Sunday, February 05, 2017

Back in Placencia, Belize

Motoring down the Rio Dulce

Scott relaxing while I drive

A view of the mountains from the Golfete where we anchored
to check out Czech N Mate's autopilot.

In Placencia at a special dinner with Sharon and Kevin on
Magique. We had the rijstaffel at Francis Ford Coppola's
Turtle Inn. Great evening!
The trip out of the Rio was not fun. It started out very hopeful as we motored down the river with our friends Jerry and Debra on Czech N Mate. But mid way through the trip Jerry called us to say his auto pilot wasn't working. We both anchored and Scott went over to help. It wasn't an easy fix, so Jerry opted to return to Tortugal. Scott and I carried on alone and anchored off of Livingston at the mouth of the river to check out of Guatemala. Due to our 6.5 foot draft we need one of the twice a month high tides to exit the Rio. Unfortunately this tide was only 1.5 feet (which is added to the general 5 ft. depth) and at 7 pm. We needed a motor boat to stand by and help us if we get stuck.
Despite emails and reminders Hector never showed up and we were fast aground not long before the ocean buoy - in the dark and with waves turning us sideways. I wasn't happy as you can imagine. Finally another boat came out and helped us. Once they were there it didn't take long to free us. They pulled us over on our side with one of our halyards from the top of the mast and we motored forward. Then we had a 3 hour trip in the pitch black night over to the anchorage at Tres Puntas. Normally I wouldn't have worried about that, but especially in the beginning, there were a number of fishing boats around, mostly without lights.
Once at Tres Puntas it was great. An easy anchorage with 2 other sail boats there. So we had a good night. Our only problem was Scott's losing the anchor snubber overboard. But he managed to find it snorkeling the next morning.
It was an easy 6 hour motor up to Placencia and no problem checking in. We've been here for 10 days now socializing with cruiser buddies and local friends. The Super Bowl is today and a group of boaters are meeting to watch the game. Go Patriots!!!
Tomorrow we'll head out for some time on the outer reef snorkeling and diving. Next weekend we'll return to Placencia for their annual Sidewalk Art Festival and Rosie's Birthday Bash at Yoli's. The following day we'll be consulting with our weather forecaster Chris Parker on the first weather window to sail north to Mexico and happily we'll be buddy boating with Dave and Ellen on Cordelia.

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