Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Going Slow in Caye Caulker, Belize

This seems to be Caye Caulker' theme. I'm all for that. I joke about how slow our boat and dinghy are and how Fairlane and myself are slow so I think I'm in the right place for the moment. 

We are enjoying our slow life. Its been almost a full four months since we tossed the lines. We are getting futher from America and running into less Americans.   In fact its been mostly Belizians and every other nation other than America. I love it. Today we took a tour for snorkeling and we were the only Americans. 

Yesterday we met a traveling couple that has sold their home in Canada and has taken off to travel. They arent traveling by sea but by other forms. Read about their amazing adventures. 

Here are some pictures of our time here. 

Yep I found the Starbucks. 

Oh forgot to mention we celebrated our 12th anniversary on Sunday. We enjoyed lobster tails and fish that a guy sold us at our boat. He paddled out and we bought from him. Nothing like that at home. 

This is a guy dredging. Amazing!

This is Fairlane loving up on perfect strangers. I think she really just wanted him to take her harness off. Lol

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Caye Caulker, Belize

Caye Caulker is about ten miles from San Pedro. It is known to be even more laid back than San Pedro because there are fewer people. The water is calmer as well. Sounds like a place for us. We left Thursday, around ten in the morning. We arrived around one in the afternoon. 

The sail was nice with a steady east wind. We were a bit nervous because we were told the waters are shallow and friends have run a ground. 

This is Steve deciding where to set anchor. 

We enjoyed San Pedro but we have to return as we leave Caulker so we thought we would go ahead and spend sometime in this little sleepy Caye. 

Here are a few pictures of the days before we left San Pedro. I have to publicly thank a group of Americans for the bones they graciously shared with Fairlane. 

San Pedro is such a cute place. Beautiful water and exciting beaches. Lots of culture. 

We will be back soon, San Pedro 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

San Pedro, Belize

Now that things have settled down some I can tell you about our trip down here. It was very mellow. Little to no wind was predicted and that is what we got. We motored sailed the whole way. 

We went out about thirty miles out and came down with a friend' waypoints. The enterance to San Pedro is a little difficult. Belize is full of reefs, which is great for diving but can be nerve racking for sailors.

Right before pulling anchor we met a guy that had just come from here. He had a story of loosing their engine as they were entering the San Pedro pass. They had to quickly lift sails and sail out before hitting a reef. Well a few miles from the pass our engine cuts out. Uggg right

Steve figured it was the racore fuel filter. He quickly changed it out. She started right up. Yeah!  Well about twenty minutes later she died again. UGGG. Maybe air?  Yes has to be air because he changed the filter. He reprimea it and ahe starts back up. This time we wait a while. Sure enough about an hour later she dies again. Uggggg!  Poor Steve he was a wreck. So close to the pass and we can't trust the engine. We keep getting right at the entrance and she dies so we sail away. He finally notices a hose clamp missing from the return line. He replaces ot and we let her run a long time and the go for it. We make it in with success but that was because it was a calm day and perfect lighting. Those reefs are nothing to mess with. 

Steve really doesn't know what the issue was but he replaced the hose from the filter to the pump, replaced and tighten hose clamps. She seems to be running alright now. We will of course run her some more before we go to Cay Caulker. Haven't decided when we will do that yet. 

So that was our excitement for the trip. We didn't see much except for a visiting bird that needed a nap oh and a bathroom break on Steve. Hahah. We also had a pod of dolphins join us for a few hours. I believe Fairlane even saw them. I think we had close to 15-20. They were small, not sure why. 

Check in was very easy once we found the Immigration office. We followed a friends advice and we "sailed" right through. No boat inspection was done. Nice!  

With the help of some locals we have found all necessary supplies, meat market, bakery, produce market, laundry services, Postoffice, fuel dock and water. We have also located all wifi hotspots. 

This small town is a very interesting area. It is a tourist town so most residents here work in the industry or are retired expats from somewhere. It is a big fishing and diving location.  All nationalities and languages are here. English is the first language and Spanish is the second but then there is a creole mixed into it all. 

The town has three parallel  roads that were named front, middle and back. They have been renamed but I think I like the original names. The street are some what paved, those three but the connecting ones are dirt. The roads are narrow and get congested when people start moving around. Not too many cars but lots of golf carts which complicated everything. 

We are looking forward to getting to know this town more. Who knows how long we will stay. Living on a boat isn't like living on land. Everything takes longer to do. We hand wash dished, floors are swept and wiped down, showers are taken with a handwand, toilet is hand pumped and we take our Putz-Sea (dinghy) to shore and back. Being anchored out is way different then being tied to a dock. We can't just go run an errand whenever we wait we have to plan our trips to shore. Not complaining but explaing our life style here in Paradise. This life style isn't for everyone. Thank goodness. 

Well until next time

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Hola From San Pedro, Belize

Just wanted to let everyone know we are now in San Pedro, Belize. We left Isla Mujeres on Monday afternoon around 3pm and arrived in San Pedro on Thursday setting anchor around 4pm. The trip was slow but easy and rolly. Only had to change a racore fuel filter. We expected little to no wind which was what we got. Check in was painless. All rumors were only rumors. We will stick around for a little while then cruise around the other Cays here in Belize for who know how long. Internet will be spotty so please don't worry if you don't hear from me.  This will be good for us it will help us break our addiction.  Here are a few pictures of the trip. 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Some of our favorite places to eat on Isla

Ok so before we shove off I tried to get a couple of shots of the places we enjoyed eating at the most. We liked these places because of the food and the price, oh as well as the atmosphere. 

We spent lots of time in Centro (downtown) so most of the places are there. Steve' favorite is the little places in the parking lot of the Marcado. We usually picked the first one probably because it was the first and it looked busier but we have tried two others and they were just as good. 

Another favorite downtown is Natural. It is next to where we took our laundry. It was fairly cheap and good fresh produce. 

Another favorite place was on the water near the fuel dock that is in the Lagoon. Its a cute Cuban place. Food was always good and the Cuban sandwich was big enough to share with a side of sweet potatoes. 

There was also the Blue Marlin in Centro that we enjoyed. There sandwiches were excellent and big enough to share. Sorry forgot to get a picture of that place. It was south of the square. 

There is also a fruit ice cream place on the corner in the square that we enjoyed. The fruit bars were very yummy during the walk home. 

There so many places we enjoyed some closer to state prices and others a great deal. Lots of torta and taco stands that we would try here and there. 

We enjoyed the banana split at Punta Sur and the ceviche at Maria Kan Kin. Maria' has a great little private beach. 

Picus has great ceviche as well if you are in Centro. Oh, and we had good Curry at a place on the beach at north east point of the island called the Finex, I believe. 

Rueben in Centro is pretty good as well and it has a great sauce they serve on the table. Bahia Tortuga has a great Philly sandwich as well as fried fish and shrimp.  Soggy Peso has smoked ribs that are unforgettable. Mangos has unique delicious breakfast and coffee. Never did go back to try their lunch.  Im sure it was just as good. 

The Island is filled with great food. I dont believe we had one bad experience. Its all on individual preference. 

Im looking forward to the next stops places. 

Oh sorry forgot about Oscar'. They have terrific Itailian food. In fact we will eat there tonight and bring back their lasagna for the trip down to Belize. 

Friday, January 9, 2015

How the Kids are doing

Well if some of you are wondering how the kids are doing without me there, I believe just fine. Samantha is getting out of the Army and moving to San Antinio, Texas. She has been working hard at saving money and preparing for the life change. I chat with her several times a week and skype online a couple times a month. She has also been working out all of the tjme. I believe she has been studying for a personal trainer certification. 

Sonnie has been working hard. He is welding and him and Sharee have been fixing up their home. They now have three children. Their twins and the nee addition is a hound dog, Goose. Hate to publically say this but I much rather have those kind of grandchildren. 

Sharee is also working a ton. Both are really working hard and enjoying life. 

I am starting to feel like I can let go. They have been out of my nest for a very long time but I have always tried to help as much as they would let me from the side lines. I did cut them off financially a long time ago but every parents knows what Im talking about. They are making me proud with their hard work and being responsible for their actions. 

Hopefully they will come and see us next year but if not I understand and will always stay in touch. Its all about raising kids. My job is over! I wish them all the best. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Local Supermarket

I decided to give a bit more details of what is available here in Isla before we leave. 

There are two Express stores on the Island. They are smaller supermarkets that have mostly the essentials. Then there is the large supermarket, Chedraui. 

Chedraui was founded in 1927 in XalapaVeracruz by Lázaro Chedraui Chaya and his wife.[3] In 1971 it opened the first supermarket in XalapaVeracruz. In 2005 it bought 29 supermarkets from Carrefour in Central and Southern Mexico.[4] Chedraui's primary competition includes large grocers and hypermarkets such as SorianaWal-Mart and Comercial Mexicana.

According to Hoover's, it is "Mexico's third-largest retailer (after Walmart and Soriana), the supermarket giant sells groceries, apparel, and non-perishable items in more than 212 stores, being 136 Tienda Chedraui, 40 Súper Chedraui, 2 warehouse Chedraui and 5 Selecto Chedraui.

The store on the island had some electronics and clothes. Mostly it has groceries and cleaning supplies. Here are a few pictures. Some I stole and some I took. 

As you can see you can make do very well with stores like this. There are only a few things I normally buy that I couldn't find here. One is canned diced or stewed tomatoes and the other was pickles. Couldn't find one jar of pickles. I suppose they make their own. They probably don't use canned tomatoes either since they have fresh ones available all year long. 

Next, Ill post some photos of the restaurants we enjoyed on the island that I haven't mentioned in prior posts. 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

December spending

Ok this is a high month. We did go to Cancun to provision for Belize. Also under food is liquor and Steve has ran out of all his gifts lol. 

Happy New Years

I have to admit this first of January doesnt feel like most.  I think because our new year started the first of October. It does trigger that its time to move on. We plan to leave for Belize in the next coming week or so, weather permitting. We are not going to announce when we leave because we don't want everyone counting days and worrying so much. 

It will be a short easy trip. We will only leave if we have a good weather window and we will sail very conservative, meaning staying reefed in at night for unexpected squalls. Saga Sea is short and fat, just like me, so she is steady but slow. Just how I prefer to travel. 

We will let everyone know when we arrive safe and sound. Remember, there are a ton of people doing this all the time. We are NOT the only ones out here. 

So, this week we went to Cancun to get some items and to look around a little. All I can say is WOW!  After being here a few months city life looks exhausting and undesirable. We buddied up with our new BFs from S/V Firefly and let me tell you, we couldnt keep up with the old couple. Proof the cruising life keeps you young. 

Here are a few pictures from our trip 

I had to get a picture of Cancun' Starbucks. 

Yes, those are fish eating dead skin off my feet. Warning, Not worth it. Stick to the normal Pedis

Im looking forward to small towns and getting out of the tourists towns. I know Belize wont be much better but its close and I hear the snorkeling is amazing. 

So the continued plan is to stay a few months then head to Roatan, but those are very loose plans. Remember the life of a pirate and gypsy is to leave without boarders and regulations