Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Riding the Christmas Winds

Riding the Christmas Winds of the Western Caribbean
The weather changed, giving us a window of opportunity to go as planned to San Andres and Providencia for Christmas, so we left the San Blas islands and forged north. Twelve hours into our 48 hour trip we lost our auto steering and had to steer by hand in 6-10 foot seas that were steep and square with 4-5 seconds apart swells-trashy waters! We were about 55 miles from land and with the help of the wind made it back in 6.5 hours-a record for our boat! We dropped anchor in Linton, famous for a great French restaurant, and slept. A few days later Dave made a two day trip to Panama City to turn in the auto pilot to have it rebuilt. Having now been here for a week we are part of the "family". We ate a 3 hour meal at the French restaurant on Wednesday, and Helen played dominos with the ladies on Thursday. We went to Colon on Friday for groceries, and Owen (on Hiatus) drives boaters to the local pizza parlor on Sundays. The last couple of nights we have been able to sit in our cockpit and been entertained by a number of fire fly type beetles. We have not seen these before down here, and have not seen fire flies since our trip to the Midwest twenty years ago. It has been fun to have them flying around our cockpit; our little Christmas lights.
So for now, we are sitting here in Linton, waiting for our part to arrive from Texas. If it arrives, and we get the auto pilot installed, we then have to wait for a weather window so we can head north…but the radio net this morning reported the temperature in Belize is a chilling 60 degrees, not much incentive to head north in a hurry.
In the meantime we have become a part of the social circle here and invited to attend the four holiday gatherings organized by locals and cruisers. We will be cheering and sharing times with these new friends and thinking of all the wonderful past times with our old friends and family.
After the holidays we will go back to our routine of wait and play, not a bad life after all!

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