Thursday, May 08, 2014

Placencia, Belize

Ka'imi at anchor in Placencia, Belize

We are in Placencia, Belize a little bit sooner than expected.  We have been here since Thursday, May 1st.  We noticed oil or fuel under the engine block while we were in Cay Caulker, but thought it very minor.  At Colson Cay we noticed that is was getting worse so we decided to get to Placencia were there was a town and a protected anchorage.  We left Colson Cay and anchored overnight outside the Blue Ground Range Islands.

Blue Ground Range
We left the next morning with light wind allowing us to use the Spinnakerand sail directly to Placencia.  Soon we lost all wind and started the motor but found our raw water pump was not spinning. The raw water pump draws cool salt water into the engine to cool the water that runs through the engine.  With that not working the engine will heat up and sieze.  We quickly put the Spinnaker back up but it was taking us directly to land, not a good place.  Mike worked on it a bit but wasn't having any luck. The wind picked up suddenly and it was enough to get all four of our sails up, the Genoa, Staysail, Main and Mizzen.  We would have to tack all day to get to Placencia, but at least we could sail.....uhhh...that is until the wind completely died again.

Spinnaker Up
We were 7 miles outside of Placencia and the plan had been once we get to the harbor we would drop the dinghy with a 15 horse engine, tie it to the side of Ka'imi and use it as a motor getting us to the anchorage. We decided to drop the dinghy right then and there in calm seas and no wind to power us into Placencia. We were not sure we had enough gasoline to make it all the way but at least we would be closer.  We took turns of about 2 miles each and it was HOT.  We took our water bottles and drank some then poured it on top of us.  The good news is we had enough fuel to make it all the way and anchored safely in the harbor.
We had three dolphins on our Bow when we left Blue Ground Range they are good luck for us.

Wonder what would of happened if we wouldn't of seen the dolphins.hmmm

At anchor we secured the sails and straightened things up then sit down to a well deserved beer or 12.  We went to sleep then woke up at 1:00 am to a squall.  The winds were near 25 and the rain was massive, it was more rain than I have ever seen.  As it approached us it sounded like a swarm of cicada's coming at us. We looked at each other and said what's that, then boom it poured.  It lasted 2 hours with lots of lightning and rain.   Some of the lighting strikes came very close.  After an hour our dinghy was full of water.  We usually bring it up on the davits and take the plug out so we don't have this problem, but we left it down that night in case we had a problem like dragging our someone else dragging.  So Mike went out and emptied the dinghy, it took a long time!  We then brought the dinghy up on the davits, yes in the middle of the lightning and rain, it is not always paradise with this lifestyle, sometimes its sheer panic and well...bad!  We were worried about dragging with strong winds a not having a motor, but the rest of the night went better and we finally got to sleep.  The morning makes everything better, Mike was able to fix the raw water pump and the engine is running, we do want to watch it and baby it a bit until we get to a dock at the Rio Dulce, Guatemala where we can make sure it is all fixed.

Speaking of Rio Dulce, that is where we are headed.  We will probably leave Placencia Monday and sail overnight to the mouth of the Rio arriving early Tuesday morning when there will be a high tide.  The mouth of the river is 5.5 ft a MLW and we draft 6 ft so we have to go at high tide.

Placencia is a nice little village.  We are able to tie up our dinghy at Yoli's Bar and from there you can get anywhere in town.  There is plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, ice cream and groceries.  The beer is Belikin and it is quite nice :).  I will post some pictures of the village below.

Yoli's Bar where we tie up our dinghy and occasionally have a beer.

Wallen's Grocery Store at ground level and Pharmacy at top where we shop.

One of many fruit and vegetable vendors.

Typsy Tuna fun bar and grill on the beach.

Typsy Tuna Beach View

John The Bakerman where we get our bread.

Inside  his shop.

John making bread, he is following in his father's footsteps.

The one mile sidewalk along the beach.

Shortcut to the beach between a restaurant and house.

Beautiful houses along the sidewalk.

We are doing exceptionally well, happy and healthy!  Cheers  Mike and Kim

Laundry Day

Trash Day

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