Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Visiting Placencia Belize and our First Northern Front

It was nice to be able to spend a couple of days in Placencia!  This is where we started our journey, so it is nice to come back and see all of our friends again! 
Kick'n back in Placencia Harbor!!!
We anchored near the Moorings Marina in the lagoon, where we needed the expert help of Cricket and Salam to fix a few things on the boat.  Cricket fixed our autopilot in about 30 minutes, installing a key in between the gear sprocket and the motor shaft.  So mom you are out of a job on our next voyage!
Salam helped us order and install a large hose clamp on our upper seal on our sail drive.  The original one had come off, so we feel better that this is corrected too.  He stayed on the boat one night for an hour or so, drinking a couple of our Gallo beers from Guatemala.  He just got married and is a really great guy.  He is also the lead mechanic here at the Moorings Belize. 
We also got to visit with Renee about our future plans in Belize.  She helped mark different anchorages that we can use during our sail north to San Pedro.  Thanks Renee!
We took the boat into the marina and filled our water tanks, so we were ready to go!  Mom had to do some last minute shopping with the Mayan ladies that we met last September.  I think that she made their day, by buying something from each one!

Unfortunately, the weather forecast didn't look too favorable, with a large northern front moving in on Wednesday.  So we decided to wait here a few more days, until the front had passed.  We did manage to buy some supplies while in town, and see Brenda, the Jerk Chicken lady at the dock. 

Brenda's Jerk Chicken Stand
We also had dinner and lunch with Termite, who was a live-aboard staying at the Moorings Marina.  We have kept in touch with him since we left back in September. 
Termite and Wiley (this picture was from last September.  He now has a short haircut!)
Wash day on MokaKat!  Yes, even in paradise you need to do wash!
Sunrise in Placencia Harbor
With the front coming into the area on Wednesday, Tuesday I kicked back and enjoyed the day.  It was absolutely perfect, very little wind and flat seas.  I enjoyed swimming and catching some sun.

Dale kick'n back!  Notice the Lost Bridge Marina Coolie!
This is cruising life...and the first time that I have intentionally caught some sun!
Placencia Harbor, the day before the front
That afternoon, we motored back into the lagoon and anchored just in front of the Moorings Marina.  There was just one other boat around us, so we had plenty of room to spread out.  We dropped our anchor and let out about 150 feet of chain.  The water was only about 6 feet deep, so this was more than enough!  The winds were supposed to hit 30 knots, so we wanted to make sure that we didn't drag.  No more than an hour after we set the anchor a large thunder storm hit the area.  It wasn't part of the front, but I am sure that it was created by the unsettled weather.  It dumped a lot of rain on us but the winds only hit about 18 knots, so we knew that it was not the forecasted front.  The rain did provide us with more than 20 gallons of water to top off our tanks!
Late evening storm coming!
 After the storm, we had a very peaceful evening as everything settled down.  At 4:44 in the morning, I was woken to hear the rigging singing and the wave slapping on the boat!  I guess the front finally made it here!  I got up and turned on the instruments to see how hard the wind was blowing.  It was hitting mid 20s, so nothing too much.  I sat up and watched the weather for an hour or so, and fell back asleep.  I got up around 7:00, and the wind hit over 30 knots a few times.  Our anchor held solid in the lagoon mud, so we felt very safe. 

This what I woke up to at 7:00.  It actually got worse before dying out later in the day.
We enjoyed the cooler day, and as the day wore on, the wind finally slacked off.  There were several of the Moorings Charters out in the reefs having some concerns about the wind.  They all managed to get back into port safely, after waiting for the wind to die.  We were happy to be sitting in the lagoon, before we head out in the morning to Pelican Cay.  Happy Sailing!!!

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