Man-O-War Cay, 12 Apr 2009
 
So I retired (some would say for the 2nd time) from IBM in October, 2007.  I had hired in with them right out of college in 1977.  I got to work on some interesting stuff over the years - mainframes when they were hot, TCP/IP, webservers, voice, life sciences.  I was in IBM Research for several years (just developing code) and had an office in the 801 Building in Yorktown Heights and that was a blast.  I had a really good manager (Anne) for the final 7 years at IBM and really appreciate that.
 
I took 3 years off in the mid-90's to go sailing on Breakaway.  During that time I visited Mexico, Belize and Guatemala.  I had heard Guatemala's Rio Dulce referred to as "The Gringo Eater" years before I went.  It seemed that gringos would go up the river and [cue spooky music] never return [end spooky music].  That's because they liked it so much and simply didn't want to leave.  Well, that's what happened to me.  I went there planning to stay 3 months (the length of your initial "boat visa").  But when it came time to leave, I decided it suited me fine and I ended up staying a year.  I wish I had never left.  But the money was running out and I had to go back and work for a little while longer.  My year there was the best time of my life.
 
Here is an article that tends to capture the feeling of the Rio Dulce.  And here is a website with current events.  When I was there in '94-'95 there was almost no boat-crime.
 
I live aboard Breakaway which is currently in the Bahamas. 
 
Mike Niemi
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