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Suzanne Chappell reports from Honduras

by Suzanne Chapell 14 May 03:28 UTC
Cruising Yachts © Suzanne Chapell

After 52 days' lockdown in the West End, Roatan, Honduras things are starting to ease up slowly, just locally.

We received permission from the Port Authorities to move 14 miles in convoy with 2 other boats, accompanied with the Park Ranger, to Barefoot Cay Marina on the south side of the island. The marina has been closed for the duration of lockdown and is still closed, but at least we have water and electricity and can walk ashore. It's a happy and also sad time as we have left our little community of 21 boats behind.

We have spent the last 2 months on a mooring ball in lockdown. The crew of Suzie Too set up a daily VHF net, making sure all 21 boats locked down in the mooring field had all the latest Government and weather information and help they needed. Also, I set up a Facebook page to share this information and a Messenger group and that took off! Wow! This was a great way to communicate and share info and get to know everyone.

We have become a close community with nightly watches on a rota system to keep all our boats secure from theft during the night & early morning. As we couldn't walk ashore, I encouraged twice-weekly water aerobics with a noodle (as the water is deep) and a Swimathon every Sunday around all 21 boats, a mile swim, and of course a chat at every boat while they got in to join us. All the while social distancing, but by this time we had our own large bubble as everyone had been together for the whole lockdown period!

As we have been to the island four times before, I was able to call on my contacts within the island for lots of things. When the transport stopped I was able to organise a daily bus to take us all on our weekly food shop, our only day ashore per week. Just this little thing helped us and our donation to the bus service helped the resort pay two of his staff instead of laying them off.

We donated money and our time watching for poachers on the reefs behind our boats and reporting them to the Park Ranger. We were allowed to dive and kill lionfish in the Marine Park.

Groundhog day #53 is different as we are now with two other boats, Flyin Low of Poole and Double Up, in a very quiet marina. We are getting our boats ready for a quick trip back to the US at the end of May and a flight back to the UK late June. 1500 miles to go to the Chesapeake...

Roatan is a wonderful island: it has kept us safe. Governor Dino Silvervari has done a live FB feed with information every day which I've shared with our group. Keeping things locked down tight right from the beginning, his quick decisions have kept the island Covid free. It's been very hard for this small island as their main source of income is from tourism. We will be back as soon as we can, Roatan, as we owe you for keeping us safe. I hope the next time Suzie Too visits we can bring lots of people with us to help your economy again.

This article has been provided by the courtesy of Ocean Cruising Club.

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