Saturday December 14, 2013
Our plans to leave on Thursday morning for Cozumel were completely and utter squashed. After we got back from our little snorkel adventure on Wednesday we secured the dinghy on deck, cleaned the boat up, and prepared ourselves for a 9 o’clock departure the next morning. The alarm was set for eight just to give us enough time to fully wake up instead of putting the engine on while still in our pajamas and leaving while rubbing the sleepies from our eyes, as we had done so many times in our past. Just like the time we had gotten so excited to leave St. Augustine this year though, we could tell it would be a no-go before we even woke up.
Outside the winds were howling and we were bobbing up and down in the normally well protected anchorage. There was a northern on the forecast, something we were hoping to dodge by quickly checking in to Cozumel and waiting it out in Puerto Aventura, but it looks like it decided to come a few days early. It wasn’t to the point yet that we didn’t dare venture outside, and so we decided to have a discussion on if the trip was still a go or not. Having gotten in the habit of downloading all of Passage Weather’s images so we can keep them on our computers even when we don’t have an internet signal, we took a look at the next week.
The forecast on screen hadn’t changed since we last looked at it (obviously), showing us that we had a comfortable 48-60 hours to get ourselves to Cozumel and then quickly across to Puerto Aventura. Looking past that though, we’d be shut in for the next week. Since we still had a little time on our hands we decided to keep checking the conditions outside until noon to see if they improved, still letting us make the leap. We’d already been in Belize about a week at this point, probably overstaying our welcome, and we wanted to get moving on. Every check on the hour though, nothing changed. In fact, it only looked to be getting worse. The final decision came down to me, as it usually does, and having made at least one major wrong decision before, I decided that we stay put. We might be here another week, but at least we knew we’d be safe.
Thus began the most boring past few days of my life. Have I mentioned that we’ve been getting a lot of rain here in Belize? And that pretty much the only sunny days we’ve had have been travel days? Now don’t pounce on me just yet, I know you’re probably thinking ‘There’s plenty of things you can do to keep yourself busy in bad weather’. In fact, I think I remember participating in a thread about the same subject in Sailnet before leaving on this journey. And no Ron, I can’t just pop in the water and go snorkeling, there’s nothing to see here. Other suggestions ranged from taking time to go through photos (mine), using the rainy day to hunker down and watch a movie (probably mine too), or spend some time in the bedroom with your significant other.
Well, for your sake I won’t get into the last one, but the first two couldn’t be done even if we wanted to. Ever since leaving our slip in Rio Dulce, our batteries have been slowly dwindling and we’ve been in power conservation mode. Our main source to gain power is our 470 watt solar panels, but conditions have just been so crummy lately that there hasn’t been any sun around to make us power. We’ve even succumbed to running the engine at least an hour a day to keep all necessary parts running, such as the chill box. Everything else was only if we could spare it. And usually, we couldn’t. My Samsung laptop which takes about 1 hour to charge and uses 4 amps while doing so, was allowed one charge per day. Maybe. T.V. or movies? Completely out of the question. We could have hidden out in bars and restaurants, but we didn’t want to use our credit cards here, and our cash reserve was getting low (more on that later). So, we took to reading.
Both of us have our own e-reader. Mine is a brand new Nook that my mom bought as Matt’s birthday gift last year after I stepped on and broke his Opus (thanks Mom!). And Matt’s is a new Kindle that we bought off our friend Nate in Cayman when the Nook didn’t arrive in time to meet us in Jamaica and we didn’t know we’d be headed back to the states to pick it up (Thanks Nate!). This may have been fine, except we’ve been following this same routine for days in Guatemala, Colson Cays, Middle Long Cay, and St. George’s Cay. For almost weeks now we’ve been following the theme of Eat, Sleep, Read, Repeat. Sometimes a little excitement will be thrown in when the rain really starts pouring down and we try to catch it since, running the water maker uses power that we don’t really have right now. One of us will be sent on deck in half a bathing suit to open the deck fill, and then run back down, soaking wet, but at least having gotten a mini shower in for the day.
Today, I think I might be the final straw though. My e-reader has run out of juice and there just isn’t enough left in the battery bank to allow for such frivolous charges. My only fiction paperback book was finished last week, and now all that’s left for me are sailing manuals and how-to guides. Things are getting dire people, I might actually have to learn something.
Georgie was happy just for a chance to get on deck again.