We are in Utila. A low-lying, partly swampy island off the Honduras
mainland. Renown for their hungry sand flies. Hot tip: Johnson Baby Oil. We
went straight to the "capital", Puerto Este. A well protected harbour.
Following instructions from the Nigel Caulder's guide book how to avoid the
reefs, we aimed
for the Methodist church partly obstructed by a large house, which turned
out to be owned by Norwegian Jon. Not too often I bump into fellow
Norwegians and being offered freshly baked raisin buns.
Puerto Este is a charming, buzzing place. Quite Caribbean. The interesting
bit is the original settlers were British Pirates/Buccaneers. Unfortunately,
the British must have kept to them selves for the most, and are in need of
some fresh gene material. We spent 2 nights at the Cays south west of Utila
to do some more research. We motored our dingy to Suck-Suck and Pigeon,
locally known as Up and Down despite they barely stick above the water. It
basically looks like a heap of stones covered in clapboard houses. This is
where the Pirates/Buccaneers originally settled.
A very colourful community with laughing children playing in the water.
However, it did strike us that the white man looked even more strange here
than in Puerto Este. According to Jon, you even find people whose sir names
ends in Connor Connor. We did try to find out when the first settlers came,
and were told in pronounced Jamaican something accent "since the creation"
or "since my great, great, grandfather". Darwin would have
The other fascinating thing is how can these two tiny islands (being
connected by hand built bridge) house 5 different churches? And how can they
all afford their houses and things.... is fishing that good, or is some of
the old pirate money still in motion? Can't help to wonder if Captain Morgan
hid a few chests away for future generations. It is only 150 to 200 years
ago since the Pirates were plundering the Spanish fleets using Utila as
their hide out.
Ray has been out scuba diving 3 days, loving the nice warm waters and
beautiful corals, wreck and tropical fishes. Fortunately he hasn't seen any
sharks around and I feel quite safe swimming around the boat. Did see a
barracuda though, enough to almost give me a heart attack. I am still not
too keen on trying diving. A bit of a wimp I guess. Well, well.