|A Caye Caulker Kind of Evening|
The last blog told of our time in Guatemala and ended after we had cleared out at Livingston and were headed for Belize. And always, figuring out how to live while missing our boy. Six weeks have gone by and we have been sailing in crystal waters under the blue skies of Belize and visiting palm tree laden islands. Definately balm for the soul.
|Approaching tiny islands-Ranguana Caye|
|Roy had Rack of Lamb at Hatchet|
|Vivid Fan corals and a school of Grunts|
One of our chores was delivering packages from the Rio to other cruisers. Cockpit cushions for Lapis went to Seadragon for further forwarding, Flor de Caña rum went to Emerald Seas and a box of goodies was delivered to Alte Mae. Just part of the musical chairs as played by cruising boats.
|Alte Mae, our buddies|
|A toast to the birthday girl|
|Swings at North Long Coco|
|Swinging San Pedro|
|Roy & Kent ravishing a breadfruit tree on Caye Caulker|
|Wahoo's keel at anchor - San Pedro|
|waves wash over the reef|
Glad we have a good anchor!
Eventually we finally made it back South to Southwater Caye, one of the jewels of Belize for 4 days of fun. Southwater is another caye that sits right on the reef and has been named a UNESCO site. It is also one of Belize's Marine Parks. So visiting boats pay $10BZ ($5US) per person per night. You find some of the clearest water here and the snorkeling off of nearby Carrie Bow Caye is spectacular. IZE (International Zoological Expedition) is here plus a couple of eco friendly resorts.
|While there's a cool seaside bar on the island we found our own spot for evening Sundowners!|
|All us cruisers at anchor in Sapodilla Lagoon|
|When we visited in 2013|
Belize is so small, just 180 miles long and 60 miles wide. The distance from mainland to reef varies from 12 to 24 miles. Except for the three offshore atolls the islands are within the reef. Most sailboats sail at 5 to 6 knots per hour so a 4 hour sail easily gets you away from the mainland and out in the cayes. There is an inner deep water channel that runs along the coast North-South, then inner islands that are mostly mangrove cayes with a 2nd deep water channel once you have moved more South. The water East of the inner channel is studded with hundreds of cayes that are surrounded by coral even before you reach the reef. So once you’re out of the inner channel you keep a good look out. That description sounds more treacherous than it is as there's plenty of open water between the cayes and the charts are fairly complete even if they are old. I guess islands don’t move around all that much.
|Ha Ha, Beware...|
|the ladies are coming!|
Belize cayes feel much more isolated than the BVIs. Nowhere near the number of boats means you’ll often have an anchorage to yourself. It also means you should provision well as the bars and restaurants while out sailing are few. You also won’t find $30/night mooring balls; so know how to anchor and trust your ground tackle. But the distances are short. Day stops at cayes untenable as an overnight anchorage are easy and if what you enjoy is sailing, sun and snorkeling or diving there is no better place.
The NW Caribbean Net adds a nice touch. Turn on your SSB (single side band) radio at 8am each morning and hear a fellow sailor reading a weather report, asking if anyone needs help and then monitoring the check-ins of all the boats out sailing around. This allows boats to stay in touch or arrange to meet. For those sailing North to Mexico or South to the Bay islands, it’s also a place to report your progress to sailors who want to make sure of your safe arrival.
Right now we’re once again in Sapodilla Lagoon, enjoying dinghy parties and Dave from Cordelia's music. We're waiting for a front to pass by and we plan to get back to sailing as soon we can!!
|I just know he's out there somewhere - at peace|