Sunday, October 28, 2012

BELIZE 2012 - PART 1


A couple years ago, Dale and I went to Belize for a week.  We had a blast, and I knew I wanted to go again.   This last Christmas, I told my brother, Kelly, that he and I should go this fall.  He was excited, but didn’t have a passport.   I told him to get one.  Within a few months, he had his passport and was ready for our adventure.

Kelly drove down from his home in Lubbock, TX.  He spent the night on my boat (a first for him) and we got up BEFORE the crack of dawn, and headed to the airport on October 18th.   This was a brother/sister trip, and we had a blast.

We arrived in Belize City, and were already very tired because we didn’t get much sleep the night before.  Our plan was to ride the bus to San Ignacio, but decided to take a taxi instead. 

This was our cabin at Parrot Nest.

Parrot Nest would be our home for the next few days.  The owner, Theo, is a wonderful host and her breakfasts are delicious.  There is a comfortable common area where quests can gather for meals and great conversation.  It has a down home feel, complete with two friendly dogs and three cats… one that will want in your lap if you crawl in the hammock.

The path to our cabin.

Nina and Puppy will escort you anywhere on the property.  This is the Mopan River right behind the cabins.
On the road to Parrot Nest.

Our first day there was spent walking through town and then hiking to Cahal Pech


Our second day was spent with Henry Link, our guide, kayaking down the Mopan River.  A driver dropped us off at the Guatamala border, we put in and took off down stream.  About noon, we reached San Jose Succotz Village, pulled out and walked a few blocks to Benny’s Kitchen and had lunch.  My rice and beans with chicken was tasty.  After lunch, we continued down the river.  About nine miles and ten rapids later, we reached the end of our jouney at the little town of Clarissa Falls.  Kelly and I had a fantastic day.  The weather was
great and our guide was very interesting.  You can contact Henry Link through PACZ Tours.

Next on our agenda, was a trip to ATM Cave.  I had told the other guests at Parrot Nest how much fun the ATM Cave was, that they decided to go with us.  PACZ Tours picked us up at 8 am, and we headed for the cave.  After about an hours drive, we reached the entrance to the park.  There we gathered our helmet, lunch and water provided. And then we start the 45 minute hike to the cave, crossing the river three times.  Oh, did I mention that this cave has a river running through it?  YEAH, how awesome is that?! 

Our guide, Louis, put lights on our helmets, and we gather at the cave entrance.  We are given a list of rules.  #1 Rule: listen to your guide and do what he tells you.  That’s really the only rule.

For the next 4 hours, we swim, wade, climb and see lots of cool cave formations and Mayan ritual artifacts.  Yeah, they did human sacrifices here too, so we saw human remains.  I definitely recommend this tour for anyone visiting this area of Belize.  You will come away with sore muscles, but even more life-lasting memories.  (There were no cameras allowed in the cave, so I have no pics to post.)

My next post, in a day or so, will cover our journey to Caye Caulker.  So stay tuned ….

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


…while living aboard.

I knew that living aboard was going to be different than living in a house.  I also knew I would have to learn to do everyday things differently.  I was up for the challenge, and was ready for the adventure.  It has been two weeks since I moved aboard The Flatulence. (sorry Stan, I have not christened her with a new name yet.)  Here are a few things I’ve learned.


~ You can eat Progresso Beef Soup right out of the can without heating it up, and it tastes just as good.
~ Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are pretty tasty and will hold you for several hours.
You can put just about anything on bread and make a sandwich out of it.


~ Wash my dishes in the cockpit using a garden hose
Wake up very early to do anything on the internet, otherwise, I will not be able to connect
~ Not drink too much after 7 pm
~ Keep quarters for the laundry

~ The toilet being just a few steps away first thing in the morning
~ Having a garage with all my tools nearby
~ Ice readily available


~ Low rent
~ Living 5 minutes from work
~ Having a pool just down the sidewalk
~ My bed rocks me to sleep
~ NOT having to clean my bathroom
~ NOT having to mow my lawn

I still haven't moved in completely.  The galley is getting updated; the cabinet refinished and I will build a spice rack to go above it.  My clothes are still in a suitcase that lives in the V-berth.  Towels for curtains.  The new companionway hatch and rails will be installed in a few days.  There are a lot of things I want to do.  The hull needs some work done, and I will get started on that as soon as I get back from my trip.  Yes, my brother and I are going on a "brother/sister" trip to Belize.  I bought a waterproof camera today, so there will be many pictures to share when I get back.  

Friday, October 12, 2012


TARDIS has spent her whole life on a dolly I made for her, and out of the elements in a garage.  It was time for her to grow up and live outside, so she needed a trailer.

My neighbor in Pasadena,  Larry,  said he would help me make the trailer I bought, fit TARDIS.
We decided the axel should be moved forward twelve inches.  That would put it under and to the back of the area of the ballast.  Larry went to work, and he has the knowledge and all the tools to do a good job.

Next, two crossbars were made from angle iron and were spaced evenly along the frame.  These were needed to mount the rollers that TARDIS will rest on.

The wench bracket was cut off and a short piece of angle iron was welded to both the front and aft leg.  With holes drilled in each piece, Larry bolted the wench with two U-bolts he made from all-thread.  He did it this way so it will be adjustable.

TARDIS was loaded onto the trailer to see how it fit.  Larry had to drill a few more holes for the front rollers.

One of the tires on the trailer had a leak.  I decided to go ahead and buy two new tires.  These look better.

The lights didn't work, so it has new lights and wiring now.  Oh, and it now has a trailer tongue jack.  After Larry got through, it didn't even look the same, and it fits TARDIS perfectly.  Larry did a fantastic job.  We wieghed the tongue with TARDIS on the trailer, and it weighed 148.  The ballast is not in place yet, so that will add a few pounds, but not many.

She trailed behind my Jeep very well, and now sits patiently in a fenced yard  by the canvas shop, waiting for her hardware.

Monday, October 8, 2012


October 7, 2012

s/v The Flatulence

Saturday morning, I stopped by the lumber yard before going to the shop.   I picked up a couple pieces of solid lumber for the new sliding hatch for the companionway on The Flatulence.  The pieces were rough cut, but I had friends coming to the marina, so I stopped there, and went back to the marina to enjoy the pool.  And enjoy, I did.  After everybody left, I hung out at my boat and just enjoyed the view. 

A very good friend of mine came over and saw The Flatulence for the first time.  He didn’t get to stay long, but did take a good look at her.  We have discussed some of the things I would like to do with her, and his response was, “put me to work”.   That made me smile!  He will help me get her in shape… comfortable to live on, AND I want to take her out sailing.  (My friend doesn’t like sailing, but I will try and get him to go out with me at least once!)  She is a good boat.  When I look at her, I see what she WILL be.

Later that night, a front moved in and rocked me quite a bit.  I’m learning to recognize her movements, and learn what they mean.  The wind was out of the north, right on her nose.  I am learning the different sounds.  The spring line makes a specific noise when it is tight.  I moved one of the fenders because the wind was bouncing it up against the hull.  Eventually, I will know what is going on outside, just by feeling her movement when I am inside the cabin.  That is awesome!

Tonight, Sunday evening, my friend Tammy, came over and she cooked an awesome meal on our grill, at the covered patio area.  We toasted my new boat and new life on the water.  Tammy is a very close friend, and has been there for me through thick and thin.  She is awesome!  My ivy plant needed a home, she graciously took it to live on her beautiful patio.  I know it will be happy there.

Okay, yes, I have a Facebook account.  Someone posted a comment on my wall, “I want to be more like you when I grow up!!”   This is not the first time I have heard this.  Guys, you can have the life you want.  You just need to want it bad enough, to do what it takes to make it happen.  This life I am carving out for myself, didn’t just happen.  It took a lot of work, dedication, and help from the good friends I surround myself with.  And, how long will I live this type of lifestyle?  As long as it continues to be fun.  Nothing is permanent.  Everything is subject to change.

Now, I sit here, finishing off the bottle of Moscato, while Josh Groban serenades me.  Life is good in Lezlie’s World!  J

Thursday, October 4, 2012


Last night was my first night on my boat.  I haven't set up my computer yet, so this will be a short post.

I have met a couple of people on my pier.  Tonight I was told that I was "hardcore" when he learned that I was living on her.  Not sure what he meant by that.

This weekend, I will start building a sliding hatch for The Flatulence.  And maybe replace the hatch boards too...definitely replace the hatch boards. 

TARDIS is patiently waiting on her trailer.  I will get back to her in a few weeks.  My immediate attention is needed here, getting The Flatulence fixed.