The bridge connecting the town of Fronteras at the right end and El Relleno at the left end was shrouded in smoke when we arrived. With this photo you begin to get a feeling for the smoky haze we encountered our first few days on the river. Winds had been calm all day up to this point, but just as we were starting to think about anchoring or entering the marina where we had made a reservation, bang, 25 knots right on cue running down the length of the lake. Well, so much for docking in a strange place when once again, no one would answer the VHF and we had no idea where to go. Larry, Pat and I hopped in the dinghy and took off to try to find a place to stay. Darnell and Faith insisted on having a pool; Joy needed a dock with easy on and off access, and we were unable to find one marina that filled all the requirements, so we ended up docking on opposite sides of the river, us in El Relleno and them in Fronteras, the big town.
Here’s a photo taken looking down the main dock at our marina, Mar Marina, with our outdoor restaurant off to the left, the long dock, and Steel Magnolia, our friends Roy and Jane’s boat. We made friends very quickly as we worked our way around the docks asking everyone we met lots of questions about where this or that place could be found, where to buy groceries, how to get to the big city, and so on. We took advantage of anyone who spoke English as they are few and far between. None of our marina staff speak any English, so I am learning fast how to ask for things that we need in Spanish.
Here’s one of our boat ramps. Unfortunately, a few days before Joy sent me on a mission to take photos of our marina a big storm blew all the blossoms off these trellises. Cloaked in white blossoms our entire marina was one of the prettiest businesses in town. Still is actually. The staff rakes our grounds every day; there is no trash anywhere; the breeze almost always blows down the lake, and as you see here, the sun is usually shining and the skies blue. It is hot like you’ve never felt before, and mid-day siestas are a requirement, not just a nicety.
It’s difficult to choose which photos to include as there are so many gorgeous views, but for now, we want to at least catch you up to our voyage. I took this photo from the big bridge looking off to the east with our marina hiding in the middle, Ocean Angel’s tall mast is a little to the left of center next to a 50 foot Swan’s tall mast, Ram Marina on the far side, and one of Guatemala’s extinct volcanoes in the distance. Most of our days here have been just like this one with incredible views, nice breezes, incredible heat, and now, lots of rain. It’s what they call winter here, lots and lots of rain, for an hour or two each day, just like Florida used to be in the summer. But for now we have reached the southernmost point of our trip on the Ocean Angel. We’ll spend some time traveling about the country and tell you all about it.