November 30, 2010

Hello From Belize!!

Downtime departed Grand Cayman at 2:00 on Nov. 26. Having gone through the clearing out circus, wich took an hour to find all the right people and get the right documentation filled out we were officialy cleared out and on our way.

We had a 350 miles in front of us to get to Ambergis Cay, Belize. With light winds we set the screecher and ran one engine at 75% power. This gave us a blazing speed of 7 knts/hr. This would give us a trip estimated at 50 hours!! It is amazing what a extra couple of knots of wind will do for you crossing times. Downtime likes at least 20 knts to get her going 8 - 9 knts/hr. We had 7 to 12 knts. That would only push us 3 to 4 without a motor running. Too slow!!

Well if the lack of wind was not the only thing that was going to slow the trip down... at 1:00 am I woke up and for some reason remebered the spear guns!! I forgot to retrieve them from customs when clearing out!! We were 60 miles out!! TURN THE SHIP AROUND!!

20 hours later and about 80 gallons of diesel less in the tank we were back to being 60 miles into our crossing. Talk about a detour!

The engine stayed on for the next two days. The 50 hour trip took 70 hours and 500 miles. Along the way we caught several fish. Three Baracuda's wich one we ate, and one King Mackrel about three feet long and 10 pounds. King are really good eating fish!! Being preditors they have white flaky meat that is very lean. MMM good with a Japanese fruit citrus sauce that Daria cooked up!

Aproaching Belize we touk out the cruising guide and put in a few waypoints on the Furuno navigation system. The first one we entered was for San Pedro Cut off of Ambergis Cay. I pushed enter and the point showed up 100 yard on land!!! This is not good!! The waypoint through the reef is on land?? The chart plotter is off? The map is off?? who knows?

Lucky for us there was a navigation mark in the cut that "was" in the right place! We navigated through and set the anchor. When we backed down the depth guage showed 5.5 feet exactly what Downtime draws! We had to re- anchor in deeper water. Time for one of those Jamaican Red Stripe Beers that have been cooling in the fridge for three days!! WOW that tasted good!!

Watch out Belize here we come!!
Peace!! The Captain