Lobsters, Lizards and a Barracuda named Frank.

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It’s been a jam packed two weeks of fun in and around Roatan. Paul and Sharon arrived on the 13th during the Great Airport Debacle at the Roatan airport. What a freaking mess. The Delta flight from Atlanta arrived late and then United and 2 American flights came in back to back on the day they decided to start fingerprinting and photographing EACH person. With an untrained skeleton crew and new equipment, it didn’t go very well. Nothing like having 600+ people standing out in the 95 degree sun W A I T I N G. It normally takes 45 minutes tops to go through customs, get your bag and be on your way. Not this day. It took hours. Luckily they got the issues sorted out and things are once again running smoothly, well, as smoothly as possible in this third world country.

Sharon brought a big bag of stuff I ordered from Amazon, it was like freaking Christmas!! Stuff stuff and more stuff.

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Measuring cups and spoons, almonds, toilet bolt covers, Mod Podge, dog toys, cat toys, Havaianas, dive boots…
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OPI polish, suit bag, tablet and phone case, turquoise jute band to make curtain tie backs, pepper mill and pepper, drying mat, shoelaces, whisk. Christmas in September, it was the best!!!

After we got home from the airport we fed Sharon and Paul and then headed down to John’s pool. Seems that was our standby every day, so lucky it’s available to us anytime! On Sunday we went to Oak Ridge and walked across the bridge and out to the spit of land across from BJ’s.

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Bill went to buy cigars and this building was across the street, love the colors.
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Old wooden boat being repaired in Oak Ridge
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Cool fence
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I feel like this is me some times!
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Sharon enjoying the sea breeze
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I love colorful houses

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Paul and Sharon
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Guard dog
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same fence, different perspective
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great old toy
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color!!
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bottle tree
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Love lies bleeding plant @ BJ’s

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We went to La Palapa for lunch {we were swarmed by bees while eating, it was ridiculous} and the ITIB school performed while we were there in celebration of Independence Day.
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These kids were fantastic
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Looking out over the lagoon
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No, it’s not, it’s September

Here is a short video of the school’s performance, we absolutely loved it!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IuUb1ER-GLw

On Monday we went to Havana Beach Club, a short 5 minute drive from here. It was a nice breezy day so the bugs weren’t too bad. It really is a beautiful spot, too bad they can’t get a decent restaurant in there that would draw a local ex-pat crowd. The restaurant business is one of the most unpredictable and difficult businesses to own or to venture into. So many start and fail here due to such a distinct difference between the busy and slow season. It sure is a gorgeous beach.

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Sharon and Paul

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An aerial view of Havana Beach Club posted on the Roatan Cooking Facebook page. We won’t talk about the fall I took at the tip of the island in the bottom of the picture and how huge of a bruise I still have 2 weeks later.

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We laid around a bit the next day, at least that’s all I can remember doing. It’s so nice having a pool close by to swim in when we want to and it’s been super crystal clear, which is a bonus! On Wednesday we decided to go to Little French Key for the day. It was a great day to be there, no cruise ships = no crowds.

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monkey love with Lisa

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Melissa wants to know, “are you my Momma?”
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Sharon and the Kinkajou.
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Lawrence has gained over 150#, in fact they had to put him on a diet.
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Nice teeth
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such a gorgeous cat
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Lawrence has a huge cage on the edge of the property, overlooking the sea. One side of it faces a pen with a goat in it. Lawrence looks at that goat daily, wanting like hell to tear it apart. I wonder if the goat is aware of the killer across the path?
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SERENITY NOW
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They were making these fantastic benches on the top deck of the building. If you look close you can see the side of one. It’s body shape curved plywood with wooden slats across, has a raised part for your knees. I want one or two of these on wheels for the roof.
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Little French Key
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We finished the night off with dinner and a bottle of wine @ Cal’s.

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Thursday was another day of fun and adventure on the water.  Did you already recognize the theme I have going on? Everything I do or want to do involves the water, so if you’re coming, you better be a fan of the ocean.  We were to meet Jordan @ 9:30 at Oak Ridge. He was going to take us out snorkeling and fishing on his dad Woudsin’s boat. He was a little late, and while we were waiting I realized I didn’t have my phone with his number so I could call him. Bill ran home to get it. By the time he got back Jordan had come and gone to get gas and returned.  We loaded our stuff into the boat and were off. Through Oak Ridge and Pandytown, through the cut in the mangroves to Calabash Bight. We got to see our friends future home from the water for the first time, what a great location they have, it’s so beautiful out there. We went past Lime Caye and Fort Caye. Fort Caye is talked about in the book Roatan Odyssey, (it actually used to be a Military base.) Past New Port Royal to Old Port Royal and before I knew it we were at Helene. Jordan dropped anchor in about 10′ of water offshore from Rocky Point. Probably not a good place for people to learn to snorkel. We had to jump off the boat into the water and guess what? After snorkeling for 30 minutes I had to drag my ass over the SIDE of the boat to get back on it. We ALL had to. No ladder, just a couple of strong young guys. We made it and next time we’ll go to a better place to start snorkeling.

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On our way, Jordan’s cousin steering.
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Our friend’s home and dock
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Pastel church

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Mango Creek Lodge
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stunning colors

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Fort Caye
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Jordan, my friend from Helene is sitting next to Bill. His parents are friends of mine too. What a super young man, his folks have done a great job raising him.
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Through the mangroves
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View of my friends home. I met Jordan and his family through these friends of mine from Pennsylvania, who own this home on Helene, a part of Roatan.
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Sharon snorkeling for the first time!
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Jordan {who can hold his breath forever} and Sharon
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Wondering how in the hell we were getting back on that boat???
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Docked at my friends home. I spent a night there back in Feb., it’s fabulous.
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Jordan
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Lunch on Perry and Kay’s dock
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Such a gorgeous place!
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Paul caught a barracuda. That thing had some mighty nasty teeth on it, YIKES!!

Before I forget, I took none of the pictures this day, Paul took all of them. This is because I forgot to put THE MEMORY CARD BACK IN MY CAMERA. I was pissed. To think Bill went home to get my phone, me not knowing my card was missing until we got on the boat. It was a great day on the water, well, as far as I’m concerned, any day on the water is a great day.

On Friday we had plans to go with Craig and Cleo to their new home in Calabash. It was a nice ride out there and fun looking around the place again. After that we were all going to go to BJ’s but we decided to go to Jimmy’s, AKA, La Sirena, instead. Those rum punches were calling my name. Bill asked one of the guys if they knew Miguel (our friend and worker) and he said he did, he was his cousin. We knew Miguel was Selena’s cousin, obviously a big family. While we were sitting there a truck pulled up and Selena went out and carried in a young sleeping girl. She laid her down on a straw mat and she kept right on sleeping. A guy came in and sat down by us and I asked if he was Jimmy, the owner. He was, so we introduced ourselves and chatted for awhile with him. I was thrilled we got to meet him because Camp Bay/ La Sirena is my favorite place to chill.

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I LOVE this place
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What’s his name, waving at me.
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The owner’s daughter napping


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After Camp Bay we headed back home, washed up and went to Cal’s for dinner. A delicious end to a fabulous week!

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Carl, the chef @ Cal’s
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Our friend Reynaldo, the waiter there. We just found out Reynaldo plays for the Gravel Bay Marlins baseball team. We’re hoping to go to one of his games.

Saturday I took Sharon and Paul down to West Bay beach to snorkel. There were only a few people there, the water was calm, a perfect place to find your sea legs. There were so many fish right at shore I couldn’t believe it. They were little nibblers too.

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Stoplight Parrotfish
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nibblers
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Sharon was surrounded
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Black Spiny Tailed iguana
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The guy selling hats hung them on the ironshore

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Juvenile Spotted Drum fish
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Feather duster
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Parrot fish and a striped Sergeant Major

All in all, a great day snorkeling at West Bay beach, I love that place! The next day we went over to Parrot Tree Plantation and hung out by the pool. UGH! The water was so hot it didn’t even feel good. How can water in a pool 320′ long be so warm? Maybe because the pool is long but not deep it heats up quickly, not sure but I hate water that warm.

We went to Lady Lee on Monday to talk to some one about our gas oven. First we couldn’t get the oven to maintain the temperature. It would get up to 325 and then shut off, also, we couldn’t get the pilot light to stay lit. They were going to send a repairman the next morning to fix it. We hung out the next morning and nobody came. At 4 PM I get a phone call from Lady Lee stating, “The boy who is coming this morning can’t, he’ll be there mañana.” Sure he will. Wednesday morning I was taking Paul and Sharon to West End to do some shopping. Once we parked the car and got down to the stores it started sprinkling. Then it started raining. We hung out in Waves of Art for awhile until the rain slightly subsided then we made a break for a few more stores. On our way back to the car it poured and by the time we got back to the parking lot we were soaked. I still had one more stop, Umbul Umbul of course. I picked up a few more pieces of batik to make a bedspread and pillowcases and Sharon got a cute dress and top and lots of other stuff. By the time we got home the repairman was here and he fixed the pilot light and explained why the oven didn’t stay lit. D U H. You have to set the timer for the required bake time BEFORE you turn it on because once it reaches the temperature if the timer isn’t set for how long to maintain the temp, it shuts off. Obviously the manual is in Spanish, which I read as well as I read Russian and Arabic.

We ran down to Mahogany Bay so Sharon and Paul could finish their shopping. I’ve been there many times before with company but this time they wanted ID, they gave us passes and KEPT my residency card until  I left and returned the passes. I doubt I will go there again because I did not like handing over my card to someone and hoping like hell he still had it when I returned. Weird JuJu.

I have wanted to go back to Lobster City since Ron and Yvonne took Teri B and I snorkeling there. I contacted Sherman Arch and arranged a time for us to go. Cleo went along with the 4 of us. We got to the Iguana Farm and while waiting they gave us branches to feed the iguanas. Luckily I had my dive boots on because they were stepping all over our feet. They are such amazingly gorgeous creatures. They have over 2000 there, they aren’t fenced in, they are free to leave but they don’t. They have it made.

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The females are green and as they age they remain green on their belly.
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This one decided one tail wasn’t enough so it is growing another.

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Frank, the Barracuda. He liked my shiny gold bracelets. I didn’t find this out until AFTER I got in the boat.
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Lobster City, these lobsters are protected from poachers 24/7 by the Arch family.
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A funnel of Grunts
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Sam hand feeding the lobsters

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The Arch’s boat

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Friday morning we met with a former US Tax attorney, tax guru about our taxes. After that we went to West Bay beach to do some last day snorkeling. Bill decided not to go so he sat on the beach while we snorkeled for over an hour. It was crystal clear and for some reason, even though I couldn’t see out the viewfinder on my camera because it was fogged up, I got some good photos.  As soon as I went under I saw a snorkel laying in the sand about 10′ deep. I swam past it, looked at it and then came back and dove down and got it. I ended up carrying it with me for an hour. A new snorkel, perfect timing, as Bill’s is leaking.

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Awesome sign at Banarama made out of Seahorses.
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Sharon and Paul rubbing it in to Sharon’s brother Darren. She made it to Banarama before he did!

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Clouds offshore
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Coral
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Parrotfish
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Queen angelfish

 

 

 

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Spotted Drum fish
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Coral with a Christmas tree worm
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Another shot of the Spotted drum
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Sea fan
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Paul and Sharon snorkeling

 

 

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Christmas tree worms
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A plethora of Christmas tree worms
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more
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Feather duster

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Another Parrot fish
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Boats on West Bay Beach

 

On Friday a local [and very amazing] photographer was going to do the shark dive and take some photos. What he came across in the process was nothing short of unbelievable. They found a boat with 20 Cuban refugees drifting in the sea. They had been sailing for 11 days in a home made boat. The story is here: http://www.bayislandsvoice.com/para-cuba-no-mas-nunca-refugees-vow-they-will-return-to-cuba-only-feet-first-2014092610104

This is the boat they left Cuba in. The whole thing is handmade.

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This incredible photo Shawn Jackson took while the boat and the refugees were being rescued.

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Oceanic whitetip shark circles boat of refugees, hand paddling off shore.

That’s it folks, this has taken me two days to get my thoughts and shit in order. Our company is gone, we’re laying around the house, may head down to the pool for a float or maybe head to bed under the fan for a nap. Hopefully we’ll get our TWIN CLOCKS hung today. Sort of like TWIN PEAKS, but not.

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It’s a long story but we ended up with 2 Fibonacci spiral clocks from Plow and Hearth. The move was murderous on them so we ordered new parts, have them working again, just need to hang.
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Me loving my boyz!!
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These two boys are so close, it makes me happy when I see them laying next to each other, Highway’s head resting on Lucky’s butt. I’m so glad we got Lucky, Highway needed a brother and we all love Lucky Boy so much!!

P.S. My two words would be don’t settle.

Adiõs