Happy Christmas from Guatemala

Friday morning we received a tracking message that the new communications cable had arrived in Miami.  Now it is in the hands of the airfreight company to Guatemala.  No further tracking available so just keeping everything flexible crossed. 

By eight we had Arnie on board doing the varnish keepers again….and he’d finished by 11.30.   At 1.30 the heavens opened with huge heavy raindrops.   The minute it stopped we rushed around drying the newly-varnished areas and were very surprised to find that it had survived the deluge without any damage.   Check out the weather coming across the river.    

We continued to sort out spares and storage holes down below.   We decided to get rid of some more clothes and old charts so Richard ran over to MAR marina to drop them off at Pass it On – a local charity.   Hopefully they’ll find some use either for the items direct or will sell them on to top up the kitty. 

As we are now stuck here until Christmas we decided to pay our marina bill for a month’s stay as the  deal is much better at only $220 including water.  It was hot and humid all day so we took an afternoon siesta but had to retreat down below once the sun had gone down as we felt so cold in the wind.  The barometer, however, said it was 27C so shows how acclimatised we have become LOL.    Another movie night on board beckoned.

Saturday morning and we had a 7.30 start with the last layer of keepers being done.   So we kept busy and cleaned all our saloon cushions – while Richard made extra bungees to secure the seats and back rests so things do not come flying out of the storage areas behind if we hit heavy weather conditions.   I left him to it and went off in search of internet as I wanted to learn how to best download weather files and synoptic charts when using a satellite connection.  I watched the video, amended my settings and was able to get weather routing and everything.   I was very happy with the outcome.   Everything is set up now – all we need to do is get it wired up and get off this dock!!!   Later on we had a cooling bob in the pool before returning to Morphie.  

We had paired our Sony Bluetooth speaker so there was an eclectic mix of music on a random selection.  Good job we had no neighbours LOL.   Well, we stayed up late, singing and chatting. Richard decided he had to try his newly-purchased Guatemalan Rum and drank all my coke in the absence of any ginger beer on board.  So I ended up with White Russians.   Suffice to say we were pretty merry by the time we retired at about midnight!

Sunday morning up early again as it was final varnish day.   This was for the whole rail to integrate the keepers in with the rest.   Arnie turned up at 9.00 am and got on with it.   Well it looks absolutely amazing……     

In the afternoon we went bobbing with the crew again and this time I remembered the camera.  After the excesses of the night before it was definitely time for an early night.

Monday morning we were up earlier than planned as the boys knocked on the hull at 7.30.  They quickly dried the boat and removed the blue masking tape.   We headed into town while this was going on…we wanted to purchase Christmas presents for the kids at Casa Guatemala.  

Close to the orphanage site (which is only accessible from the water) there are thirty surrounding Mayan villages where kids live in extreme poverty without access to clean water, electricity, schools or healthcare.   Casa Guatemala offers them a free education and almost 50% live on site receiving free room and board as well as tuition, materials, clothing and health care.   At the minute almost 600 children are being supported – some are orphans while others have families who are just too poor to care for them.  So the large cruising community here have been asked to supply small gifts and goodies so that Father Christmas can give every child a gift.  We managed to get 20 small simple items in town so filled up one of the collection boxes.  It felt great!   We are planning on following Father Christmas down the river to see him deliver the gifts on Christmas Eve.  Here is last year’s effort – should be a lot of fun. 

By Monday afternoon – despite the rain showers – the topsides have been thoroughly washed and cleaned.  We continued with boat jobs but are running out of things to do down below now – so look forward to the lads finishing so we can continue on deck.   After a break we took ourselves across the river, getting soaked, wearing our Santa hats. Here we are looking dishevelled to say the least but at least we were trying to get into the Christmas spirit! 

The promised carol singing didn’t really take off, although the local kids did have a good time, so we came back about 8.30 chilled through to the bone.  Oh yes..and dink was a bit floppy…looks like he’s developed a slow leak now.

Tuesday morning and the temperature had dropped to 23C which is positively freezing when combined with strong winds.  The boys came back and spent the whole day waxing, polishing the topsides plus the stainless – under close supervision….   It feels very decadent having all this work done for us but two lads for two whole days costs only £80.  Here they are working hard.

Apparently, according to the locals, giving them work earns us more respect.   Not sure if that is true but it’s certainly an unusual USP.   And we’ve been invited out with Arnie (the boss) on Friday for a beer, so there may be some truth in it.  Here’s Morphie looking absolutely stunning!

Later on we restored all the cans on the rail and reinstalled the cockpit cushions.   Then we installed our new rope holders before we gave up in the heavy rain….  

For the first time the sun did just peep through as it said goodnight to us.  

We sat in the cockpit for a while watching and listening to the heavily laden trucks go across the bridge – they are well illuminated – we just can’t help breaking into song of Holidays are coming….Holidays are coming….  LOL

Wednesday morning and it was the first day when we weren’t expecting anyone to call.   So we had a lie in listening to the rain beating down on the coach roof.   We had a brunch while I popped off to the posh marina provisioning shop as they had told me they were getting restocked that day for Christmas.

Found some fresh orange juice – to go with the bubbly for Christmas Day – and some breakfast sausages.   Happy girl!     While we were sitting in the cockpit we waved goodbye to Charlie and Saundra on Island Sol who are on their way to Roatan for Christmas.  Really sad we will not be with them – but we have fingers crossed for a New Year’s Eve reunion if everything works out with the cable and the weather decides to be kind.

In between rain showers Richard installed the dodgers on the rail so we are completely canvassed up now.   He’s also installed the new triple / double blocks to the rail to integrate the additional lines from the whisker pole.    And rain keeps stopping play.    Later on we headed off in the water taxi to MAR marine for a movie night – well, the food wasn’t great and the film was dire!  Oh well, at least we had a night off the boat.  

Oh yes and we have made our Christmas lunch reservations for 4pm at Backpackers who have a visiting Canadian chef – so they are promising turkey, ham, stuffing and all the trimmings.  Fantastic deal at only £15 a head!

This morning, Thursday, Richard is troubleshooting dink’s leak while I’m in reception blogging.   

So to sign off today we’d like to wish all our family and friends a wonderful happy and healthy Christmas.   We miss you….  Cheers!