We are now in Belize, after a total journey of over 2,000 nautical miles from the BVI, via The Bahamas and Florida. Yes, we did take the long way around! The final leg, Key West, non-stop, 650 nautical miles.
The Gulfstream that runs north along the east coast of Florida, is made up of several tributary currents from the Gulf of Mexico, the Yucatan Channel along the east coast of Mexico and running north east into the channel between Mexico and Cuba.
As we were basically heading in the opposite direction, we had to pick a route which used the counter currents that run in the opposite direction just outside of the main north easterly flow. We managed that and had a positive current for 75% of the way and only a half knot adverse current for a short time. The rest was neutral current, so we did not lose too much time.
Our trip down from Key West was much calmer than the trip to Florida. In fact, too calm. There was no wind. The first time that we have seen our wind instrument showing 0.0 wind speed!
When we say calm, it was like a mirror, only disturbed by the tracks on the surface as flying fish escaped our path. There was also a heat haze, so at times, with such a calm sea, it was difficult to differentiate sea and sky at the horizon. And huge rafts of Sargassum weed floating everywhere. Although we had the main sail up all the way, it really was only used for perhaps 12 hours of the trip, so we motored 90% of the way.
We had a few visitors along the way. Birds that stopped for a rest. One spent all night sleeping on the genoa lines. We also enjoyed a pod of adolescent dolphins playing with us for a while.
Our first stop in Belize was to anchor out at Lighthouse Reef, an offshore atoll famous for its superb diving and The Blue Hole. We rested up and then headed for mainland Belize through the barrier reef and outer cays.
We arrived at The Placencia Resort Marina in Placencia to a great welcome and assistance in clearing in to Belize and sorting local communications. Our plan is to base our charter program at the resort, which is only a few miles from the local airport.