25 January 2009 | Rio Dulce, Guatemala
01 January 2008 | San Andres
07 January 2007 | Venezuela
01 December 2006 | Trinidad & Venezuela
05 September 2006 | Trinidad
Rio Dulce to Belize, Honduras & back - January to April 2010
01 February 2010
January 13 to Feb 4
We arrived back in Rio Dulce, Guatemala on Jan 13 and have been readying Moustache for the cruising season. New bottom paint and raised waterline at Abels boatyard. New Caribe RIB dinghy. Various cleaning and commissioning jobs.
Rio Dulce to Belize & back - February 2009 - April 2009
20 April 2009
This year we decided to spend Christmas in Toronto with our kids, so had a short sailing season - February to April 2009.
After flying down to Guatemala City on Feb 1 and 2 days later (1 bag didnt make the connection in Miami!) taking the 5 hour bus ride to Fronteras, we spent a week in the Rio Dulce, prepping Moustache.
On the 10th of February, we sailed down the river in company with Laura & Rod on Becher Babe and stopped off for the night ant Gringo Bay. The following day we went on to Livingston, checked out of Guatemala, crossed the bar, and headed north to Belize.
Our first stop in Belize was Newhaven, a quiet anchorage on the mainland surrounded by mangroves. We spent a couple of nights in Newhaven and then headed up to Placencia where we checked in to Belize.
Placencia is a pleasant little town with sandy streets. It is also a Moorings Charter base. After a few days in Placencia we headed north again and dropped the hook in Sapodilla Lagoon - a beautiful and very protected anchorage.
Next day Laura & Rod in Becher Babe were heading back to Placencia to pick up a guest and we sailed on up to Colson Cay. We are now well inside the 180 mile coral reef that runs up the coast of Belize. We were on a close reach in 15 knots and calm seas - an exhilarating 25 mile sail.
We had another amazing sail the following day, up to St Georges Cay doing 6-7 knots all the way. Leaving Colson Cay and heading up to Cay Caulker we passed through Porto Stuck Porto Stuck (a shallow 6`) gap between two islands without incident and made Cay Caulker by early afternoon.
Cay Caulker is a funky little backpackerish island with sand streets and now cars (only golf carts & bicycles). Here we met up with our friends Douglas & Huguette on Kodo.
We spent several days in Cay Caulker. Lots of little restaurants, grocery stores, bars etc. We also took a water taxi over to San Pedro on Ambergis Cay which is a bigger busier version of Cay Caulker.
On Feb 25 we left Cay Caulker with Kodo, heading for the Atolls outside the reef. We were also in company with another Canadian boat (Go My Way) for the first leg through Poreto Stuck on the way to Water Cay. We all ran aground this time but got off reasonably easily except for Go My Way who really was `stuck`. We stood by for an hour to assist but het got off eventually under his own steam.
That night we anchored at Water Cay which is just off the main shipping channel through the reef. Here we got to watch the giant cruise ships going in and out only a few hundred feet away.
Next morning we headed out of the cut to Turneffe Island and after a windy sail over, we anchored off Blue Creek. Next morning we motore round to Bokel Cay on the southern tip and entere very carefully through the reefs to anchor off Turneffe Lodge. Unfortunately the Lodge is completely private, so although they showed us around we were not able to use their facilities. However, there was some excellent snorkelling on the reefs. A strong cold front came through the following day so we stayed put. The winds got up to 33 knots so, I spent most of the night in the cockpit but thankfully our anchor held ok.
On March 3 we upped anchor early and had a wonderful sail over to Lighthouse Reef the furthest East of the Belizean Atolls. We anchored off Long Cay and went snorkelling & (hawaiian) spear fishing - caught a couple of small fish which we ate for dinner.
The following day we moved over to Half Moon Cay - which is a National Park. We dinghied over to walk on and explore the island. There is a bird sanctuary there with hundresd of Frigate Birds, Blue footed Boobies etc which you can observe from a special platform.
Kodo had to head back the next day but, we decided to stay and move inside the reef at Half Moon Cay. After working our way in very carefully, we anchored in 6 feet of water just behind the reef - a spectactular anchorage with wonderful snorkelling nearby.
The Park people came by the following morning and collected $20, but after they went fishing they brought us two nice yellowtail fish which made a great supper.
----------------- to be continued -----------------
San Andres Island to Guatemala via Honduras & the Bay Islands - Jan 2008 to April 2008
25 January 2009 | Rio Dulce, Guatemala
From New Year 2008 to April 2008, we sailed from San Andres Island to the Rio Dulce Guatemala in company most of the time with Richard & Val on Hula and Jim & Sharron on Pelican's Flight.
Our first stop was the Vivorillos Cays - uninhabited islands off the Northwest coast of Nicaragua and Honduras. Very beautiful with lots of snorkelling, swimming, sundowners and sunsets!
from there we prceeded to the Bay Islands of Honduras - Guanaja, then Roatan & Utila. All very different and interesting Islands:
- Guanaja is quite undeveloped with most of the inhabitants living on a small island off the coast.
- Roatan is much bigger and more developed with a couple of towns and many resorts.
- Utila is a diving haven, with one town and mostly dive shops and backpacker hotels.
In Roatan we met up with friends Martin & Eileen who came down from Buffalo New York for a week. We were moored at the Fantsay Island resort for 10 days.
Prior to going to Utila we sailed over to Cayos Cochinos, a beautiful marine park with mooring balls, where Sonia & I & Richard took an introductory Scuba diving course. From there, we went on to La Ceiba on the Honduras mainland where we stayed at Lagoon Marina and visited the Mayan Ruins at Copan.
After La Ceiba we went on to Utila where we got our Scuba Certification.
From Utila we proceeded on to the Rio Dulce via stops at Puerto Escondido, Omoa and Cabo Tres Puntas.
After going over the sandbar at Livingston to check-in to Guatemala, we motored up the Rio to Fronteras, and Tortugal Marina, where we have left Moustache for the 2008 Hurricane season.
While in Guatemala we visited the Mayan Ruins at Tikal. We also rented a car in G. City and with our daughter Natasha, visited Antigua, Chichicastenango and Lake Atitlan before returning to Canada on May 5.
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