Saturday May 14th. Wanting an early start Rand and I both woke up at 0400hours. (Excited I guess.) Rand made coffee while I stowed the last few things away. I think we are really getting into these long journeys---well, long for us.
By 0605 hours the anchor is up. Tim and Paula (Hooligan) whom we had met in Providencia had shared waypoints with us that would safely take us across the bank. It turned out the waypoints had been given to them by our good friends Kathy and Derek (Idyll Island) who now are in the South Pacific. Cruisers helping cruisers, what can we say.….
We worked our way first to 16 degrees 02.253N; 83 degrees 10.479W.
By 0915 we arrived at waypoint 16 degrees 04.053N; 83degrees 22.663W exciting the reef setting our rhumline to Guanaja. There is absolutely no wind, a gentle northerly swell which means it is time to fish. Within an hour and a half we had two strikes.
Sure enough it is a 15 to 20 pound King Mackerel.
Sunday May 15th. Finally this morning 0700 hours we've got enough wind to sail.Five and a half hours later we’re 6 miles off the Sheen Cay Channel entrance of Guanaja. We’re surprised to see a blanket of haze over the Island.
As we work our way in to the recommended Il Bight anchorage Lynn (that’s me) is on the bow. Following our regular routine, every few minutes I ask Rand to confirm the depth that I think I am seeing. Using his fingers one finger per foot we confirm what I think I am seeing is in fact what he sees on the depth sounder.
Approaching Dunbar Rock I start yelling…stop, stop….reverse. reverse…..All I can see is coral heads that look too shallow to cross.
We hail Genesis who we had met in Providencia to ask for their waypoints crossing this reef. They give us three sets of waypoints and sure enough we went right over the reef with a few feet to spare.
After anchoring we dinghy over to Genesis to say Thank You and offer them King Mackerel. Turned out they were also fortunate to catch fish on their way here so declined.
By 1830hours it was too buggy to relax in the cockpit so we closed up the boat and had a movie night.
Monday…So last night was buggy….well, this morning is real buggy… We both have bites and they are ITCHY, ITCHY, ITCHY!!!! The diaper rash cream helps.
One of the reasons for stopping in Guanaja is the quick and easy check in for Honduras. Once the Port Captain arrived at his office check in was quick, easy and no cost. The same with Immigration. We were told we could stay for 60 days.
Guanaja, one of the three major “Bay Islands” is approximately 10 ½ miles long and at its widest point 3 miles with elevations up to 1350 feet. Guanaja is approximately 30 nautical miles off the North coast of Honduras.
The most Hispanic Island, Guanaja is 30% Black. We found the people very friendly. Many spoke English. This is probably due to the Bay Islands being British until 1861. One young man “Jimmy Carter” said he would watch our dinghy. We said Jimmy Carter? He said ”Yup, that’s my name now.” We said okay but still locked the dinghy to the dock. Plus an hour later we saw him at a Tienda buying himself a drink…which means he was not watching the dinghy…Oh well, no tip for him.
The main town Bonacca is in fact not on the main Island of Guanaja but on two small islets to the south of the main island joined by cement boardwalks intersected by canals.
Now we are talking a real small set of Islets…It’s mind boggling that 8,000 of Guanaja’s 10,000 inhabitants live on Bonacca. We were amazed and impressed with its huge shrimping fleet.
On our way back to High States we checked out a couple of restaurants finding them both closed. We decide we will leave tomorrow for Roatan.