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.
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!
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