Not yet to Belize

Ok, yes, we were supposed to be in Belize by now. Not due to a navigational error this time, we are in Mexico. About midnight Saturday night we got hit by an unexpected gale and it was nasty. We were able to get the genoa stowed, but not before the sheet smashed a solar panel. The winds were blowing about 45kts and there was pelting rain. With a double reefed main(no,that’s not something you smoke) we hove to, which means we basically don’t go anywhere. With the strong winds and current we still made about 5 miles by morning. The waves continued to build and by morning we had 12 foot seas. When we next were able to get the weather we found out there were at least 3 more days of heavy wind and seas. We were only about 36 hours from Belize. Because of the coral reefs one should enter with the sun high and small seas. We decided it would not be prudent to enter in the rough conditions and standing off for an extra 24 hours or more is crazy. That is when we changed course and headed to Cozumel. By Sunday night we were anchored off the coast of Isla de Cozumel. On Monday morning I made a few repairs and we motored around to San Miquel to clear in. By the time we started to launch the dinghy it started to rain. It never got better. Prepared to stay on the boat and check in in the morning we kicked back only to have the winds continue to pick up. The anchorage is unprotected from the increasing north winds and this was causing an extremely bumpy anchorage. The waves through the anchorage actually increased to over 4′. At around 2130 the anchor bridle snapped in the 35kt winds and 4-5′ seas. We re-rigged it, but it was just too much for our ground tackle. We aren’t really sure how strong the wind was, but in the end the rode snapped, the cleat snapped in half and our anchor bent. So around 2300, before we lost the anchor, we raised it and took off down wind to try and ride out the storm. I’m sure it was a sight to behold with Anna and I in our pajamas and Kylan in his boxer shorts. Down wind we had a way better ride in the 40kt winds and 12 foot seas. We picked out an anchorage about 60 miles down the road that is protected from the north winds and geared up for the ride.
After all that we can’t even say we’ve been to Cozumel. We’ve been there, yet never set foot there. Kind of like landing at the airport and not getting off the plane.
Here we are tucked in behind Culebra Cays waiting out this storm at least through tomorrow. We are only an overnight ride to San Pedro, Belize so we should be there by Friday. We are all very excited about getting somewhere where we can get off the boat. As it turns out, we have not touched solid ground all year.

8 responses to “Not yet to Belize

  1. Stay safe!

  2. I’m glad you are all safe and I sure would like to see the documentary one day!

  3. WOW Brian! Holy cow is right! Glad you are ok. Kim wants to know if it was terrifying or getting routine, if that’s possible. It was certainly terrifying reading! Glad you and the family are ok. Are you posting this via HF radio? I just passed my Amateur EXTRA license and we’ll have to try for some sort of contact. Stay safe buddy! Keep us posted!

    • Wow is right. Tell Kim yes the storm at sea was terrifying. I hate to admit it, but I was scared. Our boat is a good boat though and it handled it well. Except for the stuff that broke that is.
      Congratulations on your license. I would love to set up a contact time and frequency. It’s about 1500-2000 miles between here and Knoxville if that helps. I’m still learning how to work the radio, but I think I can manage. Just let me know.
      We all appreciate your words of encouragement and thanks for reading.

  4. Dana Patterson

    Holly Cow. How sick were you guys feeling? I am so glad to hear from you. I have been a little anxious (not used to this yet) and checking my email frequently. Could hear even hear each other?? And everyone of you was tied to the boat right??? Adventure in the high seas! Love you and am excited for you.

    • Anna and Kylan (mostly Anna) were definitely felling a little queasy. It was loud, but we weren’t too far from each other and nobody goes outside without being tied down.
      It is always an adventure. We love you too, and tell Captain to stay healthy.

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