Exploring the World by Sail from A to Z

Jeff and Zia's adventures aboard the catamaran Hekla

12 January 2015 | 62 31'S:59 47'W, Antarctic Peninsual
09 January 2015 | 65 54'S:62 52'W, Antarctic Peninsual
07 January 2015 | 65 15'S:64 16'W, Antarctic Peninsual
04 January 2015 | 64 19'S:62 55'W, Antarctic peninsula
31 December 2014 | 54 48'S:68 19'W, Ushuaia
27 December 2014 | It's 6am must be Miami...
26 December 2014 | Guatemala
09 June 2013 | 17 35'N:80 42'W, Caribbean sea
06 June 2013 | Jamaica
04 June 2013 | 18 28'N:77 57'W, Montego Bay
02 June 2013 | 19 20'N:78 49'W, on passage Cayman-Jamaica
23 May 2013 | 19 43'N:82 58'W, south of Cuba, NW of Cayman
19 May 2013 | 24 34'N:81 49'W, Key West, Florida
30 April 2013 | 23 25'N:85 38'W, Gulf of Mexico
27 April 2013 | 21 15'N:86 45'W, Isla Mujeras
19 April 2013 | 18 17'N:87 50'W, Xcalak
17 April 2013 | 15 34'N:89 12'W, Lago Izabal, Guatemala
10 April 2013 | Rio Dulce
10 April 2013 | 15 39'N:88 'W, Rio Dulce
01 April 2013 | 16 05'N:88 32'W, Southern Belize

More on the Blue Hole

18 January 2013 | 16 58'N:88 05'W, Belize barrier reef anchorage
by Jeff
When I was first entering the Blue Hole, having left the safe sand flats and was weaving the 1/2 mile through dangerous coral to my specific GPS coordinates, there was no visual indication that this was such a special natural underwater landform. From the deck of Hekla, it appeared to be just another boat-wrecking reef. The GPS was spot on and I could only recognize that I had arrived in the last minute. How was this thing found? Must have been aerial survey. The photo above is a composite from the masthead, showing the two entrances.

The peaceful solo serenity of my first day in the Blue Hole was broken by the arrival of 5 dive boats the next morning, who each disgorged their mix of snorkel and dive passengers, did their thing, got back on board and left, about an hour total. The divers descend as fast as they can to 130 feet, where the stalactites of the submerged cavern can be seen. At that depth divers are allowed only 5 minutes bottom time, followed by a 15 minute decompression ascent, and that's about it for a bottle of air.

Though I had paid for two nights in the Blue Hole Marine Reserve, it was too risky in my mind, so when a welcome blue hole appeared in the clouds I took one last beautiful snorkel swim around the rim, then made my exit to the safety of the sand flats for the night, followed by a spectacular sail south to the Glover's Reef. Another really beautiful coral atoll, I anchored near the southwest cay, had dinner at the Isla Marisol resort, and discussed dive lessons. Unfortunately, the weather forecast predicted a frontal passage and wind shift to the NW, for which there was no safe anchorage within the Glover's Reef. So I had to make my way back to the mainland barrier reef, now in a very secure anchorage while the wind howled 30 gusting 40 overnight. This is a boat-wrecking system for those unaware or with weak anchoring gear; the charter boats were called back to base. I'm glad I have a giant Rocna anchor!
Comments
Vessel Name: Hekla
Vessel Make/Model: Atlantic 57, Chris White Designs
Hailing Port: Fort Collins, Colorado, USA
Crew: Jeff Lebesch, Zia Zybko
About: Jeff has been sailing for 11 years, and has completed two singlehanded TransPac races on his former trimaran Hecla. Zia is enthusiastic about adventure-exploration by sail
Hekla's Photos - Main
Interior photos of the boat
20 Photos
Created 29 November 2011
Photos of Hekla under construction, Sept 2010 to Nov 2011
30 Photos
Created 4 August 2011

S/V Hekla

Who: Jeff Lebesch, Zia Zybko
Port: Fort Collins, Colorado, USA
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