Hounduras Banana Coast- Title

Our morning approach to Trujillo, Honduras.

 

On his fourth and last voyage to the New World, August 14, 1502, Christopher Columbus landed at Trujillo, Honduras, the first time he had touched Central America. He noted its deep waters and called them the Bay of Honduras. Twenty-two years later, Hernan Cortes ordered Christobal de Olid to make a Spanish settlement in Trujillo, and Honduras became a Spanish possession. In 1550, the Spanish built the fort, Fortaleza de Santa Barbara to protect its possession, but it proved ineffective in holding off the pirates who were attracted to the area. In 1683 the largest gathering of pirates in history fought over the area. In 1821 Honduras became an independent country, the first Central American country to do so. At that time Trujillo lost its capital status and it was moved inland, now in Tegucigalpa. Trujillo became known for its cattle, and around 1880 started exporting bananas. The banana story involves big companies, disease, and most recently, in 1998, Hurricane Mitch, which destroyed many plantations. However, bananas are still important, with Dole and Chiquita managing most of the export. Despite this, Trujillo is a town of only about 18,000 people who average a monthly income of $300.

With no deepwater port facilities, the Ryndam anchored off shore and we took tenders ashore. Pat did not enjoy her previous experience with tenders; lightning and thunder played a part in that story, so she elected to stay aboard for the visit. I decided that a kayak trip would be interesting and took one of the early boats ashore to meet with the tour.

 

Lowering the tender from the Ryndam.

The tenders serve both as life boats and as liberty boats when anchored off shore.

 

Departing Ryndam

Looking back at Ryndam through the Plexiglas window.

 

Approaching Trujillo

Making our way to Trujillo.

 

 

Women dance at the ship dock.

At the boat landing, women in local dress dance to vibrant music.

 

The bus ride to the mangrove lagoon.

Our kayak guide, Allen, points out the local lifestyle as we travel eastbound.

 

The before photograph of our kayaking group.

The "before" shot of our small kayaking group.

 

Loading the kayaks.

Launching into a narrow arm of the lagoon.

 

Paddling between mangroves.

Working our way between the mangrove trees.

 

We open out into the lagoon.

We open out into a relatively shallow lagoon. The long roots of the mangroves run down through the salt water into the sand. The roots not only filter the water, but provide a protected nursery for small fish and other sea creatures. Fishing is not permitted in the lagoon, but crabbing for the small Blue Crabs is allowed.

 

A dugout made from a single log.

This crabber had just brought his dugout ashore.

 

Close up shot of the dugout.

The Honduran jungle has huge trees, suited for making dugout boats.

 

 

A crabber with his son.

A man and his boy were crabbing from an old Sunfish sailboat. School is compulsory through sixth grade.

 

Commerants on a mangrove tree.

We saw Ospreys, a kind of eagle, Pelicans, Herrons and in this case, Commerants.

 

Old fishing boats in Honduras.

Several generations of fishing boats parked by a fisherman's house. The tide change is less than one foot, so boats can handle being beached.

 

Oil palm trees.

As we walked the trail back to the bus, we saw a plantation of palm-oil palms.