It was sad when my wife left to go back to Arkansas. I enjoyed the two mile walk back from the airport to reflect on the past week and how my adventure was going. It was fun sharing my adventure with her and to let her see another way to live your life. Of course, it was just 10 days, so it was more like a vacation than a life changing visit! She actually did very well adapting to living on a boat. She won't admit it, but I think that she really enjoyed it a lot!
Well, the best thing for me to break out of any 'glooms', is to go sailing! So once I returned back to MokaKat, we got it ready to head back out to one of the cays! First of all, we needed to fill our water tanks, as we used at least a full tank when Maria Paula was here. Something about long hair and nervous to take baths in the salt water, one tank of 100 gallons was missing....just saying...:). It was a small price to pay for beautiful long hair!!!
Maria Paula with her beautiful long hair
In the past, we usually pulled into a marina somewhere and filled the water tanks with a hose. This was easy, but I was always stressed out about docking the boat in the marina. The plan this morning was to head over to Robert Grove Marina and fill the diesel tanks and water at the same time. I took the dinghy over to check if they have diesel. I sat there and watched a pickup truck load 300 gallons of diesel into a rear external tank in the bed. Once this guy was finished I asked if they had about 50 gallons for my catamaran, but he said that he was out and that guy bought the last of it. Welcome to Belize!
Diesel was not a major concern, as we were only down a quarter tank, but water was! So, I decided that we would use the 1 gallon containers that we had from our drinking water, and use them to get water from the Moorings Marina to the boat. I know many cruisers that do the same, but they use 5 or 6 gallon containers, but we don't have any of those, as they are almost impossible to find down here.
So, we dumped all of our 1 gallon containers into the tank, filling almost half of it. We then took all 64 containers to the Mooring Marina and slowly filled them up. It took almost an hour to fill and replace the containers with water! It ended taking two trips, but we filled both of our tanks, and had all 64 containers filled and stowed in our front locker. We use that water for drinking and it is our emergency water if we run out of our tanks!
It was definitely hot and hard work! Mom and I worked as a team to get all of this done. We have a better appreciation of our water, after working so hard to fill the tanks!
Where is mom going to sit????
After stocking up on some food from Placencia, we were off toward Hatchet Caye, one of our favorite places! We wanted to go out and spend a few more days there because last time we had to leave early, as the weather turned bad. We had a good sail, but was having to tack, as Hatchet Caye is always directly into the wind. We had just cleared Wippari Cay and on a good line to hit Hatchet Caye, when our friends Chuck and Deb on s/v Neytiri hailed us on the radio. They were heading over to Pelican Cays and wanted us to join them! We discussed it for a minute, then then decided to join them at Pelican, as the last time that we were there was in November, and the wind was blowing 30 knots, and it was cold! We didn't even snorkel or explore, as we stayed there for three days.
So I turned the boat north, and we headed to Pelican Cays! We were also lucky to finally catch another fish! We didn't catch any fish when Maria Paula was here, so we were happy to finally catch one again. It wasn't any boat record, but did provide a meal later that night!
We arrived to Pelican Cay after a series of tacks, sailing almost all of the way! When we arrived, we noticed that there were three new mooring balls installed just in the past week! This was excellent, as the depth here is about 50 feet, and it can be hard to anchor in such deep waters. We only have 200 feet of chain, so a 1 to 4 anchoring ratio is not good. Fortunately for us, there was an available mooring ball, so we took it!
Of course this is Pelican Cay, and I had take some photos of the pelicans and falcons flying around!
Diving for fish!
Osprey taking a break
We then met up with Chuck, Deb, and their guests for a little snorkeling. We enjoyed a nice snorkel, seeing lots of beautiful coral and fish. This was a big change from our last visit, as it was cold and windy.
Chuck, Deb, and company
After snorkeling, we headed over to Hideaway Caye for snacks and drinks! The last time that we were here we didn't know about Hideaway Caye, so we really missed out! Dustin and Kim, with their toddler Ama (short for Biama, the local name for strong storms coming out of the south) built and run the restaurant and lodge. He catches most of the conch, lobster, and fish used in the restaurant from the local waters. They use solar and catch rain water, so they are very Eco friendly. We enjoyed talking to our friends, and headed back to the boat for our fish dinner!
The next day, Chuck, Deb and company headed off for South Water Cays, but we decided to spend another day exploring Pelican Cays. We decided to snorkel in another area that looked good, so off we went.
We had a great snorkel and I spotted a sleeping 6 foot nurse shark under one of the reefs. I quickly found mom and asked her if she wanted to see a shark. Her eyes got big, but when I told her it was a nurse shark, she willingly followed me back to the shark. He was sleeping, so we took a few pictures and left him alone. Something about 'letting a sleeping dog lie' came to mind.
For some reason, I took a lot of pictures of starfish with their different designs and colors. I know it is a little boring, but they are easy to take pictures of, as they don't move around as much as the little tropical fish I keep trying to photograph!
After taking some pictures, I started hunting for some conch. Dustin had shown the guys the correct way to clean the conch, and I wanted to try it out. I hit the jackpot with conch, and found six large ones in a small area. There were many more, but we only needed six to have a couple of dinners, so that is all that we took.
I also remembered seeing a large male reef crab in the other snorkeling area from the day before, so I headed over there with my spear gun to see if I could find him. The males have large white claws, and it wasn't too long before I shot my first large reef crab! I saw another large one, but it was a female.
Male reef crab
We did improve our cleaning of conch, but still they are time consuming and slimy! But, they are so good! Mom did an amazing job on cooking conch steaks and we enjoyed an excellent dinner of conch. We also cooked the crab, but for some reason, the meat was soft and shrunken. It may have been molting, which seems to affect the flavor.
The next day I went back to Hideaway Caye to take some photos for the blog. We also like to advertise for them, as they work hard for their clients and have a very unique resort. All of the structures are built over the mangrove swamps, with only large posts for support. There is no visible land on Hideaway Caye!
Unfortunately, Dustin had run to the mainland, so I didn't get any photos of him. Kim and Ama showed me around the resort with Caye leading the way. I had a great time taking pictures and playing with Caye, their large dog, who likes to take your hand in his mouth, as he leads you around the place! He is very intimidating, but really just a little puppy at heart! I miss my little schnauzer, Pepper.
My welcome committee! I was glad that I was friends with Caye already!
I wasn't sure what he was chasing, but he was getting all wet and muddy!!!
Swing over the swamp!
Residence of Dustin and Kim
Caye after chasing something in the swamp!
Kim and Ama
They lived above the bar before they built their own cottage
Personal Residence of Dustin and Kim
They put all of the solar path lights in the sun for charging
Well, we really enjoyed our few days at Pelican Cay and Hideaway Caye. Our option really changed from our last visit, as the weather was perfect. We will add this Cay to one of our favorite ones! We also have new friends at Hideaway Caye!
Next stop, South Water Caye!
Happy Sailing from MokaKat!