The Cruising Adventures of Joan & Ben Schuetz aboard
Part 27: Leaving river city for a while
Wednesday, 5 April 2000
We have been sitting at the dock now for a pretty good long while and we are anxious to get back on the outside to do some traveling, fishing, and snorkeling. In the last few weeks our girths have grown at an alarming rate. It's not a pretty sight. Maggie only moves to eat and . . . . Too much eat and drink with little exercise. So tomorrow, bright and early, we will make the two and a half hour run down to Livingston and, for about a month, check out of Guatemala.
Helping us in our decision to leave a little earlier than planned is the fact that farm fields are now being burned off. With those and a few mountain forest fires, the air hangs heavy with smoke. We are told that the burning will be completed in a few weeks, but for now it's not a good time to be here. When we return we will probably look for a different Marina or anchorage where we can get the afternoon breeze.
A few days ago a cruise boat about a hundred miles from here on the Honduran coast was boarded by 5 heavily armed pirates. The boat was crewed by a family of three and lay at anchor. The father and son were away in the dinghy when it was boarded. When they returned and surprised the pirates, the son was shot, but the pirates left. The last report was that the 13 year old boy lost a kidney and has spinal damage. He is back in the US for treatment. We had been considering going to Honduras during our April - May outing, but with that kind of thing, we have decided against it. We will content ourselves to visit the hundreds of islands in Belize that were skipped over on the way down.
The occasional problems that occur in Central America are not really all that frequent or threatening. After all, there are millions of people here who, in large part and by our standards, are economically deprived. The same level of deprivation in the States would probably yield something like the Watts riots on a continuous basis. So, considering the scale, there is a relatively small problem here. It's just that the tourists and cruisers get more than their share of the grief. That's partly because some of them act stupidly, but also because they have cash and goodies.
For a few weeks we will be traveling in the company of Delphys, but then they will continue north and back to the States.
We got a report yesterday that Heide was at Cay Caulker, Belize. No other particulars were reported.
More when we are in Belize.
Joan, Ben & Maggie