Ahoy from wonderful South Water Cay in Belize!
Yesterday we made the jump from the Pelican Cays to here. And once again the wind gods weren't being fare. The winds started out from the south (!) which was dead behind us and had switched to the west by the time that we got here. By evening they were from the N and this morning they're from the ENE (which is about the direction we need to go today!) Well, the refrigeration is getting run well...
The trip here took us through the Blue Ground Range, which is a set of cays where you have to make a series of dog legs through in order to keep in the "deep" water. Then, on the trip from the Blue Ground Range to South Water Cay, the depths varied from 8' to 30', sometimes very quickly. That sure gives you pause!
South Water Cay is a delightful cay covered with tall coconut trees and has wonderful beaches. A tropical paradise. According the the guide book, it's one of the largest inhabited cays in Belize. There are several resorts here (the term resort being relative) and 2 restaurants. We availed ourselves of the luxury of a prepared meal and had a very nice chicken dinner for $12. We also scored a bag of ice! Yeah!
South Water Cay sits directly behind the reef and just north of the South Water Cut, which provides access to the ocean and the outer reefs. We took the dinghy and dove right outside the cut. We had expected to find a wall, but instead we found a gently sloping grade which we took down to 80'. We were told that a 3000' wall was present, just further out. The most interesting diving was in the 20-40' range where the coral and fish were more interesting. Unfortunately there was a strong swell and we couldn't get any closer in.
Last night we got to give anchoring lessons to the Moorings boat with the US couples that we met in the Pelican Cays. They followed us over here, arriving mid-afternoon. We had been exploring the cay in the dinghy when they pulled in, so we ran over to say hello while they were anchoring. The bottom here is sea grass and their anchor, like BlueJacket's, is a CQR which doesn't like to bite through the sea grass. You need to look for sand patches, which appear as bright blue areas, and drop your hook there. Well, they dropped their hook in grass and basically just let the boat swing back on it. The person on deck said to us "Do you think that it's set?" and we said "Perhaps you should back down on it." They threw the boat into reverse for 20 seconds and said "I guess it's set." They should have felt the chain to see if it was skipping.
Just after sunset we heard an anchor being pulled up. Sure enough it was them. Someone from the boat behind them had swum over to tell them that they were dragging. We hopped into the dinghy and went over to see if we could help. We tried to find a sand patch, but it was impossible in the dark. They dropped their hook alongside of BlueJacket and Sue got on to help them set their anchor. She showed them how to let it settle, how much chain to let out, how to back down on it and how to check the chain to see if it was skipping. We figured that we would have at least gotten a drink out of this at dinner, but no such luck. Well, that wasn't why we did it. It's just nice to help others. That's what cruising is all about.
Oh, as an aside. You my remember the Swedish boat that we keep running into (physically and literally). Well, the woman from the resort told us that these people taxed them a lot and that even the resort was happy to see them leave the anchorage. They seem to want everything their way. They even called the Moorings and asked them to send the chase boat with another bottle of olive oil as they had used theirs up! Yeah, right!
Today it's on to the Turneffe Islands which are atolls about 8 miles E of the barrier reef system that we're currently inside of. It's about a 20 mile journey, and maybe I'll even get the sails up! Wow, what a concept...
-- Geoff & Sue
Oops, I almost forgot. Sue became an aunt yesterday (Tuesday). Her sister Cathy had a 10 LB baby boy named Ethan. Both are doing well.
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