Previous "Updates at a Glance"

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   Update at a glance from . . .

(the below is in reverse chronological order)

June 13, 2010 from Bocas del Toro & Boquete, Panama.  We've made updates covering the past year that can be viewed at Pictures/Journal page 33.  Scrolling down to the bottom of this page, you'll also see that our various recommendation write-ups have been very recently updated for Panama and Costa Rica.

As of a month ago, we moved ARGO to Red Frog Marina - it is still in the Bocas del Toro area but located on a different island, Isla Bastimentos.  We are thoroughly enjoying the more remote setting and ambience, the change in scenery and the easy access to long, beautiful beaches and numerous nature walks, not to mention the frequent sighting of red poison dart frogs, sloths, dolphins and more.

We've been spending some time up in Boquete (in the mountains), where I'm working on this website update. 

December 20, 2009 from Bocas del Toro, Panama.  There's a lot to add to our website, but until it's done, here is a brief update. 

Deborah spent some time in the USA visiting her Dad and working temporarily for a friend.  Steve joined up in Houston and we traveled to visit his family, before returning to ARGO in September.  Since then, we are now finding ourselves integrating into the land-based expat community here in Bocas (which is quite large), in addition to the cruising community to which we are accustomed.  As you would expect, Steve pretty much knows everybody in town.

Since September, we've been to Panama City and David again, took a mandatory 72-hour "vacation" to coastal hangout town Puerto Viejo in Costa Rica for immigration purposes, and will be spending Christmas with friends Mary Ellen and Randy at their home in the mountains above Boquete (Panama).  Last New Year's Day we organized a black-eyed pea cook-off contest, which we plan to repeat this year.

Cruisers' compilations of "David City Recommendations" and "Panama City Recommendations" have been updated.  For those cruisers in need of their 72-hour immigration run, there are recommendations on Costa Rica get-aways to Puerto Viejo, Puerto Limόn and Golfito [May 2010].  A write-up on how we obtained our Panama maritime captain licenses is also available.  Click here to jump to these write ups.

June 3, 2009.  ARGO is still in Bocas del Toro, Panama, while we split our time between the boat, Houston and Costa Rica (for immigration purposes).  We hope to have some new updates for you soon. 

December 3, 2008 from Bocas del Toro, Panama (Caribbean side):  Updates are now current, which includes: Our fascinating boat and land tours of the Panama Canal (our write-up contains  slide show and animations); Panama City; highlights of our visit to the USA; and more on the Bocas del Toro area.  To get started jump to newest updates (which are on Pictures/Journal page 31 and page 32), or go straight to the Panama Canal write-up.  We will leave this area soon and will make our way to the San Blas islands.

November 9, 2008 from Bocas del Toro, Panama:  After spending 2 months in the USA visiting our families and friends, we are now back on ARGO.  After traveling inland here to do our annual routine physicals, we'll then prepare to leave Bocas and head east to the San Blas islands - islands that cruisers say are more south pacific than the South Pacific itself, if you can imagine that!  Upcoming updates will include highlights of our trip to the USA, as well as our up-close and personal land- and boat- tours through the locks of the Panama Canal.  To whet your appetite even more, check out the live Panama Canal webcam and a Panama Canal time-lapse video !

August 15, 2008 from Bocas del Toro, Panama:  Read updates from Panama at Pictures/Journal page 31.  We will be visiting the USA all of September and October, so we look forward to seeing our stateside family and friends soon.  After we return to ARGO, we plan to spend a year or two in Panama, the San Blas Islands and Cartagena, Colombia.

 

July 25, 2008 from Bocas del Toro, Panama:  We left Guanaja, a Bay Island of Honduras, in early May and arrived in northwestern* Panama (Caribbean side) mid-June, covering about 850 statute miles.  Enlarge the map at right to see our route and anchorages.  We had a lot of fun traveling down with four other boats - Texans, Australians/Croatian, Brits and French/French Canadian.  Our trip down included a stop at Trujillo on mainland Honduras; a nasty passage "around the corner" of Honduras/Nicaragua which included being closely chased by a water spout (tornado over water); and a stop at Vivarillos, two very small cays (islands) off Honduras' southeast coast.  We spent a week at Isla Providencia, a very neat, colorful French-feeling island.  We stayed several days at the very remote Albuquerque Cays which are two small islands - one home to fishermen and the other an outpost for the Colombian army - thick with palm trees and surrounded by extensive reefs and turquoise waters.  Although Providencia and Albuquerque Cays are owned by Colombia, they are located way off the coast of Nicaragua in the middle of nowhere.  As of Albuquerque Cays, ARGO has put 10,000 n. miles under her keel.  On June 18 we arrived in Bocas del Toro, Panama, a large area with lots of islands and coves to explore, and are currently in the Bocas Marina.  See Pictures/Journal page 30 for related updates.

Michael Rock, Guanaja, Honduras Vivarillos, Honduras Isla Providencia, Colombia Albuquerque Cays, Colombia Bocas del Toro, Panama

* I feel stupid admitting this, but we were surprised to discover that Panama actually extends west to east - like an "S" laying on its side -  and the Panama Canal runs north-south (ok, that we knew).  So, are you as geographically-challenged as we are?

After arriving in Panama, we traveled inland (south) with Texas-cruiser friends (Randy & Mary Ellen, s/v Wanda Jeane) who have their home in the coffee mountains of Boquete with the Baru Volcano in their backyard.  We had a very personal tour of the beautiful area including Volcan, Cerro Punta and David.  Parts of it reminded us of Colorado or European alpine country with wood A-frames and masses of colorful flowers everywhere, and perfect all-year-'round temperatures usually in the 70's.

May 4, 2008 from French Cay (Fantasy Island), Roatan (Bay Islands), Honduras:  We're about ready to move on to the eastern-most Bay Island, Guanaja, where we will stage for our trip south to Panama in May.  There are several islands on the way, so we'll be able to hop down doing a few overnight passages.  Our first destination in Panama will be Bocas del Toro.  Our most recent updates are at Pictures/Journal page 30.  [ARGO is in the inlet top center of screen]

March 30, 2008 from Jonesville, Roatan (Bay Islands), Honduras:  It's been windy and rainy recently so it's been a good time to finally catch up on our updates which includes:  Trip to Monterrico on the west coast of Guatemala to release baby leatherback turtles to the sea; Deborah's Dad's visit to Guatemala for 2 weeks so we did the "circuit" - Antigua, Lake Atitln and Tikal; Trip to Quirigu, Maya ruins known for their very tall stelae, and; A return trip to Copn, Maya ruins in Honduras.  All these updates can be accessed from Pictures/Journal page 29.  The update for our Costa Rica trip has now been completed at Pictures/Journal page 28

Monterrico Dad's Visit Quirigu Copn Costa Rica

We left the Rio Dulce in Guatemala mid-February, crossed the shallow river bar without incident, spent a month in Belize (mostly around Placencia) and are now enjoying Roatan (Bay Islands of Honduras) for the 2nd season.  We will eventually move to the eastern-most Bay Island, Guanaja, where we will stage for our trip south to Panama in May.  There are several islands on the way, so we'll be able to hop down doing a few overnight passages.  Our first destination in Panama will be Bocas del Toro.  Our most recent updates are at Pictures/Journal page 30

March 23, 2008 from Jonesville, Roatan (Bay Islands), Honduras:  We left Guatemala, spent a month in Belize (mostly around Placencia) and are now enjoying Roatan for the 2nd time.  The update for our Costa Rica trip has now been completed at Pictures/Journal page 28.  Next will be updates for our trips to:  Monterrico on the west coast of Guatemala to release baby leatherback turtles; Quirigua, Maya ruins known for their very tall stelae; and a return trip to Copan, Maya ruins in Honduras  (see teaser pictures below).
February 9, 2008 from the Rio Dulce, Guatemala:  Tomorrow we are leaving Monkey Bay Marina and plan to cross the shallow bar at the mouth of the Rio Dulce on Tuesday (or after depending on weather) with a high tide.  We'll head to Belize so we can restart our immigration (see The CA-4 Thing), then to the Bay Islands of Honduras.
January 16, 2008 still from the Rio Dulce, Guatemala:  In the past week our departure plans have been revised to mid-February, due to Deborah having minor hand surgery (trigger thumb) and waiting on a new motor for our windlass.  In the meantime, we have visited the nearby Maya ruins of Quirigu, known for their very tall stelae.  After having Deb's stitches removed in Guatemala City and with some extra time on our hands, we're heading to Antigua for a couple of days (how we love that place!), then swing by the Maya ruins of Copan, Honduras, for a couple of days en route back to the river. 

December 22, 2007 from the Rio Dulce, Guatemala:  We spent August and September traveling by bus through Central America - El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica - and have now completed our Trip Recommendations.  Our recommendations include transportation, lodging, activities and trip tips.  Pictures/Journals have been completed for  El Salvador and Nicaragua, and Costa Rica will be forthcoming.

In the meantime, we made a quick trip to Monterrico on Guatemala's Pacific coast to release baby leatherback turtles into the ocean.  Recently, Deborah's Dad came to visit for 2 weeks so we did the "circuit" - Antigua, Lake Atitln and Tikal.  To see a slide show of his trip, click Dad's Trip to Guatemala.  Web page updates on both of these trips are forthcoming.  We are now preparing ourselves and ARGO to cross the bar at high tide in mid-January and head to Belize and Honduras, before turning the corner and heading south to Panama in April/May.      

November 4, 2007 from the Rio Dulce, Guatemala:  We spent August and September traveling by bus through Central America - El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica.  The updates for El Salvador and now Nicaragua have been completed, along with Trip Recommendations for those interested in more details about our travels, including transportation, lodging, activities and trip tips.  We're working on Costa Rica so keep checking back for new stuff.      

October 26, 2007 from the Rio Dulce, Guatemala:  We spent August and September traveling by bus through Central America - El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica.  The updates for El Salvador have been completed, along with Trip Recommendations for those interested in more details about our travels, including transportation, lodging, activities and trip tips.  We're working on Nicaragua and Costa Rica - updates to be published in installments - so keep checking back for new stuff. 

October 1, 2007 from the Rio Dulce, Guatemala:  We have just returned to ARGO (in the Rio Dulce, Guatemala) after traveling by bus for almost 2 months through El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica.  We had a great trip and look forward to sharing our adventures and pictures with you, as well as our trip recommendations for those wishing to do the same.   As there is lots of material to sort through, trip updates will be published in installments, so keep checking back.  

July 30, 2007 from Rio Dulce, Guatemala: After leaving Roatan, Honduras, we checked out several other anchorages (islands and mainland) - click for recent Honduras update After a successful "bar exam", we returned to Monkey Bay Marina in the Rio Dulce River in mid-June where we spent a couple of weeks getting ARGO cleaned up and marina happy.  We then rendezvoused with Steve's brother Ray, his wife Chris and their 10-year old daughter Jackie in Tikal.  Fifteen days later we had shown them Tikal, Rio Dulce, Antigua, Lake Atitlan and Guatemala City at a fairly relaxed pace - click for our family visit trip highlights.    

We are taking off the beginning of August to travel by bus through Central America - El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and maybe Panama for a few months.  So far, we have done very little advanced planning and intend just to flow with it - seems that our experience as a cruiser is carrying over to our land-cruising!  (During this time, website updates will not be possible, nor will we be able to file weekly Position Reports.)

June 3, 2007 from Roatan, Honduras: After leaving Belize's Caye Caulker, we spent a relaxing 3 weeks at Lighthouse Reef, a very remote atoll offshore Belize (click here for that update).  Since then, we have been in Roatan, Honduras.  We now will start making our way back to the Rio Dulce, Guatemala, checking out several new anchorages in Honduras in route.  Click here for updates on Honduras.  We will take our "bar exam" across the shallows at the mouth of the river mid June, and return ARGO to Monkey Bay Marina for the duration of hurricane season. 

March 16, 2007 from Caye Caulker, Belize:  After leaving the Rio Dulce river, Guatemala in January, we have been in Belize, with guests visiting us here.  Click here for newest update.  Soon we will be heading to Belize's offshore atolls, then probably to the Bay Islands of Honduras (Roatan) before we head back to the Rio Dulce for hurricane season.  Once there, we plan to travel Central America by bus for a few months.  For recent updates at a glance, scroll down   .   .   .   

January 31, 2007 from Placencia, Belize:  After bouncing across the Rio Dulce bar at high-high tide in a 2-3 ft. chop at dusk, we are now in Placencia, Belize weathering the occasional northern that rolls through.  Yes, they do get this far south giving us pleasant temperatures, and higher winds.  We will be in Belize a month or two, then probably heading to the Bay Islands of Honduras.  

December 9, 2006 from the Rio Dulce, Guatemala:  We spent a week traveling inland with stateside friends to the beautiful volcano-studded Lake Atitln area, Chichicastenango and Antigua, including the November 1st Day of the Dead Gigantic Kite Festival in Santiago Sacatepquez - Pictures/Journal - page 21, which includes 3 slide shows.  Also, Pictures/Journal - page 22, Guatemalan Miscellany, includes an educational slide show on the construction of our new thatched roof kitchen palapa here at Monkey Bay - the Guatemalan way.

A recent update included our trip to the renowned Mayan ruins of Tikal in northern Guatemala.

Hey, Rio Dulce cruiser, if you're planning a trip inland, you may want to check out our Tikal Trip Recommendations,   Lake Atitln Trip Recommendations Guat City and Antigua Lodging and Medical Recommendations  and the joint effort  Guatemala City Recommendations from the Cruisers at Monkey Bay.

Missing Updates at a Glance in between here.

July 14, 2006 from the Rio Dulce, Guatemala:  As promised, here is another installment, Pictures/Journal - page 18, focusing on the Rio Dulce and our new home at Monkey Bay.  After Deborah comes back from her girls' week-and-a-half out, the next installment -- pertaining to our great 3-week trip to awesome Antigua -- will be done.  So you ask where is Deborah going with the girls?  It's a bon voyage trip of sorts starting with a trip to Honduras to visit the Copan ruins and then on to Guatemala City for routine medical stuff, shopping, food and fun.  Stay tuned!

Be sure to look at the various Position Reports, as there are some amazing satellite views of the Rio Dulce, for example, try this Satellite view.  Be sure to zoom in and out.  Blue marker is where we are now; green markers show previous positions.

Missing Updates at a Glance prior to July 2006.

December 2004 from Trinidad:  We have been in Trinidad for almost 3 months now, doing boat repairs, maintenance and other projects.  We have, however, been able to get out and see the sights of Trinidad, mingle with the very friendly Trinidadian people, experience many cultural events, and enjoy the comradeship of the large cruiser community here. 

We are heading next west to Venezuela - Isla de Margarita and Puerto La Cruz.

This recent website update (page 11) includes our travels to Tobago and Trinidad, and Ivan the terrible hurricane that hit Grenada and affected many of our cruising friends.  We have included their chilling accounts of Ivan, definitely worth your time to read.

 

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                                                                          Last updated 07/19/2010                                             

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