|Sept 30th was moving day. I had myself worked up worrying about moving the boat, even though we didn't have far to go.
"You worry too much. It's a piece of cake," John reassured me.
"You always say that but when we move the boat after a long time tied to shore something always goes wrong," I moaned.
"What could go wrong? We are only going a couple of hundred feet. We could drift there if we had to. Relax."
As we cast off for our mini-cruise to the rickety little dock we would temporarily med-moor to, I noticed that we weren't moving much. In fact, we weren't moving at all, just drifting, more or less. I heard the Captain fiddling with the gear shifters upstairs in the fly bridge. Next thing I knew he was downstairs, driving from our lower navigation station.
"OK let it down," came the command from inside the boat and I stepped on the windlass foot button. The chain rolled out surprisingly well at first but before long the chain coming out of the hold got rustier and rustier. Flakes of rust were flying off as the chain bounced and dropped in fits and spurts. Then it snagged.
"I have a problem up here," I yelled up to John, who was reversing both engines to back us towards the dock."
"What do you mean you have a problem?" he yelled back.
"Hand me the crowbar. The chain is rusty and has jammed." I replied.
Out came the trusty crowbar and I pried and pulled but couldn't loosen the ceased chain, so the boss came up on the bow and tore into it, finally freeing it. He returned to the controls to back us in, while Garwin waited on shore to throw the lines, which John had previously fastened to tress, to him as he backed up to the dock.
Other than the rusty mess on the bow, the whole process went smoothly and by 10:30 am we were in our new home.
The owner of the property, who was here on the island trying to complete the paperwork to close the sale, became ill and ended up in a hospital on the mainland of Honduras with pneumonia. John and I said a few prayers for him (and us).
We can't build the dock or house or connect to the Roatan Electrical Company until we seal the deal, so we're living in the boat and enjoying our little piece of paradise as it is for now. We are thankful that the cooler weather has arrived. At about 3 am the shrill squeal of the battery alarm jolts us awake, as the batteries die and we need to get up and switch off the inverter. This means we lose the power to run our fan. If it's not raining we open the hatch above our bed and hope for a cool breeze. However, it's rainy season, so it's quite often raining.
We welcome rainy season after the sticky heat of May-September. The boat is dry and cozy. People wear heavy yellow raincoats and dart about in boats between downpours. The mountains bleed rust colured run-off that turns the clear, turquoise water to murky brown.
On nights when the rain is very heavy, people without boat houses - like us - get us during the night to bale their boats so they don't sink. Invitations come with the phrase "weather permitting" included. It brings back fond memories of our time spend in Guatemala.