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May 2009

In early May, we arrived on the island of Roatan , which is another of the Bay Islands of Honduras .  Roatan is busy and is undergoing a lot of development with tourist resorts and large and beautiful homes for people moving to the island.  We were surprised to see young English speaking families with kids in addition to retired couples living on the island.

 

Blue tangs

Many people on Roatan speak English, so we always start out with English to communicate.  We went to a Bojangles fried chicken restaurant for lunch one day.  The menu was posted in English and looked just like a menu you would find in a Bojangles restaurant in the U.S.   There was no menu posted in Spanish.  When we began to place our order in English from the menu, we were shocked to learn that no one in the restaurant spoke English.  Everyone was placing their orders in Spanish and the workers could not understand the orders that we placed from the menu in English.  How did the locals know what to order, since the menu was not posted in Spanish?




 School of Blue Tangs

We enjoyed several days of diving on the West End of Roatan.  This part of the island is included in the Roatan Marine Park and is protected.  Dive sites are marked by dive buoys where we could take our dinghy and go for a dive.  There are several dive shops and resorts where we could refill our dive tanks.  The coral and sea life were beautiful and it was fun to dive with several of our cruising friends.

Rotan reef

John was also excited to find some very good beach volleyball at the West End of Roatan.  Many young people come from the US to West End to work on the dive boats.  Late each afternoon they meet with some locals for beach volleyball.  This is the first place where they actually were good enough to play two-man beach volleyball.  It was the first volleyball for John since February in the San Blas Islands and he is anxious to return to West End for diving and volleyball.

 


Underwater life in Roatan


We learned that our friend Nick on Caribbean Soul and Ann have the same birthday.  Several cruising friends joined us for dinner in West End to celebrate our birthday and eat some of the delicious caked that Deanna on Caribbean Soul baked for us.  We were also serenaded by a talented Honduran who played guitar and reed flute and sang Happy Birthday in English & Spanish.  It was amazing to hear him play guitar, blow into the flute and sing a song.
Ann & Nick's birthdayBirthday music

 

 

 

 

 




Celebrating Ann & Nick's birthday                                                           Happy Birthday Honduran style

 


Lindsay's Wedding

 

 

John flew to the U.S. for a week to attend his daughter Lindsay’s wedding.  Ann stayed on the boat in a marina in La Ceiba on the Honduras mainland.  On our sail to the mainland, we were treated to a large school of dolphin riding the waves around us for about 45 minutes.  It is always fun to watch dolphin of all sizes having a good time and it was a great birthday gift for Ann.  John had a great time at the wedding and visiting with the kids and grandchildren, while Ann stayed busy doing lots of boat chores.

 

 




Lindsay and her Dad dancing at the wedding

In late May, we headed back to the island of Guanaja where we will work on a mission project with our friend Keith Willing in early June.  At 2:30 am on Thursday, May 28 we woke when the boat started to shake quickly, like a tremble.  At first we were concerned that we were dragging anchor, but a quick look confirmed that there was no wind and that we were still anchored in the same spot.  We both decided that we must have been in an earthquake.  The next morning we learned that a strong 7.1 earthquake struck about 29 miles north of Guanaja.  The island was very fortunate to have very little damage and no injuries.  We went into the main village later that morning and everyone was talking about the earthquake, how it felt to them and their reactions.  Everyone was most concerned about the risk of a tsunami, but there was no problem.

We anchored in the same area in Guanaja as on our previous trip and were excited to see our “pet” dolphin Nicky once again.  Nicky continued to keep us company as we varnished all the exterior wood on the boat.  One night at dusk, he made four beautiful jumps high out of the water beside our boat.  This is Livin the Dream!