Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A Month In Belize

The Rio Dulce River exits Guatemala right below Belize. It is hard to leave the fresh water beauty of the Rio but we can't wait to get going back to Belize and further north. We will enter the Gulf of Honduras and spend the night at Tres Puntas, a spit of land that provides some protection from the wind and waves. From there we will head due east to a small group of islands inside the reef. We are ready.
Leaving Mario's marina we have to unplug from our shore power. It is very symbolic. No more endless power. We also have to give up our endless shore water source. We have never appreciated these two gifts as much as we have since we began living on our boat. We will now have to make our own water and generate electricity via our generator or engines. We are leaving with our friends, Liz and Craig, on the boat Salida.
It is a beautiful day we picked to leave. calm seas but no wind so we are making water while the engines are running. We are making 11 gallons per hour but we only have one water tank we can use. This tank will hold 50 gallons. Our other tank has a leak and even though it is a small leak and it runs right into the bilge, we are not going to use it. We know how to conserve water and we can make 50 gallons last a long time.

Along the shore is endless beauty. The gold flowers on these trees are called "shrimp flowers". Unfortunately not edible.

We chit chat with Salida behind us and make our plans for an overnight stop at Texan Bay to pick up one of our sails that has been repaired by the local sail shop. Texan Bay has BBQ tonight. Yes, there are alot of boaters from Texas here. Just look at the map of the US and Central America and you will see why. It is a straight shot south. Easy!

We have a few stowaways onboard.

We leave Texan Bay and head to Livingston, Guatemala. It is the last small town before we head into the Gulf of Honduras. We visit immigration, customs and the Port Captain for our clearance to leave. Without the proper paperwork we cannot check into the next country. Lots of bureaucracy here.
There is a bit of traffic in the Bay of Honduras. Bananas are a big export.

We put some lines in the water and forget to put the clicker on. A while later we notice the pole almost bent in half. There is a big fish on our hook. He has almost pulled all the line off the reel. We put the lock on to keep from unspooling completely and then the line snaps. That sort of summarizes our fishing experience. We need to pay attention!

We arrive at the Sapodilla Cays and what a reward. Great weather. Great scenery.

First one in......the water is 82 and feels great.

And so does a nap on the bow.
And then it is time to enjoy a beautiful sunset.

We get a few days of good weather and enjoy the small islands at the outer reef of southern Belize. A cold front from the north spoils everything and we head west to the town of Placencia for some potection from the upcoming wind . At this point we also discover a few "gremlins' onboard our boat.  All boats get visited by gremlins at various times. They are an annoyance and break stuff. They begin with removing one of our props somewhere between the Sapodilla Cays and Placencia. Ouch. We have very nice and expensive props. We are now minus one and getting boat parts shipped to Belize is EXPENSIVE. We are very lucky that another boat has a standard issue prop he is willing to loan us for our trip north to the USA. We still have to ship in a few small parts so while we wait we go on an island tour with Liz and Craig. Golf cart time.

You put the rum in the coconut and .....

Small beach side resort with great fish and chips.

Island rental

Afternoon delight.

Basil mojito....


Purple potatoes

Favorite signs

Where the majority of boats anchor in Placencia. There are lots of boats here because Placencia is a great little town with grocery stores and restaurants. The anchorage can get a bit rolly when the wind comes from the south so we move a big lagoon a bit further away
And we have the whole place to ourselves. It is good to be in a protected anchorage while we wait for our prop part, replace the thermostat on our freezer, troubleshoot and repair our generator, replace the burnt out fan on the refrigerator. 
And you thought all we did was eat and drink mojitos!

With our boat back together we leave Placencia. We head right back out to the reef. It is like a magnet for us. We love the water. We love the breeze. We love the remoteness. We love the fact that we can be back in a cool town withing a few hours.
Salida is still with us or perhaps we are with Salida? They have not been scared away by our gremlin attack. Here Salida is enjoying some really skinny water.

Blue water, green water, crystal clear water all around

Rendezvous Caye

A little rendezvous!

Local fishing boat

A few days later we are back in the cool town of Caye Caulker. Located at the north end of Belize we will sit out another cold from here. We have winds reaching to 30 knots. With our anchor set very well in deep white sand we are not worried. But we have switched to rum and coke. Just in case.
This little piggy went to market and never came home :(
Caye Caulker also has some fantastic restaurants. This poor little pig is dinner and it almost made us want to become vegetarians.Almost. But it tasted so very very good. La Cubana roasts a pig everyday. There are lots of tourists here and the pig does not go to waste. 

Another fine restaurant in Caye Caulker

With delicious spinach the vegetarian thing a try

The cold front has almost moved on. There is still some wind but tomorrow is the day we leave for Lighthouse Reef. Lighthouse Reef is a beautiful atoll with great diving and snorkeling. We will spend a few days there before we head to Mexico.

A Windy Day In Caye Caulker.

See you in Isla Mujeres soon.

Steve and Anne
S/V Fine Line