May 15, 2006, continued...

We left Providencia to go to the Vivorillos. We happened to be lucky enough to be there when the Frigate birds, or Man O' War birds, were breeding. The males are completely black but with a red throat pouch of skin that they can inflate. When they are sitting in trees it looks like there are apples hanging from the trees. The females are also black but with a white chest and collar. These birds are sea birds but their feathers are not waterproof. They have long curved, hooked bills. On the same island where the frigate birds were breeding, the Red-Footed Boobies were also breeding and having chicks. There were a lot of sand spits in the Vivorillos which proved to be excellent shelling. You might not know, but I have an extensive shell collection. The Vivorillos was a haven for shrimp boats and we got a gigantic, gigantic bag of shrimp from one of the guys which we traded for a couple chocolate bars.

   

   

We left there to go to Honduras. One night we had seared ahi (tuna) with Mandolin. There were a lot of flies there so we had put up sticky fly traps to catch them. But Daisy wanted to catch them, too! While we had brownies Daisy got stuck in one of the fly traps! We had to give her a good bath. She spent about an hour licking herself.

   

We left that island and we went to the Lagoon Marina so that Dad could fly to Las Vegas to work. I used the $100 that Granny had given me to go on a horse tour with Mom, which included a free night at Omega Tours Jungle Lodge. We galloped along the beach and walked along jungle paths. My horse's name was "Molino", which means "ground corn or meal"... he was called that because his mother had something wrong with one of her front legs and so when she walked she looked like a grinding machine. Her name was "grinding machine" in Spanish. So Molino was the "product" of "Grinding Machine". We stayed in the screen room of the jungle lodge. We slept in a room that had screens instead of walls, so we could look out at the jungle but the bugs couldn't get in. We climbed up a hill to see the sunset. We saw the sun set behind a waterfall, and there were many bats zooming about. The nice man there cut me some sugar cane. The next morning we saw Fiery-Billed Toucans!! They were amazing. We also saw a Blue-Crowned Mot-Mot, which has two long feathers on its tail, ending in tear-drop-shaped lobes! He was so cool! Also a Lineated Woodpecker, in the picture below.

         

When Dad got back from Vegas we went to Roatan. Granddad and Pam visited us there. They stayed at a resort and the first night the whole family went and stayed there. We went to the Iguana Farm, which is a safe haven for iguanas, since the islanders like to eat them. There were also cages full of Scarlet Macaws and Amazon Parrots, not to mention two very spastic monkeys. You could feed the iguanas lettuce, and even pet them! The last night they were there, I went and slept at Pam and Granddad's resort without Mom and Dad. At Roatan we also met our friends on Chewink and Good Hope. Cabot and Heidi, on Chewink, run the boat business Lyman Morse in Maine.

   

   

 

We left Roatan to go to Guatemala. Guatemala includes the Rio Dulce. We went up this amazing stretch of water in the jungle with many limestone crevices and rocks, to get to Mario's Marina. From there we went to Tikal. Tikal is a Mayan civilization that was abandoned around 830 BC. Tikal has humongous temples with dizzyingly steep steps. There was one temple that was so steep, only Dad climbed to the top. Mom and I were too chicken. I got a carved wooden jaguar there. He is my pride and glory. His name is Leon ("lee-own"). We also saw Ossilated Turkeys at Tikal, as well as parrote, howler monkeys, and spider monkeys. We got back to Mario's Marina, which has a palm frond roofed lounge, couches made from ulu boats, and lots of hammocks.

         

   

When we went to Belize, we were accompanied by a pod of 6 or so spotted dolphins. These magnificent creatures played upon our bow, and Mom even touched one three times. He liked it, but my arms were too short to reach. We went to a small island with completely white sand and three palm trees that also had 150 tourists on it!! This was unusual because it was a really tiny island. The next day, luckily, they weren't there at all, and I made huge mounds of sand castles, HUGE with buckets of sand that I had to haul. The next day, the tourists were back and snorkeling with lifejackets on. That morning we left. We went to Turneffe Island, which had the best snorkeling I had ever seen in my life. No fire coral, no drop-off, and tons and tons of beautiful fish! At Lighthouse Reef, which was a closed resort, there were many paths for me to explore. Then we went to the Pelican Cays, which had excellent dinghy trolling. I even caught a little grouper. I met a girl called Christin there who was on a charter boat from Texas. She slept over on Zora. She thought Daisy was very cute.

     

Then we went to Isla Mujeres, Mexico (with Good Hope). We had Dad's birthday, April 1st, there. In Isla I got 4 Turnip Whelks, which are a rare collector's item. They only live in a small part of Mexico. I also got a gigantic tiger cowrie there.

Then we went from Mexico to Key West, in the USA. It was the noisiest, smelliest and strangest place I had seen, or it seemed like that! We sailed from there to Islamorada, to visit Dad's godparents, Jack and Sunny Canning, and stay at their dock. Grampa Pete flew down to visit Dad while Mom and I went to visit Nana and Grampa Bob. My great-aunt Debbie was there, too. We had Easter there, and Nana, Mom, Aunt Debbie and I did beading. We made anklets. Mom and I drove back in the rental car and Grampa Pete was there. We went out to dinner almost every night! I went fishing with Grampa Pete. Jack, one of Jack's friends, his daughter and her friend. We caught 4 dorado (Mahi Mahi) and had a big cookout that night.

We went to the Abacos of the Bahamas next. The first night we anchored on the north side of the island. I caught 2 huge Yellowtail Snapper! There was an island with a large sand bar and at low tide I went there every day to find shells. I found lots!

We went from the Abacos to Cape Fear, North Carolina. On the way, we caught a 42# Yellowfin Tuna! This fish is excellent for sushi and, in my opinion, is the best fish you can ever get. And it was huge! We went up the ICW (Intracoastal Waterway) to here, Great Bridge, Virginia. The ICW has excellent birdwatching.

So that's where we are now. I am sorry I do not have any of my own pictures for recent places. My digital camera died and we can't fix it so I can't take any pictures. It only takes really over-exposed pictures. If anyone has any idea if it can be fixed please email me at (staceyneil "at" sailzora.com) Thanks!

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Goodbye!