Interview of Liveaboard Sailor at Rio Dulce Guatemala

Interview of Liveaboard Sailor at Rio Dulce Guatemala

Video interview with Chris who sailed from South Africa to Guatemala and now lives anchored in the river called Rio Dulce on the Caribbean side of Guatemala. He explains his boat, his life, and how he has lived since 2006 until now as a retired person on the anchor in his Sailboat the Free Spirit.

"Life on the Hook."

Chris Diedericks in Sailboat "Free Spirit," from South Africa
Email: sevenseaschris AT
Qualifications: R.Y.A. Yacht master / R. up to 200 Tons Commercially / R.Y.A. Cruising Instructor

Rio Dulce, Fronteras, Guatemala --- Tuesday, July 20, 2010
On the river by the name "Rio Dulce" in the city of Fronteras, Guatemala
By Andy Graham of


Part 1:
Interview of Liveaboard Sailor at Rio Dulce Guatemala

Part 2:
Interview of Liveaboard Sailor at Rio Dulce Guatemala

Part 3:
Interview of Live aboard Sailor at Rio Dulce Guatemala

Chris in his dinghy as he approached the dock at the Rio Bravo Restaurant in the city of Fronteras, that is commonly called "Rio Dulce."

This is the sailboat by the name "Free Spirit."

Sailboat on the Rio Dulce, or the Sweet River in English that leads to the Caribbean and the city of Livingston that is on the ocean.


I wish to thank Chris for the interview and help in understanding how to live
"Life on the Hook."

Andy Graham of in Rio Dulce, Guatemala
Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Interview of Liveaboard Sailor at Rio Dulce Guatemala


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Hi Andy,

I just saw Part 1 and I'm looking forward to Parts 2 and 3.

How exciting. This is a man that loves his life--"The only way I'll leave this boat is to be carried off horizontally". That is a man with passion.

I learned a lot too.

It's nice to see your face and I can put it to your wonderful blog. And tell Chris a big thank you for sharing his life. I've got emotions stirring in me as I write.

Also, Chris looked in wonderful physical shape.

I'm wondering--Do you hook up with Wade from Vagabond Journey? And what was that internet chip you mentioned in the video, that thing that was lying on Chris's desk?

Great interviews. What an interesting guy with a wonderful story to tell. Would love to hear a bit more about his favorite ports, his immediate and future plans, just to get a better idea of life on the hook, but these three interviews really gave the foundation of what it could be like.
Hope you have the opportunity to sail a little and maybe crew some so you could get a feel for whether this is the place for your year-long closet.
Do people ever need "boat sitters" or does anyone down there lease or rent boats for limited periods?
Keep up the good work.

Internet Access with USB Chip
For about 35 dollars a month a person can use a USB Modem and have Internet in all of Guatemala and 8 gigs of transfer. This is also in Honduras.

I have met with Wade of Vagabond Journey, however in most ways he is in an isolated resort and working. I do not stop at deserted or isolated resorts, they are just too restrictive for me, I like to move from place to place easily.

With a boat, I could go to Finca Tatan, but is for tourist, I am not a tourist. Today, I live on the Rio Dulce in La Fonda Escondida for 66 Q per day. AC, TV Cable and Swimming pool...

Andy, first that you for the fine blog. I really enjoy reading it. In particular, thank you for this fine interview with Chris Diedericks. It is a dream of mine to spend some time at sea on a boat like the Free Sprit with a guy like Chris. Yes, he is really living the life. A man full of insight. Thank you again

I have also visited Rio Dulce a couple times to visit freinds who had found this wonderful place. It is a great lay over for hurricane season. I am planning on doing this in a few years. Natassja and Johnny are ready for adventure but a little more saving first. Great interview. Thanks,

Andy, thanks for responding to my comment.

Your interview was compelling. You asked the questions that I would have asked. I would be curious too about loneliness at sea, and does he fish while at sea and cook the fish. It must be so fascinating to be around someone like Chris, he's truly living life on his own terms.

Also, at $750/month for slip rent in the US, did that break his budget.

For the time though in your interview, you asked the pertinent questions.

I know you've written about owning a boat and doing what Chris does. As the saying goes, "Be careful what you dream, it's liable to come true". I don't think it'll be too long before you have your own boat.

And Andy, do you have any favorite sea faring blogs that you like a lot?

Enjoyed it Andy.
You do seem to be enthused about this boat.

Buen Suartes with the direction of your traveling.


What I have gleaned off:

1. Less than 2 percent are 365 Days per year living on the boat, this is Chris.

2. 98 percent just store their boats here and are what I call "Snowbird Sailors." They are just spending Winter on the boat.
---- NOTE: 99 percent of this group is Married.

3. 90 Percent are over 60-65 and are retired.

4. 2 percent have maybe sailed across the ocean or went away from seeing land.

5. Five to 20 percent of the boats need work and cannot be sailed.
(This group is fed up with the whole idea and would sell if you could find them.)

6. 10-20 percent of the engines or motors are not running or working.

7. There is a Radio Network here and you can get on this radio network in the morning and advertise, although of the 600 boats here, maybe 50 of the people are here to listen.

Bottom line, these Sailboats in 95 percent of the situations are used only for snowbird homes.

What I believe at the end of the day, 35-40 foots is best because one person can manage. If I want one, I can wait and someone will give to me, or for 2-5,000 dollars. There is no reason to pay more, and for me, I am going to live on it, fixing a boat is easy for me.

If you cannot do motor work, I would say this is a horrible investment, i.e.. If you do not have the ability to overhaul a motor than you better have a boatload of money.

I will get a boat when I find one that:

a. Motor runs
b. 35-42 feet long.
c. Can sail, the boat has the sails to be sailed.
d. In the water, any boat on the hard is just too much headache to dealt with or purchased.

Andy Graham

Note, the 1000 per month he spend is in my opinion what Chris spends to live, I mean food, and small purchases and this is exaggerated.

Paying to dock a boat in the USA is a huge mistake.... hehehe

Inspirational. Is Chris familiar with Al- kemal as a navigational instrument {used by those having sailed arab dhows}?

Great interview. Can you get the name of his dentista ?

DDS R U Kidding

Andy, thank you so much for the video's of Chris and his boat! In my mind this is the best one yet, keep up the good work!

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