"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines.

Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." -Mark Twain

Guanaja, Honduras

>> Tuesday, April 6, 2010

I've never seen a place like Guanaja, not in eight years sailing the Caribbean.

For one, "town" is not even on the island proper. Its on a smaller Cay offshore, originally to get away from the mosquitoes, and it has evolved and grown into a town built on pilings and concrete extending beyond the original land of the small Cay. It has become so compact that small alleyways and passages are the only thoroughfares. There are no cars in town, and only seven on the main island, with just one road for them to roam. There is talk of building another, but it seems most people aren't that interested. The main mode of transportation is by boat, and it is common for families to stop by Gamage to check her out, to come and see what's going on aboard.

I like it very much here.

Our friend Antonio and his family have shown us around on their boat Pelican Pride and taken us through the canal that bisects the main island to the leeward side, where the reefs have been unharmed by hurricanes. The reefs are like enormous stands of sequoias compared to the now seemingly meager reefs of the Eastern Caribbean, and my ears are sore from constantly diving to see what's inside that crevice or under this ledge.

The mangrove-lined canal runs parallel to the island's small airport, shuttling in a small number of tourists drawn by the reef and the unique culture of the Bay Islands. The official language here is Spanish, but it is much easier to find English speakers here than in the DR. It was once British Honduras, and the region had been hotly contested, like much of the region, by European powers an ocean away, then courted more recently by the U.S. and its banana industry. Centuries ago English, Dutch and French pirates would scour the area searching for Spanish treasure ships, and would actively recruit the loggers that called these islands home.

Once we were through the canal, we made our way down the beach to the trail head. 45 minutes later we stood before a towering waterfall, clear and clean. Freshwater being so scarce for our crew, we wasted no time in climbing and scaling the many levels of falls, or just simply sitting under them, letting the water fall hard on our heads.

The ship has been a hive of activity, as well. Mid-terms are in full swing, and the students have been busy writing papers, reading, and studying. We celebrated JB's birthday in style, with cake, ice-cream, and guests from the island. Easter was also a fancy affair, as neckties were uncovered and dresses dug out for our Sunday's best, and two leg-of-lambs expertly cooked by Mr. Hunter to cap off a long passage to Central America.

This morning all hands are fully immersed in their Literature exam, and after lunch will check out a reef adjacent to the ship before heading ashore to our friends Annette and Claus's restaurant "the Manati" for a supper ashore. Tomorrow we set sail bound for Belize, and follow the compass north after that. All are well and looking forward to being homeward bound!



Total Pageviews

  © Free Blogger Templates Skyblue by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP