Roatan.....in a word, HOT
21 March 2013 | 30 miles off Gladden Cut
Sunny, Air Temp 88F, Water temp 80.5F, Wind SE@3-5
We're not complaining about the heat, but we are having to keep it in mind. The nights cool off to the high 70's and by 9 am its just too hot for much but sitting and reading, limeing (talk with neighboring boats) or swimming.
And that about sums up our 5 days in West End. It is a beautiful anchorage, one of the nicest we have been in. To enter you run through a marked cut in the reef about 60' wide with depths from "off-soundings" (too deep for the depth sounder, meaning greater than 400') to 8' in about 200 yds, a nail biting experience. Then you pass through the reef with waves breaking on either side of you, and you're in... swell gone and flat clear water.
We picked up a park mooring and quickly settled in. We were in with two other boats we have met, and were soon joined by Chewink, with Cabot and Heidi Lyman aboard there Seguin 47' (built in Cabot's boatyard, Lyman-Morse, in Thomaston Maine).
All settled in the anchorage, we headed for the dive shop to arrange diving for the following morning. Next, we wandered the beach heading down to West Beach. Its a 2 mile walk with small resorts continuously lining the shore. By then it was time for sundowners on Appleseeds (Pete and Eileen, better known as Ace, from Vancouver), and the day was done.
The following morning we went diving off our dinghies, another beautiful reef. In many places we have seen reefs under obvious stress, but here they seem healthy with lots of healthy coral and great fish diversity. In mid-afternoon, Swift Current (Howard and Lynn from Vancouver) came in and picked up a mooring, so our fleet was complete. Swift Current had been delayed in French Harbour having their engine mounts replaced, Three had sheared off completely on the trip from Providencia. But all was now well. So dinner for all aboard Chewink, and we had managed to fill another day.
On it went with snorkeling, diving and eating until the weather forecast told us it was time to move. So early Wednesday (yesterday), Swift current headed out for Mexico. We delayed our departure for Belize until evening. The trip is just slightly too long to do in daylight, so we decided to leave at dusk, arriving at the reef cut at dawn so we would have plenty of excellent light for the required "visual navigation". In Belize, we'll check in with Immigration, Customs, and the Port Captain, then play "Hide the Boat" from strong (gale force gusts) winds on the weekend. Then next week we'll head out to explore the beautiful offshore cays with more snorkeling. Hopefully our friend, Lynn Young, from Belize, can join us for a few days.