Thursday, November 28, 2013

Cayos Cochinos and the Quartet of Dive Masters

It all started when we rescued Anthony and a friend from a poorly planned canoe outing. They were being blown out of the bay and were attempting to paddle back with a board, as they had no paddles. We watched them for awhile commenting on their sorry state of affairs and when Anthony jumped in the water and tried to pull the canoe along we finally gave in and went over with the dinghy to rescue them. Upon returning to shore Anthony offered to buy us a beer. We then met his wife Alma and friend Laura. There were lots of questions on how we liked the boating life and if they (Anthony & Alma) were to buy a boat what should they get. We offered to take them sailing as they hadn't sailed before. Laura however had been on boats. We were not sure they would take us up on the offer as they were very busy with the finals of dive master classes which they would be finishing up in the next few days.

One afternoon several days later, here they come swimming out to Leap from the dive shop in swim rings. The guys Anthony and Danny were in swim rings too and bringing the beer. They offered to bring back fresh tuna that they had purchased from a local fisherman and we would make ceviche and talk sailing plans.
And so began our friendship and a sailing trip to Cayos Cochinos.

Alma Baer and Laura Adams

                                              Anthony and Alma Baer and Laura Adams



Danny and Alma
All four are backpackers and have been traveling extensively in Central America and are headed south.
Danny is from Spain and is heading for Nicaragua; we will drop him off in La Ceiba, a port on the mainland, on our return sail to Utila.
Laura is from Prince Rupert BC Canada and is headed to Costa Rica then on to Hawaii. Anthony and Alma are from Sacramento, CA  and also heading for Nicaragua. The three will be taking the ferry out of Utila to La Ceiba on Tuesday 11/26 heading to San Pedro Sula catching buses and trekking on.

Dolphins at play from Utila to Cayos Cochinos

Cayos Cochinos are a group of islands located 29 miles southeast of Utila. The island group was declared a Marine National Monument in 2003 and has its own research station, which we've read, welcomes volunteers. We arrived at night - AGAIN - making the count 5 of 8. In the morning we woke to a beautiful double rainbow. 

We moved to this small cove for a morning of snorkeling.

Charlie on the foredeck

The above picture of Leap and the following underwater pictures were taken by the dive masters.
Purple Sea Fans

Brain Coral with Christmas Tree Worms

Laura found a treasure
A young Hawksbill 

Laura and Alma

Charlie cleaning the fish we bought from a local Garifuna fisherman that paddled up to Leap in his cayuga.

We learned all kinds of things from this group but one of the funniest items was from Laura who did/does a lot of camping. We were talking survival skills and what one needs to know in differing circumstances. Laura says she never goes camping without cheetos as they are the best fire starters. None of us of course believed her and she persisted in trying to convince us it was true. Charlie had to see for himself. 
Yes indeed, the little cheetos do put out quite a flame and yes you can start a fire with them.

Setting sail for Utila after dropping Danny in La Ceiba

Alma and Anthony Baer

Laura Adams, Karen, Alma, Charlie


Sunset in route to Utila and yes, we arrived in the dark. 6 of 9!


  1. Thanks to your "crew" for the nice photos! Definitely beats your phone pics Mom. ;)

    I am a bit envious they beat me to taking the helm though. ;)

  2. Your day will come. Looking forward to you and John sailing with us!

  3. Everyone should take that helm if it means spending some time with this couple.

    Such a good time and company...

    Hugs from Dani or Danny from Spain - in Panama