16:47.084N 88:18.370W

If Knot Y Knot
Patricia Day
Wed 16 Jan 2013 19:19

Santuary Marina, Sapodilla Lagoon

Sunday 13

0630 anchor up and away.  Within an hour I was able to turn off the engine and sail.  The wind did not go over 20 and usually remained in the mid teens at a beautiful angle for the course.  I still have not sorted the main, so that was 1/3 out up to the spreaders, and with the genoa boat speed was up to 4.6 knots and 1 knot of current gave speed over the ground of 5.6.  I only had 15 miles to go and was in by 11.  We are staying at Sanctuary Belize, a new marina being built in Sapodilla Lagoon.  The docks are well built, not the wooden slats on wooden pilings I have been used to.  Only 3 spaces had been finished, the hammer head for the dockmaster’s 60’ boat and one long one for Homer’s Odyssey and one short one for me.  This marina is well protected and in a natural hurricane hole, maybe somewhere to consider if I do not take the boat back to Europe.

I had a second attempt at the extending arm and have re-inforced it with a second upright fitting.  This seems good, but it is now fixed permanently in the out position, good for the cockpit, but the back seat cushion does not go back fully and it might be a little in the way for sitting there.  I will find out if it holds up to rough sea and then work on another modification, later.


Monday 14

Stan came and looked at my sails.  The genoa was being impeded at the top by the two ropes that I haul the dinghy with, somehow they had got the wrong side of the mast at some point.  The main furler was through the boom and round the sheave, but then over the back of the boom, acting as a brake.  I did not see this because of the new canopy.  It just took a new set of eyes and all is sorted, thanks, Stan.

We went for the guided tour round the marina estate, only a fraction of it because there are thousands of acres of park land and development land.  We also had a quick look at the resort which is very expensive, $500 a night, but anything you want can be provided.  If you are going to worry about the cost, don’t bother to look into it.

In the afternoon we went into Dangriga to check out.  John and Lucy took us in the car and it is a good way on not brilliant roads with lots of speed bumps.

Nobody was in Customs, we went to Immigration and were told that everyone was on the pier.

We went down there and confirmed that this is not somewhere to anchor to check out.  The pier was a rickety construction and on it was the small ferry from Puerto Cortex, Honduras.  Quite why this warranted so much attention we could not figure.  The traffic police were keeping everyone back.  The Port Authority guys had come from Belize City, Immigration and Customs were there.  We established that the Customs guy would come back and check us out at 5 before checking another boat.

We went and filled my butane bottle, 7lb for B$10, very cheap.

Then John took Stan and I to Immigration while the others went to the supermarket. 

Immigration were a laugh a minute, but we got the required stamps.  We said we were leaving in the morning, but to get a receipt for the fee we had to come back tomorrow.  Hmm.

Then we went to wait for Customs.  Everyone went home and they rolled down the shutters.  Only the door was left unlocked.  The woman wanted to go home, but she did phone the man twice and he said he was coming in a minute.  We waited a very long time, but eventually he turned up.  Evidently Monday not only has the excitement of the ferry it also has the cruise ship, 130 passengers.  We did not see if this made it to the pier or if it anchored off in the bay.  The Customs man was coming to us between boats, but he had gone to the cruise liner and had to tear himself away from the food and drink he was being plied with.  Always good to stay on the right side of the officials.

We did not talk to the Port Authority guys as they are not present here usually and Customs issue the port clearance.  I paid up front for 2 weeks and have checked out within the week, nobody asked to see the permit.

Belize officials are struggling to deal with a single female on a boat.  I have to contain myself.  At check in to Belize the Immigration man’s response to the situation was ”you mean there is no captain on the boat?” Stan thought I was going to deck him over the counter.

This guy said it was a first for him in 25 years.  Was I really sure there was nobody else on the boat? 

I was able to get his attention when we went to occupation, Accountant.  The man was about to start University in England for Accountancy.  Why would he?  A nice job in Customs seems preferable to me. He was asking where to go, Manchester he was thinking, I suggested Brighton because it is expensive in the South, but Brighton was so well set up for students.  He had to get his application in by tomorrow.

We left there and went to a Chinese restaurant for what was originally going to be lunch and ended up as dinner.