Friday, May 2, 2014

Mike and Kathi's Visit - SouthWater Caye, Water Cay, and Cucumber Beach Marina

It was finally time to leave Pelican Cays and head to Southwater Caye, as we lost a day to the storm.  The wind was blowing 20 knots from the northeast, the direction that we needed to go, so we knew it was going to be long sailing day.  We had to back track south about a mile to get to a break in the reef to get to the open channel.  We then did several tacks and about 2 hours later, we arrived back at Hideaway Caye, where we started, but on the other side of the reef! 

Mike loved the bow seats!
Kathi taking pictures
Sailboat heading north

We crossed in front of this sailboat and took some pictures as they were heading north.  Maybe one day we will know who they are and share these pictures with them.  We got lots of tacking practice and the waves were a little steep, but we finally made it to the Blue Ground Range.  We then sailed through the pass into smooth water!  It was then a quick sail pass Twin Cays and on to Southwater Caye.  We anchored next to Felicity, the TMM charter that we have seen many times this year. 
We then had a great dinner and watched another beautiful Belize Sunset. 
 Felicity, a TMM Charter
Southwater Caye
Another beautiful Belize sunset
The next morning we decided that we needed to sail to Water Cay, and hopefully see some cruise ships heading out to sea.  This would get us close to Cucumber Marina and Belize City, where Kathi and Mike need to catch a taxi to the airport.  We really wanted to snorkel at Southwater Caye, as there was an excellent spot, just south of the pass.  So we got up early and headed over to snorkel, before heading off to Water Cay.  It turned out to be one of our best snorkels and we enjoyed very clear water, lots of sea life, and beautiful reefs.
 Lobster season is closed, so this guy was safe!!!

 A school of blue tangs
 Neighborhood watch program!
 Beautiful Elk Horn Coral

 Wow, a school of good eating snappers!  Too bad this is a marine park!!!
 Beautiful but troublesome Lion Fish

 Kathi diving down

Mom, taking pictures!
 Kathi and Mike

 Kathi snorkeling
 Dale checking out the lobster holes

Kathi diving down deep!
The wind had died down during the night, so we were left with 5 to 7 knots of wind to sail to Water Cay.  We ended up motor sailing the whole way.  Mike was excited about fishing this area, as this is the area that we usually caught fish!  It wasn’t too long and he was reeling in a nice snapper!  Good job Mike!

 Mike and Kathi enjoying the sail
 Captain Dale and Kathi
Kathi and Dale
As we neared the ship channel, the reel started to sing and something large was heading to Guatemala with our lure in it’s mouth!  I slowed the boat down, and Mike grabbed the pole.  After a long fight, it looked like it was a shark!  At first I was disappointed, but then realized that it was a Cobia!  One of the best eating fish around!  It was very large, about 10 to 15 pounds!  Mike was pretty tired from the fight too!  They fight really hard!  I quickly filleted the fish and we had plenty for dinner tonight!
 It is a shark or cobia?
As we were approaching Water Cay, we noticed another catamaran anchored.  It turned out to be our friends Chuck and Deb on s/v Neytiri!  They were delayed heading up to Mexico waiting for a weather window by the same storm that hit us in Pelican Cays.  They were heading to Mexico in the morning.  We invited them over for fresh caught Cobia!  Kathi and Mom cooked up the fish and it was excellent! 
The next morning early, Chuck and Deb raised their sails and headed through the channel, and pointed their bows north to Mexico.  They called an hour or so later and said that they were on a beam reach running 7 knots!   Have a great trip to Mexico!!!  We really wanted to buddy boat sail with them, but they had a perfect weather window, and we had a couple more days before we would be ready.  It looked like there was going to be another weather window on the following Wednesday, four days away.

 Neytiri heading north to Mexico!
Good bye Neytiri!  See you in Mexico!!!
Soon after Neytiri sailed away, we heard a familiar voice just off of our starboard side.  It was Wayne, one of our favorite locals, who live in a small shack on stilts by Water Cay.  We invited him aboard for some coffee and rum.  He brought his own bottle of rum.  He sat with us for over an hour, swapping stories about living out on the cays.  He is an interesting guy!
 Wayne having coffee with me!
 Too early for rum!!!
Wayne heading back to his house
We raised our sails and headed over to Robinson Cays, closer to Cucumber Marina.  Of course Mike had to try his luck at fishing while we headed over.  Soon after he had the line out, the reel started to sing!  Fish on!!!  After a good fight, Mike pulled in a nice Wahoo! 

As we were sailing to Robinson Cays, we called the marina to see if we could get a slip today, as it would be better for Mike and Kathi to relax a little before catching a taxi the next day to the airport.  They said that they would know after 2:00, so we had time to anchor at Robinson and relax for an hour.  After talking to Cucumber Marina, they confirmed that we could have a slip, so we quickly raised the anchor and headed into the marina! 

I almost hit this fish trap, as it was hidden behind our jib!  
Mike, looking out for more fish traps!
Luckily, we had a side tie, so it was easy docking, and close to the restaurant.  We enjoyed a nice dinner at the restaurant and Mike and Kathi were able to watch a Mavs game on the large TV at the restaurant! 
For the past few days, Kathi was contemplating staying on with us to Mexico.  She finally got approval from her boss to stay another 10 days!  Yipi!!!  This was great, as having an extra hand on our passage would be great! 

 MokaKat on the dock at Cucumber Marina
 Kathi, Mom, and Mike
 Kathi, Dale, and Mike
Water park at Cucumber Beach Marina
Mike ended up catching a taxi to the airport, after we had our last lunch at the restaurant.  He was back home in Dallas by sundown.  Thanks Mike for all of the help and catching lots of fish!  I believe you had a unique experience in the past 10 days! 

Happy Sailing on MokaKat!

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