16 July 2010 | RAM Marina, El Relleno, Guatemala
Patty - typical rainy season!
We hauled out on Monday at RAM Marina, to take a look at the Cutless bearing and do a bottom job (also a survey for our insurance company.)
Our friend Bill, on Wandering Star offered to bring the bearing back to the Rio with him (he was driving down from Texas.) Unfortunately, we discovered that not only does this boat have a shaft sleeve, but the bearing we ordered is the incorrect size. When we looked at the old bearing, it was very apparent that it had NEVER been changed (it's a 31 year old boat!) The correct size is coming soon with our marina's owner (in the States now), and we're taking our time with the bottom job (patching, epoxy) and polishing the freeboard.
Lorelei is having a beauty make-over!
While up here in the nosebleed section of town, one of the other boats in the yard took a direct lightning strike. It blew a few exit holes through the hull and fried the transducer, also left scorch marks on the nice, new paint job. It's this owner's first boat!
Our dogs LOVE being here in the yard. They can run and play (we have to haul them up and down the ladder) during the day. It will be tough for them to be back on the water, after this.
Back in the Rio again
24 June 2010 | Rio Dulce, Guatemala
Out 10th time over the "Bar" (dead low, ripping tide) on Monday. Cleared in about 40 minutes after we anchored, then on our way up the river. We anchored just off of Mario's Marina for 2 days. Gary dove on the hull to scrape off some of the La Ceiba "growth", and noticed that our shaft was moving a little too much. Hmmm. We had a local boater (who is also an expert on this type of stuff) check it out, and yes, our cutless bearing is on its way out.
SOOO. We've got a cutless bearing ordered and on the way with one of our Rio friends, who will be returning from Texas (hopefully) sometime next week.
In the meantime, our 3 year old dinghy has sprouted so many leaks that we're having trouble keeping up with it! Gary put in a plywood floor and patched what he could. 2 days ago, we were headed for town when the transom separated and we almost lost the motor. Not good. Shows what can happen when rubber, glue, salt, heat and tropical sun get put together.
For the time being, until our parts come in, we'll be anchored in "Shell Bay." Once we get the boat hauled, fixed and bottomized, we'll be able to traipse to and fro on the beautiful Rio!
06 May 2010 | La Ceiba, Honduras
Patty/sunny and warm
We cleared out of Belize at Big Creek on April 30th, pulled anchor from Placencia and motored/sailed toward our destination of La Ceiba. The wind caught up to us, and we had a marvelous sail until we had to duck into Puerto Cortes to get out of the 30kt wind and 9' breakers. Puerto Cortes turned out to be a great overnight anchorage - good holding, not too much surge. Next morning we set out for Punta Sal.
Punta Sal is a nice, secluded anchorage on the northern coast of Honduras. We were the only boat in the lagoon for a while, and were pleased to see that the trash on the beach was not as bad this time. We also got a chance to explore the nature path, taking us out to the research areas. Along the way, spotted several monkeys in the trees, and Pearl tried to chase one into the jungle!
Our next leg took us from the turbid waters of Punta Sal to La Ceiba. About 2 hours after lifting anchor, Gary caught and fought a big Wahoo. Took about an hour to get it in, and the steaks it provided were doled out to our friends and neighbors here at Lagoon Marina.
We're very glad to be out of the intense heat and sticky salt of Belize. The mountains right here at our doorstep offer nice breezes. This part of Honduras has been good to us in the past. We like the marina, we like the city and the people here. I've been busy cleaning the salt and rust stains off our deck and brightwork.
We'll be here for about a month, then on to Guatemala.
20 April 2010 | San Pedro, Ambergris Cay
Patty/scattered clouds & breezy
After a few tense days in Bahia Espiritu Santo and Bahia de la Resureccion, we finally anchored in Xcalak, the southernmost point of entry/exit in the Mexican Caribbean. Check out was painless and inexpensive. I sweated entry to Belize, from all the stuff I'd read in Raucher's guide and heard from other cruisers. But we didn't need a half of the documents called for, only spent about $35 US to clear in!!!! Only one official came aboard and did a cursory peek into some of the lockers. A lot of the soundings and waypoints are off (grounded 2x where we should have had good clearance.) Will spend a few days here, then move further south. Our prime objective is to get to La Ceiba, Honduras, before 12 May.
Caught 2 schoolies (dorado) and a nice red snapper right off the Chinchorro Bank! Pictures, details and more input to follow!
10 April 2010 | Quintana Roo, Mexico
Whew! We pulled anchor in Isla Mujeres about 06:30 MDST, only to smell something not right coming from the engine compartment/galley. Circled once around the anchorage (our "parade lap"), then could not find the source or any further offensive burning odor. We motored out of Isla Mujeres and south toward the tip of Cancun. At 09:30 we caught a pretty good sized barracuda, but nothing else was biting. The wind was fantastic, the current no problem and the seas were less than 2 meters.
We pushed our luck and tried to loop back toward Isla (north) for more fishing, but all it got us was a few cross words between captain and 1st mate, some broken beer bottles (loose, in the cockpit), and upset pups.
Made it fine into Morelos around 14:00 and took a mooring ball. I've learned my lesson, and will activate the anchor alarm!!!!
The water is clear, the reef is right off our front porch, and the weather is beautiful! We just need a few good fish!!!!
Made it to Mexico
17 February 2010 | Isla Mujeres
Patty/Breezy and cool
We left the security, warmth and comfort of Lagoon Marina, La Ceiba Honduras, on Saturday (13 February 2010). The mouth of La Ceiba harbor was a toughie - breaking waves and strong current through a relatively small channel. But our fearless captain and crew had faith, and we finally were clear of the jetties.
Our goal was Isla Mujeres. The wind and waves caused us to tack 4 times just to clear Utila. We could have stopped, but would have been stuck in East Harbour for days. Onward!
Once we got past the Bay Islands, we could head off the wind a bit, and put up all of our sails. We caught the current and ended up having to slow the boat down (autopilot couldn't keep up). We had some gorgeous sailing, and approaching Cozumel, Gary caught 2 Albacore. We explored the possibility of berthing in Cozumel, but there was no room, and the anchorage unprotected against the approaching cold front, so on we went.
The weather didn't turn bad until we were in the narrow approach between the mainland and lower reefs. During this time, we saw winds in excess of 40 knots and shortened seas of 6-8'. The water broke over our bow, drenching the cockpit (we have very high freeboard) and we both had to man the wheel. Navigation was by radar and GPS, and we finally made it into Isla Mujeres and dropped anchor at 9:30pm. We now understand why so many single handers like the chart plotters!
Lorelei is berthed at Marina Paraiso for the next month. More updates and pictures as they come.