Closing in on Punta Gorda, Belize
15 July 2021 | Puenta Gorda, Belize
gg | sunny
Ambergris Cay, Cucumber Marina, Colosn Cay, Placencia, Punta Gorda
Ambergris Cay / July 13, 2021
Wow what a beautiful, sunny day on flat-calm water. Inside the reef of Belize is like night and day compared to the open ocean. It will be smooth sailing for quite some time now. Our youngest sailors are enjoying watercolor painting in the main salon. The pre-teens have the praise music going as the adults are keeping us all on course. Our next stop is Cucumber Marina in Belize CIty where we will clear customs and be free to explore the islands.
Trinity, the mother of these four precious children, reflects that her wisdom for sailing is this: to keep your eyes on Jesus, not on your stomach. "How wide and deep is his love" (Ephesians 3:14-21). She knows that there is nowhere you can hide from His presence, and this is a good thing as Jesus is carrying her in His arms. For some people, the rocking of the ship is a lullaby or a fun action, but for a few it is a time of trial from the constant motion. Sailing is a great time for reflection, to bond with friends and to hear from God. For all, the beauty of God’s creation is pure joy to the heart.
Arriving Cucumber Marina, we were met by our agent Carolyn, a wonderful local woman who organizes the process of checking in for us which includes the Port Authority, Agricultural Inspector and Health Inspector. After a pile of paperwork, we were all allowed to go ashore.
Cucumber Marina is a great place to resupply your vessel. Fuel and water is available as well as a laundry facility. In town, there is a fairly large grocery store which has many specialty items you may be looking for. Stepping ashore is also a welcomed activity. What I love about sailing is the fact that small things become great things. Your apprecaition for what is often taken for granted increases in measure.
While we spent the night at the marina, the wind picked up significantly, whistling through the rigging and vibrating a tune of its own, the song that says I am glad I am not out sailing off shore! In the morning, we set sail in bouncy seas and sporadic winds which were peaking at 30, pushing us at 9.9 knots, only to change direction and let up, dropping our speed down to 4 knots. Arriving Colson Cay on the lee side, we set our anchor down to explore these remote cays.
One house stands alone, surrounded by mangroves, sand, and a lot of water. Here we delivered a package to Lynol, the caretaker, who lives out here alone. Our friends from the Rio Dulce, Pamela and Sheldon, had met him in their travels a month ago. He was wanting a Bible, and God heard his call.
There is also a fish camp out here on one of these very small cays. The fishermen had been out lobstering and had a fine catch. They came by wanting to trade for liquor. All we had to offer was PowerAde and Bibles. They seemed happy to receive what we had with big smiles on their faces.
Night came with some rain, and the morning came in a flurry. Before departing, we snorkelled over the fan beds. Not too far in the distance, four porpoise were out for their morning swim. They decided to investigate us and swam over within 25 feet, which was a delight.
Back on board Viento Azul, it was time to move on to Placencia. Our slow boat was soon to become a fast boat. With following seas and the wind at 20 - 25, our top speed of 13 was surpassed and peaked at 15. It was a sleigh ride today under grey skies, making record time to Placencia where we anchored in the calm harbor.
Going ashore, we were reminded of the covid restrictions. A $500 fine for no mask and a trip to the jail, and it is said they are enforcing it quite well. We have found Placencia to be very welcoming and a beautifu part of Belize. We visitied with some local missionaries who are leading the Calvary Chapel in Seine Bight -- we thought they said "snake bite!" The church our guests attend in California supports this missionary couple, so it was really fun to meet up with them. We also went to the health clinic and met the local doctor, as something happened to my eye. The attention and care given was very heartwarming and impressive. A local man actually walked me to the doctor's house to see whether the doctor was in or at the clinic. Since he was at the clinic, we called a cab and were able to see more of the town. The community is diverse with large homes, hotels, small homes, and plenty of restaurants and shops. The funny thing is you are not allowed to vist your neighbor at this point in time with covid rising, but you can take the bus and go to the restaurant. Just like most places around the world, covid restrictions are often confusing, but it's best to follow whether you agree or not.
July 15, 2021 We are approaching Punta Gorda in the moment, which will be our last stop in Belize. We hope to check out the this beautiful remote area and meet the with the mission group Kabod International , and visit LOL children's home, which is said to house 60 children . Our prayers for fair winds and following seas have been answered. It has been a week of yellow and white butterflies as the wind carried us down sea.