables, and lobsters from the Guna Indians because they usually don’t have change. I still have a plenty of small bills left.

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Kite-boarding at Eastern Lemmon Cays, San Blas/Panama

My phone alarm, the sound of a rooster crowing goes off at 8:25am daily! It is about time to listen to the Panama Connection Net (Frequency 8107 USB).

At 8:30am every day, the cruisers in San Blas announce the weather and discuss various matters. The topics vary. One day,

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Fish and Lobsters in Holandes Cays, San Blas/Panama

The water in Holandes Cays is the prettiest in San Blas. We liked the BBQ Island anchorage area. It is John’s favorite anchorage in whole San Blas so far. The anchorage is sandy and not so deep with good holding. BBQ Island is very well-maintained with green grass and palm trees.

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