Rio Dulce - a Cruiser’s Paradise

We have now been in the Rio Dulce for just over a month, and I can see how people end up never leaving this freshwater cruising ground. It is large enough that you could pickup and anchor in scores of new spots and never get bored. You could anchor off in side rivers, or in little coves, or near the town, or near one of the resorts or just off in the middle of the river/lack and have all the privacy in the world.

The provisioning is amazingly cheap for local fruits, vegetables, chicken, and pork. Beef is naturally a bit more pricey, but even American products like cheese, bacon, and other regulars are easy enough to get at prices that are just fine. The local beer Galo is a pretty good lager with a nice bitter taste to it, giving it a stronger character than most Caribbean lagers. Restaurant prices are not that bad, but not that great, most restaurant food is just okay, but excellent quality at Dreamcatchers and a nice thin-crust pizza at Sundog Cafe stands out.

The Nanajuana Marina where we are staying is a small resort with an expansive boatyard with good quality labor. There is a large pool up on a gentle rise overlooking Ad Astra and the Rio Dulce with awesome sunset views. The water is free, but electricity at the dock is about $0.50/kwh. Good thing we do not need much, unless we are greedy with night time AC.

The best feature of Nana Juana is the strong cruiser community. We were immediately greeted by several families and fit right into the Sunday potlucks and group excursions. Shortly after our arrival, our good friends on Maple that we met last year in Bonaire joined us here in Nana Juana! Plenty of long afternoons and evenings of boadgames, BBQ and great conversation.

Ana of Coregem never stopped organizing events for all of the families:

We toured an organic farm founded by an ex-Peace Core guy named Dwight who has been here since the 1980s and through several civil wars. His farm had geese, parots, ducks, donkeys, goats and over 100 varieties of fruiting trees. We had a solid meal on his property and tried his star-fruit wine (quite sour).

Next Ana set us up with a pair of very cool zip line adventures including a fairly challenging aerial jungle challenge course and a nive meandering kayak trip in the rain finishing at the hot springs in the canyon.

Over the next few Sundays I would paddle with Max and Kyle various routes - including an 8nm day with a 3nm side trip up a stream passing under breathtaking arbors and placid cows muching green-green grass on the banks.

Chess became A Thing! With many kids getting into it, but Kyle really dove in and for two weeks straight was doing chess from breakfast until going to sleep. What a huge difference in his play and a strong boost to his confidence to be able to pick something and develop material knowledge and skill.


Boat List Victories

We tore through a great chunk of the boat list: * Replaced the failed depth sounder * Got both of our anchor chains galvanized as well as one of the anchors * Fixed leaky hatches & various issues with 3 showers & dc fans * Serviced all the winches * Stainless & clears polished * Repaired the starter and fuel pump for the generator (still need to p/u an oil sender) * Repaired the 3rd burner on the stove * Removed every item and spring-cleaned every locker on the boat * But the biggest piece of work was an overhaul of our dinghy Exit Strategy: ** Professional paint job inside and out with new non-skid ** Crafted with much love and decent outcome (by yours truly) - a dingy cover, engine and fuel tank cover!

When we lift out Ad Astra in September

  • 0.5D Add the sail-drive access flap
  • 4D Bottom paint Job (3 coats spread over 3-4 days)
  • 0.5D Install the Maretron (scary mast job)
  • 1D Repair gelcoat (this time lets go for quality polishing)
  • (2) x 0.5D Balance the LiFePO4 (in the water?)
  • 0.5D Replace the port auto-bilge & float switch (in the water?)
  • 2D Wax & polish the boat (in the water?)
  • 2D Replace the port net (in the water?)
  • 1D Fix the washing machine with parts brought back (in the water?)

Post poned until Florida

  • Life raft inspection
  • Flybridge speaker repair
  • LED lighting strips replacement


Planning a trip to Los Angeles and Austin

Kyle’s macbook pro has developed severe display issues making the computer unusable. We pulled out the “spare” macbook pro and realized that it still has problems booting up.

Laptops are critical to our development work as well as our lifestyle, and so we need a new one for Kyle. Laptops outside of the USA are overpriced and underspecced, thus a trip for me to the states has been provoked.

Below are the plans to make this two week trip as productive as possible:

Laptops

  • Repair (2) Macs & get 2 new power adapters (and replace my power port)
  • New PC laptop - so many choices - it is confusing
  • Try some cooling pads

Boat Parts

  • Oil Pressure Sender (Isolated Ground) Part # 193-0430-01 (Going to Austin)
  • Yanmar Saildrive seals (4) (Going to Austin)
  • Anchor Chain plastic markers (3 sets)
  • Stainless anchor shackle (2)
  • Washing machine part(s) ???
  • Raymarine - VHF and Autopilot raw cables

Los Angeles (6d)

  • 2D Apple Store to drop off and pick up macs
  • Stay with my Dad in Pasadena, Pinks, Fish House
  • 1D Visit Laguna Woods
  • 0.5D Visit JPL - see I.K.
  • 0.5D Visit SpaceX?
  • 2D Who else? MD? DB? MS? BB? GK?

Austin (4.5D)

  • 1D P/U Mail
  • 0.5D New Drivers license
  • 2D Visit friends, Drink craft beer & eat great food
  • 0.5D Elite Martial Arts
  • 0.5D Catch a movie at the alamo drafthouse

Other stuff to Buy?

  • Gloomhaven

Bonus

Any conferences? Space, Python, Django, Gaming?