Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sailing to Rauguana Caye


We’ve stopped using the days of the week. Today is Pina Colada day. We don’t drink during the day. We could, if we wanted, but Captain Bruce won’t allow anyone who has been drinking to help crew. No one wants to miss out on anything having to do with sailing, so the alcohol stays in its bottle until we’re anchored for the night. But that doesn't stop us from planning the drink of the night. The blender is ready.

Today the seas are calm compared to the last two days. We haul up the main and set the genoa and head to Rauguana Caye, where we’ll be protected from more northerly winds. Black, boiling clouds line the horizon as we approach the caye.

“Prepare to get wet,” Bruce shouts. “Batten the hatches.”

The crew scatters, rushing below to check our cabin hatches and battening all the ones in the salon. The wind howls and rain pelts our decks. We furl the sails and the big diesel engine rumbles to life. Rauguana Caye is ahead and we glide into the shelter of the island and the reefs extending out on either side.

We’d heard from Moorings that most of the mooring buoys are not maintained, so we anchor near one and Bruce and Ryan jump in the dinghy and motor to the island. A short time later they return, cheerful and smiling. The mooring buoys at Rauguana are good. We raise the anchors and tie off to one, just as another boat snatches the other.

Some of the crew scrambles into the dinghy and races to the island, finding shells, a dog who digs up crabs, a cabana boy for Winnie, (who has talked about obtaining one for three months before the trip). I did not see him and I suspect he was the bartender at the little island bar, but just what makes up a cabana boy is so subjective.

Back at the catamaran, Dennis and Nelson lower themselves into the salty water for a swim. Moments later Nelson leaps from the water onto the deck, flapping like a fish. “Something touched my leg,” he pants.
I’m pretty sure it was a barracuda or a whale shark, or maybe a stingray. Nelson decides to stay on board and soon the whir of the blender signals the start of Pina Colada night.


  1. Don't drink, and cabana boys aren't my style...but the rest of your trip sounds like the adventure of a lifetime, and you're conveying the experience so vividly! Thank you for sharing!

  2. So beautiful. What a great adventure. Am I just being negative or does that little island look unequal to the task of protecting you from the storm?

  3. Ashling,

    It was really awesome. I'm lucky to work with two men who can captain up to a 50ft vessel anywhere in the world.


    Okay, yes, I thought the same thing but and questioned the captain until he reminded me I'd already used up my questions for the day.


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