The Ships of La Ceiba Shipyard are fishing boats. Probably 95% are hand-me-downs from the Louisiana Gulf shrimping fleet. There may be thousands of these vessels throughout the Bay Islands and coastal Honduras, some fit and spry, and some on life support.
SEA BREEZE SHARK
We had the fortune, not sure if good or bad, to be in the shipyard during the three months that the fishing (lobstering/conching/snow crabbing) season is closed and the ‘fix the boat’ season was open.
These guys were paddling out to work on one of the most derelict of the vessels; on the next trip a couple went back with a big portable generator they’d taken home for the weekend, against theft, I guess.
The shipyard has been hot, hot hot, but the main reason for the nighttime welding is simply because there is so much to do.
Before welding comes sandblasting. The sand is actually “Black Magnum” anthracite coal pellets, shipped in from Illinois in cement-type bags. We are still finding bits of it in our scuppers.
The birds still sing in the morning – we’re right next to a perch in a one-tooth remnant patch of mangrove. Later all the music is ‘techno’: routers, sanders, the roar of the air compressor, atonal chipping hammer percussion.
We also met KARLA who rode in on her scooter every day to deliver styrofoam trays of lunch, $2 each, order ahead. Sometimes I’d call her and through the music and babies crying in the background she’d know it was me: “Oh Dona Ana, dos almuerzos, un cerdo y un pollo, si?” “Si, Karla, gracias”
We learned to stay away from the ‘res’ beef though.
Before we left we said goodbye to the Westerbeke, going home in Luis’s truck. That’s Toby, a fun boat kid in front. Good think Luis came back for a rope to hold the box in the truck bed; when he returned it he said he’d almost lost it on a hill.