Waiting, Talking, Waiting, Watching
09 January 2016 | San Pedro, Belize
Beth / 30C, calm, 100% humidity
These last few days have been starting with intense conversations - and they are all about wind speed and direction, and possible anchorages and how far it is to every safe harbour between here and Isla Mujeres.
We thought we might check out of Belize on Friday morning, do a quick provisioning and head to Xcalak to check into Mexico. The trouble was that we weren't at all sure we could get in and out of Xcalak safely and on to a good anchorage with protection in time for the coming North winds. Also, without getting a new Mexican sim chip, we had no way of communicating in Mexico, and if we had to bypass that first stop, we could be a week without any way of being in touch with family and friends.
And - we found ourselves stressing about the windows of opportunity, instead of calmly examining them and making decisions. So we stayed - despite the flat sea across that pass! We may very well be here till late next week when the winds (fingers crossed) will veer out of the North and around to the East. But - this is a fine place to spend some time.
The anchorage is bouncy but safe. The reef cuts the fetch and our wonderful, magnificent, reliable Manson Supreme anchor doesn't budge no matter which way we turn. Water taxis and dive boats zoom past on both sides of us all day long; kayakers and stand-up paddleboarders and wind surfers move at a fast clip too but without throwing up a wake. There has been only one other transient boat here (flying a French flag) but it was anchored far from us and left today while we were in town so we didn't see which way it is headed. I suppose we are early for the traffic down from the US and Mexico, and those headed North at the end of the winter season won't be here for a while yet either. There are lots of land travellers in town though.
Madcap is never entirely still out here since there is no land protection from the East winds, nor from the North ones expected tomorrow. But so far the motion is not uncomfortable, and nothing has gone sliding off the table yet. And the colour and clarity of the water is just grand!
We went for a walk yesterday in town - to get another GB of data for my iPad (and Personal Hotspot - we sure love that feature) and to get a few groceries. It had been a full week since we were off the boat! Our stamina is horrible with lack of cardio vascular exercise and the humid 30 degree heat, but we at least got a start at it and a daily walk will help. The beaches in Belize are all public and there is a lovely stretch of beach right along the shore near us so we will be frequent visitors.
Today, we found The Greenhouse - a lovely little specialty grocery store with good produce and frozen meats and granola and lots of bottles and boxes of wonderful items we might find on the shelves at home. And we took a huge load of salty laundry to Nellie's so we will have clean sheets and towels and t-shirts again. Here, they charge by the pound and 17 pounds of laundry costs $38.25 B. It seems like a lot but we gladly pay it. It's funny how we come to appreciate particular things on a boat - Clean dry laundry is one of them.
At each of the docks where we have tied the dinghy, people have been so welcoming and helpful. "Sure you can tie up here! Let me take your line." Tonight, when we went in, I ordered drinks and a plate of Pork Taquitos at Wild Mangoes while Jim walked up to Middle Street to fetch the laundry - all nicely folded and garbage bagged - so as not to get salty on the way home. After promising to come back again, we loaded our bag into the dinghy and headed off across the dark waters to our floating home. The wind has dropped and changed to N, so the boat rocks gently just like a cradle.