The rest of the trip is uneventful, and My timing it perfect, We arrive near Utila at sunrise, and We start to navigate through the islets, and reefs, with the plotter and daylight, it is fairly easy. Now arriving in the bay and never had been there before, I rely on “my crew” as to what is where, well guess what, she does not remember, I don’t know about you, but when I sail somewhere, I tend to remember where I got My entry papers done, she does not remember where it is, nor where the main dock is, nor where the ferry dock is, the ferry dock tend to be kind of important, no one wants to anchor in their way of approach or departure. OK I guess her resume got kind of embellished there too. So after being waved away but a couple of mad local ( I cannot blame them, I am just an other stupid tourist that does not know what He is doing), I finally find a descent anchorage, mind you I am told that it might not hold in a storm, but it is good enough for now, while I tour the town, and find for Myself what is where. Utila is a great place to do port entry papers for Honduras, every thing is close bay, Immigration, port Captain, and customs are side by side, and the bank is 30 feet away. Now as it goes for efficiency, they are hard to beat, while I am at immigration, the port Captain and Customs, comes in, grab My documents, and start their paper work, while I am still doing Immigration, by the time I am done with the passport part of it, the boat’s papers are ready, total cost, about $20.00 for immigration, and the same for the Port Captain, I think Customs was either free or included in the second $20.00, and talk about friendly, I thought for a while, that they wanted to adopt Me 🙂
So now I am legal, I go to town, grab a few groceries (Utila has a bit of every thing, and very cheap), gi back to the boat and relax for the day, the morning after I check the fore cast, and find out the there is a” northy ” coming for that night, Now remember I have been told this is not a good holding in stormy weather. It is 6 hours sail to Roatan, and I decide to make a run for it, it is 10 AM, and the storm is due for 4 PM, I can make it, hoist the sail, lift anchor, and We are on the way, it is a good sail, descent wind, not much wave, as soon as We reach Roatan the wind picks up, and picks up, and picks up, But by now We are protected by the island, although I have an other 3 hours to where I need to go, even if the wind is strong, the waves, are quite manageable due to the island. so mid way, I take the sails down and decide to motor the other one hour to French harbor. Now at the entrance of French Harbor, the GPS red flag the entrance, I see about 30 other sailboat in the bay, so they had to have been to get in somehow, My crew, had claimed that she had been here is the past, actually many times. So I when I see the reef in front of Me, and believe it or not, there is a million dollar boat stuck on it. So I turn to the crew, and ask her what is the way in, she answer, how should I know, I flew here. Ummmmm interesting, I guess next time some one tells Me they have been somewhere, I will how they got there. Fortunately, one of the people that came to see if they help the boat on the reef, sees Me doing circles, and deducts that I am not sure of the way in, He waves at Me and tells Me to follow Him. So I do, and now I have a track of the entrance on the plotter. Such is the way it goes with boaters, they are always willing to help each others. But He did not stayed around, I wanted to Buy Him a few beers 🙂 The anchoring is very crowded, after all there is a storm coming in, well it is actually almost here by now, the wind blows hard, but in the bay there is no waves. I find a descent place, it is a bit close to the reef, but the anchoring looks solid, so I drop anchor, and when the anchor grabs, I leave it in neutral for about 15 to 20 minutes, just to make absolutely sure I hold. It is now about 5;30 PM, and see that there is a gathering at Fantasy Island Marine, so why not head there, that is after all how boaters get information’s, We bribe each others with beer and other delicious beverages 🙂 Once there I meet a whole bunch of boaters that already know, Sega-Sega, Yonders, Ma Blonde, Mad-Cap Beatrice and a bunch of others. Boaters tend to always bump into each others. It might be a big world out there, but most good anchoring s are well known to each others because We all share information s, and French harbor is not just a good anchoring, it is a fantastic one. So I figure, I just might stay here for a while, and treat Myself to a little bit of luxury and moor at the marina.
Jerry is the dock Master, and He is an outstanding one, He finds a slip for Me, it is going to take a few days, for it to be available, after all remember the area is full of boaters because of the storm, and this is a holding place for people going to either Panama, Nicaragua, some are going the other way, to Cuba, Mexico Belize etc… Fantasy Island Marina is part of Fantasy Island hotel. The name is quite appropriate, The grounds are gorgeous, there are 3 beaches, all with white sand and gentle slopes, the water is clear, and soooooo warm it is almost paradise. There is a swimming pool, that is almost always empty, after all, why swim in a pool, when you have the perfect blue waters of the ocean at your doorstep? The Marine is more expensive here then in Guatemala, almost double, but it is not that this expensive, just that in Guatemala it is so cheap. By Canadian and American standards, Fantasy’s marina rates are quite a bargain, and worth every penny. The service is outstanding, the boaters are friendly, and Jerry is so helpful, and the snorkeling is out of this world, and if diving is on your agenda, the fully equipped dive shop is on the grounds, with 4 dive boats ready to take you anywhere you want.
The snorkeling and diving here is out of this world, things I saw just snorkeling in less then 20 feet of water, turtles, barracudas, monster size groupers, sea rays, fishes of all types and colors, lobster so big they would not fit on a huge plate and they come to look at you, but they are safe since this is a protected area. So the rule is take nothing but pictures, and leave nothing, not even foot prints, after all they went to great length to put mooring balls for diving and snorkeling, so use them and leave the area as when you came in.https://eteinfini.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/p1010986.jpg?w=300