Dolphins Make Good Company
06 January 2016 | Drowned Cays, Belize
Beth / overcast but warm
We came up to the Drowned Cays from Bluefield Range on the 3rd, because a) we wanted to keep moving along whenever we could, b) we wanted W and N protection for the coming cold front, and c) we hoped for maybe, just maybe, a bit of an internet connection.
I bought a digicell data plan this year from Belize Telephone Company so that I can get wifi on my iPad using the cellular system. ($30B or $15US, for 1GB good for a month.) It has worked quite well – very well in Placencia – and well enough in other areas to give me just a bit of a connection for messages. I haven’t been able to post on the blog or on FB, but even a wee bit of contact is nice, and we had that both in Pelican Cays and here in the Drowned Cays.
We are tucked just inside the same little finger of water we used when we first came here in 2012, but this time the weather is better – very little rain, and we have had frequent visits from dolphins! Mind you, last time Steve and Sandi (Yonder) were here too, but we didn’t “ooh!” and “aah!” over them in quite the same way as we do over the dolphins!
In most of our other dolphin encounters, we have been moving through the water as they play back and forth under the bow, but these come out to investigate us every day as we sit anchored here. Sometimes there are two adults and a little one, sometimes just two adults, and they roll sideways and look up at us, dive back and forth under the hull, and so very gracefully surface and dive, surface and dive, and then with a flip of the tail, dive deeper and head farther away.
We can see the Norwegian Jade at anchor off Belize City, and both of the last two nights, a catamaran has come in to anchor farther up the inlet. It has been a good place to wait for the North wind to abate and shift around to East or ENE, allowing us to head for San Pedro.
After dark tonight one of those amazing Belize fishing boats anchored somewhere near us. We could see an outline and the occasional light and hear voices. They are low-slung boats with one sail – on a boom that extends far back on the boat. Although they look like they could hold 2 or 3 people, they regularly hold 8-10 and sometimes even more, plus 4 or 5 dories piled on the deck. Sometimes they go out for a day or two; sometimes for a week. When I get time and a real internet connection, I will post a picture from last year.
With luck, we are off there tomorrow Wednesday the 6th – our last stop in Belize.
We set off at 0630 (before the fishermen) out into the flats where 3 cruise ships were anchoring for the day, down to the shipping channel entrance and out into the sea beyond the reef. Unfortunately the wind was blowing 15 knots NNW so we had to tack this way and that to try to go north, and it was a rough ride.
But fortunately, David (Expectations) had recommended Long Cay Pass as an alternative to San Pedro and gave us his waypoints. So we altered course and came in there and on up to Caye Caulker. It was still an 8 hour sailing day. We are now on the west side of CC, feeling very windblown and buffeted, but with the anchor down in a sandy spot 8 feet deep (2 feet below us.) I wonder how long it has been that 8 feet seems like a fine depth? Once upon a time 15 seemed on the shallow side.
We will see tomorrow whether we take the water taxi to San Pedro to clear out, try to get Madcap up there on the inside, or go back down to Long Cay Pass (adding a couple of hours.)