The trip from Utila to Livingston was pretty unremarkable. Actually, now that I think about it, the very fact that a 100 nm overnight trip off the northern coast of mainland Honduras can strike me as unremarkable says a lot about how far our sailing has come. Similar trips a few months ago were enough to have me stressed out for days before and after. So I guess, in order to show the trip some respect, I should make a few remarks about it.
After having dragged anchor the night before, and tolerating ongoing rolling and bouncing in the anchorage at Utila, we were glad to weigh anchor and get on our way at 1500 hours. In fact, from a wind perspective it probably would have been better to wait one more day for the easterly trades to fill back in and give us a downwind push. But we were keen to get on our way, so we elected to set out into the dying westerlies that were on our nose. The winds were not much of a concern, since they were forecast to drop off to nothing as the night wore on.
The forecast was perfect, and within a few hours of setting out, there was almost no wind to speak of. Initially, we had some northern swell giving us a side roll which was a bit uncomfortable, but as the wind died, so did the waves, and soon we were motoring along in a calmer sea state than we had seen at anchor in the previous 3 days.
|Some more Honduran house-on-stilts architecture.|
We had our now-familiar dolphin visit in the late afternoon. These dolphins were different than the ones in the last couple of videos I have posted. They were bigger, and grey with white speckles. They did more jumping than swimming, and didn’t stay long. Still, we were happy to see them for their brief visit, since we have started to take them as a sign of good luck for our passages.
I was pretty tired right out of the gate, not having slept well the previous few nights. Fortunately, Alexander is now comfortable enough to do a formal watch. So starting at about 1800, the rest of us went to bed, and Alexander kept an eye on things until 2100.
Having gotten a few hours of sleep, I felt much better, and sat up into the wee hours for my watch. Not much happened. The wind stayed light, and I played with the sails a bit to see if I could help the engines along. The moon was full, and it was easy to see all around – almost as good as daylight. The lights of a freighter were visible in the distance, but nothing came close to us.
Sara took over for the middle of the night, then I got up and stood another watch at 0530. I love that time of the morning. Getting to watch the sun rise at sea is a treat. Christopher got up at 0730, and he and Katie went up to the trampolines to keep an eye on things. I took the opportunity to lie back down on the salon couch and close my eyes, although I couldn’t fall asleep,as the boat and the day woke up around me.
|Christopher keeping a bow watch as we come into Guatemala.|
|It's amazing what a little breakfast can do for some people's moods!|
The town of Livingston on the Guatemala coast was a welcome sight. The Rio Dulce, like all rivers, carries a fair amount of debris downstream, and dumps it at it’s mouth. There is a well known shallow bar at the entrance that makes it necessary to exercise caution when coming in. It is not uncommon for boats with a draft over 6 feet to drag their keels along the bottom, or get stuck here altogether. We carefully kept to the GPS waypoints we had been given, though, and with our shallow draft, we had no problem getting across the bar and dropping anchor in front of Livingston.
|This little guy flew into our cockpit sometime during the night. Katie bonded with him before we threw him back from whence he came.|
Once we were all checked in to the country, we headed back out to the boat, scarfed down a quick lunch, and headed up the much anticipated Rio Dulce!
|The waterfront, Livingston, Guatemala.|