¨You are not allowed to touch the land for 14 days. Must go direct to your boat at anchor and stay there mentioned period of time. Since today these are the new rules, we apply for our islands to avoid the Covid-19 ¨
This was our reaction to what we were told by the officials on early morning of Monday, 16 of March, 2020, after our arrival to the harbour of Bonacca, the little cay and the capital of Guanaja, Bay islands, Honduras. It took us 3 days of beautiful broad reach sail to get here from our last port in Caymans. In reality we arrived to the bay day earlier, on Sunday, but as on weekends all official institutions are closed we decided stay on boat and instead relax and celebrate Egoi 40th birthday.
That Monday morning, we could not believe what we heard. Before leaving the Caymans we already heard something about Covid in Italy. But we were so concern about checking the weather and planning the trip that did not pay big attention to news. To be honest, we were thinking its another type of Flue and it will end soon.
But that moment, on that tiny Honduras island we were shocked! 2 weeks at anchor with a year and a half old active baby, limited number of provisions and water aboard, was going to be not very funny. Caymans were sooooooo expensive that for 3 days trip to Bay islands we bought just essential food supplies, planning fill the boat with provisions in much cheaper Honduras islands.
And than our brains started working.
¨Wait wait wait? You said the law begins todays, 16? Right? ¨
¨But we arrived yesterday! 15 of March. It was Sunday, so we stayed on board till Immigration and Custom office will open on Monday. ¨
¨Ok. Can you prove it somehow? ¨
¨Yes! We have Garmin in Reach sms with time and coordinates sent to the family from the anchorage yesterday. ¨
¨OK. Well, then you are lucky. You will have to be checked by our doctor (temperature) and then you can continue with ordinary check in and follow general rules applied to all Guanaja habitants to avoid Covid. That means all pleasure craft movements between sectors are prohibited (island was divided in sectors). You can sail with your boat inside the sector 1. Just. No one was allowed to sail to other Bay islands- neither Roatan nor Utila. And of course, no way to enter the mainland. ¨
That didn’t bother us too much. We were happy to be in Guanaja and as we got to know later there were safer and better than in other two islands- Roatan and Utila. Only the fact that our friends from Basque country and the family will not be able to visit us in Roatan upset us. At the same time, unknowing when Guatemala, our place for hurricane season , will open its border , was worrying us too. Guanaja was still on Hurricanes path, although they rarely hit the Bay Islands. Last devastimg one was Mitch, which hit and destroyed the island on 1998 .
After initial shock and all the news, we made check in to the country and rushed to change some money, buy local Sim card with Data and connect to the world for Covid news.
Later when all calmed down and we were sitting on a bench drinking local beer I understood what the message, we got on 16th early morning from my parents on Garmin InReach – ¨Rasa, are you Ok? Lithuania is closed¨-meant.
The whole world changed. Countries were closing the borders, but life continued.
And we started enjoying Guanaja
Soon after our main home became safe and very well protected anchorage at El Bight in the South East coast. We were there together with 4 other sailboats – all in the same situation as we- Dutch, French and 2 American.
It was beautiful small bay. Very good holding (sand), lots of mango and coconut trees around, nice waterfall in the forest, small shop with main provisions nearly and friendly german guy Hans living ashore and awning Manati restaurant. Because of a Covid it was closed, but Hans let us using his peer for dinghy and invited us to use fresh water pipe on dock anytime we want.
In other words – better impossible. In pandemic situation which all world was living we were feeling we are in the right place to be. Knowing that we have fruits and water ashore, fish in the sea and internet on mobile phones made us feel safe and ready to survive if the island get totally closed and no supplies comes from the mainland. Usually, one time a week there were boats coming to Bonacca from La Ceiba with fresh food and main provisions. But since the pandemic commenced, they arrived only once in two weeks. And nobody knew if the things could get worse.
But then again in the most unexpected moment surprises comes. The first day, while walking through tiny Bonacca streets and looking for a place for toilet I was politely interrupted by nice lady asking if I was Basque( funny, how could blondie, blue eyes girl with strange accent look like Basque?:). The women name was Dol. And to our surprise she was married to Basque man Txomin and living just on the other side of the island. We shared our mobiles and soon after few days Egoi was talking in basque with Txomin on the phone. He was inviting us to come as stay with them to Mangrove Bight, which is on the northeast side. Of course we said YES- just needed to wait till boats will be allowed to sail between the sectors.
But about that and our amazing time in Mangrove Bight on the next post.
This is a story about our life journey or better said is a story about our life afloat a sailing boat. Our trips, our adventures, our challenges and problems found on the way. Our everyday life floating and our unforgettable moments of sailing and tasting the worldl!
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"Cruising has two pleasures. One is to go out in wider waters from a sheltered place. The other is to go into a sheltered place from wider waters."
"The lovely thing about cruising is that planning usually turns out to be of little use."
"There are more sharks on the land than in the sea"
If you are going to do something, do it now. Tomorrow is too late.
Don't worry about the world ending today. It's already tomorrow in Fiji.
" Land was created to provide a place for boats to visit."
"A sailor is an artist whose medium is the wind. Live passionately, even if it kills you, because something is going to kill you anyway."
"A bad day at SEA is still better than a good day at work"
"The perfection of a yacht's beauty is that nothing should be there for only beauty's sake."
"Remember 'It was a professional who built the Titanic, It was an amateur who built Noah's Ark"
"Sailing - The art of slowly going nowhere at great expense. "
When life gives you a hundred reasons to cry, show life that you have a thousand reasons to smile.