Archive for: ‘February 2014’

Southern Belize Laps

February 27, 2014 Posted by Deb


We are getting acquainted with the southern islands of Belize. We seemed to have skipped them in our 1996 sailing and multiple charters in the 2000’s. No excuse other than TMM boats don’t make it this far south. We did a lap of Wippari, Cary, Moho, Hatchet, and Ranguana Cayes followed by one day of physical therapy for Deb in Placencia.

The Wippari Restaurant And Bar With Freighter Mooring Line Railings

The Wippari Restaurant And Bar With Freighter Mooring Line Railings

We exited the next day for a lap starting with Pelican and who knows where it will end up. The Pelican run was close hauled at a blazing 3.5 knots in 6-8 knots of apparent wind.

Neytiri From An Abandoned Fishing Camp - Pelican

Neytiri From An Abandoned Fishing Camp – Pelican

Tropical Island Designated For Refrigerator And Sheet Metal Disposal - Pelican

Tropical Island Designated For Refrigerator And Sheet Metal Disposal – Pelican

We have basically been perpetuating the stereotype with lazy days, small islands, coral dodging, obscure island restaurants, and snorkeling. Minor excitement has come from jumping in after blown off hats and returning in three foot chop against current through pilings covered in barnacles (Chuck) and some additional minor excitement as we discovered Ranguana has not only a U.S. $10 per head charge for setting foot on the island but the lunch is $20 and beers make up the difference for a $70 visit for a quick lunch for two people. We had some major excitement from getting hung up on a mooring ball as the wind kited us while I was busy securing the second line. We noticed there was a problem when the starboard engine went “chunk” and quit. Oops. Another snorkeling opportunity.

Looking Straight Up from My Hammock on Ranguana

Looking Straight Up from My Hammock on Ranguana

Lazy Sunday Afternoon

Lazy Sunday Afternoon

Not Clear That The Hat Was Worth It - Hatchet

Not Clear That The Hat Was Worth It – Hatchet Caye

Deb Tracking Down Wifi Off A Ranguana Cabana

Deb Tracking Down WIFI Off A Ranguana Caye Cabana

Belize and Guatemala: Before and After

February 17, 2014 Posted by Deb

Thought it would be fun to match up a few of the old shots from 1996 on Sanity with our current activities on Neytiri. We don’t comment on the effect of 18 years on the people in these shots … was that really us?







Belize For Sale

February 17, 2014 Posted by Deb

I was curious about the number of For Sale signs I had been seeing between here and the outskirts of Placencia on the 4.5-mile stretch. By my count, 52, with another 18 on the main drag in town. We don’t know what normal is around here but that seems like a lot and they don’t seem to move too quickly.


Placencia Sidewalk Arts & Music Festival

February 15, 2014 Posted by Deb

The town is hopping this weekend for the annual art festival. Deb and our friend from Caper, Augie, volunteered to work as art festival helpers.


I went in to see the festival and meet up with Deb. My bike must have and auto-pilot set to the Barefoot Bar and Grill or Yoli’s. I did run into Deb and Augie at the Barefoot but they were drinking something non-alcoholic. That’s right … some people still do that. I don’t and didn’t.

Deb & Augie with Watermelon Juice

Deb & Augie with Watermelon Juice

Sailed the little Hobie Cat from Robert’s Grove to the Barefoot Bar with a good southeast wind just the other day.

Barefoot Bar is Beckoning

Barefoot Bar is Beckoning

Valentine's Day Happy Hour

Valentine’s Day Happy Hour

Big Three in Big Creek

February 13, 2014 Posted by Deb

We made our monthly trip to Immigration, Customs, and the Port Authority at Big Creek.  We had been skipping the Port Authority and Customs in the past and heard that we were in a bit of trouble. We either had to plead stupid or misinformed (latter) and get the Customs folks happy enough to discuss the fact that we needed to stay beyond our 90-day limit. After a number of “No way” and “Not possible” comments, I played the “Deb is doing physical therapy in Placencia for six weeks” card (mostly true) and they finally gave me a verbal OK but nothing in writing. So, a little pleading and $400 U.S. and we’re here for 120 days.

Jumping on the Hokey Pokey for the Trip to Immigration and the Port Captain

Trip to Port Captain in Belize's Banana Shipping District

Trip to Port Captain in Belize’s Banana Shipping District

Caper, on the other hand, wasn’t so lucky. They were coming up on the tail end of their 90 days and customs freaked out and used the “confiscate” phrase. The owner, Dale, had just flown home so Augie, his mother, had to do some fast document scanning and make a few phone calls to call off the troops.

Hanging Out in Blue Creek to Catch the Water Taxi Back to Placencia

Hanging Out in Blue Creek to Catch the Water Taxi Back to Placencia

Wake Up Call

February 11, 2014 Posted by Deb

A hot water hose ruptured at about 2:00 a.m. a few days ago. We initially assumed the fresh water pump had finally croaked because it was running continuously. We then noticed the bilge pump was running in the port engine room.

We found clothes, popped the engine room hatch, and saw about 50 gallons of water and 80/90 lower unit oil sloshing around. The lower unit oil was from a long-term leak in the saildrive that accumulates in the well under the engine … not, however, with 50 gallons of hot water roaming free. About then we discovered the bilge pump had failed. I climbed in and started to hand pump and Deb hauled the mess off the boat at about 2-3 gallons per trip. We have drop-in backup pumps but the oily mess would have made a cleaning nightmare out of it. Fortunately we were in a marina which disproves Captain Ron’s saying, “If anything is going to happen … it’ll happen out there.”

The clean up took a chunk of the night and the following day and the bilge pump replacement took three days, mostly from scouring Placencia for hose, hose clamps, barbs, and couplers to match a French-dimensioned fresh water system to the new 1.13 size of current system. In some cases, there was no match and that is where 5200 came in as a temporary McGyver. The remaining challenge was to get to bed after being covered in 80/90 oil from the knees and elbows down.

90-Weight Oil Skin Treatment

90-Weight Oil Skin Treatment


2:00 a.m. Bilge Pumping

2:00 a.m. Bilge Pumping

Waiting for Crew

February 2, 2014 Posted by Deb

Deb flew north to Iowa to get the car off blocks and un-bag some winter clothing and headed further north to Minnesota to try to time the coldest weather and worst storms of the season. Missions accomplished. The reason for the trip north turned out to be two herniated disks and several large bone spurs that were shutting down her right arm and triggering the crazy bone nerve for the last seven weeks. Fun stuff.

Iowa: Tropical Pool Fun in January

Iowa: Tropical Pool Fun in January

Heading North on I-35 in My "Summer" Car

Heading North on I-35 in Deb’s “Summer” Car

Robert’s Grove – Nice Living

We moved the boat to Robert Grove Marina because Deb’s trip north was an unknown for length and I may have to fly out of here as well. The marina area is under construction. It is quite a hike to a bathroom and the cruiser showers have not been built yet. Not a big deal because the cruisers haven’t shown up here either. They are offering specials and trying but not much action as yet. They also haven’t hooked up the meters yet so we’ll see how they charge for electricity and water. The resort is finished and it is pretty nice. Oh … the gym and all the toys including bikes, windsurfers, and Hobie Cats are free.

Life at Robert's Grove Marina: Lagoon Side

Life at Robert’s Grove Marina: Lagoon Side

Quiet Spot in the Lagoon for Neytiri

Quiet Spot in the Lagoon for Neytiri

Robert's Grove Oceanside

Robert’s Grove Oceanside

A Little Contrast: Deb in Minnesota Staying Warm at Mike & Carole's

A Little Contrast: Deb in Minnesota Staying Warm at Mike & Carole’s

A Day Off

I drilled out two rusty bolts in high wind off Caye Caulker to repair the solar panels. We tried to catch all the rust bits but in a few days the boat developed a massive outbreak of brown rust spots. Thirty hours later, I believe we have the upper hand. I dug the tiny little flecks out with a knife, vacuumed up the flecks, dabbed ospho on the stain, waited, washed, and then neutralized with baking soda. That pretty well tore up my back and arms so I declared a day off.

Free Beach Cruiser on the Road to Placencia

Free Beach Cruiser on the Road to Placencia

Hobie Cat Toe Sailing

Hobie Cat Toe Sailing

I bike into Placencia for lunch most days, about 4.5 miles away. I’ve been hitting Yoli’s, Barefoot, and Tipsy Tuna because, for me, eating near the water is mandatory. I’ll be making one night bike trip tomorrow for the big super bowl party. We’ll see how the trip back in the dark goes. I do intend to take the Hobie Cat into Placencia when the wind is right … that will be a blast and I will take a paddle and a VHF.

More Caribbean Signs