The time has come! In the afternoon of December 31st 2015 we pushed off our little slip in Ft. Lauderdale, raised the sails, and pointed south toward Belize. We celebrated the New Year from the Atlantic.
Early in the morning of January 1st Scotsman noticed that we were taking on lots of water in the bilge. Our starboard side bilge hose was back siphoning while on a port side tack. Basically doing the exact opposite thing its supposed to be doing, pulling seawater in from outside. If we hadn’t noticed when we did, we would have had a big problem. Water could have destroyed some of our electronics or even seeped up past the floor boards. Took hours of manually pumping the water out and plugging the hose to stop the problem.
The first few days were pretty slow going, no wind and fighting the Gulf Stream. Lot’s of motoring as we made our way down the Florida Keys.
The first 2 fish caught behind the boat! Brandon’s giant snapper and Scotsman’s baby Spanish mackerel. Delicious treats. Thanks for your sacrifice fishies.
There is something special about being out in the open ocean for days at a time. Completely unobstructed sunrises and sunsets everyday. This is from one of Bru’s morning shifts; “5am, everyone was still sleeping, I had my head phones in as the sun started to rise under the stars, such an incredible sight.”
Our auto pilot stopped working sometime on the 2nd day. Which means someone has to be at the helm and aware at all times. I think we’ve steered that helm every way you can; standing, sitting, laying down, sleeping, upside down, naked, with hands and with feet.
With stars above and bioluminescence splashing below it really does start to feel like you’re an astronaut on a space ship..
I think it was the 4th day when the US coast guard announced a small craft advisory on the radio. We decided to take advantage of the winds to help fight the Gulf Stream across the Straights of Florida. We cut away from the keys that night and set corse toward Cuba.
We woke up to 10 foot seas and 25 knots of wind, CC loved it! Finally we were starting to see what she’s capable of. At one point Bru said, “Maybe we should put on our life jackets?” Even Peanut was strapped in.
We heel over so much that the lee ports dip underwater!
CC’s salt soaked sails shine in the sun. Say that ten times fast.
We’ve had a few opportunities to fly the staysail to help cut further into the wind. She goes to weather like a banshee!
Lots of delicious treats come out of the galley while under sail. Whether it’s Scotsman baking up a fresh batch of cookies, Brandon with an epic salad, or Bru with a hardy breakfast, we stay pretty well fed out there. Peanut likes to watch from the galley port.
Our small craft advisory didn’t let up for 2 days. Cuba was in our sights by day 6. Here’s Scotsman at the helm making it look way colder that it was.
As we got closer to Mexico we started catching more delicious fish, here’s Brandon with one of our first Mahi-Mahi.
Scotsman slaying another Mahi! Fish fry tonight boys!
Making our way across the Yucatan Channel. The Gulf Stream is really pumping through here, our boat speed would read 6 knots while our speed over ground was only 3. Was frustrating sometimes, felt like we were making distance but we were nearly standing still.
The “Magnificent Frigate Birds” have become our mascots. They’re able to spend days at sea, soaring on the wind currents. They usually steal their meals from other birds or larger fish who chase their prey to the surface. They’re the pirates of the sky.
Handsome lookin’ bird though, right?
Passing Cozumel, only 200 more miles to Belize!
Landfall! Our first “place to anchor” in Belize, just outside Long Caye. This spot doesn’t qualify as an anchorage because it’s completely unprotected from the wind and swell. The boat was so rocky that night it felt like we were still sailing! Brandon was sleeping in the v-birth with the hatch open when a huge wave broke over the bow soaking everything in it’s path, including his face.
Celebrating our first step on land in 11 days with a coconut harvest :)
We were anchored only 6 miles from the Great Blue Hole, a 400 foot deep sink hole surrounded by reef. It’s a pretty famous destination in Belize, guided scuba tours make trips everyday. Definitely a must see spot for us, but the whole area is littered with coral heads and CC draws 6.5 feet. Seemed sketchy to sail her in without local knowledge, especially in this weather. Our plan was to dingy the 6 miles in, but with all 3 of us and our scuba gear in a soft bottom dingy didn’t seem safe either.
So we opted to play with the sub-wing instead! We will meet again one day Blue Hole..
The following day we set out for Placencia on the mainland where we would be greeted by friends and family for a week of birthday celebrations!