Happy New Year, first of all; I have posted some tidbits on Facebook about our adventures but blogging seems more like preserving the story, so I’ll take the opportunity to catch up to the present.
We spent Christmas Eve and Day at the dock in the lagoon because the weather gods brought a strong “Norther’” upon us with winds to 40 knots (45mph). Besides seeking protection we used the opportunity to top off the batteries and defrost the refrigerator. It also reminded us that we are not fond of being at the dock so we moved back out to anchor as soon as the weather allowed it.
Over the weekend we decided that it was time to move on, but when our weather router Chris Parker came back on the air from his holiday Monday (12/29) he had some bad news for us. His crystal ball says there will likely be no cold fronts coming this far south throughout January, which means that we’ll have a difficult time getting around what I lovingly call “the Hump” where Honduras and Nicaragua jut out to the east. Cold fronts normally bring north to northeast winds instead of the prevailing easterly trade winds. The trades are fine for heading south but make moving to the east difficult at best. Also, some horrendous winds and seas are kicking up in the southwestern portion of the Caribbean (around Columbia) through this month. Winds to the tune of 45-60 knots (50-65 mph) will be kicking up seas in excess of 20 feet in places; places we don’t want to be just yet.
All of this tells us that we won’t make it down to the San Blas islands off Panama until sometime in February. We had originally planned to shoot down there and play there through the summer and fall, then island hop on the way back north about November (after hurricane season).
Plan B is to head south from here sometime during the first full week of January to the Bay Islands off Honduras’ northern coast and explore the waters and islands there until conditions make it feasible to move east and further south around “the Hump”.
Not a bad fallback plan, I guess. Gee, I can just feel the sympathy pouring in!
So Monday we visited Cancun to look around some and do some provisioning. We jumped on the ferry with our friends Tracy and Steve from S/V Saga Sea (with little Fairlane their Chihuahua nestled in her carrier like a little baby). We hopped on busses and taxis to get around town and see some sights, listened to a Mariachi band while we ate lunch, and visit a real WalMart. Boy I thought Isla Mujeres was congested. Cancun makes this place easy to handle!
Tuesday and Wednesday we completed some much needed boat projects. Those always feel good and give us additional confidence in Firefly offshore. It’s also best to get those things done here where there are some services available before getting to somewhere really remote and needing help or parts.
We went ashore New Year’s Eve evening to our local hangout “Bahia Tortuga” and had some snacks and drinks while we surfed the net. At 6PM local time we celebrated the New Year with the folks in London, England, and then we returned to Firefly for dinner and a movie. About 9PM we headed for bed while the rest of the island partied into the night.