19:47.140N 87:26.83W Bahai de la Ascencion

If Knot Y Knot
Patricia Day
Sat 26 Jan 2013 12:59

Wednesday 23

This anchorage is not protected by a land mass, so the wind is still full strength.  However there is a submerged reef which stops the fetch of the waves from all across the Caribbean, but the big rollers get over the top and smack into the boat.  I let out more chain in the night and it is rolly and bouncy, but much better.  I do not have a snubber because in the big Westerly <not forecast> swell in the previous anchorage the line must have been rubbing on the second anchor and the rope was cut completely, both pieces and the chain hook is at the bottom of 40’ of water.  Later today I did fit a new rope with a shackle, I shall have to see if it will stand up to the conditions, I think I need a thicker rope.

0600 this morning and I had to leave early if I was going to get to the next bay in daylight.  The weather is disgusting, so I am not going anywhere until it cheers up. 

Just before I got to the gap in the reef on my way in I had a solitary dolphin that dived under the bow a couple of times, very subdued.  I took it that he was advising me of the entrance, but that I needed to concentrate. 

There are squalls with high winds and there is lots of rain.  Non sea-water is important on a boat, so I filled the bottled drinking water supply, I filled the tank, I washed me, the dishes and the clothes, even the towel which requires lots of water.  I don’t know how it is going to get dry, but it is under the canopy for now.  If it stops raining I could put it outside in the wind, but then I would have to catch it.  I am repeatedly thankful for my new canvas and arch.

Having run out of exciting things to do with water, the final task is to fill the kettle and make a hot chocolate and settle down in my trousers, big jumper and socks to warm up and rest. E-books, films, music, games all exciting things to do indoors when it is raining, but they require electricity.  The wind generator needs attention, so I am not trying to use it, which leaves the solar panel, usually very effective, but it is at best overcast so power is running down.  It’s not all sunshine over here, I know that, but even so I am still going to sulk. 

Lunchtime I turned on the radio and called Homers’ Odyssey and they answered.  Hooray.  They had not anchored in Chinchorro until mid morning yesterday.  I had given them my noon position by sat phone email the day before and they had given me their 1400 one, by SSB email.  I had thought there was a typo in the latitude because the number they had given me meant they were behind me.  Evidently it was correct, they were 15 miles behind me.  If I had realised then I could have gone into Chinchorro in the daylight, but I thought they would have been there all night and would have been taking their anchor up as I arrived.  They are a bigger boat and always faster, but I can point closer to wind than they can which makes a difference when sailing.  The engine is another matter, mine is small and in these conditions I would not get anywhere, so I have to sail and I have been doing very well, even if I do say so myself.

They have the SSB for the Cruisers Net and Sojourn could not believe that they were not wth me.  Poor Stan he will get over the fact that I beat him, but it will take a long time.

They arrived in the anchorage about 4pm, having left at 7am.  This has been a real slog to get to Mexico from Guatamala and nobody said it would be.  The weather is horrid and Lynn says this is the slowest progress they have made in nearly 30 years sailing, their mileage drops from 5 or 6 to average about 2 knots, allowing for the tacking.  I have found the same and it is not a lot of fun.  We even had current with us.

It continues to be rough, not so much rolly, but hobby-horsing and it is difficult to keep your balance, let alone do anything.

I have been having quick meals, fried tortillas with tinned sardines, tinned chicken and finally tinned tuna.  Today I just had a plate of plain boiled rice, anything else I am not sure I could have kept down, even if I could have stood up long enough to cook it.


Thursday 24

It was another rolly night and in the morning I found that my snubber rope had broken again, I knew I needed a thicker rope, but hoped it would last one night.  Stan’s snubber also broke in the night.

They can hear the Cruisers NW Caribbean Net and the main point for us was Francine, of Rendevous, had passed away with a stroke in Belize hospital.  We can only trust that Francine is at peace, but all our thoughts go to Peter at this time.

The news overshadowed my own little problems and reinforces the need to live life now.

I charged the computer and the batteries are up to 99%, I do not seem to have a problem, but I did turn the refrigerator off for a couple of days, there is nothing in there. 

Stan and Lynn launched their dinghy this afternoon and came over for a chat. 


Friday 25

The wind was ENE and so at first light I was off, Homers’ Odyssey overtook me before we got out of the bay.  The wind was 20-25 knots all day and to see the lower 20s was a luxury.   I was 2/3 genoa and main which was too much so I had to take the main down to ½.  The high wind also brought with it very large swells on the bow, unheeded from the other side of the Caribbean.  This meant I could not get the speed I needed and turned what should have been a nice day hop into a stressful unpleasant day.  Homer’s were able to make good speed even reefed and got anchored early afternoon, but it was 1730 and getting dark by the time I got there.  The genoa had ripped, the indoor radio mic was not working, <anything to do with having been shaken to the floor?> and I was not in a good mood.  It quite astounds me that despite all the technology the weather forecasts have been so incorrect.  It has taken us nearly 3 weeks to get effectively 300 miles.  The boats in Belize are also having horrid weather, what is going on?  Go to bed, everything is better in daylight.