Sunday, March 23, 2014

Texan Bay, Rio Dulce, Guatemala

Posted by Scot

Texan Bay water life.

We pulled in to Texan Bay on the Rio Dulce more than 24 hours after departing Utila, Honduras.  The high we were feeling after having come up the spectacular Rio Dulce gorge was soon displaced by fatigue, and the need to get a good night’s sleep on a boat that was, finally, still.  I say finally, since not only had the boat been moving for the 24 hours of our trip, but also for the previous couple of days in Utila, which had been marked by swells coming in to the bay, keeping the boat rocking the whole time.

Texan Bay, Rio Dulce, Guatemala.
We set the anchor in our now well-choreographed routine, with Alexander and Katie at the windlass controls, and Christopher and I at the helm.  We quickly buttoned the boat up after our overnight passage.  We have become a pretty efficient team at this, and everything is done a few minutes after the anchor is down.  Alexander puts away the mainsail, zipping up the sailbag and attaching the front piece.  Katie turns off and covers up the instruments.  Christopher and I pull off the safety lines, undo the dinghy tie downs, and coil and hang all the lines and sheets.  Sara, Alexander, and Christopher then pull the boom over to port, in order to expose our solar panels to the most sun possible.  And voila  - we are in anchor mode.

Anchored in Texan Bay, ready to explore.
The kids jumped in the fresh water for a quick swim, and Sara and I had showers, enjoying the hot water we get from running the engines.  After a solid night’s sleep, none of us felt a huge need to hurry on up the Rio today.  Texan Bay is a beautiful little anchorage, surrounded by mangroves full of bird life and flowers.  We couldn’t help but notice the locals paddling in and out of narrow channels in the mangroves, hinting at exploration possibilities.

Paddling through the mangroves.
So, after school, Sara and I launched the kayak and the paddleboard, and set out to explore.  We paddled silently through the water hyacinths, along still water, among the mangroves and hanging vines.  Not far back in the trees, we came across a little local settlement, with houses built on stilts right in the middle of the mangrove forest.  Some kids were playing in a dugout canoe in front of their house.  While the baby happily stumbled around his water bound playpen, we could hear the electronic tones of the older boy playing a video game on his parent’s cell phone.  It seemed strangely out of place in this otherwise quiet wilderness.

Mangroves and vines.
Hanging out in the front yard.
After our paddle, we headed back to the boat, and sent the kids out to explore on their own.  It was a wonderful, peaceful day.  Maybe tomorrow we’ll carry on up the river.

Sending the kids out for their own exploration.

These two decided to try their luck fishing right next to our boat.  They actually pulled up quite a few good sized fish.
Heading home after fishing, among the mangroves.

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