TIME: 2015/03/06 19:43
LATITUDE: 17-44.79N
LONGITUDE: 088-01.80W
COMMENT: Beach House – ANCHORED – Cay Caulker – Belize

We read in a cruising guide of ours…”Avoid the Pinot Grigiot”. That means, watch the color of the water to see the real shallow spots. The problem is, all of the Bahamas and Belize (so far) are Pinot Grigiot!…

It was time to leave the bumpy anchorage at San Pedro and head to our first destination inside the reef at Cay Caulker. “Windward”, a Norseman 447 “monomaran” was a bit concerned due to a shallow spot along the way. However, Dennis was confident that their 6’4″ draft would clear the 7 foot spot as the tide would be above it’s datum plane and rising.

Well…such things do not always work out according to plan. We led the way. Due to the nature of we “rectangular boats”,(as our friends Dave and Kathie would say),
we would call out the depths. Dave and Kathie have the same boat as Windward (btw!). The water was only 4 1/2 foot deep where the 7 foot spot was supposed to be.
In fact, it was that shallow for a long way – no worries for “Beach House”. We can get by with about 4 feet and still not quite have the rudders touch.

We showed that they should have made it okay, but Dennis found the shallowest spot on the bank. “Windward” was hard aground on the sand. We put a line on their bow and tried to pull them forward. No luck. Then Dennis dove the boat and found that only the front of the keel was stuck. So, we pulled from the back. A small panga went by and his wake rocked “Windward” around which allowed both of our boats to move him backward – all three engines (his one and our two) – full thrust!

Alas, “Windward” got stuck again. We tied off to the bow a second time and were able to spin him around and get him off the sand. We then picked our way “through the weeds” till we got to deep water. There was one more close call, but that was averted. We saw 3.0 feet for a second and aimed “Windward” away from the spot.

Both boats now all tied up and safe at Cay Caulker….yet another….”Sea Story”…:-) We’ll be heading ashore for a glass of wine shortly…:-)

I’ll post the last Cuba blog as soon as I get some internet.
Scott and Nikki

TIME: 2015/03/04 20:56
LATITUDE: 17-54.85N
LONGITUDE: 087-57.76W
COMMENT: Beach House – ANCHORED – San Pedro – Ambergris Cay, Belize

We learned a new trick about how to get out of shallow anchorages in the dark…hint!
Search Light!!! I’ll write it up in the blog!

Great sail here today, lots of protection from the open sea by the north/south length of the reef on Chinchoro Bank.
Wish we’d had time to explore. But Belize is one giant reef and we’ll have plenty of opportunity.

Anchored next to s/v “Windward” who gave great advice on entering this potentially tough reef passage. Bouncy, not too deep and waves
breaking on either side. Reminded me of Tahiti or some of the Tuamotus in the Pacific.

Stand by..We’ll be here for a week or two, then to see Carmina in the Rio Dulce of Guatemala…. Blog’s a commin’.
Scott and Nikki

TIME: 2015/03/03 23:03
LATITUDE: 18-45.19N
LONGITUDE: 087-18.24W
COMMENT: Beach House – ANCHORED – Cayo Norte – Chinchoro Bank, Mexico – Belize tomorrow – we hope!

We’ll we got out a bit later than I wanted. We had a lovely sail here and the seas calmed in the afternoon.
Problem is, we spoke with two boats that had just left here telling us how easy the entry and anchorage was….NOT!

We got into very shallow water (2.4 feet under the hulls!). It’s sand for the most part, we’re now anchored with 4.3 feet under the hulls which is fine.
However, getting an early start may be very problematic as we can’t see the bottom until it’s light. It’s a 200 yd issue, but…it IS an issue.

We’re not in the best anchoring spot, but it’s safe.
This is one of only 4 true atolls in this Caribbean, the others are in Belize; our next stop.

This will make a blog entry!
Scott and Nikki