Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Day 38-40 on the gulf, Dec 4-6

Day 38 (day 10 on the gulf)
I started about 5:30 a.m. motoring, hoping to get to Cozumel by noon for fuel, so that we could get to Belize by Tuesday or Wednesday. We did  find a place to get fuel in Cozumel.  We tried to reach someone with the Mexican government on the radio to let them know we needed emergency fuel and were going to dock, but could not reach anyone. We did find a place to get fuel in Cozumel, and were only there about 15 min, and got out as soon as we could. When we got close to the inland, I turned on phone to see if I could get a text to Lori. I was able to get few texts back and forth with Lori, and then got one from Verizon, stating that I had used over $25 in data charges. Turned out my phone was trying to download all my email from the past 10 days. (Still don't want to see what that cost.) After getting fuel I was able to call Lori and talk for a few minutes. It was really nice to hear her voice. After fueling we were about 160 nautical miles from San Pedro, which is a Belizean island just north of Caye Caulker, and where we need to go through customs and immigration. At 4 kt per hour, that sounds great.  Nice to be on calm water again for a bit anyway.

Day 39 (day 11 on the gulf)
Last full day I hope. We motored all night using the autopilot and chart plotter. The motor was sitting at just over idle. But we made about 10-15 kt overnight, so by morning we had only 100 miles left to go. By 6:30 pm we were about 43 kt miles till we get to customs to check-in with the Belize government. Ran the main water tank dry tonight trying to do the dishes. Today would have been an almost perfect day to sail, but with the rigging in the shape that it is, we could lose the mast by doing so.

Day 40 (day 12 on the gulf)
Again we motored all night. Got to reef in San Pedro over night. We looked to see where the crossing over the reef was, but did not see it. The Belize Barrier Reef is one of the largest in the world, and we had arranged for someone to help us navigate it, since bumping into them would have meant major damage to the boat and reef ecosystem. Dave's phone has been dying the whole trip and we could not get it to work to call the harbor pilot, Ash, who is going to help us through the reef, and with customs and immigration. I was told that my phone would not work in Belize, and even if it did, calls would be about $3.00 per min. I was able to get a hold of Noelle and finally did get in contact with Ash. So after that I tried to call Lori and it didn't work, was got a message that it was unregistered and to contact the cell company.

It was going to take Ash about an hour to get to us, so both of us used some gallon jugs of water to shower off a little bit, since we hadn't been able to shower in 12 days. About the time the we got done, a small boat came out to us to see if we were ok, and had been watching us all morning. He was able to guide us through the reef, and then brought us to a spot so that we could anchor and wait for Ash. Ash got us to the dock and came with us to immigration and customs. Both of us us had a hard time standing straight on firm ground. We got through the process easy with out much trouble. It was only about 7 miles to Dave's dock on Caye Caulker from San Pedro.

Ash guided Dave though the coral heads and sand bar to the inland. I had not slept in about 2 day from motoring overnight, and fell asleep on the boat before our arrival. As we got close to the dock, I could see Noelle jumping up and down on the dock as we came in. When we got about 60 feet from the dock, the boat ran aground. We knew it was going to be close, if we could get in at all. After trying for a bit we gave up for the time being, grabbed a few things, jumped in the dinghy, then off to shore we went, leaving Bettie P and Flat Jane just short of the dock.

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