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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 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