|Yet another long sandy beach.|
It is a sunny day, as are all days here, in the bay at Tenacatita. We just got back from the beach after paddling our inflatable kayaks to shore. Actually, Connie joined a dozen other folks who were swimming from the sailboat Harmony the half mile to the beach. Connie and I paddled over to Harmony from our boat and she slipped into the water. I took the painter from her kayak and towed it to shore. Some folks started up a bocce ball game there and others went to see if any turtles had hatched out last night. Down the beach there is a fenced in hatchery there where they re-bury found nests so the little ones can hatch out in safety. Once out of the nest the keepers put the little turtles in a concrete basin so they can practice swimming and learn how to flip themselves over. The next evening they are taken to the water's edge and released, bypassing the seagull and pelican gauntlet that is always present in daylight. After looking for turtles we walked back down the beach to the little palapa restaurant, La Vena, and joined everyone for a cold beer before paddling back to the boat.
Today is truly our first rest day solo as the last two days have been filled with post-guest chores and provisioning. I sleep in and Connie gets up and has green tea while she writes in her journal. We turn the radio off and take our sweet time getting going for the day.
|Obligatory flattering pic of CB|
Last week we had a great visit from our Seattle friends Lisa and Keith and now we are taking a quick break before welcoming our next set of guests, Scott and Karen, who will arrive from Seattle. And so we call ourselves Hotel Traveler.
I'll briefly outline how a visit to Hotel Traveler goes.
Guests arrive by bus or taxi, exhausted and hungry and tired of their work-a-day existence. We meet them in town and herd them through the small cobblestone streets, maybe stopping at a small street side restaurant for a cold beer and a snack. It's 80 degrees. Someone fresh from the 45 degree Seattle area might be a little flushed with all this excess heat so we move them slowly and deliberately, staying out of the sun and trying not to sweat. The visitors are easily spotted here with their blinding white arms and legs poking out from Seattle style black clothing. Most folks down here for a while wear white or colorful duds and of course they are tan top to bottom.
|Barra de Navidad|
We'll have dinner aboard and great talk, catching up on trips and friends and stories. We explain the intricacies of the head and stow everyone's gear. Slowly the excitement of the trip wears off and eventually everyone beds down. Our guest cabin is the Vee berth up forward. It fits (almost) two people comfortably so there is a slight challenge for those couples who are used to a king or queen size bed. We like to think of it as an opportunity to foster closeness in your relationship, to rekindle those early days of love when you were able to sleep anywhere together.
|Luxury accommodations in the vee berth|
I'm not the early riser evil captain type so you get to sleep in as long as you wish. Usually I'm the last one up so that gives everyone time to check out the surroundings and get your bearings. The boat is normally pointing a different direction in the morning than it was the previous evening. We'll all have tea or coffee and get a breakfast going before the heat of the day sets in. I'll move the boom over to one side so the solar panels get full sun and once we've figured everything out (operate the head, brush teeth, find everything that is lost, organize a day pack) we go to town to provision.
A slightly wet dingy trip to town leads us to a safe landing and a stroll down stone streets to one of many little local tiendas where we buy fresh vegetables and beer. Then we visit the tortillaria to buy fresh tortillas. "Un media kilo maize, por favor". Next is the fish market to get a kilo of shrimp and a half kilo of sierra or dorado. We fill our plastic egg cartons with unrefrigerated eggs. The locals just put them loose in a plastic bag to carry home, something that would not work so well for our hike and dinghy ride.
|You gotta steer an accurate compass heading|
|Our new Conestoga style awning|
|You gotta pull on the staysail halyard thingamajig|
As the sun sets some of the boaters blow on conch shells and the sound echos off the nearby hills. The pelicans dive for their dinner and the sky turns orange reflecting the setting sun.
What follows is a week of snorkeling, sailing, visits to the the small town nearby, and visits with other sailing couples anchored nearby. Connie plays music and I sing along. Our guests meet interesting people and see beautiful flora and fauna. The water is 80 degrees, nice for swimming or snorkeling. We drink beer and eat local food in the beach side palapa restaurants. Because we have guests aboard we try to think of interesting things to do each day. This gets us out of our groove (I won't say "rut") and gets our butts in gear to go further, see more, and pack more activity into our days.
After a week of this we head back toward town and check into the marina where we all shower and experience the wonderful luxury of running water, swimming pools, and grocery stores. As soon as you step ashore the land starts to heave every which way. We've all got land sickness. Everyone starts getting a little quiet as the day draws near when the big jet will take the guests away draws near. We go to town with the luggage and have a last little lunch before the taxi wisks them off, back to the land of rain and cold, snow and ice... On the plane there are tears and recriminations.
Connie and I pick up a few items at the store and head back to the boat. We don't talk much, thinking of our friends who are returning to that hectic world of the north country. We will watch a movie tonight on the laptop and call it an early night. Then the next day we clean the boat head to toe and wash sheets and towels in a bucket on the dock. Another day later we provision in town, check out with the port captain and head out into the bay, this time just the two of us. You know, we enjoy seeing our friends and showing them a good time. We also enjoy it with just the two of us. It is all good and very satisfying.
|Dan and Kathy from the ketch Lungta|
Contact us for reservations. Our door is always open.
|Obligatory flattering pic of SV|