Underway to Roatan

Saturday, June 18, 2005
Belize

016-27.000 N
087-9.960 W
Marine forecast for this location

Ahoy from the BlueJacket!

Right now it's 1:30 AM our time (3:30 for most of you in the East) and we're underway to Roatan, Honduras. It's a beautiful night and a study in grey. The moon just went down and now the world is made up of various shades of grey. The sea is the darkest, forming the ever present dark horizon. The sky is slightly mottled with clouds either glowing or looking ominously dark. In between the clouds it's darker yet and stars dot the heavens. On the horizon lightening flickers on a regular basis reminding you of who's really in control of your situation.

The cockpit is awash in light from the laptop right now, but most of the time it dark, lit only by the faint glow of the instruments. The only sound that you hear are the waves washing by the boat and the constant, but reassuring, drone of the engine. As I said, it's really quite beautiful and peaceful.

The decision to go to Roatan was made at the last minute. We had been planning on going to Utila, Honduras later in the week, but there was a great weather window today and we decided to take it. Basically the winds have been very light, and they're forecast to pick up significantly in about 48 hours, so instead of having to motor into 15-20 kts of wind and seas, we chose to leave 2 days earlier and motor into 5-10 kts of wind and relatively flat seas.

A big part of our decision to leave was that the dive compressor seized two days ago. The same thing happened a year ago, and I think that it's just a poor design. Since that happened we've been having the tanks filled by the live-aboard dive boats that are out here, but they left last night and now we're out of air. Hence the reason to leave.

We had planned on going to Utila where we'd meet Lone Star Love, but they're in the shipyard getting some work done and won't be out until Tuesday at best. Utila has had a string of boat thefts lately, including one during the daytime, so we had no desire to subject ourselves to that. Plus the diving there stinks and the restaurants are mediocre. Roatan has better diving and good restaurants. Tough choice!

Switching gears...We had quite the interesting experience last night. A squall had just come though and lightening was flickering all over the place. I was watching it through the portholes when I saw (and heard) something flashing in the main cabin. When I went in there I saw that the TV cable, which runs to the top of the mast and was disconnected at the bottom, was arcing to the base of the mast. I can only guess that there was a huge static buildup above the mast and due to the fact that we have a carbon fiber mast, that the electrical potential between the top of the mast and the bottom was enough to let the TV cable arc to the mast. We're talking some serious voltages here. I figured that we were about to get struck, so I disconnected all of the electronics and powered everything down. I ran up above, but quickly decided that standing in the cockpit with all kinds of metal around wasn't the smartest thing. I went back down and waited for a strike, which never came. All that I can say is that certainly was interesting!

There's not much else that's too exciting to report. The diving at Lighthouse was good, but the clarity was the worst that I've ever seen it. It was like someone poured milk into the water. Of course, we still had 100+ feet of visibility, but when you're used to 300+ feet, it's a big change. Oh, this AM we found a 45 foot powerboat (launch/water taxi type) upside down and on the reef. It was named ARSH. We explored it and it was in relatively good shape, but it will get ground to pieces in short order unless it's pulled off. We later saw a plane circle it and I'd love to know the story behind that.

That's about it from here. We should be into Roatan at around 9 AM. Hope that you had a good nights sleep and that all is well there.

-- Geoff & Sue
Log ID: 698

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