12 Days Later! Viento Azul, Guatemala to the Florida Keys
02 March 2021
Gail Gordon | sunny
Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021: It has been six days since we left Guatemala. Belize has been good to us and it has been nice to rest at Cucumber Marina just out side of Belize City. We have cleared customs today, and are headed out to anchor off of Saint George Cay which is surrounded by some very skinny water. In certain areas it was just inches from our keel . The anchorage is very inviting with many large beautiful homes. As night falls the wind is blowing steady and gentle waves are lapping on our hulls making for a perfect good night sleep.
The morning arrives and the wind has calmed for a moment as we head out towards the reef to pass into the deep blue. We departed are departing St. George Cay early morning Friday at 7:30 a.m. Winds are holding steady 20 - 25 giving us a good speed of 7 to 7.8 Our course over the ground holds steady at 15 to 20 degrees to the wind with the apparent wind at 45 to 50 degrees. The peaceful sound of the waves kept rolling away despite sailing so close to the wind. Dolphin came to greet us as we enter into the ocean but disappeared as soon as they appeared. As we near the border of Belize and Mexico about mid afternoon our speed increases to 8 - 10 knots. Just in time for dinner a black fin tuna hops onto our fishing lure. The sun shining on his scales reflects a rainbow of colors, intense blue ,green, yellow and silver. We are grateful for the fun catch and enjoy his beauty for a moment before we released him back into the sea.
The seas have dropped 1 to 2 feet with the sun sinking on the horizon. Preparing for the night ahead the fishing lines are reeled and it is time to reef the sail as we are cruising steady at 9.7 as we begin the approach to Banco Chinchoro, 18 29 N:87 28 W The night is fairly uneventful dodging a few rain clouds on the radar. This is good, uneventful sailing is the desire! Suddenly a loud startling noise of a slam happens . The main sheet block broke on the boom. A late night repair was needed and accomplished by Captain Ted. Using some line works until it can be repaired properly. The order of the night is to share two hour watches through out the night rotating until sunrise. The continuous movement of the sea lulls you into a deep sleep, which makes it hard to come out of when its your turn for watch.
A new day is upon us and it is becoming hard to keep track of the days.The blanket clouds of last night have turned in to scattered formations of imaginative clusters all across the sky. Taking the reef out of the sail brings us into midday passing Cozumel. The wind and waves have been remaining steadily the same. By the end of the day the sky turned clear blue giving a promise of a possible good night ahead which is coming quickly. Leaving Mexico behind with each wave we are sailing directly into the rising orange moon headed towards Cuba. The waves and seas calmed some durning the night making it very peaceful with the absence of donkey kicks on our hulls from the waves for a moment. As we pass the western tip of Cuba peace is fleeting as we are met by a bucking bronco. The weather is constantly changing.
Eventually, peace returned. The night and moon was fading behind us. A silver path across the water form the moon melted away as the yellow and orange of sunrise starts to paint it self on the horizon. Sailing days are blurring one into another. It’s our third day at sea since leaving Belize. By noon we are off of the Golf de Guanahacabibes which is somewhere Cuba! The wind is subsiding to 12 knots and the seas down to one foot. A welcome from the constant rocking and slamming of the days past. With the drop in wind is also a drop in speed down to 4.5 making for longer days. 163 miles ahead is Fort Jefferson, the historic fort off of the Florida Keys. Another night with a double reef in our sail is ahead rocking away. The wind and waves act as they usually do , they change and increase! This night turns into Viento Azul feeling like a horse running for the barn taking on a few small smooth fences along the way. As we continued the fences turn into jumping high fences, leaping away tossing you around, similar to the game children play on a trampoline “Pop Corn”
Day 4 24 15 N : 83 20 W The good news is the wind changed again dropping down to 15/16 . The day was slow but happy for calmness. Mahi-Mahi was the highlight of the day, just in time for dinner along with a pod of dolphin coming by to say hi. Late in the afternoon over head we can hear but not see the sound of the Navy Jets. We are getting very close to home. The hope of making the Marquesas at night fall was interrupted by lobster/crab traps across the water. Navigating them at night would be very difficult. Instead we need to change course for the ocean side of Key West which places us dead into the wind. This is where you say “Thank you God for motors. The sun is setting directly behind us like in a movie. Soon the stars come out in full force across the clear sky, bright as ever as far as you can see.This is my favorite part of sailing, a clear night sky. It is spectacular, as we anticipate the faithful rising of the moon dead ahead as the night proceeds . Appearing in God’s glory the orange ball rises lighting the way in and through the night which remained pleasant.
Waking to see the lights of Key West at 4 a.m. ! Home is 90 more miles to go. We are motoring inside the reef on a beautiful Florida Keys day. Everything behind us just seems to be washing away as a dream. This has been one of our longest crossing from Guatemala. We left Nana Juan Marina on Jan. 19, 2021 arriving the Florida Keys on March 2, 2021 Complications with covid and weather were the factors. All with patience turned out to be amazingly fun. The lesson I have learned is good things come to those that wait on the Lord for He will direct our path. By 3 in the afternoon and we are racing to make the Snake Creek bridge on the other side is our dock for the next couple of months. We are one minute too late!
A new day with new life is here for all of us. As I look about I see God’s favor over our passage and I am grateful to God. Who created the universe and holds it all in His hands, and never misses a beat. No matter what is happening in your life , whether is appears to look good or bad, remember God is in control Jeremiah 10 : 12 But God made the earth by his power; he founded the world by his wisdom and stretched out the heavens by his understanding”. He has a great plan for your life Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you , “ declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. Just as the waves and the winds change so does our life, we can trust the Lord to make all things good for those who love Him.