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Pete Defoe, Lupe die in car/truck mishap E-mail
Births, Deaths, Anniversaries, Graduations, Life Changes - Deaths

Pete Defoe
Pete Defoe - photo by Jody Aston
Long time Rio Dulce and Antigua resident Pete Defoe of s/v Ocean Winds died at approximately 7:30 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013 in a car/truck collision near the small town of Buenos Aires, Guatemala.

With him was his girlfriend Lupe, last name believed to be Palacios, who also was declared dead at the scene of the accident.

Defoe’s vehicle was reported to have collided with a cattle truck, going underneath the truck and killing both occupants.

Donations for the funeral costs of Lupe are being accepted at Monkey Bay Marina.

Anyone having knowledge of next of kin for Defoe are asked to contact the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala City.

A call was made to Pete's attorney in Antigua but she had no knowledge of next of kin for Pete.

Funeral services for both Pete and Lupe will be held tonight in San Felipe with burial tomorrow.

An unexpected delight -- Green Parrot E-mail
Features - Places and Faces

, PlacenciaGreen Parrot Beach Houses, Placencia, Belize
Green Parrot Beach Houses, Placencia, Belize
By Roy McNett
A quick decision after dark in Placencia, Belize turned into a very enjoyable visit.

About a month or so ago, I was invited to go along on a road trip to Placencia, Belize with Peggy and Lanny of s/v Lunasea, Wendy of s/v EnJoyBoat II and Odi, la chicle de mis zapatos.

We rode in Lanny’s famous dark green Chevy pickup with plenty of room for all five of us. My purpose was to pickup a Cummins-Onan genset from a house in The Placencia resort.

Lanny and Peggy just wanted to visit Placencia – they’d never been there before.

Wendy and Odi are always ready for a road trip.Wherever.

And, of course, we had no idea where we would stay for a couple of days  .. didn’t make reservations, just jumped into the truck and off we went.

But by the time we arrived on the main highway in the outskirts of Placencia, it was already dark and we started looking for a place to stay. Lanny pulled into a couple of promising places but, since this was in October, they were closed for the offseason.

Then one of us spotted a small lighted sign for the Green Parrot and Lanny quickly found a parking spot.

Isabela - photo by s/v Lunasea

Immediately, Isabela (the cook, head housekeeper and assistant to her brother Leonidas who serves as manager) told us that, yes, they had beach houses available, the kitchen was still open and she’d be absolutely delighted to have us stay.


Portside Tomís Wedding E-mail
Births, Deaths, Anniversaries, Graduations, Life Changes - Life Changes

Portside Tom and the lovely Liz
Portside Tom and the lovely Liz
Story and Photos
by Jody Aston

Avast Mateys! Blast the cannons and grab some grand grog to celebrate!

Portside Tom be anchored to his darlin’ beauty, Liz! Ye’ll be surprised to see the likes o ‘im -- the ole buccaneer cleans up as shiny as a new doubloon!

Tom and Liz had a traditional Guatemalan wedding at his house on Saturday, November 2, which was attended by the bride’s family and friends.

One aspect of the festivities Tom felt he had to change, however, was the groom atop the wedding cake. He didn’t mind that his representation didn’t have a pirate’s hat or earring, but one thing Tom couldn’t let pass.

He brought out a pen and promptly gave the little guy a beard!

Needs a beard, don't you think?
Needs a beard, don't you think?

Not wanting to shiver ye hearty’s timbers too much, Tom will be back in fine pirate style on Monday for a second ceremony, at Bruno’s Happy Hour!Me thinks thar be a fair bit o swashbucklin’ and carousin’ amongst the scalywags and wenches that be gathered thar!

Fiambre -- the salad with 50 ingredients E-mail
Features - History and Culture

(Editor's Note: This article was written for the Chisme-Vindicator 5 years ago by our wonderful, beautiful and oh, so talented friend Valeria -- and it's still just as informative and entertaining as when she first wrote it. Now, right before the Day of the Dead, Nov. 1, Guatemalan families are gathering the ingredients for their own particular style of fiambre. To see more of Valeria's articles, click on Features in the left hand main menu, then select History and Culture. Enjoy! Ok, Valeria ... send us some more!)



Guatemalan traditional cuisine
 When the Spanish came and started colonizing the new world, they brought with them to this strange land everything they could carry with them to recreate their memories from home.

There was no quarantine back then of course, so ships came full of new spices, seeds and sea sick animals to cure melancholy.
These colonists brought as much as they could to make the transition easier; that’s how we got pork and chickens and horses and many other things like spices and herbs.

Traditional food has its roots in the Spanish influence adding the new local ingredients back in the 1500's and 1600's, when they settled in Guatemala. They adapted their recipes to the local flavors in the attempt to recreate the memories of home through food, resulting in a brand new list of dishes that the population adopted as their own and started building new memories and traditions around them.

That is the case of fiambre.


Fiambre was pretty much a “leftovers” salad that was brought (and still is) to the cemetery on November the first, the Day of the Dead. It is brought with tons of flowers and ornaments and, of course, some white liquor to the tombs.

 Now the thing is this picnic was not for the living but for the dead. The families came and cleaned the graves of their loved ones, put fresh flowers in the vases and wrapped chains made with colorful paper around the tomb stones, had a little snack, said prayers and left a dish of fiambre with a bottle of rum or cusha (local illegal liquor) for their deceased to feast on later.  

Two years later, J & J at Vista Rio E-mail
Features - Places and Faces

The new Vista Rio - Crow Bar
The new Vista Rio - Crow Bar
By J Bright
Vista Rio
Hotel, Restaurant,

A couple of years ago, two shipwrecked sailors, J & J Bright, washed ashore here in Rio Dulce.

Like most sailors, they didn't have much sense, and despite 14 hours in a tropical storm, despite a good hard grounding, and the aforementioned shipwreck, they came here and purchased another boat.

Then to add straight up foolishness to folly, they decided to volunteer to take over a local establishment that had fallen on hard times and see if they could help. “It all happened so quick, it was kind of like ... boat/business ... what the hell have we gotten ourselves into?”  said one of the intrepid travelers.

What indeed  ... like a lot of boats here, their new one, while in great shape, had sat dockside for years and upon taking her out on her initial  “shake down” cruise, many of those unused systems began to break down.

The old addage of  “use it or lose it” is too true. So, since they had to tweak systems and do a few odd repairs, free dockage and drinks in exchange for doing what they had always done back home in New Orleans, seemed like a good idea at the time.

Now the business they got involved in was the opposite story, it had been well used, poorly maintained and came with a rather exaggerated but none the less unsavory past. 

Princesas Maya de Guatemala E-mail
Features - Places and Faces

Puppy love
Puppy love
By Roy McNett

Mira on s/v Fata Morgana, a 2001 Robertson & Caine Leopard 38, with her husband and children recently spent a couple of weeks sailing around Lago Izabal -- exploring and enjoying in company of their friends on s/v Friendship.

She has compiled a series of photos of young Mayan girls in the villages they visited near Finca Paraiso, Finca Jocoro, El Estor and Playa Pataxte, calling the photo collection "Princesas Maya de Guatemala" -- a unique view of young Mayan girls in their homes and villages.

Even chickens need a little love
Even chickens need a little love

Enjoy the photos and hopefully acquire a sense and appreciation of the life for a young girl in a Mayan village along the shores of Lago Izabal.

And please, please check out Mira's Blog HERE.

In particular, read the travels of Joni and Daeli of s/v Friendship HEREIf you think you've done some unusual traveling, wait till you read about their adventures.

Click Read More below to see more of Mira's photos.

Click HERE to reply or comment on this article.

Sunken boat in Monkey Bay E-mail
The News - Latest News

Sunken boat in Monkey Bay
Sunken boat in Monkey Bay
Vickie and Jim Tanaka of s/v Alegro advise boaters there’s a sunken sports fisherman boat in Monkey Bay that could be a hazard to navigation, especially at night.

“We believe this boat is the same older sport fish power boat that was anchored back in the far corner of Shell Bay for a long time.,”  Vickie wrote. “More recently, say the past 2 or 3 weeks or so, we noticed it anchored in Monkey Bay.”

“Then just a few days ago, we saw that it had sunk there in Monkey Bay, down river of Monkey Bay Marina, Lubi's Marina and several private docks.  When Jim first saw it, the boat had been encircled with what looked like some kind of floating fuel containment equipment, but when I took the pictures Sunday, none of that was around,” she noted.

Click Read More below for more photos by Vickie of s/v Alegro

Jet pack rocket man at Backpackers E-mail
The News - Latest News
Customers and staff at Backpackers were entertained this past weekend by jet pack riders performing in front of the restaurant. The jet pack is actually a JetLev-Flyer water jet pack operated from a hose attached to a separate jet ski.  Photo by Jim Hupe
Customers and staff at Backpackers were entertained this past weekend by jet pack riders performing in front of the restaurant. The jet pack is actually a JetLev-Flyer water jet pack operated from a hose attached to a separate jet ski. Photo by Jim Hupe
Boat, marina regulations summarized E-mail
The News - Latest News

Eugenio Gobbato
Eugenio Gobbato
(Editor's Note: The following is a summary written by Eugenio Gobbato of Hacienda Tijax concerning the Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013 meeting held by Raul Morales Veliz of the ServaMar boaters assistance agency in Livingston. Eugenio is a life-long resident of Guatemala and has owned and operated Tijax marina, restaurant and hotel for many years. He and his family have owned several import businesses as well as other Guatemalan businesses. He also worked at the Ministry of Finance as advisor to the Minister on Social Development from 1986 to 1988 three years and was there when the law on temporary imports for recreational vessels was first created.)

ImageSummary of Thursday, Oct. 17th Meeting

Re: Boat Papers Extensions by SAT

To: Marina Owners-Managers & Boat Owners.

In assuming  the nearly impossible task of summarizing  a very complicated and (apparently) difficult  situation to understand, I have written as few lines and words as possible and thus avoid further speculation and controversy:

The law has not changed:  Raul (our friendly customs broker and boaters agent) informed us that the same Law and Article (Art. 440 to 448 Section II of the CAUCA-RECAUCA TREATY) is current and is being applied to tourist boats as well as other vehicles. Please note that CAUCA means: “Código Aduanero Uniforme Centroamericano” which in English means: “Central American Standard Customs Code”. RECAUCA is the “Regulatory” body thereof,  you can download the code HERE.

It is an International Treaty:  This piece of legislation was signed and updated last in 2008 by all 5 Central American countries and the congresses had to approve the treaty for it to go into effect.

So this means it is here to stay until:

a) it is modified by all 5 counties and the houses of representatives of each and all of the 5 member states,  or

b) is replaced by a new treaty.  It is very UNLIKELY for us to be able to generate changes from here. Image

What it Says: Again summarizing (Art. 442):

A: Upon a first entry: 

The boat will be allowed by the customs facilities to remain in the country under a “temporary import permit” for an equal amount of time as their “inmigration permit” to the “tourists” on the vehicle (boat in this case) which in Guatemala happens to be 90 days (90 days calendar -- not three months).

B: Non Lucrative:

It clearly states that the operators of said vehicle must NOT engage in lucrative activities (jobs & business) hence the signed & sworn letter upon entering to that effect.

C: Extensions & Renewals: 

The maximum allowance of a permit for a temporary importation of a boat is one year

!:  “Under control of customs authorities  Meaning you (boat owner) have registered with and asked for an extension from them within the legal time frame of the first three months.

2.  Said vehicle shall be “deposited” at a properly constituted enterprise which shall in turn provide the services of custody and security.  For this purpose the responsibility of custody and conservation of the vessel will be upon the authorized company. Meaning:  In the case of marinas and boat yards they must be authorized by INGUAT (The third paragraph of article 442 leaves each country to decide who is the “competent authority”  In Guatemala this is interpreted to be INGUAT and they are the “Tourist Board” and since this piece of legislation is directed to tourist boats, marinas must be authorized by INGUAT.

3. Maximum Term:  After the first entrance and the one year extension no further temporary import will be allowed until a period of 3 months has come to term.  (fourth paragraph article 442).

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