Sunday, December 08, 2013


Let the Cruising Days begin!

Dec. 1st was the day that we had targeted as our "Get out of the Marina" date - and we made it! Here's the last photo of us in Guatemala taken in the early overcast morning just before the staff arrived to shove us off untie our dock lines. Yes, Jonesy is wearing a sweatshirt as the temps had dropped down into the low 70's overnight.

After saying our good-byes, our first stop was the fuel dock to fill up with diesel for the cruising season. We headed up river to the Puma marine station and carefully eased this big boat up to their dock.

By the time we had filled our tanks the weather was starting to clear up and we could see blue skies. What a great day for a slow motor trip down the river Texan Bay (aka Burnt Key Marina, Cayo Quemado) which was our staging place for our exit from Guatemala.

We spent a full day and 2 nights anchored in the lovely lagoon of Texan Bay. During the day we could hear and see flocks of parrots, the occasional montezuma oropendola chortles of the male birds and even a couple of spottings of manatees. In the evening flocks of egrets and comorants flew past us towards there roosting areas for the night. Jonesy rode a launcha down to Livingston to meet with our marine agent and I knit - a lot.

Finally, after we had completed the paperwork cha-cha of checking out of Guatemala it was time to leave. As we started our short trip down the final few miles of the river to the open sea we received a call on the VHF radio from a boat who was traveling with us. Seems that another cruising boat from Guatemala had been turned away and escorted out of Honduran waters due to an overstay on their visas. This was the result of a different interpretation of the 90-day visa immigration law of the "Central American 4" countries (Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua) than what at previously been in place. Well, Roatan, Honduras was our destination that day and it looked like we would also not be allowed to reset our visas until we had spent time outside of the Central American 4.
GIANT 12" foot monster socks

So after we crossed the sandbar at the mouth of the river we turned left and sailed up to Belize instead of going to Roatan Island in Honduras! Plans changed at a moment's notice! Thankfully, it was just a day sail to Placencia, Belize and by that evening we had dropped the hook. So here we are now - and loving it.

We've met up with other cruisers here and have wandered around the funky and fun little town (yes, we have already had some of the ice cream at Tutti Frutti's). Since we were last here in June of this year there have been LOTS of improvements made by the locals. The new concrete dock has been completed and even has some lower wood docks so we can get out of our dinghy's easily. Along the "main street" concrete sideway many of the older houses have been cleaned up and freshly painted and there are several new trinkets shops. So far I haven't been in the water yet....there have been large jellyfish floating around - scary.

I've been on a sock knitting frenzy (again). The photo above is a pair of GIANT socks made from assorted leftover yarns. Then I made a child's sized pair from brighter colored yarns. Today I completed a 3rd pair of child sized socks but no photo yet.

December 1st was also the day of introduction of my new EXCITO socks to the Six Sox Knitalong group. These socks tackle the problem of stitch tension for stranded colorwork and slip stitch patterns in socks. Excito means "success" in Spanish, and I'm hoping that other knitters will be able to have some success in using these different color work methods using the techniques that I've described in the pattern.

Of course all 3 of these pairs of socks described are for the kids in Kazakhstan.

Excito Socks

Yesterday we noticed a couple of snorkelers swimming in the water who seemed to be tired and struggling a bit. They were still quite a bit offshore. The winds had just come up and we knew that these folks were approaching an area of strong currents before they could get to shore. So we called out to them and invited them to come aboard and we would take them to shore in the dinghy. They agreed, climbed aboard and I gave them a dry towel and some bottled water. They were a nice young couple who were attempting to swim around the little island by Placencia. But it was just too much with the added wind and chop. Jonesy zipped them to shore where they thanked him profusely and lived to play another day.

Tonight the breeze is kind and gentle, unlike last night when we had a squall with gusting winds and wild rain for a spell. Because the temps are in the 80's during the day and 70's at night, I like to sit out in the cockpit - day and night - and knit, watch (dolphins, and frigate birds), and listen to life here in Belize. Right now it is fairly quiet with only 2 different beach bars playing music - both raggae so at least they kinda blend. The moon is waxing but still a crecent and tonight the stars are visible between the puffy clouds. Life is good.

Wow! Lots going on over just a couple of days! I love all of your sock knitting. I know how it feels when you into a zone and just keep knitting around and around.
Wow - I've missed you!! Love your Frankensocks - that's what we call leftover socks in our part of the world. I'm knitting tuques & watching it snow out there, Wish I were floating . . .
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