We said goodbye to my Aunt Jayne today after a week of fun in Belize. She also got to experience a less than comfortable ride up to Cozumel and a rocket haul out and return to the water.
Belize was fantastic; warm water, beautiful islands and great snorkeling. On top of that there were only a few miles between islands so it was a huge vacation for us. The sailing was fantastic with about 15 knots of constant trade wind. It was a really wonderful week in paradise.
Our trip up to the Yucatan was a little bumpy, but we had a massive current with us and I'm sure it was our fastest passage yet. We went over 200 miles in one 24 hour period which is racing for us. At one point we recorded a 4 knot current. So although it was uncomfortable, it was fast and we were in Cozumel a whole day early.
We had hoped to dive a little in Cozumel, but after Mike dove on the boat to check things out, he noticed a small crack in the rudder. That doesn't seem too bad at first, but boats sink because of the loss of a rudder, so we were immediately apprehensive. Serendipitously we were anchored about a quarter of a mile from a huge travel lift. Since it was a Sunday we had to wait until the next day to check out their schedule and availability. Monday morning Mike went in to talk to the yard manager and by 9 am we were lining up to go in the travel lift for a haul out. By noon we had three guys working on the rudder from a different yard. We were expecting to haul out in Maine and do a bottom paint and sand (something you have to do at least every other year to keep the growth off the bottom). For some reason the stars were all aligned for us and since we had already paid to pull the boat out it made sense to do it all here. Mike was able to find a crew of 8 painters to sand and paint the bottom, for a fraction of what it would cost in the states. By 5 pm the whole boat had been painted and by the next day noon we had a second coat on and the boat was ready to go back in the water. Nothing in the sailing world (not to mention in Mexico) is this convenient. We lucked out hugely! Now we have a safe rudder and sparkly bottom!
Next up a little jog around the Yucatan Peninsula. We will keep you posted.