Posts Tagged: ‘South Water Caye’

Last Chance Gathering?

March 16, 2017 Posted by Deb

Family and friends from the Eldridge side took their best shot at a cruise on Neytiri before we sell the boat or move to faraway shores. It started as a suggestion from brother Bill; and before we knew it, all the berths were full with an Alaskan (Bill), two Panamanians (sister Barb and Michael Karsh), and a Texan (Joe Sautner). Despite three different points of origin, everyone arrived within hours of each other on February 28 at the Placencia airport. We staged the boat at Robert’s Grove and used their free airport shuttle. Those of you who paid for taxis all those prior years, sorry about finding out about the free shuttle too late.


We moved in, kicked back, and spent the next day in Placencia. Oh … and another free shuttle. We pulled off one of the best jobs of provisioning with just enough booze, water, and food (in order of importance) to squeak back to Placencia as the cupboards were getting bare.


The Loop

The plan was to hit Hatchet with good snorkeling and the Lionfish Grill, Pelican with Dustin, Kim, Ama and pets at Hideaway Caye, South Water, and Garbutt. We added Tobacco Caye on a nostalgia request.


Hatchet Caye

Nice blow at 18 to 20 both days and nasty wet dinghy rides. We tried to sneak in the back dock to stay drier only to find a deck full of ladies doing sundown yoga. We spun the dinghy and tried a shortcut across the reef at low tide … also a failure. We did better the second day with the exception of a rough water snorkeling incident that reminded us all of how hard it is to pull a mostly non-responsive person out of the water and into a dinghy. It took three of us. Anyway, we talked the group into trying lionfish tacos and they were a big hit. Oh … the blue light parade of eagle rays was off the list because the yoga ladies had the deck again. They were nice enough people, just working a bit hard at being happy.


Pelican Cayes and Hideway Caye

Hideway is also a favorite stop despite its 60-foot-deep anchorage and only one mooring ball. We’ve gone three for three on the mooring ball this season and Dustin (owner) would say that was nearly impossible. Ama was in rare form and is now 4 years old. She has discovered Uno and is relentless at getting people to play and beating them. Dustin has welded up a drag to try and hook other mooring balls that were ripped out by idiots but has only succeeded in tearing up the lower unit of his outboard thus far. Their guests were avid water people and went out each day spearfishing for dinner with Dustin. He supplies all the fish and conch for the resort by spearfishing off the reef. We took the entire group in for a snapper dinner in two dinghy trips and got tips on where to snorkel. Our second day was the best water day for the group with calm seas, good coral, and a beach to operate from.


South Water, Tobacco, Garbutt Cayes


South Water and Tobacco haven’t changed much over the years. South Water is private and it varies how much poking around you can do from year to year. Their beach shrunk considerable from the hurricane. There are young, mostly female, marine biologists everywhere and we got in on a prep for a night dive and a floating/drinking sundowner session. We went over to Carrie Bow Caye for our snorkeling.


Tobacco was a day stop and it was too rough to get in the water. We walked around, checked out places that some hadn’t been to in 15 years, and moved on to Garbutt to get out of a blow that was a non-event at Garbutt. We declined the resort at Garbutt and did a final big meal on the boat.



We returned to Placencia on Wednesday, March 8, in a nice 15- to 20-knot NE wind and sailed through the back door of the harbor and a 20 boat fleet at anchor. I always worry a bit about the shallows to port on that entry, especially when the sun is going in and out of clouds but everyone else was worried about getting through the gaggle of boats. It’s a fun way to wrap up a trip.


Family and friends have all flown home now and the boat is pretty empty. We converted two berths back into garages, did an oil change, repaired a water damaged bed from prior owners, cleaned and lubed all the winches and the windlass, did taxes, and are now studying up for our next leg … the Bay Islands of Honduras via Turneffe and Lighthouse Atolls.


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.



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


Off for Some "Superb" Snorkeling

Off for Some “Superb” Snorkeling

Island Exploration

Island Exploration


Exit Birthday Crew



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