On To Panama…By Way Of Colombia.

A weather window has presented itself this week, so we raced back from Guanaja and have been preparing full steam for the next leg of our journey.

We will leave this morning, and travel 60-70 hours straight through to the island of Providencia. The island sits approximately 100 nautical miles off the coast of Nicaragua, but is owned by Colombia, and many cruisers stop here on there way to and from Panama. We’ll clear in and stay for a bit, before heading on toward Panama.

Our friends Kevin and Marina, who are cruising on Lucky Seven, will meet us there. They left from the Cayman islands on Friday,  and should arrive today. We met them during our stay in Isla Mujeres, and it will be nice to see a familiar face when we arrive in Providencia. They plan to spend hurricane season in Panama as well, so we can all endure the heat together!

The last five days have been busy with passage preparations. Scott fixed our fridge (hooray!), and we spent a day stocking up on cold and frozen foods. We also visited the “mall” for some things, as well as Ace Hardware and the pharmacy. Howard also took a field trip to the vet for his rabies shot, so he’s ready as well.

We’ve said final good byes to our friends here at the marina, and spent a day with our British friends, Richard and Jan. After time with some sloths in the morning (more to come!), we enjoyed some more bobbing, this time here in our own “backyard,” at the resort. It’s surprising how quickly you get comfortable in a place. We already feel so at home here at Fantasy Island Marina, and will miss it.

I have had no time to pour through photos and update the blog, so that will be something to take up my time as we travel the next few days. When we arrive in Providencia, I’ll catch you up on our waterfall hike in Guanaja, the crazy monkey business here at the marina and our day of sloths and bobbing. I also plan to write about our passages, how and when we decided to go, prepare for and endure them.

Be sure to follow the link on the Where Are We Now page, and check our progress over the next few days. On to Panama!!, by way of Colombia.

“Shells Sink, Dreams Float. Life’s Good On Our Boat!”

Guanaja…It’s SOO Pretty Here!

The waters surrounding our anchorage off of Graham’s Cay were beautifully clear.

Scott enjoyed many hours of exploring and snorkeling. By the way, the Aluminum Princess has recently been equipped with an oscillating fan (thank the Lord) and a rod holder…ain’t she fancy!

In the evenings, Scott would drop his fish light off of the swim platform, providing hours of entertainment for Howard. The fish were so intriguing, that he eventually ended up hanging down and swatting the water…I couldn’t watch.

We also took the Aluminum Princess over to Savannah Bight for a “drive by.” Sitting opposite Graham’s Cay, on mainland Guanaja, Savannah Bight is the larger of two main settlements on the island.

We all enjoyed the anchorage here, especially Howard. He spent much more time outside.

Unfortunately, due to stronger winds in the wrong direction, we were unable to anchor here this time around. A weather window appears to be opening early next week, for us to start our journey toward Panama, so this morning we raised anchor, said a second goodbye to El Bight and headed for Roatan.

Scott wants to repair the fridge while we are plugged in, as cooling the unit back down will take a decent amount of power. We’ll also do a final grocery run, to stock up on cold and frozen foods, since we’ll be back at 100%. Hopefully, there will be time to squeeze in an outing before we shove off.

In the meantime, here are some photos from our anchorage off of Graham’s Cay. If you like pretty water, click here.

And here are some Guanaja grocery photos that I forgot to include with Shopping Day, for those who are interested.

“Shells Sink, Dreams Float. Life’s Good On Our Boat!”

Birthday Celebrations

The weather on Scott’s birthday wasn’t the best, and since we’d had such a great time at Mi Casa Too on our first visit (great food and free champagne for the owner’s birthday), we planned a return trip. It’s just so darned inviting!

Before heading up the hill, we stopped in at Manati for a quick drink and a hello. When we arrived, a birthday party was in full swing for Paisley, who made the permanent move to Guanaja two months ago. We were welcomed in, and soon realized that making it up the hill probably wasn’t going to happen. When Shawn arrived, (the owner of Mi Casa Too, and the place wouldn’t be the same without him there) the decision to delay a night, and stay at Manati was made.

We spent time chatting with the expats in attendance, as well as Klaus and Annette, who own Manati. Gus, a cruiser from South Africa, received my vote for best dressed. He and Sally have decided to stay here and buy property.

The canine guests enjoyed the party as well. Simba even came in a party dress, although I don’t think it was her idea.

Eventually we said good night, thanking Paisley for sharing her evening with us (she’s the brunette with long hair in the photo below). When I woke for a bathroom run at 3am, the music was still going strong!

We left Sea Life the next night to head up the hill, this time with no stops along the way. Once again, we climbed the million steps up to the house, and once again it was worth the climb.

Shawn was there to welcome us. We opted for seats at the bar this time, and he played the role of dj. While Shawn chose songs ranging from salsa, to reggae, to classic rock, to rap and country, the large tv behind the bar showed music videos for each one. It was more than entertaining, especially when the locals sang along to their favorites!

After great food and fun, we said goodnight and made our way back down the hill. It was a nice way to “extend” Scott’s birthday a bit!

Here are more photos of our birthday celebrations.

“Shells Sink, Dreams Float. Life’s Good On Our Boat!”

 

Shopping Day

Once a week, supply boats arrive from mainland Honduras, delivering food and supplies of all kinds to Bonacca, the main settlement on Guanaja. If you remember, Bonacca (or the cay (key) as the locals call it) is a small cay off of Guanaja that is home to roughly 6,000 people. Here’s a neat before and after photo of Bonacca, that shows how much the cay has changed over the years.

“Shopping Day,” as it is referred to here, is a big deal, and we have been told by many local expats here about going to the cay for the day. Since we haven’t yet visited Bonacca on actual shopping day, it was on our list during this visit to the island. However, strong winds were going to make for a very “spirited” ride, as Scott likes to call it. As we hemmed and hawed about making the trip, we were invited to go with Hans, and some others on his sailboat…… shopping day here we come!

On Thursday morning, our ride approached. Hans towed a skiff behind him, that would be used to drop off trash and get fuel while in town.

We prepared for a quick “touch and go,” as Hans pulled alongside for us to get on board. Unfortunately, I didn’t scurry fast enough, and as the boat pulled away I didn’t have a firm footing. My choices were to either slip into the water, or do a back bend over  Sea Life’s side rail. I chose the latter, channeling my inner yogi.

There wasn’t a way for me to get a firm footing, and slide back onto the side deck, and I couldn’t reach anything with my hands either. So there I was, bent backward over the side rail, hanging on while Hans made a second pass (of course, Scott was upset that I had the camera with me during all of this!). It felt like 15 minutes, but eventually the boat came back alongside, and Scott grabbed me into a upward position so that I could get on. The day was off to an eventful start.

There were seven of us on Hans’ 23′ sailboat, so we were a friendly bunch, sitting in the cockpit and on the bow. We had a smooth sail, and arrived at the cay in under 30 minutes.

Hans has a dock that he uses in town, but it was full when we arrived, as was the second place he tried. We headed for the main city pier, and tied up in front of one of the supply boats that had just arrived.

It was quite a site on the pier, as the two large supply boats began to unload. Many locals work the pier for the day, helping to off load the boats, and deliver the supplies to stores in town. Since there are no cars, golf carts, scooters or bikes on the cay, all of the supplies are loaded onto flat beds, and rolled through the streets, to their destinations in town. The scene was like ants attacking food, and then scurrying away with the crumbs.

As we headed into town, Hans arranged for some “shopping cart” help (a man with a wheel barrow).  We turned and made our way down the main street, dodging carts loaded with produce.

I expected everyone to head to the stores, but realized that it would be hours before things on the pier would be delivered. Instead, we followed Hans and the others to an open air bar on the main street. Before long, the tables were full of expats, drinking and chatting.

Some had lunch at the bar, which is sold from a cart on site, and others headed off for a restaurant. We bought a really cheap, and really good lunch from the cart. You choose either fish or chicken, to go with side dishes (beans, rice, slaw, etc.). Scott managed to talk his way into getting both!

Ok, so we’ve eaten, chatted and had drinks. It was time to shop…right? I got up to head for the stores, and was told that they were closed for lunch until 2pm. Huh?? Then why did we get here at 11:00?? And where was the “shopping cart” guy during all of this?? I realized that this was just as much a social event as a shopping trip. Most people only go to town once or twice a week, so shopping day is a chance for them to see each other, spend time together and talk. This was all fine and good, but by 2pm, it’s stinkin’ hot!

I needed very little in the store (we had already stocked up on canned goods and other things in Roatan), and had come mostly for fresh bread and produce. However, we had come with Hans, who needed to stock up, so it seemed we’d be in town for most of the day. Good thing the beer was cold and cheap…we ordered two more.

To kill some time, Scott and I decided to walk and see if the man who bakes bread had any ready to buy. This is where we go to buy bread…welcome to cruising.

Unfortunately,  it would be another hour or so before the loaves were ready. We asked the man to hold two loaves for us, and made our way to one of the produce stalls. They were still unloading things, but we were able to buy what we needed.

After more socializing, and much, much sweating (the breeze that we enjoyed in the morning had shifted directions, away from the bar), we went to get our bread. It was still hot from the oven, and we left with open bags of both wheat and white.

It was now suffocatingly hot in the bar (where many people still gathered, did they even need groceries?), so we waited for Hans back at the main pier. There was a great breeze on the upper deck, where we watched the ants still hard at it at 4pm.

There were just four of us on Hans’ boat for the sail back, as the rest of our group rode in the skiff. The winds were blowing in the 30s, and as we rounded the far side of the cay, the boat was heeled far over. My short legs had trouble reaching the port side cockpit bench, which we had to stand on for balance, so I was keeping grip with my toes. I am by no means a sailor…give me my roll-ly pilot house anytime!

As we crossed the channel, waves began to break over the bow. We weren’t heeled over anymore, but it was now a wet ride. I took this photo just before I put the camera away, notice Scott  hanging on. We got that spirited ride after all!

As we approached Sea Life, Hans lowered the sail, making it much more easy to climb aboard! He then headed off toward his pier.

We’d done shopping day with the locals and survived. I think in future, I’d go for morning socializing, and stick to the quick in and out of Friday morning shopping! Here are more photos of shopping day.

“Shells Sink, Dreams Float. Life’s Good On Our Boat!”

 

 

 

Captain’s Corner – Refrigeration And Windlass Repairs

So the refrigeration issue in detail for those interested:

The failure was the result of a determined calculated risk during the refit.  I decided to save $4k and leave the 30+ year old 12VDC air cooled thin plate evaporator systems for the fridge and freezer.  The reason being, we had redundancy in the form of a 120VAC water or air cooled holding plate system for both.  Also on board is a 120VAC/12VDC Engel that can operate as either fridge or freezer.

To keep the fridge going on 120, the issue became the amount of generator run time to rely solely on the holding plates.  Instead of an hour or two every other day, it was two to three hours per day.  To top it off, now I had excess solar coming out of my ears (edited for television) because the 12VDC fridge and freezer weren’t running due too the holding plates being cold.  But I couldn’t run the holding plate compressor off the inverter, utilizing the excess solar due to start up load.

Well, you know how it goes….the fridge compressor locked up.  It is an old Danfoss BD2.5 (the predecessor for BD35) with R-12.  I decide to replace the entire system due to age than to just replace the compressor and deal with all the refrigeration work, oil and compressor compatibility.  It also allows me to upgrade to a BD50 multi-speed compressor system.  I hope to see a difference in energy consumption is this warmer climate or at least, better performance.

While both boxes are empty I will also seal and caulk the lower moldings as they have started to weep a little condensation when the doors are opened and closed.  I had not thought to do so during the refit, and they have been cold ever since.

Hopefully the freezer compressor hangs on for a few more years!

The windlass:

I originally was going to replace the unit, but after days of very large hammers, pry bars, saws and eventually a cutting torch to disassemble the thing to remove our pulpit for deck repairs (when the teak decks were removed by previous owner, they skipped this area due to difficulty), I realized the genius of the extremely heavy, yet simple engineering, that requires only basic parts I can have machined anywhere in the world if needed.  So many less parts, gears, seals etc. than a horizontal style.  Did I mention the unit weighs a few hundred pounds?!

The issue at hand was when the top nut is loosened a multiple spring pad pushes the top drum up, which is keyed to the main shaft allowing the clutch pads to slip, letting the un-keyed wild cat to freewheel.  This was not happening, because the top drum had some shaft corrosion causing friction to overcome the spring pressure.  This is one of the reasons that I demolished the original windlass during disassembly.  Lesson:  disassemble windlass periodically and lubricate main shaft,  a very simple process, due to its design.

Here are some windlass photos.

“Shells Sink, Dreams Float. Life’s Good On Our Boat!”

Graham’s Cay, Guanaja

Graham’s Cay sits just off of mainland Guanaja. The small private cay is owned by Graham Thompson, who purchased the property shortly after Hurricane Mitch devastated the island in 1998.

On a quick side note, Mitch stayed over the island for three days, with sustained winds of 100 mph. The high waves eroded northern coastlines and damaged lagoons. It also destroyed nearly all of the plants and trees on Guanaja, also uprooting or knocking down almost the entire mangrove forest. I’ve also read that Mitch produced waves of 44 feet in height! Here’s a photo that I took when we first arrived.

And here’s one taken after Mitch came through. Amazing.

Ok, back to Graham. Originally from the Cayman Islands, Graham developed the cay into  Graham’s Place resort. The original hotel was made into five private rooms, and then four villas and a 16 room hotel were added.

The property is immaculately kept, with many areas for seeking both sun and shade, and the entire island is filled with colorful buildings, tables, chairs and plants.

The views from Graham’s property are beautiful, with clear shallow water leading into a mosaic of green, before meeting the darker blue of deeper depths.

Graham has also enclosed an area among his decks, and made it into and aquarium. There are a conch, some huge groupers, a variety of fish, and many turtles. Looking down on the fish didn’t provide the best photo opportunities, so I focused on the turtles. They are sizeable, and some of the large shells are really beautiful. There is also an area where the turtles can nest and lay eggs. Once hatched, the small turtles are released into the wild.

With low season approaching for tourist travel, we have had the place to ourselves each time we visit. We’ve enjoyed good food, refreshing caipirinhas and exclusive attention from the very friendly staff. The cay provides a large area to walk and stretch your legs, and many places to sit, lounge or swing.

The staff here at Graham’s Place was incredibly helpful in getting our refrigerator parts delivered. Alex, the manager here, promptly replied to our call for help and provided detailed information on how to proceed. He also paid the customs and delivery fees, allowing us to reimburse him when we picked up our parts.

Flying through Honduras is not dangerous, and Guanaja is completely safe. If you’re looking for a beautiful,remote and low-key island get away, consider Graham’s Place! Here are more photos, including many turtles.

“Shells Sink, Dreams Float. Life’s Good On Our Boat!”

 

Returning To Guanaja

On Sunday we made our way back to Guanaja. We’re going to pick up our refrigerator parts, that have been delivered to Graham’s Place, and spend some more time on the island. The plan is to then return to Fantasy Island Marina, where Scott can fix the refrigerator and cool it back down while we’re plugged in. We’ve paid for a month’s slip rental there, and Steve was nice enough to let us split the time.

With head seas forecasted, I was not looking forward to the six hour trip. We only had a three hour ride from West End around to French Harbour, but the head seas made it a nasty go; a repeat made me cringe. Thankfully, the winds were much calmer this time, and aside from having to cool Howard down we had a good run back to beautiful Guanaja.

The forecast calls for strong winds this week (surprise), so we tucked back into El Bight. It offers more protection for us, than if we anchor off of Graham’s Cay. We’re surrounded by the familiar sights of Manati bar and Han’s place.

Monday morning brought pouring rain (not called for), a beautiful rainbow and then more stormy clouds. It was neat to watch them settle down onto the mountains around us.

By mid morning, there was a break in the weather, so we jumped into the Aluminum Princess and headed for Graham’s Cay to pick up our parts and grab some lunch. It was just a quick 20 minute ride, and the sun came out to greet us as we arrived at Graham’s Place.

However, not two hours later, as we were finishing our yummy fish sandwiches (mine blackened and Scott’s fried), I noticed the sky darkening again. We paid our bill, jumped back into the boat with our boxes and set off for El Bight. Within minutes, the seas went from calm and clear blue to threatening grey. We made our way through an angry chop back to the boat, amidst building white caps. As usual at times like this, we were glad to be tucked into the Aluminum Princess.

Once aboard Sea Life, we unpacked our boxes in the cockpit. Corrugated cardboard is a favorite place for cockroaches to lay their eggs, so we bagged it up (unbeknownst to Howard, as he can’t resist a box) and set it out into the Aluminum Princess. Our parts now wait in the saloon, until they are installed.

The process was costly (2,000.00 in total: cost of parts, shipping to Miami, shipping to mainland Honduras, customs fees, and shipping to Guanaja..plus a tip for Alex, the manager at Graham’s, who was such a great help to us), but took just under two weeks. All in all, we can’t complain, especially since Defender was great enough to refund Scott the cost of his first order to Mexico (minus the shipping). It seems that they are having such a problem with Mexican Fed Ex customs that the parts will just be written off as a loss. Their customer service is fantastic!

In the meantime, our windlass decided to give us attitude as we came in to anchor on Sunday. Scott spent yesterday taking it apart and repairing it. Thankfully, no part ordering necessary! He promises to do a short Captain’s Corner post on the repair soon. Once the windlass was back together, he fixed a problem with the valving in our shower fixture in the guest head. Because why be bored?

The heat and humidity are in full force (86 degress, with 70% humidity by 8:30am), so we do our best to move as little as possible. Howard doesn’t quite understand the heat. He’ll get a wild hair and have a crazy session in his latest play area, an Ace Hardware bag. The thing has been torn almost to bits.

Exhausted and hot, Howard will splay out for a nap in his Africa basket taco. If his breathing gets consistently fast,  we’ve started placing a cold, wet towel on him. It seems to work well at cooling him down (with great success on our trip here from Roatan). I’m shocked though, at how much he’s starting to tolerate it.

Once cooled down, it’s into a good, deep sleep.

Last night we visited Hans’ place, catching up with the regulars and enjoying some pizza. We’ll stay in Guanaja for a week or so, before returning to Roatan. Here are some photos of our trip back, and the last few days.

“Shells Sink, Dreams Float. Life’s Good On Our Boat!”

 

 

 

 

Lawrence The Lion, And The Zoo At Little French Key

After tying up our dinghy on Little French Key, we noticed a sign for the zoo, and headed there first.  All of the structures were large, clean and well maintained, housing a variety of birds, ducks, geese, deer, monkeys and goats.

The owners have also rescued a jaguar and lion from a traveling circus on mainland Honduras. The jaguar is now in a new, larger enclosure at Frenchy’s 44, a restaurant across the water which is owned by Little French Key (we heard that he wasn’t happy downwind of the lion), so we headed off to see Lawrence the lion.

At first, second and third glance, this poor lion seemed to be in sad, sad shape. Lawrence was rescued in June of 2014, and I’d have expected him to look better, two years after being rescued. He hobbles around terribly, his left eye had definitely been affected by some trauma or infection and the skin on his face is also very splotchy. (this photo is posted on Lawrence’s cage. I missed it when we were there, so I borrowed it from my friend Elizabeth’s blog)

I seriously questioned the term “rescue” here, so I did quite a bit of digging to find out more information about Lawrence. I stumbled upon a brief Youtube video, with a keeper explaining his history.

Lawrence was kept in a 4×6 foot cell for the first four years of his life (he’s now 6). The close quarters allowed him no room to move around, and as a result he has an arched back, and also leg pain from being declawed (hence the hobbling).

He was only 150lbs when rescued, but as of last year he was up to 420lbs..hurray! His fur was pale, and his mane wasn’t full (first photo). These things need sunlight to grow and be healthy, and in the photo I took (below), his fur and mane definitely look better. I couldn’t find out what caused his eye to look as it does,  but did find out that he’d had surgery for a cleft palate.

Unfortunately, Lawrence’s early years have left permanent scars. However, I feel that he has truly been rescued and is now leading a better life. No cat that is sad and unhappy would nap like this, letting it all hang out (I borrowed this one too).

Howard can attest to that!

“Shells Sink, Dreams Float. Life’s Good On Our Boat!”

 

 

 

Our Day On Little French Key, Roatan

We teamed up with our British slip neighbors, Jan and Richard, for a day on nearby Little French Cay. The private island resort  caters to cruise ship passengers and other day visitors (although they now offer a beach house for overnight rental). I “borrowed” another aerial view. Fantasy Island, and our marina is in the upper right corner of this photo.

The island has several bars and restaurants, beaches with lounge chairs and covered beds, kayaks and paddle boards, massage services and a small zoo (more on that in my post about the zoo). You can also sign up to snorkel or ride horses in the water.

After tying up the dinghy, we wandered through the zoo, and around the rest of the island. There wasn’t a cruise ship in port on the day we visited, so there was plenty of room to roam. The grounds are immaculate, and they’ve spent a lot of time achieving a tropical destination feel.

We eventually made our way to a restaurant that sits over the water, and settled in for lunch.

With full bellies, we ignored the “wait an hour after you eat to go in the water” rule, and changed into our swimsuits for some “bobbing,” a new term taught to us by Jan and Richard. Bobbing involves standing in the water, waist deep, with a drink. Dipping down into the water up to your neck may be required, for cooling purposes, while chatting with friends. Here is an example of bobbing…

Unfortunately, our lunch and bobbing area was surrounded by sand and mangroves, which we have learned are a haven for sand fleas. We all left covered in bites on our backs and shoulders, with itching on our legs catching up later. Up until now, I had been doing a terrific job of keeping this from happening, dousing myself in bug spray whenever I’m outside. Stupid sand fleas.

It was still a great afternoon with our friends. Here are some photos of our day on Little French Key, and a few random ones as well.

“Shells Sink, Dreams Float. Life’s Good On Our Boat!”

 

 

A Rental Car Day In Roatan

Scott and I rented a car for the day, to load up on groceries from Eldons, run other errands and drive the island a bit. The car was delivered to the marina, and the man who dropped it off took almost 30 minutes to look it over and check us in. He was frustrated that Scott’s credit card didn’t have raised numbers. They still use the sliding imprint contraptions here, so he had to hand write the numbers down..a daunting job.

We invited our new British friends, Jan and Richard, to come along with us (our first new British friends left last Saturday, and Richard and Jan arrived a day later!). They are cruising on s/v Morpheus, and we were all in Isla Mujeres at the same time. We never crossed paths there, but are having a great time together here!

First stop, Ace Hardware. Scott had been here before, and was surprised to find that it was just like walking into an Ace in the U.S. It’s a large store, with a great selection of a variety of items. We shopped, checked out and were on our way.

The phone store was next. Jan and Richard needed a sim card for their phone, and we wanted to buy some minutes for ours. The power went out while we were there, which happens regularly here on Roatan so we weren’t surprised. It usually comes back on quickly, and most all businesses have generators as well. However, computers obviously take time to re-boot, so we had to wait a bit before completing our check out.

After two unsuccessful atm attempts at two different banks in the shopping center, we decided to move on. I’m not sure if they’re effected by the power blips, but if so, they definitely needed more time to come back online.

It was on to Eldon’s, where Scott and I loaded up with non refrigerated/frozen items (they’ll have to wait until we get our new compressor installed) like canned and jarred foods, cleaning products, paper towels and Kleenex, cat litter, wine, rum and bug spray. Jan and Richard weren’t doing such a big run, so Scott ran them back to their boat. We didn’t want them to have to wait on us, and our two-cart list. It proved to be a good idea, as our things filled both the trunk and back seat of the little rental car.

With our errands finished, it was time for fun. The four of us set out for lunch at Cal’s Cantina. Both cruisers and locals have told us that the views are terrific from here, and they were correct!

We had lunch and then continued on. I spied a sign for Lionfish Louie’s, turned the car around and began following the arrows. We took the poor Kia up some steep road, but it chugged along. Eventually, we made our way back down to the water and parked in the sand. Louie’s is a huge property, but since there wasn’t a cruise ship in port, we had the place almost all to ourselves.

There were neat “tree umbrellas” along the beach. An original idea!

From there, it was on to the east end of the island. I was searching for La Sirena, a place that our friends Elizabeth and Ed had visited when they spent a few months anchored off of Fantasy Island in January. I’d also read a lot of good reviews about it online.

The paved road soon turned to gravel and dirt, with sizeable ruts, and I had to slow our speed considerably. As we traveled, it was really noticeable how dust-covered the trees alongside the road were. It has been usually dry lately, with no rain to speak of at all.

We also had to make our way over many speed bumps, that were very challenging for our little Kia. I found it odd that there were so many, considering you couldn’t travel above 10 mph due to the road conditions! No matter how much we slowed down, there was always a crunching or scraping noise as we went over them. It seemed as if they were meant to slow for four-wheel drive vehicles, being so high, but we saw endless scooters and motorcycles run over them just fine. Poor Kia.

At many points along the way, it seemed we must have missed a turn, as the road got worse and worse. Thankfully, there would be a sign every now and then for La Sirena…10 miles, 15 minutes, 2km. However, with the random distances and times, we had no idea exactly how far it was, and just hope it was soon…La Sirena must have read our minds!

Hallelujah, we’d finally made it! I have to say, it was worth the drive. La Sirena is just a shack that sits out on a pier, with two smaller covered seating areas.

It was definitely remote. We passed a “local,” napping in the sand, on our way to the pier.

I’d heard that they make a killer rum punch, and Scott concurred.

Unfortunately, we couldn’t linger long. With sunset nearing, we wanted to be on our way. Getting back onto paved road by dark would take some time, traveling at a snail’s pace.

Before leaving, I used the bathroom. Contrary to what you may expect, there was a working toilet inside, and it was very, very clean.

However, here’s the view through the wall, from inside said bathroom.

We piled into our poor, dust covered Kia (even the inside door jams were caked with the stuff) and started back up and down the mountain, stopping for a few quick photos before dark.

Scott took us on a Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride back to the marina, getting there just after dark. We stopped into the pavilion for a drink with our neighbors, before calling it a night. Here are more photos of our rental car adventure.

“Shells Sink, Dreams Float. Life’s Good On Our Boat!”