As the sun rose on Thursday, we left the anchorage in Isla Mujeres to begin our passage to Honduras. We were headed to the bay islands, and Guanaja (gwa na ha) would be our first stop. As we rounded the corner out of the harbor, we said a quiet, and somewhat sad goodbye to our friends in the fleet.
We estimated the trip to take between 60 and 70 hours, allowing for slower speeds in the current off of Mexico’s coast. The current did not disappoint. Even though the winds were light and variable, we rolled through large swells and confused seas.
Our first day was rough in other ways as well. I was getting over a cough, and battling allergy symptoms from something that found it’s way up my nose at dinner the night before. As I was trying to squash my itchy, watery nose and eyes, Scott was fighting some stomach discomfort. On Friday, Howard joined the fun, and threw up several times, before finally using his litter box for the first time in two days. We were a sad bunch.
Late Thursday afternoon, a Mexican navy ship appeared on the horizon, and proceeded to make a distant, but complete circle around us. Scott was sure that they were going to come closer, or make radio contact (God forbid, want to board us). I guess they deemed us uninteresting, because eventually they headed away from us and to the north.
Scott threw his fishing lines in, hoping to catch something. He didn’t have to wait long before something LARGE pulled on his line. The pole bowed from the weight, and the line flew out like it wasn’t attached at all. Whatever it was grabbed the lure, began to dive aggressively, and then let go.
After getting over the surprise of how large the mystery catch was, Scott wondered what it could have caused it to come off the lure. He worried that his hooks aren’t as sharp as they should be; one is beginning to rust.
As he went on about how large and heavy the mystery catch must have been, I realized that we had nowhere to put it! With our compressor issue, we are working with less freezer and refrigerator space. So sadly, fishing was shut down.
Things calmed a bit by Friday afternoon, with both the sea state and the crew. As we neared the south end of Mexico, and the Belize border, the current weakened and we were finally into more settled waters.
As I came on for my evening watch, we were still traveling slower than we’d have liked, but our ride was great. It was a quiet night for me. We were traveling approximately 80 miles off of the coast, so something showing up on radar was extremely rare. I only saw two large boats in 8 hours, both passing us at a great distance away.
When the sun came up, I went down to catch some sleep, and left Scott on watch. Of course, that’s when a large pod of dolphins decided to visit! There were many more than in this photo, but Scott couldn’t get them all in one shot.
They are “blurry” looking due to the fact that they were ten feet under the surface (some deeper)….clear water!
Because things had gotten so much calmer, I actually slept in our bed. During a passage, I have gotten in the habit of sleeping on the couch in the saloon, where things are usually more stable than up toward the bow. When I woke up, I couldn’t hear the motor from up in our stateroom (ear plugs also a factor). Things were so smooth and quiet that I thought Scott had anchored while I was asleep.
I came up to find that the seas were now glassy-calm. So much so that we could see the birds hanging down from our paravanes. They were clearly visible, fifteen feet down.
By this time, Howard was done with traveling, and just wanted food. I’m guessing he thought that lying in the galley would get his point across.
When lunch wasn’t served in a timely fashion he gave up and retreated to the guest stateroom for a nap, nestled among beer and laundry detergent.
The glassy waters made a beautiful setting, as Guanaja appeared on the horizon. It’s the first mountainous island that we’ve visited on this adventure, and the views were exciting to see.
We anchored between mainland Guanaja and the town of Bonacca, where we’ll go to clear into the country. Bonacca is built entirely over water. More on this later, as we explore the town.
We’ll head to a more protected anchorage, but that isn’t allowed until we after we clear in (not really sure why).
For now, we’re happy that our journey took less time than expected…only 52 hours! We’re also very grateful that most of it was smooth, which meant less stress and more rest! It was certainly a welcome change from our trip to Isla Mujeres from the Dry Tortugas. Maybe passages can be enjoyable!
Here are some more photos from our passage….we’re in Honduras!
“Shells Sink, Dreams Float. Life’s Good On Our Boat!”