Sailing South

Spring is coming and we have to move on soon. We talk about sailing north up the East Coast out of the hurricane area, but I am itching to have a garden this summer. I need dirt under my fingernails and homegrown food in my belly. I need to get back to the garden if I am going to implore others to garden.

We decide to sail back to the Rio Dulce and leave the boat there for the summer. It is safe, affordable and we know the place well. One Friday when I come back from dropping the boys off at school, Matt says there is a good weather window and that we should leave in a few days. It seems kind of sudden, but Matt is promising fair winds and calm seas.

We have a hectic few days provisioning, checking out, and preparing the boat for our passage, but we even manage to fit in a date night thanks to our friends on Jade. By Sunday we are ready to leave. As we fill up at the fuel dock, the band at the Cuban restaurant next door is playing full force. I am really going to miss this place, but I am excited to get back to the Rio and back to the states.

We shoot the chute, coming out a narrow passage between two islands. It is late in the day and snorkelers are still swimming in the water, boats are full of passengers for sundowner cruises and coming back from diving the reefs. We celebrate with a glass of wine and then I fix dinner. The wind is light but there is a swell that keeps knocking us around and making life uncomfortable. The sun sets as we sail past Cancun and we brace ourselves for a few days and nights on the boat.

I have some things I still need to finish up before we lose cell service, but I’m feeling seasick and can’t quite function. I head to bed while Matt takes the first shift. About 1:30 in the morning he wakes me up for my turn. The swell has calmed and I’m no longer sick. I get out my computer and start working. My fingers fly over the keyboard in my zen-like half-awake state. By the morning I have finished all I needed to and more.

The mahi-mahi are biting so we have fresh fish for lunch. Everyone is exhausted so there is lots of napping. Later some spotted dolphins come and play in our bow wakes. They seem as curious about us as we are about them.

We get cell service again outside of Belize. It seems strange after 3 days at sea to have reception. We decide to sail into the reef and anchor for the night at Tobacco Cay. There are other sailboats anchored there and a couple bars to get a drink. As we are having a sundowner with some other tourists, we spot a moray eel hiding among the conch shell retaining wall. It is a little one, but it is fun to watch it dart out, swim around, and go back to its hiding spot.

We are in the Sapodilla Cays, our last stop before Guatemala when we finally get Graysen to put on his mask and snorkel and get his head under water. He is stoked about everything he can see. We decide to sail back to Placencia and re-provision so we can spend a few extra days in the Sapodillas snorkeling and enjoying island life before we go back the real world.

It’s a good idea. Out here in these remote islands it feels like everything else can wait. What’s important is that Graysen sees some amazing coral and a lionfish. That Rylan and Graysen play for hours with hermit crabs. That we relax and enjoy the present instead of rushing off to the next thing. It is something we constantly remind ourselves of and the boys often help us remember. Be present in this amazing and inspiring world!

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