Well a lot has
happened since our last entry.
Rob & Sheralee
were given a baptism of fire to cruising. As we headed south to San Pedro
Belize, the winds were gusting 43kts and the seas were 8 to 10 feet.
Unfortunately, neither of them had their sea legs, nor had they ever sailed in
rough weather, nor had they ever done an overnight passage.
Sheralee fared a
little better than Rob, and the two of them spent most of the trip firmly
ensconced in the cockpit, unable to go down below to sleep. As you can see from
the photo the seas were rather high. It was a hard passage for them both, but
they braved it out without any fuss.
Matters were made
worse by the fact that the weather was too rough to attempt to enter the gap
through the reef and go into San Pedro, so it meant sailing south the English
Channel, a night landfall and anchoring at Water Cay.
This was a first for
me as we had never anchored in the dark before, still it was good practice. The
CQR anchor could get a good hold, so we switched to the Danforth, which took
The winds were still
strong as we settled down for a good nights sleep, but funnily enough it didn’t
We had been unable to
get hold of a Belizian courtesy flag, so I made one!!! As I only had tiny tubes
of acrylic paint I had to water it down to make it go further, so our flag looks
well used and faded.
The next day we
headed in to Belize City to clear in. We anchored off The
Radisson hotel, but it was too rough to get the dinghy down, so we upped anchor
and headed for Gallows Point as it was closer to Belize
On the second attempt
we got a firm holding. It was a lovely
protected anchorage and that evening we were treated to a lovely sunset and the
sounds of Manatees surfacing around us.
Up early the next
morning we headed back to Belize
City to clear in. It was still rough out of the
protection of the anchorage, but we had to clear in before Good Friday, or we
wouldn’t be able to clear in until the following Tuesday, which would mean we
were stuck there until then.
It turned out to be a
good move, because it was so rough, the Customs, Immigration, Health and
Quarantine officers decided not to come out to the boat, but instead did the
business in the coast guards office.
Finally cleared in,
we headed back to the anchorage.
The next day, Rob,
who after 7 days had not been in the water (I believe this is unheard of for
him) decided he had to go in. So we lowered the dinghy and went exploring the
As we set sail for
Coulsons Cay the next day we were treated to several sightings of a Manatee. It
is the first one any of us had seen in the wild.
Coulsons Cay was yet
another little island, with no beaches. But it did have some interesting
snorkelling. At first we were all a bit disappointed as it appeared to be only
Turtle grass on the bottom and no coral, but then on closer inspection there
were lots of new corals growing, dozens of lovely cushion star fish, conch, and
it was a veritable nursery for juvenile fish, many of which we had never seen
Sheralee and I went
back to the boat, as, despite spf 50, we were burning but the boys went off
We had read that
there was a blue hole somewhere around the area and the boys came back very
excited having found not one but 3.
After a quick snorkel
round the blue holes the next morning, we upped anchor and made way for Garbutts
Upon first seeing the
little island, I got quite excited as it had beaches!!!!! You have to remember
that 3 of the crew hadn’t set foot on dry land for 10 days!!!
So, once we had
anchored, we dropped the dinghy and went exploring. The book had said there was
good snorkelling, but we didn’t find it.
The beaches on the
island were made up of dead coral and rubbish which was very
But the shallows were
interesting with lots of cushion starfish and sea
We were heading back
to the boat when we decided to see if we could get into the lagoon. We had the
Lookee Bucket on board (a bucket with a clear bottom) and it was while we
looking to see if the bottom was ok to go over that we found a spectacular coral
garden and wall.
The boys had their
gear (as we girls were too sunburnt) and so they went snorkelling while we went
back to the boat. But we had a surprise when we got back.
There, right next to
the boat was a dolphin and her baby. Unfortunately the boys had the cameras so
we didn’t get a photo.
We had a splendid
dinner that night, the sky was clear and full of stars, so we took a bottle of
bubbly and laid on deck all night enjoying the stars, the weather and good
At 8.30 the next
morning we had a visitor, Mayor Harry in his dugout canoe.
He is the mayor of
his little island, where he lives with his dog. We gave him our old ensign as he
collects them. Indeed he has decided to call his island Unitednations Island and
promoted himself to secretary general. He went beachcombing and brought us some
seashells and then went and picked us some Noni fruit to make Noni juice, which
is good for you.
He paddled off,
wishing us a safe journey and we headed for Dangriga. This had not been our
intention, but I was getting worried about the lack of fresh fruit and veg on
board. You see when I was victualling in Playa del Carmen, I had read that San
Pedro was good shopping, so thought I would get it all there and thus only
bought enough to get us down there. Well, as we didn’t get in there, I didn’t
get any more veg and fruit. So we have been eating tinned veg. I know it’s not a
big deal, but I am trying to keep those for emergencies when we can’t get any
Plus we had 2 big
sacks of rubbish on the after deck that was beginning to attract unwanted
attention. Roger reluctantly agreed due to navigational issues and took us over
to the mainland which was an hour away from Garbutts. The wind was up again, so
Sheralee & I got wetter than we would have liked. But we went to the market,
got some good vegetables and met Charlie, the local ‘guide’. Charlie has been
guiding ‘Gringos’ for 17 years.
He took us to Val’s
café and there we managed to get hold of some lovely freshly baked banana bread,
courtesy of Yvette.
A message came in
over the radio from Roger, could we get some beer (supplies were critically
low). Charlie went and bought us a dozen bottles and we headed back to the creek
to be picked up by Roger.
After a tricky
departure we set sail again but this time for Twin Cays. Apparently there are
lots of manatee there, so I hope to get some good photos.