Thursday, June 21, 2012

Monkey Business

A monkey on the back of a poor unsuspecting tourist.

When Vlad and I were coming into Roatan, we had this dreamy discussion about how we were going to splurge and get a marina where we could do laundry and take real showers and leave the boat without a dinghy ride and get supplies with ease. It's not that we don't like anchoring, because we do! We love it, in fact. It's much more pleasant than life in a marina. There's more freedom at anchor. You get to pick your view, and there's always a nice breeze that cools down our non-airconditioned boat, a must in the tropics. And the fact that it's free is an added bonus.
But still. We have a mountain of laundry, and I was really ready to take a shower that didn't involve crouching on our 1 foot x 1 foot bathroom floor under the miserly trickle of the solar shower. Trite? Perhaps. Not tough? Most definitely, but at that point all I wanted was to take a shower in a place where I could stand up and maybe, just maybe shave my legs. Please, dear god, let me shave my legs.
But what could any of this have to do with monkeys? Well, we moved down the coast to French Harbor, the yachting center of Roatan, and anchored out again. Still no marina. Still no shower. But yesterday, everything changed. We went to this resort spot called Fantasy Island where we could use the internet, check out the laundry facilities and, gasp, take showers. Little did we know that the island was full of monkeys - monkeys with little old man faces that stole people's stuff (we personally rescued one pair of sunglasses and a purse), drank Coke, ate packets of Splenda and literally jumped on people's backs, including mine. One of them could also turn on the showers to drink water, which I took a video of that refuses to upload. You have all been spared. 

Monkey eating Splenda. 

We also saw another iguana. This one had a mohawk of spikes down its back. Way to be punk rock, iguana. Way to be punk.

And then there is this thing that the locals call a rabbit but is obviously not. It looked more like a mini-capybara and spent all of its time munching on fruit and burying the seeds in the sand. 
Not a rabbit. I repeat, not a rabbit.

With all this wildlife excitement, I almost forgot about my shower obsession. Unfortunately, even though Fantasy Island is also a marina, its showers weren't quite what I was expecting. I had assumed that they would be, you know, in a room with maybe even a door. Instead, the marina showers were basically outside right beside the dive shop. They did have doors of sorts - similar to the kind you would see in an old Western saloon - but I thought they were a little on the low/short/revealing side. I tried to find another shower on the island to assuage my prudish heart, but unfortunately it was either that or a completely outside shower. I even thought about asking one of the guests if I could just please, maybe, shave my legs in peace in their shower.
But eventually Vlad came up with a solution. He bought me beer. And after three of those I just plain didn't care anymore. So what if I can wave to the dive shop guys while shaving my armpits and the doors may or may not be providing full coverage? Right? Anyway, what's done is done, and I am finally clean ... with some possible new friends.   
Oh, and for any of you cruisers who are thinking about going to Roatan and find yourself in a similarly dirty situation I would recommend going to Brooksy Point Marina for services. There are fewer monkeys, but the shower has a definite door.


  1. According to the research I just did, the rodent is commonly called a Guatusa rabbit, but is, in fact, a rodent (rabbits aren't rodents, they're in an entirely different order). So there you go. Seeing animals I've never heard of before is my favorite experience. The monkeys have to be imports. Funny that they have taken over.

    1. That's the word they used! Of course, we asked a local, but I couldn't quite understand what he said. (Some folks here speak in this awesome linguistic amalgamation of English, Spanish and Afro-Caribbean, which is great to listen to but difficult to decipher.) Thank you so much for being an animal stalker, and we figured it was a type of rodent, judging by its teeth and capybara resemblance.

      There are only three monkeys on this tiny cayo, but man, they cause some serious trouble.

  2. I am so sad there is no monkey video. I have a thing for monkeys. I also think every swear word sounds better if you tack 'monkey' on to the end of it. Try it, you will see that I am right. :)

  3. hah! I think I might throw a monkey off if it jumped on me!! I know what you mean about wanting a shower...I am hoping I can learn to deal with showers at anchor..