Portofino Resort- Now with a new BEACH BAR!!
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >
Topic Options
#431250 - 02/24/12 03:28 PM No opportunity wasted
Marty Offline

Two very lucky people

Years ago, we both read a book of this name by Phil Keoghan, best known in the US as the host of the television show The Amazing Race.  As Phil summarizes the gist of the book:  "No Opportunity Wasted is about learning how to live while you still have the chance, about letting go of the handrails, taking off your tie (and maybe taking off a lot more, while you're at it), and swerving off that predictable road you've been following for years--onto a strange and bumpy path that just might, with a bit of luck, get you lost. It is about taking the time to enjoy experiences you've denied yourself. It's also about sharing experiences with other people you know and connecting with people you don't know - beginning with yourself."

Kinda powerful, right?  Needless to say, this book made an impact on us, and since reading it, we've tried to keep its principles in our minds when making life decisions over the past years -- from learning to sail and buying a sailboat -- to retiring in Belize.  Both of these choices have introduced us to entirely new worlds of different people, cultures, and experiences from our former workaday lives in North Carolina.  Our recent trip to Placencia, where we chose to travel with the locals on ferries and buses rather than to catch a quick (but more expensive) flight, was another example of pushing ourselves just a bit out of our comfort zones and thereby reaping the rewards of more interesting, scenic, and less expensive travel.

We were offered yet another chance to travel off the beaten path recently, and embracing it was as easy a decision as we've ever had to make.  We still can't believe our amazingly good luck.  We were riding our bikes down to Maria's fruit stand and chose to take the back, unpaved road rather than the main cobblestone road on this particular day.  We just happened to run into friends Chunky and Ruthie riding their bikes in the opposite direction.  We were in town later than normal because Barry got into a long poolside conversation with a tourist staying in our building that morning; otherwise, we would have been long gone by the time they were riding on that particular one block of road!  So we figure our chance meeting with them was meant to be.

Seeing us triggered Ruthie to recall that we enjoyed sailing, and she filled us in on an opportunity to jump aboard a large charter catamaran for a run down to Rio Dulce, Guatemala.  The boat needed to be hauled out to replace the transducer (depth sounder), and this was the boatyard that the charter company (TMM) used.  TMM had offered up the extra berths to people who would like to join them for the ride down and back, with the only costs being immigration fees and food for the trip.  Chunky and Ruthie had already committed to the trip, along with one other person, but there was one double cabin left.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos on the BeBelize Blog

#431362 - 02/25/12 04:14 PM Re: No opportunity wasted [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Guatemala cruise Day 1: San Pedro to Placencia, Belize

On Day 1, we departed from San Pedro on Ambergris Caye in northern Belize, and sailed down to Placencia in southern Belize

The twin engines roared into life promptly at 4:30 (also known as o-dark-thirty) for our scheduled 5 am departure from the TMM dock in San Pedro. We had one of the two aft (rearward) cabins, situated on the port side of s/v Hope, and our bed pretty much sat right over (or beside) one of the 55 hp diesels. An alarm clock unlike any other! Struggling out of our comfy berth in total darkness, our excitement over what was to come quickly overtook thoughts of sleep. There would be plenty of time to nap later.

Captains Simon and Clive guided Hope away from the TMM dock, and we were off on our adventure!

The Captains' plans were to refuel, then put down the anchor in Placencia. Simon and Clive would eat dinner and nap for awhile, then fire up the engines and we'd take off again at midnight and sail all night. Although they didn't need us to stay up with them, I knew that sleeping would be a challenge with the engine so close to our berth. I could already tell my body was going to get very confused by this schedule!

Pre-sunrise glow with the moon in view...beautiful

The crew slowly comes to life, with the help of a little caffeine. L to R: Me, Clive (at helm), Chunky, Bruce, Ruthie

And yes, I DID get a drop of spaghetti sauce on that white cami, of course. What was I thinking?

Click here to read the rest of the article and see LOTS AND LOTS OF EXCELLENT photos on the BeBelize Blog

#431373 - 02/25/12 04:38 PM Re: No opportunity wasted [Re: Marty]
Judyann H. Offline
Thank you for sharing this great trip with us Emily....Love all the pictures.....The "Vango" vessel looks super cool.....
My friends call me Judyann


#431402 - 02/25/12 10:58 PM Re: No opportunity wasted [Re: Judyann H.]
BeBelize Offline
Originally Posted By: Judyann H.
Thank you for sharing this great trip with us Emily....Love all the pictures.....The "Vango" vessel looks super cool.....

Thanks, Judyann -- glad you enjoyed it. We'll be posting another "chapter" every day, so keep checking back!

Former Belize expat traveling the USA & Mexico

#431437 - 02/26/12 02:57 PM Re: No opportunity wasted [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

A beauty of a boat and a blood pressure lowering scene

Guatemala cruise Day 2, Part 1: Placencia, Belize to Rio Dulce, Guatemala

Hope's engines roared to life again just a couple of hours after we'd hit the hay for a little fitful sleep (for me at least) prior to our midnight launch from the anchorage in Placencia. I'd jokingly suggested to Simon that we just stay the night in this calm and beautiful spot, but he had a schedule to keep so of course would hear nothing of it. Clive weighed the anchor at midnight, and we were on the move again.

Although I stayed in our berth, I can't recall now if I slept any at all between the time we departed and about 1:30 am; but I do remember that I was hot and sweaty as there was very little breeze, and it was humid, of course. Chunky and Ruthie had decided to sleep out on the trampoline, so around 1:30 I thought I might join them for awhile and see what it was like out there. I snuck out onto the bow and laid down on on my damp beach towel. It was definitely cooler and very damp. The stars were absolutely breathtaking out in the middle of the sea with no light pollution.

Deciding I needed a bit more than shorts and a t-shirt on, I lowered myself back down into our cabin through the top hatch (surprisingly, this awkward gyration did not wake Barry up), changed into long pants, threw on my wind breaker, then tried going out to the bow again. It was good at first, and quieter than being right on top of the engine in the berth, but soon I got too chilly even in that outfit and had to bail on sleeping under the stars.


Livingston, Guatemala

We soon arrived in Livingston, where we'd check in so as to be in Guatemala legally. Our passports would be stamped, and off we'd go on the rest of our journey.

The colors of Livingston

After s/v Hope was safely docked, the customs and immigration officers arrived. They greeted us all with a Buenos Dias (good morning), then sat around the cockpit table with Simon to go over the paperwork and stamp our passports. There was also a doctor and a fourth officer of some sort who came aboard. It was all fairly formal, but they were friendly. The officers asked Simon if there were weapons, drugs, or pets onboard, or if anyone was sick. No, no, no, and no. A few stamps and signatures later, and we were able to get out and walk around and sightsee for awhile. Livingston was quite hilly, very different from what we have become accustomed to in San Pedro. And it was warm, very warm.

s/v Hope on the docks of the colorful town of Livingston


Rio Dulce ("Sweet River") cruising

The next part of our trip was quite different than the ocean sailing we'd done so far and involved motoring down the Rio Dulce. We had checked some web sites about this in advance so were prepared for it to be beautiful, and we were not disappointed. The foliage and bird life were fantastic, and the occasional hut or rustic resort along the river's banks perfectly suited the environment. This would be an absolutely wonderful place to kayak or canoe. If you ever get a chance to visit this beautiful area, do not hesitate! We were still pinching ourselves at our good fortune.

The river narrowed here and got even more beautiful

Wouldn't you love to stay here on vacation?


At this point, we were getting very close to the boatyard where s/v Hope would have her transducer repaired. We were just about to go under the bridge in the town of Fronteras, also known simply as Rio Dulce, same as the river.

Rio Dulce is a popular cruising destination with quite a few marinas along the way

Going under the bridge in Fronteras - Hope's mast came within a foot of the power lines on one side of the bridge. A hold your breath moment for sure!

Click here to read the rest of the article and see LOTS AND LOTS more photos on the BeBelize Blog

#431446 - 02/26/12 04:22 PM Re: No opportunity wasted [Re: Marty]
Judyann H. Offline
Absolutely fantastic....My husband and I are enjoying your journey....Just a question; where is Paisley?
My friends call me Judyann


#431451 - 02/26/12 04:43 PM Re: No opportunity wasted [Re: Marty]
seashell Offline
Emily, keep up the good work. My mouth is watering over this adventure.
A fish and a bird can fall in love, but where will they build their nest?

#431456 - 02/26/12 06:34 PM Re: No opportunity wasted [Re: Judyann H.]
BeBelize Offline
Originally Posted By: Judyann H.
Absolutely fantastic....My husband and I are enjoying your journey....Just a question; where is Paisley?

Judyann, we took her to Pampered Paws...we talk about this in the first entry that Marty posted above, the day before we took off on the boat.

Glad you're enjoying our trip!

Former Belize expat traveling the USA & Mexico

#431468 - 02/26/12 10:35 PM Re: No opportunity wasted [Re: Marty]
Judyann H. Offline
Oooops silly me....I missed that one from the link, only saw the message board version...Thanks for pointing it out; how cute on the back of the bike.
My friends call me Judyann


#431470 - 02/26/12 11:19 PM Re: No opportunity wasted [Re: Marty]
LaurieMar Offline
What a cool adventure...my kind of trip. Is this a regular trip they offer?

Seashell, I have told you about Rio Dulce. Its on the bucket list. smile

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >

Click for excellent scuba lessons with Elbert Greer!

Things to do

Daily News
Daily Weather

Classified Ads
San Pedro Sun
Ambergris Today
SP Town Council
Channel 7
Channel 5
Love FM
The Reporter
Caye Caulker

TV Newscasts
Radio Stations

Click for our
Search thousands of Belizean-only websites

Event Guides
Event Calendar
Specials & Events
Things to Do
iTravel Belize
Paradise Theater

San Pedro Scoop!
Tia Chocolate
My Beautiful Belize
I-Travel Belize
Belize Adventure
Belize Hub
Romantic Travel
Bound for Belize
Conch Creative
As The Coconuts Drop
More Blogs...
Search thousands of Belizean-only websites
Chaa Creek is an award-winning luxury Belize Resort, rated as one of the worlds best Eco Lodges. We are a pioneer in adventure travel to Belize since 1981!
White Sands Dive Shop - 5 Star PADI Dive Facility - Daily diving, SCUBA instruction and Snorkeling
Caribbean Inspired All Natural Condiments & Spice Blends, Over 100 are Gluten Free!
We manage a variety of homes, apartments, condos and commercial properties here on Ambergris Caye. Our minimum lease on ALL properties is six months.
Conch Shell Inn: All rooms are right on the beach in the heart of San Pedro, so within walking distance to anything and everything!!
Lil’ Alphonse has snorkel equipment to fit anyone as well as Marine Park Tickets and flotation devices to assist those not as experienced.
Coastal Xpress offers a daily scheduled ferry run to most resorts, restaurants and private piers on the island of Anbergris Caye. We also offer  private and charter water taxi service.
Mini Chat

Cayo Espanto
Click for Cayo Espanto, and have your own private island
More Links
Click for exciting and adventurous tours of Belize with Katie Valk!
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28
Who's Online
3 registered (ragman, 2 invisible), 50 Guests and 4 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
18,744 Registered Members
44 Forums
64,598 Topics
463,877 Posts

Most users ever online: 1,262 @ 06/10/07 07:16 PM

AmbergrisCaye.com CayeCaulker.org HELP! Visitor Center Goods & Services San Pedro Town
BelizeSearch.com Message Board Lodging Diving Fishing Things to Do History
BelizeNews.com Maps Phonebook Belize Business Directory
BelizeCards.com SanPedroDaily.com Picture of the Day

The opinions and views expressed on this board are the subjective opinions of Ambergris Caye Message Board members
and not of the Ambergris Caye Message Board its affiliates, or its employees.