Sailing the Seas of Belize.
 

Okay, while we did not actually sail in or around Belize, we did sail with it off our port beam for several days.  And I could not pass up the opportunity to spoof a Primus album title.

Our last days in Roatan, Honduras were spent being the only boat in a great little anchorage called Port Royal on the southeast corner of the island.  We spent the days dingy sailing, snorkeling, and taking in the huge deserted white sand beach we parked next to. Also, we devoted a part of each day to catching dinner: fish, lobster, and conch all made their appearance.  It was a lot more like what we -thought- our sailing trip would be when we left California.

We checked out of Roatan and pointed our bow north. Naturally, just as we left, we realized we had forgotten to get ice, not that we needed it for anything in particular, but a cold drink is nice in 90 degree heat. Before we rounded the west point, we encountered a big canoe crewed by two friendly guys, with two huge coolers of ice.  What luck. We had four days of decent sailing, and caught a 22lb Mahi-Mahi on the way.  He was delicious, like only fresh Mahi-Mahi can be, but finally it beat us, it was too big for the three of us to finish, even with some concerted efforts and creative preparations.

Alas, a bunch of decisions caught up with us, and, for crew and weather reasons, Ute needed to leave Isla Mujeres just two days before we arrived.  We were pretty bummed, and I know they were too.  Ahhh, the sailing life.  We tried with all our might to just turn around, and try to catch up with them on their way to the States, but we could not get David legally off the boat, and did not want to risk bringing him illegally into the States.  So, here we sit, in Isla Mujeres, waiting for a Mexican Immigration official to show up for work.

We left Monday afternoon from Isla Mujeres and tried to find the Gulf Stream, that nearly mythical highway between the Yucatan Channel and the Florida Straits that sailboaters speak, excitedly and with reverence.  Beat the heck out of us where the blasted thing was.  We motored against a current and against the wind to the lights of Havana.   We couldn't get Hebe to point anywhere between north or east, and not even particularly close to either north or east.  So, southeast or northwest it was, in a reverse "falling leaf" pattern.  But, joy of joys, just west of Havana we found the fabled Gulf Stream current and enjoyed our 7 knot ride northeast.  It was quite narrow, we kept tacking through it and tacking back.  We thought our trip would be around 320 miles, that's the distance as the crow flies.  Nope, nearly five hundred miles and five days later we finally dropped our hook in Key West.

We made it! and what a great time awaited us.  Not only were we excited to be getting back to flush toilets, cheap long distance phone calls, proper cheeses and good ice cream, even better than all that is that Ute is here!  They called us randomly on the radio when we were 14 miles out, there was a great deal of excitement when we heard their voice.  They talked us through the anchorage, picked out a spot next to them, and came over with hugs, cold beer, salsa and key lime pie.  It has been great to catch up in person after nearly a year. 

We made some calls to our families to say hi, checked out Key West, and are now awaiting the next weather window to head north to the space coast of Florida.  Seems we'll be here till maybe Friday, then either make a run in the Gulf Stream, or day sail in the Intercoastal Waterway.  But, like always, everything is subject to the wind, waves and weather.

Roatan to Key West

Tim had a rough time in Honduras.

This big guy was so pretty, and sooo tasty.

I think this was the first dorado David had tried.

Every sunrise was spectacular.

Ute welcoming us to Key West!