During the night on West Snake Cay, the almost unheard of in Belize had happened – the winds had shifted to out of the west… and we had swung around to sit on top of the sandbar… and I mean sit! We were ever so slightly grounded. Luckily the sand was soft and tide high enough that shortly after we realized that we were sitting on the bottom, the wind shifted slightly and we floating happily, though with just inches to spare.
The cool, overcast day and the prospect of snorkeling in the murky green water, just added to our motivation to leave behind the Belizian boa constrictors (unsighted by us), and keep moving to Punta Gorda.
As the westerlies were quite gentle, we motored away before we could get pushed back onto the sand. The skies continued to cloud and darken and we could see rain behind us and off over the mountains, of what we worked out to be Guatemala (it’s always a bit of a mind bender when you can actually see a foreign country across the water). I was determined to outrun the rain, and Third Aye held up her end, as we sped up and slowed down while cautiously passing over numerous shoals.
Probably the biggest shock was when we spotted a strange line of colour change ahead of us… could it be a huge sandbar not on the charts?? Nope! Just the milky, brown waters of the Rio Grande and the Rio Blanco mixing ever so slowly, while flowing out into the Gulf of Honduras. Minor panic over, we spotted a few dolphins swimming in the blending waters.
From then on in to Punta Gorda we entertained ourselves with trying to identify which of the many bumps and lumps on shore were the different hills on the charts… not so easy… you tell me how to successfully count the seven peaks of the so-called Seven Hills… not as easy as you’d think!
With no beaches along the coast here, the town just seemed to sit right on top of the waves. From a far it looked quite nice… but the closer we got the more dilapidated the building seemed. By the time we anchored between the immigration and Texaco docks just offshore, we were definitely planted back in a border town of Central America.
Being Sunday, we relaxed and went for a bit of a wander around town, but nothing much more than the internet café (Yay!) and someone to sell us ice were open, so after orienting ourselves around Front, Main, Middle Main and West streets (can you say town planner needed!) we headed back to the boat for the night, ready to check out the tour options and catch up on job hunting the next day.
The cold front that had brought the westerly winds made for some very pleasant sleeping conditions… we even had to dig out our blanket!!