Thursday, March 8, 2018

So Long Rio, Be Back In July

Well we managed to escape the clutches of the Rio Dulce.. heheh. It must have clutches because so many stay.. maybe stuck. Any who we are out!

After the bottom job was completely we waited for a decent weather window with a high tide for us to get over the bar in Livingston, Guatemala.  Our date for the best high tide was February 27th and 28th.  

I was ready to leave before then so I convinced Steve to move anchorages to Monkey Bay and try the new lovely restaurant, Dreamcatchers.  We met a friend there and celebrated her birthday and had a delicious homemade shrimp ravioli dish and a ginger margarita.  

The next morning we weighed anchor and headed down river to Texan Bay.  There we could be in a safe anchorage and take a launch to check out in Livingston the day prior to high tide.

It was a lovely quiet bay with a restaurant ran by a Texan.  Steve was able to eat chicken fried steak two nights in a row.  We met lots of great river rats, expats from all over the world. Unfortunately, I was in the betty ford center for internet addicts.  Reception was crap!  On a good note, my thumb got a much needed break.

So in the afternoon of the 27th we started the engine to head for the bar and found our alternator was NOT charging the batteries.  That is correct, she runs but she will drain the batteries which may prevent her from starting again when needed.  

We did not have plans of checking into Belize this year. We just needed to skirt by her on our way to Isla Mujeres.  But with alternator not working properly we decided we needed to repair it there before venturing to Mexico.  

We continued through the gorge and headed across the bar.  Unfortunately the wind was strong and chop was bad.  We had plenty of water underneath us but the chop kept slamming us on the sand bar and we got stuck.  Fortunately, we were able to get off by ourselves with no harm to Saga Sea.  We anchored in front of Livingston for the night with plans to try again during the morning high tide.

Livingston is a rolly anchorage.  This is why we stayed in Texan Bay.  So we didn't get much sleep and was concerned about getting over the bar AND the alternator issues.  Saga Sea pulled through. She started again and she floated over the bar nicely.  We then had a nice sail to Placencia Belize.

We arrived in Placencia that night so anchored in the bay and had a good night's sleep.  In the morning we set off to check into the country.  This required us to walk to almost the other side of town and take a water taxi, called the Hokey Pokey over to Independence and Mango Bay.  Then catch a land taxi to Immigration, Customs, Port Captain and BAHA offices. All of that went very smoothly.  

We were concerned about having issues with checking Schooner in because we did not have access to the online form that is used for prior authorization.  But to our surprise all went well just cost a small fine of $50 USA and a $5 charge.  Awesome!  Of course we keep her health records up to day at all times.

Now onto having the alternator repaired.  We had made inquiries from all of our friends that have spent many years cruising Belize.  They supplied us with a few names of local mechanics.  We contacted the first one and made arrangements to give him the alternator.

The day that we scheduled to meet, he ended up in the clinic.  Evidently he was struck in the head by a coconut and wanted to make sure there was no damage.  Hahah. I really don't make this stuff up.  To our delight he was able to fix it in a matter of a few days and it is running like a champ.

Now we sit here in this lovely bay, with a ton of lovely islands ahead of us with a month immigration fees paid and several old friends around.  So we will stick around for a bit and wait for another decent weather window then take our passage slowly up while exploring Belize’s lovely islands.  

Well that is it for now my friends, remember to please be good to yourself and to Others.

Oh forgot to mention that I have been working on being a remote bookkeeper and virtual assistant. I currently interning for a small jewelry company out of San Diego. I created a Facebook page, The Tropical Ledger, so if anyone is needing me Im available.

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