We took Orion 1 out of Mexico and brought Lark into Guatemala three days later.

We had a perfect sail down from Isla Mujeres with breeze from the ESE blowing consistently 15-25 knots. We had several periods of 8-9 knots sustained boat speed which was record for us all.

We’d been warned that 3 days of beam seas would be trying, and there certainly were times when it seemed that the simplest task was not worth the trouble of standing up to accomplish, but it was really pretty fun.

That said, when we pulled into the lee of Cabo Tres Puntas on the evening of the third day and got the anchor down, the calm was a welcome relief. I set the anchor alarm and slept like a log. Coming on deck the next morning, I found that we were sitting on a mirror and encased in a dense fog. It was a thrill to hear the howler monkeys ashore through the mist.

quarantine flag flying

I got the dinghy down, and applied the letters for “LARK” and the Delaware registration stickers. After another of April’s delicious breakfasts, we weighed anchor for what we expected to be an easy ten mile motor across the Bay of Amatique to check in at Livingston, at the mouth of the Rio Dulce.

It was not to be, as half-way across, the transmission packed up. We tacked around in a pleasant breeze , on what would otherwise be a beautiful day sail, scratching our heads and wondering what to do next.

We’d previously arranged with the famous Raul, customs agent extraordinaire, to check us in at Livingston, so we called him up to ask for advice and he arranged a tow.

As it turned out, we needed a tow anyway to get over the notorious Livingston bar. This was accomplished with one lancha pulling us across by a bow line and a second pulling to the side by a halyard. Halfway across the bar, the halyard boat had their engine pack up as well, so we sat there stuck on the bar at an aggressive angle for half an hour. A new lancha eventually arrived and the operation proceeded. By the time we finally got over, we’d spent an hour tipped 40 degrees and more.

tipped

The check-in was easy, despite the fact that most of my carefully applied letters had fallen off. I guess they weren’t applied carefully enough. The starboard side lost the “L”, “R”, and “K” so that by the time the customs agent arrived, the bow read simply “A Orion 1.” He didn’t seems bothered by it in the least, and merely remarked that it was hard to find us in the anchorage.

The twenty-mile tow up the Rio in the rain is a subject for another post…