February 23, 2015
The sea here really does have at least seven colors, from almost black over coral to the palest of blues over white sand. The breezes are cool, it rains just a little almost every day, and everyone looks well fed…
We’ve been watching the weather carefully, looking for an opening to make the next leg of our trip – which, given the prevailing winds, will be from Isla San Andres to Puerto Morelos, Mexico. Cuba remains a big interest for us, and we’ll still have a chance to go there from Mexico if the weather cooperates.
The weather forecasts look as good as we have any right to expect, so we’ll push off tomorrow morning. Nothing forecast over 20 knots anywhere we intend to be.
Our intention is to try to make the 600 miles from San Andres to Puerto Morelos in one shot, but there is always the possibility of an unpleasant change in the forecast weather. On the route we are taking, there is really only one option to hide out if it turns bad, and that is the Islas Santanilla – formerly a US “possession” known then as the Swan Islands (they played a small but ignominious role in the “Bay of Pigs” attempted invasion of Cuba in 1961). They are now part of Honduras, but far from the mainland.
There are enough reports of piracy directed against cruising sailors in the waters near Caribbean Nicaragua and Honduras to convince us to stay well off both coasts. That may mean a little rougher sailing, but we hope we’ll have fair winds.
San Andres has been a pleasure. “Miss Celia”s” restaurant has provided three excellent meals, and Nene’s Marina is a funky, old-fashioned boater hang-out. We’re anchored about 100 meters away, but dinghy in often to pick up water, buy some beer and chew the fat with the friendly people who run the place – which is also a gas station and kind of mini-mart, and a three-legged dog. It has a covered area where local fishermen sometimes sit and talk, decorated with an odd assortment of cast-off marine equipment.
Scooters are the main means of transportation on the island, although tourists (primarily from Columbia) sometimes rent big golf carts. Rum is astonishingly cheap, and Columbian beer is not bad at all. But we’re saving our last two cans of Northwest IPA (kindly brought to Panama by Andy) for a celebration of our landfall in Mexico…