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November 2017: Shamal is on the hard in Guatemala.Mum and Dad are home in New Zealand till Jan. 2018. *ATTENTION PLEASE* if you are still interested in receiving the posts, could you please subscribe to the Blog following the two step process in the right hand column, so that new posts are emailed to your inbox. As of next year the reminder emails that are being sent out will cease. Thanks to all of you for following our Adventures.

01 November 2017

Belize to Guatemala - And our near tragic accident.

Reef from Shamal, San Pedro
Back Again, Yes And I Am Very Late With This Report

Monday 26th June

Hello Everyone


We are now sitting off San Pedro on Ambergris Cay.  This is the most northern Cay and the most visited destination in Belize.  It is 24 miles long and cut off from the Mexican Yucatan mainland by an age old canal first dug by the Mayan people, and, more recently, dredged by Mexico to give access for small boats into and out of Bahia Chetumal.  It forms part of the border between Mexico and Belize.  Belize, formally known as British Honduras, with its Anglo-Caribbean culture sets it apart from its Spanish speaking Central American neighbours. English is the official language, but English, Creole and Spanish are widely spoken. As our Spanish is limited, it was nice to be able to converse with the locals again.

San Pedro

The Yucatan Peninsula, including Belize, has a fascinating  history, starting with the Maya people who it is believed first lived in this area around 2600 B.C. in what is now present-day southern Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and western Honduras. They rose to prominence around 250 A.D. Then around 900A.D. their empire started to decline for reasons which are still a great mystery today.  They abandoned their city leaving the jungle to consume and hide what was an elaborate and well organised way of life.  At some point we will do some inland travel to visit one of these ancient sites.


02 October 2017

Mexico - The Yucatan Peninsula - Eastern Side

Hello Again


Arriving into Mexico

SHAMAL at anchor Isla Mujeres
Our second visit to George Town – Grand Cayman Island – is over.  We have re-provisioned, made new friends with other yachties, all of whom seem to be heading for the Rio Dulce, Guatemala for the hurricane season, had swims and given the hulls yet another clean as a red/brown slim is growing.  We have now had our copper coat hull paint on for nine years with the odd touch up, so we really  can’t complain, and lastly, downloaded another weather report. The 1st of June is officially the beginning of hurricane season in this part of the world, so we will now be monitoring the internet for them.


26 May 2017

Return To Cuba

Hello Again

Alec bailing out tender after rain

Well our last few days in Grand Cayman saw the start of the rainy season.  Oh help summer must be on its way.  We experienced an overcast day followed by a day of constant heavy rain with thunderstorms. Yes that lightening was flashing about everywhere.  Then it was back to overcast days again.  We did a big stock up of stores that will hopefully see us through our time in Cuba, and  beyond.  There were those last Skype chats with the kids as we will once again be out of contact with them for a while.  We will keep in contact with our shore manager – son Murray – with the “iridium go” satellite system, plus get our weather through it. Actually my NZ Vodafone phone works in Cuba, so that will be my back-up.


Refuelled and ready to leave
Our three stowaways
Friday 21st April and we ride our bikes down to Customs in George Town from Mitchells Creek where we are anchored, and complete the ‘clear our’ procedures. One is given 24 hours to leave.  They have not returned our Hawaiian Sling to us as one has to be seen sailing out when it is handed over.  It is forbidden to use any form of spear gun here hence we had to hand it over when we arrived.  We then ride around to a cafĂ© for coffee.  While there it starts to pour with really heavy rain, and we are stuck there for about two and a half hours.  The following morning the sun is out, and we motor down to the Barcadere Marina where we pick up our duty free diesel and wait for the customs officer to arrive with our sling.  He turns up right on the dot of 10.00 a.m. just like he said he would.  Then we are on our way.  It still takes us an hour to motor out across North Sound and through the reef before we can set sails for Cayo Largo.  Then the wind dies – we have no more than 5-7kts.  Help this is going to be a slow trip, and yes it is.  We motor sail nearly the whole way 140nm!!!!!  We have three swallows join us in the evening and they stay with us for the rest of the trip.