Up with the sun as usual, we left behind our lapsed paradise island of Southeastern Cay on Glover’s Reef and headed back west to the mainland.
Heading almost downwind on the easterlies we surfed the waves and snuck behind Glover’s Reef in search of some illusive respite from the swells. 6.5 knots with just the jib!! Now that’s sailing… we eventually added in the mainsail and maintained our speed as we headed for gap in the reef between Southwater Cay and Carrie Bow Cay (who named these places?? I mean what was with the dive site off Ambergris – Victoria’s Canyon… are they kidding??)
Still trying to surf the somewhat erratic waves… pushing the bow this way then that… we spotted the tiny, low-lying cays and pointed the boat as best we could for the gap between them. It certainly wasn’t the scariest of cuts, but we kept a close eye on the breaking reef on either side and headed in. Even before we had passed through the cut the seas began to calm… got to love the shelter of the reef! We continued to follow the plotted course (from our trusty Rauscher guide) but started to get a little suspicious of the heading as we were instructed by the GPS to turn towards the pale green patch or water to the south that clearly indicated a sandbar… well she got us here… close enough!
Sailing inside the reef was so different… passing numerous tiny… and I mean tiny – just a matter of feet in length – cays, cruising gently through channels, while keeping a keen eye on the lightening waters that cover the nearby corals and shallow sands.
A few adjustments to the course here and there to avoid what could have been shifting sandbars or mis-directions and we continued to fly downwind, leaving behind cays and finally the coast of mainland Belize (a new thing for us!) until at only 2pm, instead of the predicted 5pm, we arrived at the skinny channel between the rustic, lazy beach town of Placencia and it’s Cay next door.
Some of the easiest anchoring so far in our trip, left us with plenty of daylight to head ashore and check our what was doing in our new temporary home.