Leaving West End bright and early one morning, we set off for French Harbour and fished along the way, for "real fish" that is. I continue to pull a variety of small snappers and grunts and trunkfish from our swim platform but John is unimpressed. He wants something for his next centerfold shot, one of the monsters that hang out in the deep water just off the reef.
It's called "fishing", however not "catching" and we came up empty handed. We pulled into the last available slip at the Roatan Yacht Club after our short 17 mile cruise and were greeted by a Canadian couple from Vancouver, BC on their 2002 Bayliner. "We have your book" the woman called out from her cockpit. She was referring to the latest issue of PMM, which they had on board. We were thrilled to borrow their copy since we hadn't seen the issue yet. Captain John cursed under his breath as she insisted we pose for a picture. He's just going to have to living in the spotlight I guess (LOL).
John picked up supplies while I checked our email. We filled our water tank, hosed down the boat and pulled out of our slip the next morning and anchored in the outer harbour beside Fantasy Island. Several times a day the dive boats full of tourists pass by our boat on their way to their dive site. "Hi Lil" they call out to me as I stand on the swim platform fishing. I've learned after 2 ½ years that it's easier just to answer to Lil. Sound carries across the water and we can hear what they say about us. "ONTARIO"! one man shouts, and "Wow they're smart" another comments. How well we remember the days when we were the tourists, drooling with envy as we passed the boaters living our dream.
Every few hours a small blue sea-plane taxis through the anchorage, turning beside our boat to take off into the wind. The view of the island from above in this open roofed little plane must be amazing. I think the pilot is getting to know me, the crazy Canadian woman who always scrambles out to take pictures as he takes off because each day he comes closer and closer. What a job he has, flying the plane back and forth from Fantasy Island.
By the time the wind let up a full week had passed and we needed to reprovision again before leaving for Jonesville, which has basic supplies but not nearly the selection that is available in French Harbour. Finally the wind died down and we were up and away by 7 a.m. and anchored in Jonesville by 8 a.m. The anchorage fills up on Sunday with boaters planning to do the "Hole in the Wall" all you can eat lobster and roast beef bbq so I wanted to get here early to snag the prime spot in front of Woodside Marina where the internet signal is the strongest. It was a fine plan, as we settled and watched 4 other boats pull in after us including Jim and Jeanie on Oasis.
John went out in the dingy to show them the channel in to the anchorage, this being their first time here. We went over to shore and chatted with Larry about his trip to the Misquito Coast of Honduras and watched his slide show. I called the Hole in the Wall on the VHF radio to find out what time the 3 pm bbq started and was told that with the big crowd expected the bbq would start at 2 pm. We ate lightly all day and feasted on lobster, roast beef, mashed potatoes, beans, cole-slaw and home made bread.
Tourists are ferried over from Jonesville in a variety of small water taxis to the Hole in the Wall, which is not road accessible, makes it unique. Here we always find an interesting mix of "down Islanders", people who live towards the busier west end of the island, "tourists", the ones wearing the wrist bands, "boaters", who arrive by dingy and "locals", some native but most gringos, the ones who arrived by boat years ago and just never left. We enjoy chatting again with people that we met here last time. A boater from the table next to us who met John in town earlier comes over to shake my hand and chat for a while. The lobster shells are thrown into the water beside the dock and we all watch the schools of snappers fight for them. In one of the washrooms there are wall to wall pocketbooks for exchange. Most guests have chosen one or two but Jeanie tells us how a roach climbed out from behind the one she pulled out of the shelf so I pass. Back at Mario's we learned to put any used books acquired into the microwave long enough to kill any bugs waiting to hatch between the pages.
So here we are again, hanging out in Jonesville, the place we come for internet among other things. Each time we visit a place we hear a few new stories, meet a few new interesting characters, discover a few new appealing trails or roadways and notice a few supplies hidden on the back of a shelf in some odd little store. We find out where on the island to buy bottom paint, where to buy beer (none in this town), where and on which day we buy fresh vegetables (again none in this town) and where to find purified ice (not......). The town is not high on conveniences but we don't mind. Slowly we settle into the life. It's the best part for me, the taking our time to feel the pace of life here, to get to know people and to have them call out "Welcome back" as we drop anchor.
A local musician entertained the crowd at Hole in the Wall and I borrowed my title from the chorus of his first song called "The Roatan Song", in which he describes life on the island. "It's so good to be free, living close to the sea,..... being content as can be.