Friday, January 22, 2010

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January 22, 2010 4AM
Position: 17°27' N 087°15' W
YTD: 570 nautical miles

Underway from Guanja, Honduras (Bay Islands) to San Pedro, Belize with about 7 hours to go putting us in around 10:30AM.

We are just rounding the North end Lighthouse reef home to the world famous Blue Hole.

With 150 nautical miles from Guanaja to San Pedro we departed Guanaja in the afternoon under clear blue skies and 15 knots of ESE wind. By departing in the mid afternoon we assured of a daylight arrival at the tricky San Pedro reef pass. We usually do our best to plan for a noon arrival thus giving us the maximum amount of daylight for either a early or late arrival. It sure is nice to sail down wind for a change and we have make excellent time for the first 14 hours. Now four in the morning winds have died down considerably and remaining 1.5 meter swells have the sails slamming at intervals as the apparent wind is not strong enough to keep things set. Likely the drop in wind velocity is a direct result of our proxmity of land and the cold air sweeping down off the mountains at night toward the sea.

I just capitulated to the light winds and dropped sail as I suspect the cost of the wear and tear of the sails slamming is exceeding the cost to run the engines.

Beautiful stars out tonight. And earlier in the evening a brilliant waxing crescent moon set allowing the bright glory of the stars to provide excellent viewing in the ultra clear cool evening air. At one point I had Ursula Major rising on the starboard side, Cassiopeia on the starboard bow and Orion directly overhead with the remainder of the sky blocked out by sails. Around 2AM the Southern cross and attendant pointer stars slowly began to show themselves to the South. Wishing for a star chart to learn more constellations on such a beautiful night as this.

Yesterday afternoon we arrived in Guanaja and found twelve boats anchored in El Bight. Of these several friends including s/v Kitywake (Jack and Nichole), s/v Galavant (Anne and Doug), s/v Avion (Roy) and s/v Zephyrs (Dan and Lorraine). We hosted a happy hour on s/v LightSpeed and enjoyed some of the wonderful shrimp procured the day before in the Vivorillos as we caught up on the last six months of adventures. Later we went enjoyed a nice dinner ashore at the German Restaurant with wonderfully authentic food and great company. Kathy even managed to win three games of pool against the local guys. We were sad to rush off this afternoon, but duty calls to get the final wedding preparations completed.

Next stop San Pedro to check in with Customs and Immigration. We hope they are understanding about the many cases of wine and champagne we have aboard for the wedding. We will declare everything then hope for the best. Our last visit to Belize back in March 2009 I noticed about ten cases of beer in the Customs office. Apparently, a big sport fishing boat didn't declare the beer and it was confiscated. So we plan to play by the rules and hopefully not be subjected to undue hardship.

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