Sunday, August 11, 2013

Reef Passes

We're having a wonderful time at the moment; exploring all the cays that make up this tropical bliss. Cruising in the blue waters of these enchanting isles, Snorkeling amongst incredible coral's and generally relaxing.

We're also having to develop a new skill; one of making reef passes. Our first in to San Pedro was generally straight forward. The buoy that was reported to be there, was; the light from a glistening morning sun was behind us and a motor boat came out of the entrance a mile or so before we entered in to it. Nevertheless looking left and right and seeing waves break over reefs as your keel skims over the top of ever shoaling waters; an unnerving experience to say the least.

Our second pass was a little different. It was evening with a blinding setting sun, strong on shore wind and a missing mark. After a little crisis of confidence necessitating another go around we made our second reef crossing. Pin point accuracy, back bearings and transits all seems to play a crucial part in the enjoyment of these islands as do a steely nerve as the depth drops from hundreds of feet to eight in a couple of hundred yards.

The sea settled as we crossed the reef and headed up in to our evenings destination; one of the anchorages off Turneffe island. No sooner than we had crossed the entrance, were we given another big decision; do we eat the beautifully coloured dazzlingly blue fish that we had picked up on our trolling line upon our crossing of the reef? Call me sentimental but I'm just not sure about eating something that looks like an oversized pet. It was a decision resolved as it got off the hook before we got it onboard.

We have a little less than a week to enjoy these cays as we slowly make our way south towards the Rio Dulce. There are simply hundreds of cays and anchorages to explore so there is no way we have time to explore more than a fraction of them. Having worked so hard for so long, its very pleasant to be in such beautiful surroundings. We've for now nothing more pressing than having to decide what to eat for the next meal, whether we should explore the shore or the coral beds.  First, should we finish this chapter of our book, or maybe wait until we've finished the book. The added pleasure is that we seem to have the place to ourselves.  In the last week we have seen five other boats and three of those were all in one anchorage.

Snorkeling has been breathtakingly beautiful. The coral reefs and life around are many and varied. Ruth, who has already seen an eagle ray jumping in a long arc over the sea as we sailed along, saw a turtle placidly going about his way as we snorkeled around the cay in the picture; Carrie Bow Cay. We see dolphins most days and sometimes they swim along with us.

Our provisions have been replenished with a visit to the dusty town of Dangriga. Every day I try to remember my things to do list, but because we have said we're not actually going to do any boat work, I don't have to do any. I'm pushing that really far at the moment by not even writing a list of what I should do. This makes the game of remembering them every day a little like the children's memory game 'I went to the market and bought....' a game I hasten to add, I am spectacularly bad at.

However we have not so long left; in a little under a month we will be back in England and Impetuous will be tucked up safe in the Rio Dulce.  Hopefully some of the jobs will be remembered and completed. 

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