Espiritu at anchor in French Harbor, Roatan, Honduras
Well, there's a bit of drama here in French Harbor.
First, I found out we just missed a celebrity encounter with the National Review Republican Cruise, which docked in Roatan very recently, on the way to the Cayman Islands (natch).
William Buckley, Jr., Jonah Goldberg, Cal Thomas, a slew of former Bush, Romney and Reagan staffers, and most famously (or notoriously, depending upon your political view), none other than the Christian Coalition's Ralph Reed spent a day at the Fantasy Island Resort, which is only a few feet from where Espiritu is anchored.
No, not THAT Fantasy Island...
Fantasy Island Resort here in Roatan sports a pine forest on a pristine white beach
Ralph Reed and an iguana a couple of hundred feet away from Espiritu
By the way, if you're not sure who Ralph Reed is, then I might tactfully suggest that you get out more.
Ralph Reed on the cover of TIME
After I heard that they had already come and gone, I imagined the scenario of strolling down the beach and passing a guy, and turning to Chris and saying: "You're gonna think I'm crazy, but that guy back there playing with an iguana looks EXACTLY like Ralph Reed..."
And then we both would have laughed, moved on, and that would have been that.
In other news, the other day I came upon this disconcerting product on the shelf of a local mini-mart:
Yes, they sell medicine for "the symptoms of Dengue fever" at the local mini-mart.
Yikes. And by coincidence, only last night we watched the Stephen Soderberg movie "Contagion," about a worldwide extremely fatal epidemic.
Gwyneth Paltrow succumbs to a virulent virus in her death scene in "Contagion." The virus in this movie is WAY worse than Dengue Fever. It's like the Ebola virus on steroids.
OK, OK...so by coincidence, I've got a fever today. Big deal. I'm sure it's nothing, and it has absolutely nothing to do with Dengue Fever. And anyway, even if it IS Dengue, there is no treatment. You usually just let it run it's course. But before you freak out (Mom! and Dad!), I'll monitor myself closely and head to the perfectly adequate hospital here on Roatan Island if I should worsten.
You KNOW the hospital is good, because Ralph Reed's people would not let him hang out here if there was not access to top notch medical care.
The bottom line with Dengue Fever is this: unlike the fictional virus that ate Gwyneth Paltrow's brain in the movie, Dengue is usually self limiting. So no worries, mate!
And the last bit of drama involves the cruisers here in French Harbor. Our anchorage is surrounded by one of Roatan's world famous reefs. The reef is also a "Marine Park," which means there is no fishing allowed. No "taking" of anything at all.
Our reef here comes conveniently stocked with dozens and dozens of Caribbean spiny lobsters.
We all admire the lobsters when we snorkel here, and we may even manage to lick our chops as we do so, which is quite a feat considering we have snorkel gear in our mouths.
During the morning VHF cruiser's net, the net controller "outed" a cruising boat which was boarded by the Roatan officlals and caught red handed with 20+ lobsters aboard, and a few red snappers shot through with a speargun for good measure.
This cruising boat had recently left the harbor for the other side of the island. We were all shocked and saddened that these people would do such a thing. They seemed like nice enough people.
Well, the very next day, this boat returned to French Harbor and anchored again, but this time dropped anchor RIGHT on top of the reef.
All I'll say about this boat is they are French Canadian. I've never known anyone from Quebec. The only celebrity I can think of from Quebec is another cornucopia of confused, mixed messages:
I really don't know what to make of Celine Dion. She's all over the map. She does have an amazing voice, though. But my point is this: She's French Canadian. So do with that information what you will.
So anyway, our local French Canadian cruisers come to all of the events acting like nothing happened, but people are pretty upset about it. They're sailing a nice Beneteau, so they're not poor.
And this island is filled with unemployed, impoverished families who would love to take the lobster and red snapper, but they don't. Because they respect the law.
A typical Roatan local who would no doubt enjoy a few lobster tails for dinner,
but will instead have rice and beans. Again.
But other than that, it's been a nice, relaxing holiday week here in French Harbor. But I'm keeping my eyes peeled: what new and interesting thing will we see next?
Happy New Year, with love, from Chris and Liz aboard Espiritu. XOXO