Friday, 15 January 2016

San Blas - Guna Yula

Three nights at sea took us from San Andreas
to the lovely San Blas Islands (Panama) actual name “Guna Yula”

They are made up of 340 islands, which are home to the Guna Indians.
There are around 55000 Gunas 
(about 10% of what they were before the invasion of the Spanish Conquistadors)

It is a Matrilineal society – the women control the money
and the husbands move into the womens family compound.

We arrived 6 days before our guests from New Zealand were due. 
Sarah (a 2nd  cousin of Richards & her husband) Steven. 
It was lovely having them aboard Our Rose for just on 2 weeks

 We were also thrilled to catch up with Eileen and Peter from Appleseeds – we first met in Cuba,
and Lynne and Eric from Amarula,
who we first met in Petite Martinique.

Christmas Day started with breakfast, bubbly and presents…

With Richard receiving all the way from Hils & Doug in NZ a toy chainsaw!  

Along with lots of other very thoughtful gifts from Sarah & Steven 
and of course our presents from Santa Claus!

Late lunch begun with drinks and nibbles on the foredeck with Eileen, Peter and their son from Canada Matt, Lynne & Eric and the four of us

We then moved onto our sitdown lunch

Smoked Crayfish, Roast Turkey, Roast Pork, lots of Salads etc,
(delivery of live crayfish by a Kuna, we are not allowed to dive in San Blas)

followed by my homemade Christmas Mince Tarts and Christmas Cake.
It was a fun day with everyone!

New Years eve took us to another anchorage 
(where we started with Moet that Sarah and Steven had brought)

 and enjoyed the end of 2015 into 2016
with Appleseeds, Amarula and Michelle, Alex, Noah & Fern from Jade

Plenty of alcohol refreshments that night
Finishing on Our Rose with (definitely not needed) Rum

The women make money selling “molas”.  
These beautiful appliqué are intricately made by sewing and cutting different layers of colorful cloth.

Heading off with some other cruisers snorkeling

At a local village we saw this lovely Tucan...

Having a drink ashore on Sarah and Stevens last night

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Bay Islands of Honduras...

After Chris Wooley came to the rescue
and sorted our Clutch Cones on our sail drives (Chris really was amazing!)
we finally left the Rio Dulce.

We sailed as far as practical from the Honduras border and cleared in at Utila (the Bay Islands of Honduras – Utila, Roatan and Guanaja)
Clearing in was a simple procedure, only costing $20

We then made our way to Roatan, where we snorkeled and dived various locations, starting at West End.  We stopped at French Cay, where we enjoyed a few beverages with Aussie Pete and the Cruisers there.

Guanaja was really different…
All of the dwelling are build on rock or have piles directely in to seabed.

We met “Hando” who took us on his “regular” trip around on the island
“Books on Wheels”
Hando has found that the children (and adults) are not learning English,
so he pushes his wheelbarrow around the island swapping 3 books a time to each child, 
trying to encourage to keep up their English.

We had also crossed paths since leaving the Rio with Luc & Aline 
a French Canadian Couple.  Richard went for a lovely hike with them

Richard went up the mast to take a photo of our Spinnaker Halyard Sheath as we need a replacement from South Africa which is being sent for us to receive before our Pacific crossing 
sure is a long way up there

Just before clearing out, we again caught up with Hando, who took us to see a Cuban boat that had just arrived with 26 political refugees
Unfortuately, I did not have the camera with me, however what they crossed the sea in was nothing more than an oversized shell of a hull, a motor and no cover.  It was extremely primitive!

We cleared out of Guanaja – meeting a really lovely customs and immigration guy and headed off to Providencia Columbia.
The forecast was favourable, however the first 24 hours or so was like being in a washing machine!

When we finally had some gentler waters, we stopped briefly, as we had managed to get a line around our starboard prop.
Luckily Richard sorted dived in and sorted it with no problem with the saildrive.

Providencia was a lovely stop – we hired a buggy and drove the island
(3 times actually)
The public seating and bus stops have all nautical themes – just great

I started some bottling with Christmas in mind
“Boozy Christmas Mince – actually has Brandy, Rum and Amaretto in it
and Beetroot Chutney.

We left San Andres and had a really lovely sail from Providencia to San Andres – what a change – lots of “Perfumeries” etc – a place Columbians come for holidays.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Food, Food, Food...

I thought I should do a food posting...

After having been away with Belinda for 3 weeks,
then arriving home to Our Rose and Richard leaving to go to Panama,
I decided to do some baking.

These are two of the desserts I was asked to do for a Marina BBQ.
The left are Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache and Strawberries.
The right is upside down Date & Pear Cake with homemade Caramel Sauce.

I baked for my friends here at the marina, Chelsea Buns
(especially for Pat, Don, Wendy and Ken)...

Apple Flowers...

Mini Pecan Tarts

Portugese Custard Tarts and two types of Strawberry Flans

Of course, good old Sausage Rolls for the Rugby when NZ played...

Chocolate Cupcake with Meringue Halloween Ghosts 
and Chocolate Spiders

Mini Savoury Mince Pies...

Normal Size Savoury Mince and Vegetarian Pies...

Chocolate Truffles...

A Chocolate Truffle Cake for the goodbye dinner with Jane, Russell, Cain, April and Teresa...
(The truffles were Dark Chocolate Kahlua, Dark Chocolate Cointreau & White Chocolate Amaretto)

Mini Chocolate Cakes as a goodbye for Pat, Don and Wendy...

Saturday, 31 October 2015

We are the Champions and Halloween...

What a day...
So, so, so proud of the All Blacks and extremely proud to be a New Zealander...

Halloween had arrived...

Wendy who is a wonderful friend that we met here, put sooooooo much effort into Halloween
I really do not know how to put into words how spectacular the evening was...

A grave yard appeared on the hill...

and the preparations for the evening begun, 
Russell - the All Blacks Hooker having makeup applied by gorgeous Jane our Christmas Lady,
ending up looking like this...

Richard the New Zealand Sheik and I was the "Black Widow"...
(look at that hooker in onto my Sheik!..)

The children looked amazing...

April, the Nurse Shark, with Quinn in his surf shorts...

Phil and Monica the pirates...

The Sheik and his Kiwi Ladies...

My lovely friend Pat and of course my Really Good Buddy (Pirate) Teresa

Also our lovely friend Don with the Girls...

Sue, a Sea Rose Devil...

Wendy and Ken put so much effort into a Haunted Walk... It was extraordinary!

Wendy, who went to all of the amazing work to create such an awesome evening...

After all of the excitement it was a goodbye dinner at Jane and Russells 
with Cain, April and Quinn, 
and of course our good buddy Teresa who we have cruised on and off with for over 2 years and will not see for some time...

It was time for Chris to come onboard and recalibrate our instruments
(Chris also did our sail drives - he has been an amazing help to us)

Time to fuel up and head off to Texan Bay to get our mainsail back...

Well, that should have been the end of this posting,
however things sometimes do not go as planned.

On arrival in Texan Bay, we found we had no reverse from our Starboard engine, so it was back to Fronterras and Chris arrived first thing this morning to fix the clutch cone for us.
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you to Chris!