Friday, 22 May 2009

...the livin' is easy!

I think you could fairly say that we have 'done' Placencia!

After mooching along the shelves of the assorted supermarkets, downing ice cold smoothie's at the beach bar and patronizing the laundry we were more than ready to leave. It's a nice place but sad in it's current emptiness. A place that has been developed to make the most of a high spending tourist trade it now has the appearance of becoming a little down at heel and desperate. Maybe it's just the end of the season but the folks we spoke to said the trade was dead and swine fever had stopped things totally. Must say I wouldn't want to have an investment here right now.

We decided to hang around another couple of days to renew our visas. Boy that was more expensive that we had thought. BZ$50 each for the passports, added to the water taxi ride to reach the port and a taxi to the customs office it was a pretty expensive morning out. We also found that we have to pay a US$45 charge to leave the country when we finally leave..bit steep that, more than they charge by plane. And there was me thinking that my carbon footprint must count for something.

So we have sailed north a little ways. Anchoring off some of the islands and playing Russian Roulette with the wind direction. There is nothing worse than going to bed and waking in the middle of the night to find that the wind has reversed and you are now on a lee shore anchored within feet of a coral reef. Man I hate that moment, sleep disappears and I spend the whole night maniacally watching the figures on the GPS changing and leaping up the companionway to assess our position.

The weather is somewhat strange here, we seem to be sandwiched between two competing weather systems, to the North and the South, so the forecasts have an air of unreality about them.

Should be blowing from the S/SE today but it's actually coming from the N....

So this morning we upped anchor and came over to a lovely spot on the mainland. A lagoon totally sheltered from everything. There is nobody here save us, a few pelicans and some magnificent mountains in the distance. The water is flat calm although the wind generator is busy pumping the amps into the batteries. we will take the opportunity to do some maintenance work whilst the weather sorts itself out and enjoy a few nights uninterrupted sleep.

..and finally, to the man who makes incomparable 'Rope Stripper'. I LOVE YOU! For the fourth time in eight years this marvelous bit of kit has extricated us from a potentially nasty moment out here on the ocean. Yesterday as we began to motor through some light winds the engine started to overheat there was a big bang and I woke TBH, switched the engine off and felt sick. Had we seized the engine? Must get the sail out. Where should we make for in amongst the reef to anchor safely? It became apparent that our marvelous rope cutter had once again done the business and cut it's way through a substantial line/and net. A few minutes checking everything and we were underway again released from the tentacles of the deep.

I will never again moan about the cost of the service kit that we have sent out from the UK, it's worth every penny.

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