Almost to Rio Dulce… but not quite

Having explored the ruins and dealt with Customs, we felt that we’d pretty much seen all that Punta Gorda had to offer. With hurricane season luckily still showing little signs of wreaking havoc here, we felt that the cost (quite a lot) of sailing to Guatemala’s Rio Dulce for only a week or two, while we waited on job stuff or head back to Ambergris for the PADI Instructor Course, was not worth the expense… so sadly no seafood, coconut Garifuna soup (we’ll try it one of these days Ian!). So for the first time since Tadd and I met (almost a year ago exactly) we would set sail north!

punta gorda from anchor

The cold front was still with us, but that meant the west winds were still very gentle, so we decided just to motor a couple of hours away to another of the million-and-one cays and stop for the night.

The cay of choice, this time, was South Moho Cay, with a private resort that was purported to welcome cruisers in for drinks and dinner… and who are we to give up the opportunity of a cold beer on an island paradise! But as we approached, it once again looked sadly still out of season. So, we weren’t too disappointed when we tried to anchor and discovered that there wasn’t enough room to let us swing… we were in no rush to repeat the rude awakening of West Snake Cay… so we pulled the anchor back up and kept going… all surveyed by a small audience that had gathered on the dock. I bet they’re wondering what we were up to!

So the next best place nearby was the almost-360-degree-protection of the Mangrove Cays. We searched and searched for the promised 17 feet of water to anchor in, and finally gave up and settled for 30–ish feet of water a good 100 yards away from all mangrove covered land masses. We chilled, had a cocktail and listened to some BBC Radio 1 podcasts before dinner, followed by a spectacular sunset beyond the hills of southern Belize, and our next round of Cribbage (our latest favourite distraction).

The wind hadn’t picked up by morning, but there was no point in hanging out in the mangroves and the water down there was still all green, murky and generally not at all enticing! So it was back to Placencia.

We had a couple of interesting moments feeling our way over and around sandy shoals… sometimes rather too close for comfort!

By the early afternoon the wind had picked up a little and Tadd entertained himself with tacking upwind back to the secure anchorage in the mud just off the Paradise Resort and Yoli’s Bar… and back to the fulltime slog of jobhunting. But first we need some water.

Tadd fetches water