We spent the last days of June getting ready for our departure from Belize after 10 months in the country. It’s been a great experience and we got to see most of the country, but we were definitely ready to move on… there were just a few things that stood in our way…
We did our best to enjoy a rather soggy Placencia Lobsterfest and the World Cup matches while Tropical Storm Alex washed through.
What we thought would be the biggest hurdle before departure turned out to be a formality. We were required to temporarily import Third Aye into Belize and therefore hand over a bunch of cash to Customs. They had assured us and our customs broker, Mr. Billy Valdes, that the money would be safe and sound, waiting for us in a treasury account when we came to leave… but every other sailor that we talked to while in the country offered little hope or confidence that the cash would turn up when we asked for it… ugh!
But as it turned out, Billy was a star!! He not only got us our money back, but he convinced customs to cut us a cheque before we cleared ourselves and our boat out of the country (normally they say you have to physically leave before you can claim your money back!! Huh!!??). So all we had to do, in the end, was turn up in Belize City and have Billy drive us around to pick up the cheque and stuff. He rocks!!
So, all that was left was to stock up on some food, diesel and ginger ale… and do a run around all the local banks to change Belize dollars back into US dollars, as they won’t let you change more than USD 250 at a time… definitely time to move on!!
First thing on Thursday July 1st, we untied from the dock and set sail SE to Tom Owens Caye.
But by Sunday it was time for us to head off and on to Guatemala. We had checked out of Belize on the mainland and couldn’t check into Guatemala until Monday morning, so we just sailed west and anchored for the night off Cabo Tres Puntas in Guatemala.
After a couple of hours we emerged into the wide waters of El Golfete… we considered stopping at a marina here for the night… but when we set our anchor in Texan Bay and realised the only wind was that which we had be creating ourselves… we opted not to sit and cook until sundown, and headed back out again and pushed on to our marina at Fronteras.
It is probably the cheapest marina on the Rio… but as the only one who responded to our emailsand had space available for us… it is now home… and actually, as we check out the other places around here we are very happy with our choice!!