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I leave my house for work and get called over by two village women awaiting their chance to do business with the chief. The first smiles...

Friday, March 14, 2008

Central America and the Long Sail

After ten days underway, the Harvey Gamage finally reached Central America on the tenth. The sailing we actually an interesting combination of eventful and completely uneventful. We had a few days of exciting sailing, particularly with a large cold front. Prior to the cold front, we had enjoyed some intentionally slow days underway, almost drifting in hopes of avoiding it as its worst. Even though it had started disapating when we got hit, we still saw secondary swells of over twenty-five feet and waterspouts only a few miles away!

Our first Central America stop was Utila-one of the Bay Islands of Honduras. There we had a special presentation on whale-sharks (which I am disappointed to admit we have not yet seen), kayaked through Mangrove Swamps across the island, and snorkeled along some world famous reefs.

Our world-reknowned snorkeling opportunities continued as we headed to Lighthouse Reef and Half Moon Caye-approxiamately 50 miles off the mainland of Belize. We snorkeled Lighthouse Reef twice, once at night. We also got to go ashore to the small protected Half Moon Caye. The island is a rare breeding ground for Magnificent Frigatebirds and Red-Footed Boobies. I never expected to see a Frigatebird displaying its large red air sac at a nesting site, instead I saw about ten! I also saw baby Frigates and Boobies. Most incredible was watching a Booby being fed. It was more violent than the simple little regurgitation I had imagined. I do not think I would want a bird beak up in my throat pecking around trying to grab a huge serving of fish. Seems painful.

So now, we are in Belize City. Tomorrow we are hoping to go to some Mayan ruins. Sadly, due to our delays and repairs in Trinidad, that will be all for our Central America time. We are due in St. Petersburg in time for Parent's Day on Easter Sunday. It is amazing how quickly the two months of Caribbean journey have passed. We have just under two months until the end of the semester and I know it is going to pass faster and faster as we work our way up the East Coast.

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