Posts Tagged: ‘snorkeling’

Roatan 2017

April 6, 2017 Posted by Deb

We can’t believe it has been four years since Casa del Mar, Aquadesiac, Neytiri, and others visited these waters. We staged at Hatchet Caye in Belize with Jim and Renata of Emerald Seas for the overnight trip to Roatan. Emerald Seas detected some banging in their rudder on the way over to Hatchet and decided to head to Guatemala and RAM Marine to get it checked. We took off at about 3:00 in the afternoon alone. The wind dropped to somewhere in the 2 to 6 knot range and we didn’t even bother putting up a sail. The seas were calm and we motored on one engine at a time through the night. Not much to report except a lot of cruise ship dodging and a bit of adverse current at times.

We pulled into French Harbor, dropped the hook, and wondered where all the boats went. We practically owned the whole anchorage except for a couple of derelicts. An empty anchorage is a security concern since we learned four years ago that we had anchored in “Bandit Bay” one night. It turned out the boats had bailed for West Bay due to weather.

Neytiri in French Harbor

Neytiri in French Harbor

The Port Captain Shuffle

Check in procedures have changed and not for the better. Immigration moved to Plaza Mar in Coxen Hole, the Port Captain has to run everything through the capital now causing up to a five-day delay, and they want three pictures of the boat in digital form to be emailed to the capital. The Port Captain is also AWOL much of the day due to heavy cruise ship traffic (or long lunches) and he walked in at 2:30 p.m. We had been waiting since 1:00 and others longer. Deb had done a great job of putting our three pictures on one 8.5×11 piece of paper; and when we found out they wanted digital only, we took a picture of the piece of paper. No good. They wanted individual shots.

So … we failed. Eighty percent of the cruisers waiting in line until 2:30 also failed. The dockmaster here said they are trolling for tips, but they are on camera so it’s tough to pull off. We did not see anyone trying to buy their way in or out and we really felt sorry for the folks trying to catch weather to get out only to find that it could take days to get their Clearance (Zarpe). To make this short, we paid taxis three times over five days to take us to the Port Captain and back to French Harbor before we got our Entrada. On the positive side, Roatan is a free check in.

Fantasy Island

Fantasy Island from the Air

Fantasy Island from the Air

Zee plane, Zee plane. Not the same place. In fact, very little maintenance has been done on this resort since the last time we were here. All the wood buildings are kind of right out of the Dirty Dancing era but a little more faded each time we come back. There are no longer fresh water showers for the cruisers but there is a bathroom that works most of the time with a dirty salt water shower. The WIFI is a whopping 10 to 30 K. The Dockmaster, Rob, said that if we were here four years ago, we would really notice the difference now. There are themed events much like Dirty Dancing for the guests and another set for the cruisers in the Palapa bar. We do BBQ night, movie night, and 2-for-1 ladies night. Some of the guys are showing up in dresses for the 2-for-1 ladies night. We even got a pole dance from one of the guys.

Dirty Dancing Agenda for the Cruisers

Dirty Dancing Agenda for the Cruisers

Dirty Dancing Agenda for Resort Guests

Dirty Dancing Agenda for Resort Guests

This Is Our Back Yard

This Is Our Back Yard

Seaweed

Roatan is in the middle of a seaweed invasion. Massive islands of seaweed are floating in and the staff rake huge piles off the beach. Front end loaders and trucks haul the smelly piles away. The resort is usually losing the battle though the invasion seems to be tapering off lately. One cruiser said he hit an island of this stuff in the middle of the night and his boat came to a complete stop. This level of seaweed in the ocean has not been seen before.

Seaweed Invasion

Seaweed Invasion

The Animals of Roatan

Fantasy Island Peacock

Fantasy Island Peacock

Agouti

Agouti or Roatan Rabbit

Fantasy Island mixes zoo animals with people. We mostly see agoutis, peacocks, monkeys, and iguanas. Of these, the monkeys are a good story. They have been known to run off with cell phones, shoes, anything left in boat cockpits, and they climb up on people as part of their routine. Deb’s encounter was fun as he tried to get inside her shirt but the little …. did tear a key off her laptop keyboard.

Quit Monkeying Around

Quit Monkeying Around

Road Trips

We had our car rental from hell the week of April Fools Day. The morning of our big road trip to West Bay, the battery was dead. No problem for a cruiser, just grab any one of the jump starters and off we go. Our jump starters had partial charges but not enough to bring up the dead car battery so we had to haul out the extension cords and 110 charger. Eventually that worked and off we went, wondering what we had left on the night before that would drain the battery. I dropped a tire off the edge of the road and it got punctured. We pulled off on a hill in the middle of nowhere on a Sunday when everything was closed and started the spare tire drill. We were partially blocking traffic so that was an added bonus. The spare tire had an even bigger hole in it. A Honduran on a motorcycle who happened to own a car wash and gas station stopped by and took our main tire to his shop to try and inflate/fix it. He couldn’t but we gave him something for trying.

So…we called the Alamo manager and actually got him on a Sunday. He drove out, put his spare on our car, and took our two bad tires. Over the next two days, we had to jump the car if we let it stand for more than a couple hours and our newly charged car starters worked great. We did have to drive all the way to the airport to pick up a new tire and there was no one there to put it on so, once again, we got to use the “toy” jacks that they include with those little cars.

Flat Tire and a Flat Spare

Flat Tire and a Flat Spare

After the March Madness final on April 3, the jump start battery just wouldn’t cut it one more time. It was 10:30 at night after way too many drinks in the parking lot of Herby’s Sports Bar and Grill (great place). Thankfully a security guard came over and said “No problem” (the only English he knew) and grabbed a hotel van, jumper cables, and a buddy to get the show on the road again. The next day we called Alamo and swapped cars.

West End, West Bay

West End

West End

Nice places right out of the brochure. We bought a beach pass at the Paradise Hotel for $10 U.S. each which gave us a place to park and access to the pool, shower, and beach chairs. The highlight was the snorkeling. The Roatan wall is right off the beach with massive coral formations and a steep drop into the abyss. We also swam with the most fish we’ve seen in a long time. We got a kick out of diving down to the scuba divers and waiving like “we’re down here doing this for free and you’re paying a bundle.”

Underwater World

Underwater World

We lounged until the end of the day and the flies got too bad. On the trip back, we got beat badly by a guy on a bike. It wasn’t because of traffic, just potholes.

Beacher's Bar, West Bay

Beacher’s Bar, West Bay

East Roatan

On April 4, we teamed up with M.J. and Louisa from CarieAnn and headed East. We took almost every side road between Fantasy Island and the end of Roatan. The highlight was a trip to the Hole in the Wall restaurant in Jonesville.

The Famous Pirate Bar Was Only Open 2 Weeks

The Famous Pirate Bar Was Only Open 2 Weeks

Two Norwegians

Two Norwegians on the Way to Hole in the Wall

Hole in the Wall in Jonesville Bight

Hole in the Wall in Jonesville Bight

Staniel Cay to Georgetown

April 24, 2015 Posted by Deb

Thunderball and Big Majors Spot

Entrance to Thunderball Cave ~ Looking for Sean Connery

Entrance to Thunderball Cave ~ Looking for Sean Connery

Looked All Over the Cave for Weight Belt ~ Found Under the Dinghy

Looked All Over the Cave for Weight Belt ~ Found Under the Dinghy

ThunderballChuckDivingThruHole

Goggle Man

Goggle Man

Looking for the Famous Swimming Pigs

Looking for the Famous Swimming Pigs

Carrots are Good for Lots of Things

Carrots are Good for Lots of Things

Staniel2Pigs

To Georgetown

At some point we had to stop island hopping and take a cut out into Exuma Sound. We chose Dothan Cut near Black Point because we could get out of there very early in the a.m. without worrying about depth. To be sure, we motored up to the cut the evening before and laid down a track on one of the Samsung notepads. The cut was calm and harmless looking that evening. The next morning was a different story. The wind and swells had kicked up and our calculations for slack tide were off. By the time we realized that the boiling up ahead was serious, we were caught in a three- to five-knot current headed like a freight train into ten-foot standing waves. We were getting knocked around a bit but doing OK  until we decided to turn out of the mess. At that point, Deb got bombed by beer cans that were stowed in the galley and stuff that had never fallen before started flying around the inside of the boat. Fun. The rest of the day was choppy but not a bad motor sail but the swell continued to haunt us. We declined stopping at Adderly Cut for the night because it looked closed out so we cranked up the diesels and rolled the dice on Conch Cay Cut, the entrance to Georgetown. Conch Cay Cut was flat calm and we dropped hook in the Mecca of Bahama sailing after about 8 hours and 53 miles (not counting tacks).

The Georgetown Regatta

Unintentionally, we arrived in Georgetown just days before the big regatta week. It is a race by and for Bahamians in unique boats. At the start, the boats are anchored and sails are down. The town decked itself out like a state fair, street food everywhere, and the music was loud and late.  We slid into the cruiser social scene with dink drift and drink, hikes, and BBQ’s. In our anchorage there were four cats, four monohulls, and five trawlers. We’re at Sand Dollar and the other anchorages are very packed. Georgetown is definitely trawler heaven here. Great folks but they do have a different mind set.

A couple and their dog are living on the beach in hammocks and the occasional bed on one of the boats in the anchorage. They’re cruising the Bahamas by pontoon plane.

A couple and their dog are living on the beach in hammocks and the occasional bed on one of the boats in the anchorage. They’re cruising the Bahamas by pontoon plane.

The perennial winner of the event, Tidal Wav.e, coming home after a challenge match

The Perennial Winner of the Event, Tidal Wave ~Coming Home after a Challenge Match

 Jacque and Annet on Panache Hiked With Us on the  Island Trails

Jacque and Annet on Panache Hiked With Us on the Island Trails

 Yet Another Multi-Mile Beach All to Ourselves

Yet Another Multi-Mile Beach All to Ourselves

Not Happy

Not Happy

Little Problem with the Wind on Day 2

Little Problem with the Wind on Day 2

Birthday Cruise

November 19, 2014 Posted by Deb

Deb put up an important number on November 1st and her first wish was Cuba. We looked at plane tickets and hassle factor and went with door number two, a cruise ship out of Jacksonville that was trying to fill up remaining cabins by offering Florida residents a four day shot for $200 and change. Other than my round the world trip on the SS Ryndam in the 60’s, we had only dodged cruise ships … never been on one.

Carnival Fascination

Carnival Fascination

The Carnival Fascination headed for Freeport and Nassau and started out nice. We were busy for several days checking out every nook and cranny and attending shows that had a chance of being interesting. In Freeport we grabbed a shuttle to the beach and chilled for $10 each. The official tour to the same place was many times that.

DebFreeportBeachShack

Chuck_FreeportBeachBar

For the Nassau stop we thought we’d check out one of the many “sign up” outings. We chose SNUBA since we weren’t sure Deb should be lifting heavy scuba tanks. At the last minute, the divemaster tried to talk all of us into the SCUBA trip and, since our entire group of five were certified divers and they were going to help Deb lift, we agreed. The cruise ship folks freaked out at that suggestion. We were soon to find out why the divemaster wanted to talk us out of SNUBA (diving with a respirator on a long tube towing a small raft).  We got out there and the wind was strong and in a lousy direction and we were facing at least a 1.5 knot current. The only option was to tie the Snuba raft to the main boat and dangle below it until we got bored going over the same part of the reef. We did straight snorkeling to check out the entire reef and it was a bit of a chore as the waves kept building. It was an interesting and expensive trip but the divemaster was right in trying to cancel and switch. Several on the boat were chumming all the way back and Deb came very close.

Dive Boat  Heading Out of Stuart's Cove

Dive Boat Heading Out of Stuart’s Cove

Our impression of the cruise was that the food was great, free, and there was a lot of it. The 24-hour pizza restaurant was my favorite, and the hamburger BBQ was open most of the time. Some of the small live music venues were excellent. We did a lot of time in the gym and Jacuzzis. But … we were going stir crazy on the final day and night. The weather got cold, the wind was screaming, and we had done the whole ship. The waves out there were impressive and we have to do that stretch of water soon. It definitely got our attention at 15 feet plus. We felt a bit strange about being part of a large human invasion, standing in line, and not being able to take our time and spend days rather than hours checking out islands.

 Watching the Big Waves Out the Window: This is the Way to do a Crossing!

Watching the Big Waves Out the Window: This is the Way to do a Crossing!

More Georgia Time

The RV cruised into Brunswick in mid-October and it was refreshingly hot. We grabbed a nice RV site about 11 miles away from the boat and started re-commissioning and repairing Neytiri. Parts have been rolling in ever since and the boat is getting there except for the big ticket items that lie ahead. The number one item is another attempt at lower unit seals and the next is a hugely expensive new rig.  Somewhere on the list is new refrigeration, a new galley, two new diesels, a paint job, and the list goes on for two pages.

Figuring Out New Solar Regulators

Figuring Out New Solar Regulators

Our plan is to move the RV to indoor storage in Jacksonville on Friday 11/21 and drive back to Brunswick to live on the boat until we can move south. The amount of juggling we have to do to shut down a land yacht and move onto a sailboat is impressive.

Getting Out the Racquetball: A Surprise Left by Squirrels in Arkansas

Getting the Racquetball Bag Out of RV Storage: A Surprise Left by Squirrels in Arkansas

Cast Iron Canoe Two

April 9, 2014 Posted by Deb

Party Barge

Party Barge

The second Cast Iron Canoe Club delegation blew into Belize at the end of March. Minnesota has been hemorrhaging its frozen citizens this winter and, from the weather news, we don’t blame them. The Belizean weather, sailing, eating, and drinking gods were smiling on Forrest, Yvonne, and Elsa Cournoyer and Jeff and Lisa Smith. The fishing gods ran hot and cold and seemed to have blessed a northern Minnesota dud of a lure that was a big hit with mutton snappers in Belize.

We started out at Roberts Grove in Placencia with a kick back day of provisioning and Hobie Cats.

HobieCat_WaterSpot

ForrestElsa_HobieCat

ElsaYvonnePool

The highlight of the provisioning was three cases of bottled Belikin and a lower waterline for the port hull. Of course there was the obligatory sampling of as many of the restaurants and bars from Roberts Grove to Yoli’s as we could fit in. Our first mobile day was a tack up to Hatchet with three lines in the water.

Yoli's in Placencia

Yoli’s in Placencia

Pelican Caye

We did a trolling headsail run to Pelican and the famous Hideaway Caye where Dustin, Kim, Ama, and Caye (the big Rottweiller) put on their usual great show.

The Bar is Up and the Dog Eats Cameras

The Bar is Up and the Dog Eats Cameras

Water Toys Off Pelican Caye

Water Toys Off Pelican Caye

The next islands were a blur because we made up the trip as we went along and focused on maxing out our trolling time. We ran headsail only to South Water, Colson, and one long day to St. Georges followed by Caye Caulker. That is practically the whole country on a headsail with three lines out.

Jeff_CatchingOne

Jeff_MuttonSnapper

ForrestElsa_Hug

The Bar at St. Georges Lodge

The Bar at St. Georges Lodge

Lisa with a “Good Eatin Fish”

Lisa with a “Good Eatin Fish”

Jeff and Lisa off Colson Caye

Jeff and Lisa off Colson Caye

Big Bang Theory Shirt

Big Bang Theory Shirt

Full Jellyfish Protection Mode

Full Jellyfish Protection Mode

Belize Wrap Up

Cast Iron 2 saw the news about 17 inches in Superior (Yvonne’s home town) just before they left. We dropped them at the water taxi in Caye Caulker and Neytiri got empty again. We moved up to San Pedro to provision, dump garbage, do laundry, and clear out of the country. The wind got stronger every day and the boat was covered in salt both inside and out from waves crashing on the reef. Neytiri is currently hiding in the Bluefield Range from an anticipated strong norther and staging for a window to go to Mexico.

In the four months that Neytiri has cruised Belize we have made the run from Placencia in the far south to San Pedro in the far north four and one half times, visited dozens of islands that were new to us, entertained four rounds of company, and gone through countless bottles of Belikin and rum.

Repeat Visit

March 28, 2014 Posted by Deb

Having survived a week on Neytiri in Bocas del Toro, the Anderson family decided to try their luck in Belize. Belize did not disappoint. The weather problems we had earlier, with the December and January guests, were history and Belize was putting on a good show.

The night the Andersons arrived we went to see the brand new National Geographic documentary on the Belizean reef. There were a number of locals included and the each brought a contingent to watch the screening. When their segment came up on the screen, there was a lot of cheering and applause. Our favorite was a sun-bleached rasta guy who grew seaweed. Once planted in a long, thick rope, he just kicked back and let nature do the work … perfect rasta job. We saw him sleeping against a palm tree one restaurant over the next day at around noon …. must have been a good party

Rasta Man / Fisherman Turned Seaweed Farmer

Rasta Man / Fisherman Turned Seaweed Farmer

Day 2 was a kick back/provisioning day and Day 3 was an inland trip. The inland trip was arranged with a tour guide out of Independence Village instead of through the Placencia resorts and travel agents. We put a triple tour of the ruins and water falls into one day for less than half price of just one of the tours. We did the Mayan Nim Li Punit and Lubaantun sites, a great local lunch stop, and the water falls at Rio Banco.

Nim Li Punit

Nim Li Punit

Lubaantun

Lubaantun

Chuck the Cliff Jumper

Chuck the Cliff Jumper

Under the Falls at Rio Blanco

Under the Falls at Rio Blanco

The Andersen Women Attracting Attention at Rio Blanco

The Andersen Women Attracting Attention at Rio Blanco

Deb In The Falls

Deb In The Falls

Departure Day … Monday?

At the last minute, we pulled the plug on our departure Monday morning because a Norther was actually predicted to hit us with strong winds but no rain. As a Plan B, we biked to town and took out the Robert Grove Hobie 14’s. Em and Liv gave the three pools a good workout too.

Hobie Cat Team Serious

Hobie Cat Team Serious

Chuck With Team Bikini

Chuck With Team Bikini

Hatchet Caye

Hatchet has great coral, a pool, internet, and a very good restaurant. Their featured fish is lion fish, an invasive oriental fish that is very damaging. They hope to wipe it out by getting humans to like it. It is an excellent tasting fish. We stayed two nights and, again, the young Anderson women gave the pool a workout. They also ran into a neighbor family from Stillwater, MN, for small world story number 83.

Hatchet Caye Sea Creatures

Hatchet Caye Sea Creatures

Snapper Cleaning Lesson

Snapper Cleaning Lesson

Pelican Cayes and Hideaway Resort

A short sail up the Victoria Channel and a two mile motor put us in the northern anchorage. Three brand-new mooring balls are the latest addition there. We got the water toys out and snorkeled the reef south and east of the Hideway Resort island. MokaCat tacked up the channel and tacked through the Pelican Cayes to party with our group and we closed out the day at the bar. They have a great rum punch drink there and Dustin gave us conk cleaning 101 lessons. We (I) tried to repeat the lesson that night after a few too many rums and I butchered the job, knocked a hole in the gell coat, and eventually dropped the conk off the sugar scoop while hammering.

Water Toys Behind Neytiri

Water Toys Behind Neytiri

South Water Caye

We fit one more island into the trip with a sail to South Water. There were only two boats in the anchorage when we arrived. By nightfall there were 13 and only one was a mono-hull. Our shore party scored a large bag of freshly cleaned conk and some Guatemalans showed them how to pound it to and edible stage. It was good breaded and that is from a conk dissenter.

Kicking Back at South Water Caye

Apres Snorkel 

Flipper Women

Flipper Women

And Back

We had a pleasant sail back to Placencia and up the lagoon to Roberts Grove. We rounded out the evening and the trip at the Quarterdeck Restaurant over at Laru Beya after the Anderson girls gave the pools a good workout. Their trip home was uneventful and the Neytiri has four days to get ready for the next group.

Black Market “Dew”

March 10, 2014 Posted by Deb

Coco Plum Caye

Coco Plum Caye

Our “Get Acquainted” tour of the southern Belize islands netted some great finds and some marginal finds. We already mentioned that we’re giving a thumbs down to Wippari (less than clear water and the owners are a bit burned out) and Ranguana (very costly to set foot on the island). We also think that Glovers is a bit much for a short vacation and would cost us $70 U.S. per day if we take a boat load of guests.  Once there, Glovers is fishing and snorkeling paradise but little else in terms of shore recreation.

DebSailingPosition

SouthernBelizeCaye

We gave a large thumbs up to Hatchet, Queen (middle island only), Pelican, and Coco Plum although Coco Plum is a lunch/drink stop only. Their three course suppers are $40 U.S. per person and the anchorage is settled weather only. If feasible, South Water Caye is on the list as are the Colson Cayes but we doubt we can get to Colson with company.

Lionfish Bar on Hatchet

Lionfish Bar on Hatchet

A funny thing happened as we returned through the barrier reef near South Water Caye on our return from Glovers. We turned to starboard (north) instead of port (back to Placencia). It was a gorgeous sailing day with winds at 22 to 25 kts and we just didn’t stop. We finally ran out of day at Colson, dropping our hook as the sun went down next to a large catamaran that we found out later had a strobe mooring light. Someone has to do something about strobe mooring lights … obnoxious barely begins to describe them.

Dodging Cruise Ships Off Belize City

Dodging Cruise Ships Off Belize City

Our trip north was to find a rod to match a new reel we got from Jeff Borchert, Deb’s cousin up in Iowa. The real reason was that the Mountain Dew shelves were showing signs of getting thin. Mountain Dew is not legal in Belize. Bottled Pepsi and Diet Dew are available (sort of) but not the high test. The Coca Cola folks have a contractual stranglehold on Belize and the little green cans are only available up in San Pedro on the black market. The folks in San Pedro delivered two 36 packs of Dew and a case of Belikin to our dinghy at the ferry dock in San Pedro after relieving us of $130 U.S. We weren’t going to pass after coming all the way north and committing to two more shots at Porto Stuck. It was a gorgeous trip with the exception of a norther hitting us at the Blue Ground Range. We have rarely seen a lightning show like that night and winds hit over 40 knots in Placencia. The next day, we sailed on into Placencia wing on wing, hand steering because the auto helm wasn’t quick enough to keep the main from gybing.

Precious Cargo Delivered to the Dock

Precious Cargo Delivered to the Dock

Cases of Beliken Beer Headed for Porto Stuck

Cases of Belikin Beer Headed for Porto Stuck

The Lost Reefers and Their Tattooed Groupie at Yoli’s in Placencia

The Lost Reefers and Their Tattooed Groupie at Yoli’s in Placencia

Queen Cayes: Their Island a Couple Hundred Yards Away (the building is an outhouse)

Queen Cayes: Their Island a Couple Hundred Yards Away From Ours (the building is an outhouse)

The Light Show Ahead of the Norther

The Light Show Ahead of the Norther

ChuckSugarscoopSnaplper

Fishing Gear – Check
Snapper – Check
Clean Fish – Ch … Oh now I remember

Tucked Back Into Roberts Grove Next To Our Favorite Mexican Restaurant

Tucked Back Into Roberts Grove Next To Our Favorite Mexican Restaurant

Felicity and Karmic Debt

January 18, 2014 Posted by Deb

The folks on a charter boat named Felicity dinghied over to the Bluefield Range from Middle Caye in rough weather to get help and to see if we had enough cell phone coverage to call TMM up in San Pedro and inform them that they were aground. They had been holed up at Cucumber Marina for days during the storm and had come out just that morning. We had zero cell coverage but used the Iridium to call Simon, the head guy at TMM who we first met in the Rio Dulce. Simon was sick, it was late in the day, and he had another boat aground to deal with. He said it was too dark to get help all the way down there. We had two hours before high tide and if we were going to get that boat off, it had to be soon.

Help!

Help!

Michael and I put on our cold/wet weather gear, grabbed two long lines, checked with the fisherman to see if they knew anything about that reef, and we took off in our dinghy for a violently rough ride over to Middle Caye. We circled their boat, probing with an oar. It was shallow everywhere. The waves and wind had moved them further aground and they weren’t bouncing anymore. Bad news. Their starboard engine was not happy either.

We hooked up the lines, got two 15 hp dinghies lined up, along with the two diesels in Felicity and we pulled. We had a kedging Plan B but damned if we didn’t get the cat to budge. After we freed up Felicity, we didn’t think it was a good idea to try again to go behind Middle Caye in bad light and conditions. We had a track for Bluefield so they moved over there, we grabbed our Samsung Galaxy notepad, and we came through that reef mostly blind at around 5:15, way too late to be doing that but we knew the track was good. We ran into Felicity again at Colson and they brought over a bottle of rum … naval tradition is great. Those of you familiar with our Mississippi adventures last summer understand the Karmic Debt reference.

Felicity Safe at Anchor and Enjoying a Family Swim

Felicity Safe at Anchor and Enjoying a Family Swim

Watching for Coral

Watching for Coral

Tobacco Caye for Lunch

Took three hours for the restaurant to come up with something for us to eat and we were starving.

One Choice Could Have been Conch

One Choice Could Have been Conch

Someone Had Temporarily Stored a Baracuda Overnight in the Freezer But it Was Confiscated for Our Lunch

Someone Had Temporarily Stored a Baracuda Overnight in the Freezer Until It Was Confiscated for Our Lunch

Not for Lunch

Not for Lunch

South Water Caye

Jelly Fish Protection

Jelly Fish Protection

Dinghy_Chuck

Off for Some "Superb" Snorkeling

Off for Some “Superb” Snorkeling

Island Exploration

Island Exploration

SouthWaterCayeBar

Exit Birthday Crew

Placencia_DinghyEnter

PlacenciaTipsyTuna

It’s been 30 hours since the boat got empty again. They saw every different kind of weather, island, and beach, and we drank five different kinds of rum. They completed their lap by flying Tropic Air from Placencia back to Belize City and made it home to 28 degrees and snow.

Birthday Boy

Birthday Boy

Designer Tans and Andersons

March 19, 2013 Posted by Deb

Congrats to our guests for discovering a new designer tan. If you block up with suntan lotion and lay on a catamaran trampoline, the tramp rubs the suntan lotion off in a grid pattern. Roll over to complete the process. This is top secret so no pictures.

We left the marina on a loop of the archipelago, going out through the Gap and zigzagging through the coral to Jackanally Cay, a name most have never heard of. We did a snorkeling refresher, food, and kicked back for the evening. A large dolphin checked us out but not all got to see him/her. The next day started wet but dried as the day went on and we moved to Cindy’s anchorage in Laguna Poros, completing the mandatory dolphin citing for all.

GroupCat

Titanic

GirlsBow

MikeTramp

EmSnorkel

SnorkelDebEmWe checked out Jim Jackson’s farm (the eco farm in limbo since he died three years ago) and hiked through a fruit salad meeting Fueron, one of the workers who has no clue who owns the property now. He said to come back in a month for great pineapples and told us to make sure we checked out the rock circle maze. Apparently Jim was fond of that circle and stood in the middle of it looking up at the stars (if my Spanish is at all correct). In any event, Jim created a beautiful place.

HikeGroup

HikeGruop2

HikeGroup3

ChuckDinghy
We stopped in Dolphin Bay for snorkeling on a small reef off a mangrove island with no name that has some of the best color we’ve seen in a long time. A few of us saw a large manta jump clear out of the water near the boat and all of us saw his second jump which was even higher. It looked like he was trying to fly.

KayukaSwim

SnorkelMike

SnorkelAndersons

DinghyPaddling

Our final day had a long agenda so we pulled the hook and were off to Bocas Town. The main reason for the stop was that we were down to one beer and zero wine. We don’t have a drinking problem unless we can’t get any. We scored a half dozen lobster from Mike on Finisterre (a deal we made over the radio while they were way out at Zapatillos Cays), loaded up with necessities, and pulled the hook for the final leg back to the marina, garbage disposal, and showers. We arrived just in time for a large birthday party for Beth on Diversion. Intermittent rain made it challenging but the party went on. We had one final shot at the beach and a mangrove tour before heading for the airport in Bocas. The Andersons started home in a water taxi at 3:00 p.m. on a Thursday and arrived home at 2:30 a.m. on Saturday morning. Tough trip.