BAY ISLANDS, HONDURAS Photo Log by HappyFeets
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BAY ISLANDS, HONDURAS Photo Log

  • Oct 26, 2014
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BAY ISLANDS, HONDURAS Photo Log

GUATEMALA TO BAY ISLANDS OF HONDURAS



The main islands are Utila, Roatan and Guanaja.  These are the inhabited islands about thirty miles off the coast of Honduras and are lined up west to east, coming from Guatemala.  They are mostly mangrove islands and so there are almost no beaches.  The islands themselves rise up to low mountains then sweep down to the water in dense vegetation, ending at the mangroves rimming the islands.


Utila is the first island, about 120miles from Livingston.  It is my favorite of the three, with more of a community feel.


Roatan is next, 18miles from Utila, the most touristy, has the most dive places and rental developments.

Guanaja, 45 miles east of Roatan, has almost no tourists at all.  There are few protected boat anchorages, no dive reefs, no cruise ship docks.  What it does have is a small island just off the coast, where almost all the longtime residents live, so chockablock that you can barely walk through the alleyways.  Most of the residents on this island are related to the original settlers.


The newer residents live scattered around the big island of Guanaja, tucked along the coast and up into the hills.  Most commerce is situated on the town island so that you must have a boat to get from Guanaja to “town.”


Guanaja also has a reputation for bugs and it is deserved.  We’ve experienced noseeums (biting gnats) in a lot of places.  Most of the time they bite, we hurt, and then the pain goes away.  The Guanaja noseeums are toxic.  They bite, we hurt, and then the itchy pain lasts for three solid days, impossible to ignore.  Everyone we met who had been there agreed that they've got something going on there that hasn't travelled (thank goodness) to the other islands.  But our anchorage was great, we got enough wind to keep them away most of the time. 

But going onshore was nearly impossible.  The restaurants have no AC or even walls and the bugs eat you alive before your food comes out.  These bugs are believed to be the reason the residents decided to live on the tiny island rather than the big one.  But it is very beautiful, and a truly serene place.  We met a couple who have lived there for fifteen years and they say you don't notice the bites after awhile.  Not sure I believe them!

From Guanaja we headed due east into the Caribbean with the plan to round the point of the Honduras coast and head south.  However, 21hours into a passage that quickly turned from favorable wind to bashing headwind, we started losing both engines, at different times.  One would go out, but the other would keep us going.  Ron changed a filter on the worst one, it didn’t help.  The waves and wind got worse, the motors were kicking out more often for longer periods of time.


This area is known as one of the most difficult passages in Central America, and became a decision maker for us.  Even if we managed to keep the engines going for the next eight hours and didn’t end up bashing into the Honduras coast, we faced hundreds of tough miles to Panama, and then the trip along the South American east coast is reputed to be just as challenging.


We decided that this particular area just did not currently intrigue us enough to face all that dangerous water.  The weather forecasts are good but not great.  Almost always the wind changes mid-passage.  Just living on a boat can be challenging enough.  We decided to turn around and explore Belize and Mexico instead.

We returned to Guanaja to repair the engines, which luckily turned out to only be gunky fuel, then spent more time in the Bay Islands, about two months total in Honduras.  These photos are a result of this visit in a truly amazing world of water, hills, mangroves, and the people clinging to this incredible existence on one of the edges of the world.


PARROTS BEAK HELICONIA

GUATEMALA TO BAY ISLANDS OF HONDURASThe main islands are Utila, Roatan and Guanaja.  These are the inhabited islands about thirty miles off the coast of Honduras and are lined up west to east, coming from Guatemala.  They are mostly mangrove islands and so there are almost no beaches.  The islands themselves rise up to low mountains then sweep down to the water in dense vegetation, ending at the mangroves rimming the islands.Utila is the first island, about 120miles from Livingston.  It is my favorite of the three, with more of a community feel.Roatan is next, 18miles from Utila, the most touristy, has the most dive places and rental developments.Guanaja, 45 miles east of Roatan, has almost no tourists at all.  There are few protected boat anchorages, no dive reefs, no cruise ship docks.  What it does have is a small island just off the coast, where almost all the longtime residents live, so chockablock that you can barely walk through the alleyways.  Most of the residents on this island are related to the original settlers.The newer residents live scattered around the big island of Guanaja, tucked along the coast and up into the hills.  Most commerce is situated on the town island so that you must have a boat to get from Guanaja to “town.”Guanaja also has a reputation for bugs and it is deserved.  We’ve experienced noseeums (biting gnats) in a lot of places.  Most of the time they bite, we hurt, and then the pain goes away.  The Guanaja noseeums are toxic.  They bite, we hurt, and then the itchy pain lasts for three solid days, impossible to ignore.  Everyone we met who had been there agreed that they've got something going on there that hasn't travelled (thank goodness) to the other islands.  But our anchorage was great, we got enough wind to keep them away most of the time. But going onshore was nearly impossible.  The restaurants have no AC or even walls and the bugs eat you alive before your food comes out.  These bugs are believed to be the reason the residents decided to live on the tiny island rather than the big one.  But it is very beautiful, and a truly serene place.  We met a couple who have lived there for fifteen years and they say you don't notice the bites after awhile.  Not sure I believe them!From Guanaja we headed due east into the Caribbean with the plan to round the point of the Honduras coast and head south.  However, 21hours into a passage that quickly turned from favorable wind to bashing headwind, we started losing both engines, at different times.  One would go out, but the other would keep us going.  Ron changed a filter on the worst one, it didn’t help.  The waves and wind got worse, the motors were kicking out more often for longer periods of time.This area is known as one of the most difficult passages in Central America, and became a decision maker for us.  Even if we managed to keep the engines going for the next eight hours and didn’t end up bashing into the Honduras coast, we faced hundreds of tough miles to Panama, and then the trip along the South American east coast is reputed to be just as challenging.We decided that this particular area just did not currently intrigue us enough to face all that dangerous water.  The weather forecasts are good but not great.  Almost always the wind changes mid-passage.  Just living on a boat can be challenging enough.  We decided to turn around and explore Belize and Mexico instead.We returned to Guanaja to repair the engines, which luckily turned out to only be gunky fuel, then spent more time in the Bay Islands, about two months total in Honduras.  These photos are a result of this visit in a truly amazing world of water, hills, mangroves, and the people clinging to this incredible existence on one of the edges of the world.

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PARROTS BEAK HELICONIA Capture Date: Sep 25, 2014 07:25 AM
PARROTS BEAK HELICONIA
Camera:Canon PowerShot S95ISO Speed:640Exposure:1/250 secAperture:f / 4.9Focal Length:22.5 mmFlash:Did not Fire
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PARROTS BEAK HELICONIA
RON PUTS HF'S AT UTILA LAGOON DOCK THRU THE STORM

RON PUTS HAPPY FEETS AT UTILA LAGOON DOCK THRU THE STORM

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RON PUTS HF'S AT UTILA LAGOON DOCK THRU THE STORM Capture Date: Sep 25, 2014 07:25 AM
Camera:Canon PowerShot S95ISO Speed:80Exposure:1/800 secAperture:f / 4.9Focal Length:22.5 mmFlash:Did not Fire
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RON PUTS HAPPY FEETS AT UTILA LAGOON DOCK THRU THE STORM
UTILA WATERFRONT

UTILA WATERFRONT

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UTILA WATERFRONT Capture Date: Sep 25, 2014 07:25 AM
Camera:Canon PowerShot S95ISO Speed:80Exposure:1/800 secAperture:f / 4.0Focal Length:6 mmFlash:Did not Fire
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UTILA WATERFRONT
UTILA_ART_SPACE

UTILA ART SPACE

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UTILA_ART_SPACE Upload Date: Sep 25, 2014 07:25 AM
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UTILA ART SPACE
GLASS MOSAIC IGUANA ON WALL, UTILA

GLASS MOSAIC IGUANA ON WALL, UTILA

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GLASS MOSAIC IGUANA ON WALL, UTILA Capture Date: Sep 25, 2014 07:26 AM
Camera:Canon PowerShot S95ISO Speed:125Exposure:1/60 secAperture:f / 3.2Focal Length:6 mmFlash:Did not Fire
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GLASS MOSAIC IGUANA ON WALL, UTILA
JADE SEAHORSE, UTILA

AT THE JADE SEAHORSE, UTILA

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JADE SEAHORSE, UTILA Capture Date: Sep 25, 2014 07:26 AM
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AT THE JADE SEAHORSE, UTILA
JADE SEAHORSE RAILING

JADE SEAHORSE RAILING

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JADE SEAHORSE RAILING Capture Date: Sep 25, 2014 07:27 AM
JADE SEAHORSE RAILING
Camera:Canon PowerShot S95ISO Speed:125Exposure:1/80 secAperture:f / 4.0Focal Length:7.5 mmFlash:Did not Fire
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JADE SEAHORSE RAILING
JADE SEAHORSE STEPS

JADE SEAHORSE STEPS

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JADE SEAHORSE STEPS Capture Date: Sep 25, 2014 07:27 AM
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JADE SEAHORSE STEPS
JADE SEAHORSE ENTRY

JADE SEAHORSE ENTRY

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JADE SEAHORSE ENTRY Capture Date: Sep 25, 2014 07:27 AM
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JADE SEAHORSE ENTRY
JADE SEAHORSE WALL

JADE SEAHORSE WALL

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JADE SEAHORSE WALL Capture Date: Sep 25, 2014 07:27 AM
Camera:Canon PowerShot S95ISO Speed:125Exposure:1/160 secAperture:f / 4.0Focal Length:6 mmFlash:Did not Fire
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JADE SEAHORSE WALL
JADE SEAHORSE WATERFALL

JADE SEAHORSE WATERFALL

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JADE SEAHORSE WATERFALL Capture Date: Sep 25, 2014 07:27 AM
Camera:Canon PowerShot S95ISO Speed:160Exposure:1/320 secAperture:f / 4.0Focal Length:6 mmFlash:Did not Fire
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JADE SEAHORSE WATERFALL
THREE SISTERS, UTILA

THREE SISTERS, UTILA

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THREE SISTERS, UTILA Capture Date: Sep 25, 2014 07:27 AM
Camera:Canon PowerShot S95ISO Speed:100Exposure:1/320 secAperture:f / 4.9Focal Length:22.5 mmFlash:Did not Fire
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THREE SISTERS, UTILA
FENCE, UTILA

FENCE, UTILA

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FENCE, UTILA Capture Date: Sep 25, 2014 07:27 AM
Camera:Canon PowerShot S95ISO Speed:250Exposure:1/400 secAperture:f / 4.0Focal Length:6 mmFlash:Did not Fire
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FENCE, UTILA
BIRDWATCH, UTILA

BIRDWATCH, UTILA

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BIRDWATCH, UTILA Capture Date: Sep 25, 2014 07:27 AM
Camera:Canon PowerShot S95ISO Speed:80Exposure:1/1000 secAperture:f / 5.0Focal Length:7.5 mmFlash:Did not Fire
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BIRDWATCH, UTILA
ROATAN SUNRISE

ROATAN SUNRISE

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ROATAN SUNRISE Capture Date: Sep 25, 2014 07:27 AM
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ROATAN SUNRISE
ROATAN HARBOR

ROATAN HARBOR

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ROATAN HARBOR Capture Date: Sep 25, 2014 07:27 AM
ROATAN HARBOR
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ROATAN HARBOR
HAPPY FEETS ANCHORED AT CALABASH BAY

HAPPY FEETS ANCHORED AT CALABASH BAY (far right)

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HAPPY FEETS ANCHORED AT CALABASH BAY Capture Date: Sep 25, 2014 07:27 AM
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HAPPY FEETS ANCHORED AT CALABASH BAY (far right)
ED & JULIE LEADING US TO TOWN

ED & JULIE LEADING US TO TOWN

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ED & JULIE LEADING US TO TOWN Capture Date: Sep 25, 2014 07:28 AM
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ED & JULIE LEADING US TO TOWN
ROATAN COAST

ROATAN COAST

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ROATAN COAST Capture Date: Sep 25, 2014 07:28 AM
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ROATAN COAST
HOUSE ON ROATAN

HOUSE ON ROATAN

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HOUSE ON ROATAN Capture Date: Sep 25, 2014 07:28 AM
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HOUSE ON ROATAN
HOMES ON ROATAN

HOMES ON ROATAN

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HOMES ON ROATAN Capture Date: Sep 25, 2014 07:28 AM
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HOMES ON ROATAN
LATE FOR CHURCH, ROATAN

LATE FOR CHURCH, ROATAN

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LATE FOR CHURCH, ROATAN Capture Date: Sep 25, 2014 07:28 AM
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LATE FOR CHURCH, ROATAN
LUIS WALKING ZELDA

LUIS WALKING ZELDABELLE

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LUIS WALKING ZELDA Capture Date: Sep 25, 2014 07:28 AM
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LUIS WALKING ZELDABELLE
ONE GORGEOUS SEA, FRENCH HARBOR, ROATAN

ONE GORGEOUS SEA, FRENCH HARBOR, ROATAN

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ONE GORGEOUS SEA, FRENCH HARBOR, ROATAN Capture Date: Sep 25, 2014 07:28 AM
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ONE GORGEOUS SEA, FRENCH HARBOR, ROATAN
ZELDA LEADS US TO SILENT SPRINGS, ROATAN

ZELDA LEADS US TO SILENT SPRINGS, ROATAN

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ZELDA LEADS US TO SILENT SPRINGS, ROATAN Capture Date: Sep 25, 2014 07:28 AM
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ZELDA LEADS US TO SILENT SPRINGS, ROATAN
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Jim RemsburgOct 28, 2014 05:56 AM

Thanks again.

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