Sunday, March 6, 2011

A good day in Belize

Of course cruisers will tell you that the worst day afloat is better than the best day on land. Not quite true...
But... Today was one of those great cruising days. After a brief rainstorm in the middle of the night the dawn was clear and cool. REBOOT, in the company of CARIBBEAN SOUL II and WAYWARD SUN left Long Cay at Lighthouse Reef and headed to the National Preserve at Half Moon Cay, a journey of about 5 NM. It is a tough 5 miles as one is navigating around the reef the entire time. Even the channel has a few coral heads sticking up above the water. The lack of someone on the bow of REBOOT makes it all the more nerve racking.

After a couple of hours we all settled down off Half Moon Cay. This is a Belize National Monument. It has palm trees instead of mangroves and this means NO MOSQUITOES. I dressed in long pants and shirt expecting to be eaten alive when I went on shore to see the bird colony (Boobies and Frigates) so I was a bit overdressed when I discovered NO MOSQUITOES. Did I mention NO MOSQUITOES?

The preserve is amazing. There are about 4,000 Red Footed Boobies nesting. We hit it at just the right time, the young birds have hatched but are still in the nests. There are also Frigate Birds - black with a red crop. They are apparently "pirate" birds as the live by stealing from other birds. Their most interesting feature is the ability to blow up their crop to a big red ball. I got some great pictures of both which I will share when I have a fast internet connection.

Tonight we had a cruisers dinner on WAYWARD SUN. We watched the sun go down and then noticed that the sky is so clear you can see the dark part of the moon. To the North lots of heat lightening, but the rest of the sky is crystal clear with millions of stars.

Tomorrow I leave the company of CARIBBEAN SOUL II and WAYWARD SUN to head for Punta Gorda and check out of Belize. It is about a 24 to 36 hour trip depending on the winds. I will catch up with my friends in the Rio Dulce, they need to return to Belize City for a day or two to handle some things.

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