• Steven Hopkinson

Checking things off the to-do list


City Dogs has had a productive week thus far. We’ve been checking items off our to-do lists. Like getting our new Honduran flag flying.


Item number one was getting our sail fixed. We needed to replace one of our sail slugs -- the pieces actually connecting the mast to the sail that travel up and down in a little groove in the mast -- one of those (the second from the bottom) was broken so we’ve been waiting for the replacement part for some time now as our first one was inexplicably lost in transit. It didn’t take long to sew it on, the piece was actually a bit smaller than the original ones, but it worked fine once we had a chance to raise the main a few hours later.

Finally getting the new sail slug on and letting our full main sail out to breathe for the first time in months was an amazing experience. Not to say that sailing with a reefed main isn’t sailing, it’s just not as fulfilling or exciting, if you get what I mean.


Of course, we got the main halyard wrapped around the deck light, but thankfully, I was able to snap it off without having to go up the mast like I did back when we were doing the Isla Mujeres crossing last November. Say what you want to about City Dogs, just say we’re learning, one sail at a time.

We got to do some nice, fun downwind sailing to our chosen spot for zinc anode changing, only since it’s the beginning of cruising season in the Western Caribbean, French Harbor was packed with sailboats out of the Rio Dulce looking for protected anchorages on the East Side of the island. It was a nice change to see so many other sailing vessels there as there have been many times we’re pretty much the only one in there.


We counted over ten boats in the area, some of them ones we’ve seen before in Isla and Belize and other places before. Some we’d never seen before, but we didn’t have time to hang around with any of the other cruisers. Instead, I changed the zinc anode on the prop that was down to almost nothing while Andrea hopped in and started cleaning the bottom. I joined her and we met in the middle, giving our exterior a bit of love, keeping the boils from becoming barnacles, wiping the algae off, - in general, keeping City Dogs looking good both above and below the water line.

It’s tough work, but someone has to do it. It’s one of those jobs that we definitely save money on by doing ourselves. Plus it’s not hard, like I used to tell people back in my days in advertising, it’s not rocket science, it just requires a bit of time and a lot of elbow grease. We like to think of cleaning the bottom as washing a really big dish.


The water wasn’t what we’re used to in French Key area -- it was a bit murky. All churned up by the storms. Kinda nasty, but still clear enough to do the job. We could still see the bottom when the sun was overhead, but it wasn’t the ideal crystal clear aquamarine that we’re used to seeing at that location. So it goes.


Besides a dozen other little boat projects that have been occupying our time, we took Mischa to the vet and got her teeth cleaned. This after one of our amazing guests, who was a vet and shall remain nameless, commented that Mischa had “bad breath”. We strive for 100% customer satisfaction on City Dogs, so we got Mischa’s teeth seriously cleaned. It’s been a long time coming and it was a bit of work holding her down, but worth it in the end. Cost about $100, probably would have been five or six times that in the States.


They had to put Mischa under. Mischa had a tough day, she was so out of it she had a little accident in the car afterwards, she’s not used to getting knocked out, but when she emerged her teeth were really white and her breath was a lot less pungent. Makes it a lot better experience when she’s giving kisses.


She’s a happy girl now, ready for some fun in the sun.


She’s probably daydreaming of going for long hikes in the snow back in the mountains of Boulder, Colorado, but we’ll never know for sure. Maybe she’s dreaming of chasing Fozzie Bear around the dog run or about catching squirrels in East River Park. Or maybe dreaming about finally catching a guatusa over by the pool in Parrot Tree. She’s got a lot to dream about. She’s a lucky dog. And we’re lucky to have her.


And we’re all lucky to have this gorgeous, amazing island to call home. It has a beauty that is at once both rugged and inviting. If you want to come see it for yourself, we’ve got some options on how to do that whether you’d rather do a snorkeling sailing tour, check out some of the mangroves, or do something further off the beaten path like an overnight excursion to Cayos Cochinos.


Prime dates in 2019 are filling up fast, so let us know if you're thinking of coming sailing with us anytime soon.


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