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The Cruising Adventures of Joan & Ben Schuetz aboard  
Francesca  
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      Part 1:  Caribbean Bound   |         Part 2: Southern ICW   |         Part 2A:  Preparing to cross the stream   |         Part 3: Cuban Delights   |         Part 4: Great Hospitality, Awful Beaurocracy   |         Part 4a: Interesting weather   |         Part 5: Lo siento (I'm sorry) no lobsters   |         Part 6: If you make plans, don't tell anyone   |         Part 7: At the western tip of Cuba   |         Part 8:  War Stories   |         Part 9:  Hanging out at Isla Mujeres, Mexico   |         Part 10: Isla Mujeres to Puerto Aventuras   |         Part 11: Bahia Ascension y Bahia del Espiritos Santos   |         Part 12: Oooh, the weather is so exciting. . . .   |         Part 13:  The illegal aliens beat it over the border   |         Part 14: San Pedro and Caye Caulker, Belize   |         Part 15: Bluefield Range (Belize)   |         Part 15A: Waiting for good weather at Bluefield Range   |         Part 16: Rio Dulce Bound   |         Part 17:  On the Rio   |         Part 18: A Spectacular Couple of Days   |         Part 19:  On to Lago Izabal   |         Part 20: More on Lago Izabal   |         Part 21: Rainbow on a full moon   |         Part 22: At the dock            |         Part 23:  It gets better & better & . . . .   |         Part 24: Antigua, Lake Atitlan, Chichicastenango   |         Part 25: Panajacel and Chichi   |         Part 26: Heide heads home   |         Part 27: Leaving river city for a while   |         Part 28: Back to Belize   |         Part 29: Time out for paradise   |         Part 30: Natures way   |         Part 31: Best of the best   |         Part 32: Jack's Cay No - Glover's Reef Si   |         Part 33:  A few days of ambling   |         Part 34: Treasures of a Lifetime   |         Part 35:  It's a better day today   |         Part 36:  The loss of a friend   |         Part 37:  Rite of passage   |         Part 38:  The last bit of open water   |         Part 39: 1000 miles and counting   |        Part 40:  Shoes-, me?

      Part 22: At the dock         
Thursday, 24 February 2000

After staying in the southwest corner of the lake for two days battling bugs and waiting for good weather, it finally broke.   The slopes of the nearby mountains and lakeshore flatland are pretty heavily cultivated on the south shore.  There are also large herds of cattle.   The combination of fertilizers and cow dung has caused the streams and rivers in the area to be completely choked with weed.  It is the kind of weed typically used in fresh water aquariums, but here it grows to such an extent that 12 foot deep water is not navigable.   This was a real disappointment as the streams on the south shore have attractive canyons to visit.  We think that it is likely that the bug problem is related to the ecological upset as well.

Oh well.   We then set out to take perhaps two days to cruise back to the Fronteras area.  But, each of the places where we had wished to stop was found not to be very inviting and we just continued cruising east.  As it turned out, other than very beautiful scenery, the whole south shore of the lake offered no reason to dawdle.  So, we just cruised back to Fronteras and checked in at Suzannah's Marina.


In the evening, we had dinner at the restaurant palapa (open air thatched roof shelter).  It is run by a German couple.  The special for the night was BBQ beef long ribs and it was very good.  Dinner for two with several beers each and ice cream desert for Joan was about  fifteen dollars.  The chateaubriand, which we are told is really great and will try tonight, is thirteen dollars for two, not including drinks.  I think we may like it here.

We plan to stay at the dock for some time and will probably pace ourselves by taking one inland trip a week.  There are many places to visit ranging from Tikal (spectacular Mayan ruins), Antigua's shops and volcanoes, Guatemala City (well, OK), the inland lakes area and so on.   Travel by bus is very inexpensive.  For instance, it is about $3 by regular bus or $10 by luxury bus to Guatemala City.  When we traveled in Guatemala 10 to 15 years ago, the roads were barely passable.  Now, we are told,  the main roads are all paved and inland trips are relatively fast and easy.     There are many places that we have not yet visited and look forward to it.

So, for the next months while at the dock, the frequency of the newsletter will be less, but I'll try to get one out each week.

More.

Joan, Ben, Marv, Marge & Maggie