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Welcome to the Rio Dulce Chisme Vindicator Online News!
Radio Conference on Safety and Security E-mail
The News - Latest News
March 26, 2017
by Jody Aston, Editor, and
Mirza Arias, Secretary, Ocean Cruising Club

This past week on the morning VHF Cruiser’s Net, a theft was reported on a boat located in the Shell Bay area. Apparently, a young Guatemalan worker was invited on a boat (to the cockpit area only), and she later returned when the owner was not present, and stole an iPad and some money. The boater expressed concern that, after the fact, he discovered that several other boaters in the area knew the woman was dishonest yet no one warned him, and he wondered why there was no reporting system among boaters on the Rio Dulce. 

A discussion ensued and The Ocean Cruising Club port official, Kelly, on SV Patience, arranged a radio meeting for a later date to allow for deeper discussion and presentation of ideas for a solution. A significant group of concerned boaters tuned in for that and many relevant topics were discussed.

It is important to note that all those involved in this radio conference stated, categorically, that the problem is not only specific to Guatemala. Similar situations occur worldwide by a few unscrupulous people. The intention in reporting is not to instill fear that Rio Dulce is a particularly insecure harbour. In fact, many consider crime to be much less serious here than in other nearby Caribbean locations. It is in the interest of the entire boating community, however, to work together and attempt to reduce the number and gravity of incidents that do occur on the rio.

Many topics were discussed. Initially, there was a question as to the extent of security provided by the marinas, and it was acknowledged that all the major marinas have a 24-hour armed-guard security system in place. A few years ago, funds were collected to support a Naval boat that patrolled the river from the now defunct Mario’s Marina to El Castillo. Problems arose and the security program eventually ended, primarily due to lack of funds. Not all marinas participated, and the few who contributed were, understandably, disinclined to subsidize the entire project. (Continued below - hit "Read more...")

Massage by Blanca at Tortugal Marina E-mail
Features - Places and Faces

Massage by Blanca - in the Treetops

March 14, 2017
by Jody Aston, Editor and Publisher

Savvy boaters know that Rio Dulce is a great place to shelter from hurricanes and work on their boat. They also know that boatwork can result in backaches, strained muscles and various other pains! Staff at the Rio Dulce Chisme Vindicator is often asked by aching cruisers if there is a massage therapist on the rio who might provide relief. We are happy to give a resounding "Yes!" to the inquiries.

Massage Therapist Blanca
At times, boaters who are also massage therapists arrive on the Rio Dulce and stay for a short period of time, but there is one who has been a permanent resource here for 12 years. Her name is Blanca, and she works out of Tortugal Marina. With 20 years of experience, she is highly skilled in deep-tissue massage, reflexology, neural muscular work and relaxation techniques. 

Blanca gives a one-hour massage, using a combination of these procedures, for a cost of Q225. Call Tortugal one day in advance, or at least 3 hours ahead, to arrange an appointment, as Blanca will need to travel from her home in Morales if she is not at the marina the day you want a massage. Tortugal does not take a 'cut' on the massages. The Massage in the Treetops, or Masaje en Los Árboles, is offered as a service to Tortugal guests and the Rio Dulce community. Tortugal's phone number is 5760-1844 and Blanca's is 5952-1585.

Give her a call, so when the boat is fit to sail, again, you will be, too!


Waypoints from Livingston to Placencia E-mail
Features - Cruiser Views
March 4, 2017
Editor's Note: As many cruisers are leaving the rio for Belize now, it seems a good time to submit this invaluable information, provided by John and Sheila on SV Triumphant. The data is a couple of years old, and not definitive, so there is a caveat that you should use the information at your own discretion and risk. If anyone knows of changes or has recent updates, please let us know. MANY THANKS, SV TRIUMPHANT!

Waypoints from Livingston to Placencia, including the Bar

(1. and 2. are purposely omitted - they were for a another document describing coming INTO the Rio Dulce and are exactly the same as 4. and 3., respectively.)

3.         15 49 299N

88 44 734W (starting point for crossing bar at Livingston)


4.         15 50 100N

            88 43 960W (out near the Sea Buoy)


5.         15 57 586 N

            88 38 143 W (West of Cabo Tres Puntas – by the 75’ depth)


6.         16 11 830N

            88 29 652W (East of East Snake Cay)


7.         16 18 517N

            88 27 143W (S E of Monkey River – by the 30’ depth)


8.         16 23 110N

            88 25 410W (East of No Name Point)


9.         16 28 950N

            88 22 570W (in the middle of the channel buoys leading to Big Creek)


10.        16 30 637N

             88 22 024W (outside Yoli’s bar – where we are anchored)

(Continued - Click "Read more..." below)
Grackle, Grackle, Grackle E-mail
Features - Flora and Fauna of Guatemala

Hello. I am Rufus.

February 24, 2017

Hello.  I am Rufus.  I will tell you a little about myself including how I got my name but first we need to get some things straight before we go any further.  I am not a raven or a crow.  Those birds are bigger than me and I sure don’t want to ruffle their feathers.  Nor am I a grooved-bill ani with a funky down-turned beak.   I am certainly not one of those pesky little melodious blackbirds you have probably heard around here.  What’s up with that name anyway?  It just sounds like squawking to me!

I am a grackle.  A Mexican grackle or a great-tailed grackle to be exact and since I am a dominate male my feathers are a beautiful iridescent black with a purple-blue sheen when I ruffle them.  Some know me as a keel or boat-tailed grackle because I fold and hold my tail-feathers vertically and that’s okay with me, particularly if it is sailor folks calling me that, but actually boat-tailed grackles are a different species and our ranges only overlap in coastal Texas and Louisiana.  There are eight other species of us but none of them mess with us great-tails when we allow them to mingle with us. (Click "Read More..." below.)


Bus Timetables Updated E-mail
The News - Latest News
February 14, 2017
by Jody Aston, Editor and Publisher

To see the timetables, click on the photo above, which is now linked to them. After this is replaced by another front-page story, remember you can always access the schedules by clicking the "Timetables" button at the bottom of the menu bar on the left!

Cayo Quemado Ladies 6th Anniv. Celebration E-mail
The News - Latest News


February 14, 2017
Swiss Alpenhorns at Casa Perico E-mail
The News - Latest News
Alpenhorn Musicians at Casa Perico Prop the Instruments on Their Shoulders as They Talk
January 31, 2017
by Jody Aston, Editor and Publisher

International Trivia participants were treated to a special, impromptu concert after their quiz game last Thursday. A group of Swiss Alpenhorn players were touring the Rio Dulce, and quite naturally, ended up at the Swiss-owned Hotel Casa Perico, the venue for Trivia that night.

The organizer, a Swiss expat now living in Guatemala, said it is not a professional group and they had only played together a few times in the last week. The members met online and he invited them to Guatemala. He joked that traveling from Europe to Guatemala is hard enough, but imagine bringing an alpenhorn along with you on the flight! If you're curious how they did it, the darker horns (made of carbon fiber) break apart into several pieces, to about 2 1/2 feet, and fit into a case for transport. The more traditional wooden horns are made of mountain spruce, from the Swiss Alps. As the spruces grow on the steep hillsides, natural forces create a curvature at the base. After the trees are cut in half, hollowed out and smoothed, the halves are glued and wrapped tightly together with birch rattan. (Story continued and more photos below - click "Read more...").

Traditional Wooden Alpenhorns, Decorated and Bearing the Swiss Flag

Weaving Workshop by Doris Florig E-mail
Features - Places and Faces
Doris Gives Instruction to Star Student, Kyla
February 9, 2017
by Jody Aston, Editor and Publisher

Doris Florig, of SV Magic, recently introduced her woven art to the Rio Dulce community. First, she presented a slideshow, Weaving an Adventure, about how her 40 years practicing the art of weaving intertwine with her sailing adventures. Doris does not make functional pieces, but rather, creates beautiful works of art, in the form of fiber murals and sculptures. Seeing photos of her life-sized mountain goat, complete with a rocky cliff and trees, it boggles the mind how she produces such unique pieces. When not sailing, she and her husband, Dennis Clancy, live in Wyoming. She gains much inspiration from the surrounding environment of the nearby Grand Teton National Park.

After the slide presentation, Doris held a workshop at Tortugal Marina. Excited participants worked through initial fears and learned how to construct a basic piece, using the aboriginal New Zealand finger-weaving technique called Tanika.

For more information, see Doris's web page here. (Click "Read more..." below for more photographs.)

Weaving Class Participants at Tortugal Marina

Cruisers Explore the Rio Dulce Area E-mail
Features - Cruiser Views
Claudia, Claudius, Deb and Chuck on the El Estor Waterfront with Neytiri and Flying Fish in the Background
January 19, 2017
by Deb Eldridge, SV Neytiri

El Rio Salsa - The Sauce River
Two boats, Neytiri, a Privilege 435 out of the U.S., and Flying Fish, a BaltiCat out of Germany headed out under the bridge at around 1:30 p.m. on the ninth, just after a cold front came through. The weather was starting to clear but rain was possible almost every day. The Neytiri crew, then a monohull called Sanity, did a ten-day lap of Lago Izabal in 1995; and it was a first trip to the lake for Flying Fish. We wanted to revisit the legendary Denny’s Beach from old memories. The Denny’s Beach anchorage and restaurant were both empty; but the restaurant was open, and we had a good meal. The wind picked up in the evening and the anchorage got rough, giving us good reason to tighten up halyards, close locker doors, and secure rolling things.  Because of the conditions, we had no problem deciding to head to El Estor after a champagne birthday brunch, courtesy of Flying Fish. (Click "Read more..." below for continuation.)

Hanging Bridge at Q’eqchi

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