Guatemala to Mexico
17 March 2018 | lovely to return to Belize and Mexico and meet up with sailing friends along the way
unplanned stopover in Belize due to strong northerlies.
IMAGE – various photos
In early February we both enjoyed low-key birthday celebrations in Guatemala whilst
working hard to get all our jobs done to meet our launch date of 7th February set 8 months ago!
It was a joy to follow our track out of the Rio and return to the little village of Cayo Quamado, where we spent 2 busy days getting the boat seaworthy. After months ‘packed away’ and all our maintenance and repair jobs, now getting all our running gear back up and sails back on felt good.
We exited Guatemala on Saturday 10th February – hoping to return again one day to further explore the inland of this wonderful countries festivals, traditions and interact with the lovely people again.
My watch stopped today – James watch stopped shortly after we arrived back in Guatemala –it appears that for us all time stops in Guatemala!!
About 2.30pm the wind kicked in enough to sail with main and cutter – great to be healed over and sailing again!!
We were keen to get north to Mexico as soon as possible to meet up with my Sydney girlfriend Vanessa, as she was in Cancun for a friend’s wedding. BUT sadly the strong north winds made any progress towards Isla Mujeres impossible – very disappointed.
We hid (illegally) in Belize in Sapodilla Lagoon and Placencia for 2 weeks whilst the winds continued to blow like stink from the north. Thankfully in Placencia we had our South African mates Robyn and Tony to hang out with to keep us sane. We continued to do boat jobs, and internet research for our Atlantic crossing.
In the calm of Sapodilla Lagoon we were with up to 20 yachts seeking protection. We met up with fellow Guatemala sailors Selin and Dennis from Nice Tri and our fellow American sailors organised a sundowners dingy raft up one afternoon to breakup everyones boredom.
Finally on Friday 23rd February we finally set off from Sapodilla lagoon to head north. We upped anchor just after 6am with winds in a just about OK direction – but the squalls were nasty at times. After a challenging day, we came into anchor for the night at Robinson Cay – just south of Belize City, with good access to the main shipping channel for our exit offshore tomorrow.
We enjoyed a quiet, restful night and got underway again on Saturday 24th with a beautiful sunrise start with the local dolphin pod coming by as were upping the anchor. The offshore wind was as forecast 15 knot south-east trades, very enjoyable sailing .We wanted to make the most of the good conditions for the 2 day sail to Mexico. Its wonderful to be broadreaching - steady tradewind sailing, and enjoyed a lovely night in half moonlight. Sunday was steady sailing in 15-20 south-easterlies. In the afternoon of Sunday 25th we came into Cozumel – Mexico, to anchor overnight. Thankfully we got a quiet night and good rest after town bars and shoreside music stopped.
We enjoyed a lovely day sail on Monday 26th from Cozumel and up past the Cancun hotel strip and on into Isla Mujeres. The main anchorage was busy with up to 40 yachts, so we decided to go straight up into the lagoon to anchor for our stay.
Isla Mujeres has a good cruiser community and it didn’t take long for us to get back into the swing of things and announce our arrival at the 8am Tuesday 27th morning net.
Check-in day. As we knew the procedure all went well – except the prices for personal visa and harbour charges have increased since last year AND the US dollar rate is less – so a double whammy on costs. Check in took all day as expected. Met up with mates Judy and Andy from Jacobs Ladder in the afternoon for a few beers – it was good to see them again- its been a few months since we were all in the Rio together.
Our time in Isla Mujeres was again very enjoyable – but the time went quickly socialising, having some afternoon internet time and still working on a few boat jobs.
During this visit I found time to visit the Womans Beading Co-operative – they do beautiful work and it was good to hangout a while and have a chat. Their workshop is not your traditional ‘stitch and bitch’ environment – these girls, young women and older ladies are really supporting their families and keeping their local beading traditions and design alive. Their cooperative is also provides a vital support network for each other and a safe ‘no male’ environment.
In the last few days our Danish friend Vibeke has confirmed that she will holiday with us for 3 weeks and meet us on 25th in Key West.
We departed on Saturday 17th March with a good weather window to take us back to the US – Key West.