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Welcome to the Rio Dulce Chisme Vindicator Online News!
Abel's to add propeller shop & more E-mail
The News - Latest News

Image
By Julia Bartlett

Abel's Boat Yard --Where Generations of Experience and Family Tradition Meet Today’s Technology

 “Wow.” 

That was my reaction when I discovered the new developments waiting to be unveiled at Abel’s Boat Yard. 

I had been wondering about the wooden structure appearing over the water in front of the hard standing, now I was going to find out.

The most exciting thing is the new machine shop  which has been built to house a propeller balancing machine amongst other new services.  It will be able to handle props up to 60” wide, perhaps a little more than most of us need.

At present, props have to be sent to Miami to be balanced which adds to the cost.

The machine shop will also offer repairs and servicing for outboard motors and carry spares for the most popular makes.

Fronting the street, over a useful grocery store and, most important, an Ice Cream Shop, are three new apartments which are going to have air conditioning, full kitchen and bathroom and two bedrooms.

Soon to be completed -- a boaters hangout area with wi-fi
Soon to be completed -- a boaters hangout area with wi-fi

Abel anticipates that they will be used by folks with their boats on the hard and visiting mechanics. 

Fronteras is a Q4 tuc-tuc ride away.

The new wooden structure is going to be a hang out complete with wi-fi, open to the afternoon breeze and with a stunning view all the way to the bridge.

Three new apartments available to boaters
Three new apartments available to boaters
The yard already has an 85 ton travel lift, two 150 ton railways and a 75 ton railway and can handle catamarans up to 32 feet wide.  They offer a wide range of services from sand blasting to painting, fabrication in metal and fiberglass, and toe rails to radar arches and much more.

Read more...
 
New inventory at West Marine store E-mail
The News - Latest News

Check out the new inventory at RAM's West Marine store
Check out the new inventory at RAM's West Marine store
Once you enter the new West Marine store located above the RAM Marina convenience store, you might think you've entered a stateside West Marine location.

The brightly lit and airconditioned store is very well stocked with marine products such as fenders, epoxy, sealants, clothing, boaters shoes, paint, stainless steel bolts, screws, fitting, bilge pumps, float switches, kayaks, wet exhaust hose, a variety of fiberglass cloth, inflatable dinghy sealant & cleaner -- and the list goes on and on.

RAM Marina manager Karen de Lopez said they won't be stocking many electronic components such as marine GPS, radar, VHF radios or sonar units since these items evolve quickly with current models being replaced by newer units.

But she says any item in the West Marine catalog can be quickly ordered and shipped.

Store manager is the lovely and friendly Jessica, who speaks excellent English as well as Spanish.

The West Marine Store is open 7 days a week: Monday - Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturday & Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Image

Click on Read More below for more photos.
Read more...
 
Yacht services available at Bocas del Toro E-mail
The News - Latest News
Bocas Yacht Club & Marina
Bocas Yacht Club & Marina
By Ray Jason

It has been about two years since I sailed out of the
Rio and headed for Bocas del Toro, Panama.  Since then a few of my Rio Dulce friends have arrived in Bocas and have been delighted by the cruising wonderland that they have discovered here. 

Some of them suggested that I pass the word along via the Chisme-Vindicator.

Bocas del Toro is an archipelago on the Caribbean side of Panama only about 30 miles from the Costa Rican border.  It is comprised of nine big islands and hundreds of smaller ones. 

Some of the outer islands provide a barrier that turns the area into a comfortable inland sea.  Waves rarely exceed knee height and at their worst are generally only waist high. 

And the icing on the cruising cake is the fact that Panama is well below the hurricane belt and has never been hit by one.

There is a flourishing ex-pat community scattered around the islands, many of whom are former sailors who have thrown out the hook because they found it so alluring here. 

Cruising around to visit friends and attractions is extremely safe with only one boarding in the 9 years since I first started coming here. 

There are so many things to do and see in the area that one almost never has to beat to windward.  Just pick another destination where the sailing is smoother. 

There are monkeys and toucans and sloths in the foreground and mountains and volcanoes in the background.  Some superb beaches and nice reefs also vie for your attention. 

The little town of Bocas del Toro is mellow and un-gentrified.  The main road is like a bike path compared to Frontera.  You don’t have to look up the bridge and hope that the brakes on oncoming truck don’t fail. 

The town is full of locals and Indios and backpackers and surfers and sailors - an eclectic and fun-loving blend.

Almost any need a cruiser might have can easily be met here.  There are good grocery and hardware stores.  The phone service and internet is excellent and there is now a Mail Boxes Etc for small deliveries. 

Billy in the boatyard
Billy in the boatyard
For bigger items there is a Marine Warehouse service that allows one to pick items from West Marine and other catalogs and have it ocean shipped down here.  It usually takes about 5 weeks until arrival.   

But the BIG NEWS in Bocas del Toro these days is the opening of a full-service American owned and operated boatyard.  It took SEVEN (that’s not a typo – SEVEN) years of bureaucratic purgatory for Courtney Parks, the owner, to shepherd the haul-out through the permitting labyrinth. 

But he has finally succeeded; and it is a very nice facility.  The 60 ton travel-lift can handle boats up to 20 feet wide.  They also have a crane on the premises. 

Do it yourselfers can wail away at their dream projects or you can hire the reasonably priced yard workers to sand and paint the bottom. 

They also offer electrical, painting, welding and other miscellaneous services.  Check out all that they offer at: www.bocasboatyard.com.

Read more...
 
Woman's Day at Vista Rio March 8 E-mail
The News - Latest News

Int'l Woman's Day Saturday at Vista Rio
Int'l Woman's Day Saturday at Vista Rio
By encor

International Women's Day (8 March) is an occasion marked by women's groups around the world. This date is also commemorated at the United Nations and is designated in many countries as a national holiday.

 

When women on all continents, often divided by national boundaries and by ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic and political differences, come together to celebrate their Day, they can look back to a tradition that represents at least nine decades of struggle for equality, justice, peace and development.

International Women's Day is the story of ordinary women as makers of history; it is rooted in the centuries-old struggle of women to participate in society on an equal footing with men. In ancient Greece, Lysistrata initiated a sexual strike against men in order to end war; during the French Revolution, Parisian women calling for "liberty, equality, fraternity" marched on Versailles to demand women's suffrage.

The idea of an International Women's Day first arose at the turn of the century, which in the industrialized world was a period of expansion and turbulence, booming population growth and radical ideologies.Image

This Saturday, March 8, again marks International Women's Day.  Maybe you never recognized this, thinking it was only an anniversary for the Ocho de Marzos.   NOT TRUE

You can google and find a gazillion reasons to pay attention to this date, if you care about things like women and men united to end violence against women and girls.   That doesn't interest you?   How about equal rights and opportunities,  or gender equality?  Do you care about pedophilia?

The local Guatemalan women are interested in this now, check the Prensa Libre,  and we would like to support them.  They have had a hard time finding any equality or fairness in most of their daily lives.

Can you help? Do you want to help?

Come by Vista Rio this Saturday afternoon, 2-ish.  We would  like to have some intelligent conversations about how we may be able to make a difference.

If you wear something purple, you get a free purple drink. (would that be vino tinto?)  If you are a guy and show up in support of Int'l. Women's Day,  you get a GREAT surprise, too.  Teacher John suggests you wear a dress....I can't imagine what that reward might be.

Guess you gotta show up.

 

 
Interview with Guatemala Medical Travel E-mail
The News - Latest News

Image(Editor’s Note: The following is an interview by the magazine Que Pasa with Lori Shea, founder of Guatemala Medical Travel, in the magazine’s November, 2013 issue.)

 1.       Using an international medical advocate is a totally new concept in health care. Why do patients need the services of Guatemala Medical Travel?

 Anyone who has ever hired a good financial planner, defense attorney, real estate agent or security consultant understands the value of having a professional insider on their side, to guide their choices, saving time and money, and ultimately assuring the best possible outcome. We have the contacts and organizational skills to effectively negotiate every detail of the process, offering VIP medical services in Guatemala, generously and sincerely, at a fraction of the price you might pay in the United States. 

If you spend $24,000 on a kitchen renovation, for example, you would want to hire a contractor who knows the best in the business and can put it all together seamlessly. By the way, that’s the price of open-heart surgery or cancer tumor removal and radiation therapy in Guatemala. Which would be more important to you? Image

2.       How and when was the Guatemala Medical Travel started?

Years ago, I was helping my friends in Rio Dulce to find medical care here, and the level of medical skills and expertise that I found in Guatemala City was astounding.  The patients, my friends, were amazed to be treated with such respect, compassion and patience by a globally qualified medical specialist.  When several other friends started arriving here for surgeries, paying medical expenses at 60-90% less than U.S. prices, I recognized this as a tremendously valuable resource that more international patients need to know about.  I developed the concept, researched the global industry of medical tourism, then wrote and designed the website.  We went live online in November 2009.

3.       Where do your clients come from?

There is a huge level of trust involved with traveling to another country for major surgery, so it’s only natural that most clients are personal friends or former business associates who already know and trust me.  Others are savvy internet researchers who tell me that they contacted medical agents in several countries, and GMT is the only one that responds quickly and professionally.  After patients experience the care and prices we offer in Guatemala, many return for additional medical procedures, and send their friends here too.

Image4.       What makes GMT different from other medical tourism companies?

We have spent many years establishing professional relationships with the absolute best doctors in the country, and we trust them completely.  It’s like having a friend take your hand, introduce you to all the best contacts, and stay by your side throughout every procedure.  Other medical tourism companies sell surgical procedures in many different countries and know nothing about the quality of care that the physicians provide. They sell hospital services based on who pays the most for advertising placement and patient referrals. The staff of GMT lives here and works here every day, so we know Guatemalan medical providers better than anyone.

Read more...
 
Life is easy at Roatan Yacht Club E-mail
Features - Places and Faces

New look for Roatan Yacht Club
New look for Roatan Yacht Club
Story and photos by
Terry Morris s/v Niki Wiki

Jonesy and Terry on the sailing vessel Niki Wiki (home based at Mario's Marina for the past 4 years) have enjoyed being in a slip at the Roatan Yacht Club for the past several weeks.

 As cruisers who have visited Roatan in the last few years know, the Roatan Yacht Club had fallen into disrepair. Thankfully, some new folks are making great progress towards developing the property into a lively center of activity for everyone living on, or visiting the island.

Many improvements are completed, landscaping and grounds improvements continue daily, and there are fabulous plans for the immediate future.

The Roatan Yacht Club is situated on a large piece of property with deep water access to the 19 new marina slips with electricity ($0.55 x kwh), freewater (within  reason for slip renters), and easy walking access to Eldon's Supermarket and the main road.

Jack's Harbour View Restaurant and Bar at the club has beome a favorite spot for excellent food & desserts at reasonable prices. Enjoy the great view and live music. Image

There are new dedicated dinghy docks with security and the $2.50 daily fee is waived if a purchase is made in the restaurant or bar. FYI...The nearby old "shrimp dock" where cruisers have enjoyed parking their dinghys for free recently started charging $10! 

For marina guests there are newly refurbished bathrooms and a hot water shower, a shaded "cruisers area" with free wifi, swimming pool, small sized outdoor pool table, and 10% off at the restaurant.

Read more...
 
Doug and Quelin wed at Vista Rio E-mail
Births, Deaths, Anniversaries, Graduations, Life Changes - Life Changes
Doug and Quelin on s/v Dances with Wind tied the knot Thursday, February 6, 2014 at Hotel/Marina Vista Rio. A modest crowd of friends and family joined them for the ceremony and reception. Click on Read More to see more wedding photos.
Doug and Quelin on s/v Dances with Wind tied the knot Thursday, February 6, 2014 at Hotel/Marina Vista Rio. A modest crowd of friends and family joined them for the ceremony and reception. Click on Read More to see more wedding photos.
Read more...
 
Amatique Bay Resort discussion Feb. 5 E-mail
The News - Latest News

New breakwater at Amatique Bay Resort
New breakwater at Amatique Bay Resort
Esvin Chacon, director of the marina and ecotourism at Amatique Bay Resort, will be at Bruno's Hotel & Marina Wednesday, Feb. 5 to provide information about the new breakwater and channel at Amatique Bay Resort.

He'll be available all morning to hand out literature and answer questions about the new entrance to Amatique Bay.

He is also offering one night free dockage for cruising boaters to come visit, starting this Thursday through April 30.

Depth of the entrance channel is now 6 to 7 feet at low tide. Dredging crews will continue to work until the depth is 8 ft. or more.

Amatique Bay Resort offers full check-in and check-out services for boats entering or leaving Guatemala. It also offers two restaurants, an amazing swimming pool with water slides and a beautiful beach.

GPS coordinates are N 15 44.47.0  W 88 34.49.4 .

For more information, contact Esvin at 4172 2104 and visit their website at www.amatiquebay.net .

 

 

 

 
Kathy Linares celebrates quinceanera E-mail
The News - Latest News

Katherine Linares quincenera
Katherine Linares quincenera
Story and photos
by Bob Meredith

All of the cruisers currently at Mario’s Marina joined the extended families and friends of Katherine Linares to help celebrate her Quince Anos. 

Kathy is the daughter of Marco and Mirna Linares who have managed Mario’s for the past eight years and she holds a special place in the hearts of the boaters who know her, regardless if they have known her for days or for years. 

She is a gracious and beautiful young woman.

Kathy’s 15th Birthday Bash was held February 1 at the Cancha de Basquetboll, Bajo el Puente de Rio Dulce and was attended by around 140 people. 

Marco, Kathy and Mirna Linares
Marco, Kathy and Mirna Linares

Kathy chose blue and white as her colors and the basketball court under the bridge was transformed into a banquet hall with table decorations of Kathy’s own design.  She also designed the gown which she wore.

Kathy and her proud parents continually smiled as they enjoyed their evening which included Kathy being presented to the attendees, a special toast, a prayer, and a featured dance. 

Marco presented his daughter with a Quince Anos ring and Mirna changed her daughter’s shoes which signifies her passage from a child to a woman.

After the more solemn ceremonies Kathy’s young cousins performed an entertaining and energetic dance and then the crowd was seated for a delicious meal followed by Kathy’s cutting of the dessert cake.

Read more...
 
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