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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Balance Weight Loss Program

We left Bocas del Toro at noon on March 17 (Saturday) at which point 7 out of 10 of us started the Balance Weight Loss Program. It’s a simple method really. Just head out into the open ocean with “6-8” foot seas (we all agree they were more like 10-12 feet), barf intermittently for the next 50 hours, and voila! A new thinner you. I’ve never been so glad to see land. Oh my heck. Whose idea was this?
participant of the Balance Weight Loss Program (actually Cole, Dave & Courtney were the only 3 non barfers on the crossing)

So after our 50 hour orientation course on “Open Ocean Crossings with Kids” we spent two heavenly days recovering at the Albuquerque Cays; two tiny little Columbian islands off of the coast of Nicaragua (far off the coast, btw). One is a Columbian marine outpost of sorts with about 6 Columbian boys playing in the water and “checking us in” on the VHF radio. The other is home to a little “village” of fishermen who by day take their skiffs and fish the deep water off the island and then return to sleep in little lean-to’s made of cardboard and fishing net. The snorkeling off the islands was excellent and absolutely perfect for the kids. Tons of beautiful live coral and lots of gorgeous fish. We speared the biggest lobster I’ve ever seen and enjoyed him thoroughly along with the tuna we had caught on our crossing, and Captain Dave’s conch fritters. Yum. The next day we spent some time dressing our boat’s wounds (both trampolines and the main sail had blow outs on the crossing) and cleaning puke out of cracks and crevices. Then we made hey for the beach. There is nothing more satisfying than feeling sand between your toes after having been sequestered on a boat with 6 barfing kids for 72 hours. Ahhhh. The adults walked the entirety of the island while the kids snorkeled in the super warm, shallow waters off the most quintessential white sand Caribbean beach. They were happy for hours chasing rays and making pets of the baby octopi that they found in empty conch shells. That evening, the hunting faction of our tribe went on a dinner expedition and came home with more lobster and conch. We hated to leave. 
But leave we did. And after a pleasing, “puke-free”, 6 hour crossing we arrived at the Columbian island of San Andres (no, not really near Columbia). To us, it seems like a metropolis of sorts with high rise hotels and honking cars. We docked the boat at Nene’s Marina and took the kids on a walking tour of the water front, stopping at the first pizza place we found. Oh heavenly pizza. And then we had ice cream. 
We aren’t staying long as we are on a time line to get to Guatemala for Semana Santa in Antigua. So we’ll leave later today or tomorrow and head down wind (thank heavens!) to Cayos Vivarillios. Then on to the Bay Islands of Honduras arriving at the Rio Dulce of Guatemala by the end of the month. We have quite a few miles to cover between here and the next time we’ll have internet (Bay Islands) so keep us in your thoughts (puke free, strong boat thoughts, if you please). 
Fair Winds,
The Skinny Crew of Balance


Trent said...

Heather and Dave your adventures have me captivated. This is something I would love to do but probably never will. Do your kids realize how epic this journey is?
I can't wait for your next update. I hope you can make it to Lake Atitlan in Guatemala. If you do make sure you have dinner or lunch at the CIRCUS BAR(in Panajachel). Amazing authentic adobe oven pizza. The owner is Italian. If you need cheap hotels or car rentals at any of your destinations let me know.

Carol said...

Dear Heather and skinny gang,
I am LOVING the updates and am completely wowed at the adventures (good and bad) that you are experiencing. as Trent said, it is indeed EPIC! Godspeed and prayers for safety are being sent on your behalf! Have a wonderful time and thanks for the updates!

Your cyber Canadian friend,

Angie said...

I feel like I am reading this out of a book! Real people go on adventures like this??? Wow, you guys are so fortunate! Enjoy! And take lots of pictures!

The Best Family said...

oh my goodness, i am LOVING following along on your adventure!! what an amazing opportunity for the kids to experience something like this! wishing you safe winds and calm seas as you continue to make your way south. enjoy semana santa in antigua - we were there last year and loved being back again!
cathy best
(mom to charlotte and sophia - santa rosa 2006-7)

Tina said...

While I feed and launder and scrub in the Midwest I am privileged to vicariously live a sea-going adventure! You are amazing! P.S. When did all that gray appear in Dave's beard? Very distinguished.