Guanaja, Bay Islands, Honduras

by Susan on April 12, 2012

April 6, 2012

We left the Hobbies around 8:00 in the morning and had a pleasant 162 nautical mile passage to Guanaja.  With the wind on our back, the wind speed ranging between 12 – 23 knots and the current in our favor we made good time.  We even had an opportunity to use our whisker pole to take full advantage of the wind.  I was resistant at first because of my memories of the trouble Michael and Michael H. had with that beast of a pole back in Mexico, but Michael had made adjustments to the downhaul for the car since then and promised we wouldn’t have any problem with it.  He was right.  We got it up with no problem and we could have gotten it down with no problem if I hadn’t let go of the wrong line causing it to come crashing down over the starboard side.  It was easy to remedy though and there was no damage to the boat.  The only other mishap was a jibe at around 5:00 in the morning while we were trying to avoid an unidentified vessel ahead of us.  It seemed to mirror all the small adjustments we were making to our course so we decided to make a more deliberate one and ended up jibing the boat.  The maneuver ripped about a quarter of the track for the boombreak right off our deck but the remaining track was still usable.

Track for Boombreak

We arrived in Guanaja around 12:45 in the afternoon on April 7 and went directly into El Bight, a protected anchorage west of Bonacca Town near Dunbar Rock.

Dunbar Rock - Private Dive Resort

Guanaja is located in the Northwest Caribbean and is the second largest of the three Bay Islands of Honduras.  The others are Roatan and Utila.  This area is a prime fishing destination as well as one of the top dive destinations in the world.  Below is a map to give you an idea of the location.  I never even knew these islands existed until we planned our route and decided to come here.  And little did I know I would soon find heaven on earth.

Map Showing Location of the Bay Islands


After a day of rest, we headed into Bonacca Town the next morning to get checked in.  This densely populated settlement is built on a cay off the main island and packed with houses on narrow walkways.   There are no streets, only a maze of sidewalks through the entire settlement with a system of canals.

Steve Jost Aerial Photo of Bonacca Town

Bonacca Town

Bonacca Town

Heading to Immigration

Walkway in Bonacca Town

Home on the Canal

Parked Boat

Later, back at El Bight, Island Dreamin’ invited us over to share some sushi made with fresh tuna which they caught on the sail over.  They didn’t need to ask twice.  It was wonderful.  Afterwards, we went to the Manati Bar and Restaurant, a local hangout for cruisers and ex pats.  The restaurant is managed by Annette and Klaus, a friendly and entertaining German couple who made there home here in the mid 1990s.  It was a fun place with good German food.

Fresh (Tuna) Sushi - Caught by Island Dreamin' on the Way to Guanaja

Manati Bar and Restaurant

At Manati Bar and Restaurant

Bar at Manati Restaurant

Dinner and Drinks at Manati

The following day, we dinghied about a mile with Island Dreamin’ to Graham’s Place, formerly Josh’s Cay.  This is where I found heaven on earth.  I was overwhelmed with the beauty of this cay.  It’s a great place to snorkel, dive, kayak, eat, drink and just simply relax on the beach while the beauty just takes your breath away.  It was completely deserted the day we went with us and Island Dreamin’ being the only visitors in sight which made it even more appealing.  It felt like our own private little cay.  I could have stayed there indefinitely.

Heading to Graham's Place

Approaching Graham's Place

Welcome to Graham's Place

Graham's Place

Graham's Place

Restaurant and Bar at Graham's Place

Graham's Place is My Kind of Place

Afternoon Shooters

Great Advice

Looking Out from Graham's Place

View of the Hotel and Villas

We Have The Entire Beach to Ourselves

More of the Beach

More of the Grounds

Can't Get Enough of This Place

Later that evening we dinghied over to Han’s pizza place.  A fun place to gather with cruisers and local ex pats and enjoy a delicious pizza made in a very unique, rustic and authentic cooking oven made out of a 55-gallon drum heated by a wood fire creating a delicate smoky flavored pizza.

Outdoor Tables at Hans' Pizza Place

Inside the Bar at Hans' Pizza Place

Unique Pizza Oven

Pizza's Ready

Enjoying Good Company

The next morning (10th) we weighed anchor and headed for Roatan, the largest of the three islands.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Steve Cron April 20, 2013 at 7:26 am

Wow! It does look like heaven on earth. What an unbelievable journey!

mike April 20, 2013 at 10:02 am

Wow, I love that Grahams place. And I love the saying about when life throws you a lemon, break out the Tequila!

What did the expats do there? How did they seem to you? IT seems like a sleepy place and I wonder if they get cabin fever every or if they are busy.

Lovely place.

Dave April 21, 2013 at 3:39 pm

Living the dream !

Susan October 26, 2013 at 10:25 am

We hope you and Maria enjoy your sailing adventures as much as we have. The Hardin is a good solid boat. Your plan to sail down to Columbia sounds wonderful. Let us know if you decide to maintain a blog so that we can share your adventures as well. Fair winds and following seas to both of you.
Susan and Michael

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