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2009 - 2010 cruise

December 2009

 

12/01/09 - 12/8/09

After a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner at Marina Paraiso and a few more days enjoying the living on island time we got a pretty good weather window to head to Belize.  We left Isla Mujeres with Tom and Doris on Footloose and are enjoying traveling in company with them.  We did a short day sail to Hut point then spent a couple of nights there due to high winds.  The anchorage was only protected by the barrier reef and it was too rough to launch the dinghy.  We got lots of reading done but Foxy missed out on her shore leave.  We caught a nice Spanish Mackeral on the way down so we had fresh fish for dinner.  From Hut point we did another day sail to  Puerto Adventuras Marina.  The marina has an area for swimming with Dolphins and Manatees and is very touristy.  Even with all the tourists it was a fun place to hang out and the restaurants were cheap.  We caught a Taxi to the Wal-Mart at Playa del Carmen and stocked up.  

 

 

 

 

 

From Puerto Adventures we planned on 2 nights offshore to San Pedro but we were making better time than expected so we stopped at Punta Allen the 1st night.  Again no shore leave, just a rest stop to sleep.  We swung by Tulum to get pictures of the ruins from sea.  We were caught by a squall too close to the reef on a lee shore and had a scary time tacking out of there.  The last night offshore to San Pedro we caught some nasty squalls and in the morning we arrived at San Pedro with Easterly trades at 20 -25 knots and a large swell running.  The entrance to San Pedro is through a reef cut with a dogleg turn in it so if the swell is breaking through the cut there is a good chance of going up on the reef.  It was Tom's birthday and he didn't want to spend it at sea so they tried the cut as soon as the outbound tide slacked and told us there was no problem getting through.  We cleared in with customs and immigration and found a nice beach bar for our 1st Belikin beers.  The Belikin Stout is 6.5 % alcohol so more than a couple of them seem to induce problems walking.  

12/11/09 - 12-19/09

We spent a couple of nights anchored off San Pedro, then a few nights at Cay Caulker.  Cay Caulker is a neat little town with all dirt streets and lots of young European backpacker types.  After leaving Cay Caulker we had to go through aptly named Puerto Stucko, and of course we got stuck aground.  We had been favoring the windward side of the channel so we had no problem getting off.  We anchored off Water cay and saw a crocodile when we took Foxy to the beach.  The next morning I saw crocodile tracks on the beach.  We need to be careful so Foxy stays off the menu.  We spent a couple of nights at Bluefield range before heading out to the Turneffe Islands and Lighthouse Reef.   Turneffe and Lighthouse are both offshore coral atoll like in the South Pacific.  The hunting was great at Turneffe and we had lobster and conch on the menu  every day.  The holding was terrible at Turneffe so all the boats kept dragging and re-anchoring.  On 12/19 I did an anchor check at 2:00Am and found our dinghy engine and one of our fishing poles missing.  The pirates everyone asks about finally found us.  Now we have to go to Belize City and buy another engine and bigger locks.  

12/20/09 - 12/28/09

We were stuck at Turneffe for a few more days due to high NW winds (the direction we needed to go).  We enjoyed several more evenings on Footloose with Tom and Doris and found some more lobster so it wasn't too terrible.  I got lots of exercise rowing  Foxy to shore and back since we didn't have a motor on the dinghy.  Charley and Cathy on Chere were less fortunate.  The thieves took there dinghy and motor.  On 12/23 we left for Cucumber beach Marina in Belize City.  We paid way too much for a Yamaha 15 which will work but isn't ideal with a 20' shaft.  You can find almost anything you need in Belize City but it is not an attractive place.  Lots of poverty and pollution.  On Christmas morning we headed back out for Turneffe and Lighthouse.  We caught another nice Spanish Mackerel and hooked up on a large sailfish.  It was exciting to see the sailfish tail walking but my fishing gear was not up to the task and he broke off. 

Lighthouse reef is an amazing place.  crystal clear water and a palm covered Island.  We spent one night at Halfmoon Cay  which is in the park.  It cast $20 a night to anchor there and you can't fish so we moved to nearby Long Cay.  We found more pretty reefs at Long Cay and I speared my 1st fish of the trip, 2 snappers and a blue runner.  Debbie says no more fish or lobster till we eat some of the meat we bought at the store. 

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Dinner, I should be smiling but this guy poked a hole in our dinghy.  Guess that's why they're called spiny lobsters.

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Cool beach bar in Cay Caulker.

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The edge of Lightouse reef.  14' to 500' in a few yards.

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Frigate birds and red footed booby's showing off, Halfmoon Cay.

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Don't trust your chartplotter down here.  Notice our track cutting across the island and our boat anchored dead center on the island.