Aboard Chat-Eau in Mexico

Email us directly aboard Catalyst at: KG4QFO@winlink.org.


To check out photos from our current voyage, please click on the “Catalyst Photo Archive” to the right. 

May 16, 2011

We have been lucky with our passages so far, though more motoring than we would like but at least the seas are comfortable which Nancy and I are appreciative of.

We left Cay Caulker on Monday about noon.  Motored up to San Pedro and went out through the reef.  We were able to set sail but used one engine for support because of light winds.  As the winds increased to about 13 knots, we were able to shut off the engine and had a very fast sail.  We were averaging about 8.5 knots and had moments in the 9’s and even a quick 10 knots.  The wind was not our only support as we had about a two knot current going in our direction and that makes a lot of difference.

About 11 p.m. the winds came up to gusts of 20 knots and so Rob, who was just going on watch to relieve me and Steve who got up to check on things, reefed the sails.  Unfortunately, about 15 minutes later the wind died down to almost nothing and the rest of our trip over night and until about 2:00 p.m. Sunday were strictly motor.  We sailed through the night and arrived back in our marina in Puerto Aventuras.  This is the place where we waiting for the watermaker and picked up Paul and Bernice in late February.

We won’t have such a long stay this time.  We got fuel yesterday to top off the tank for the trip home and since the office was closed yesterday, we stayed today to pay for the fuel and the dockage.  We spoke with the weather guy this morning and it looks like tomorrow we will motor to Isla Mujeres and anchor for the night, then move out on Wednesday to start for home.  It may be another motor day to begin but the winds will build as our trip progresses.  Nancy and I are happy to think of lower seas as we cross between Mexico and Cuba which can be an uncomfortable passage in the wrong weather.

Of course who knows what will actually transpire but likely we will not have to delay anywhere and are likely to be home some time Saturday.  All in all, a pretty quick trip from Guatemala.

Doing the overnight with 4 people on watch is really no problem as far as loss of sleep is concerned.  We each only have a 3 hour watch once during the night.  No reason not to get tons of sleep.  The passages are a little boring too so sleep sounds even better.  I have never seen Rob sleep so much.  Of course this is the first time he has had the responsibility of the boat off his shoulder.
We have been cleaning out the refrigerator and poor us, we will be eating a lot of steak for a few days.  Life is rough with a boat packed with gourmet quality foods and two women who love to create meals in the galley.  Both Nancy and I are going to have to reign in the eating when we get home but cleaning out a freezer is a hard job and somebody has to do it!!!

We are enjoying the double helm seat that is on Chat-Eau at the same time we miss the back seat on our boat that allows us to see forward and stay out of the sun more of the time.  Things on the boat are so much alike but still everything is just that much different that you have to learn how to do things differently.  We also note that styles of sailing and operating the boat are very different.  We have never really been the “crew” before and it has been interesting.  It gives us an indication of what our guests go through in learning how to use the toilets (heads on a boat) and how best to be of help without being more trouble than help.

For entertainment, I massage Nancy’s feet and we read and at night when we are not moving the boat, we enjoy watching DVD’s of the Soprano’s which neither one of us saw when it was on TV.

A real treat by stopping here  in Puerto Aventuras is that I got to go to the massage place that I missed out on when we were here last.  I took Nancy over to see it and she also was impressed just with the look of the place.  We also met another boating couple that is heading south to Belize and encouraged her to look it over.  Nancy and I got an afternoon massage and the other lady did so an  hour later.  It was everything we hoped for and more.  It was so relaxing.  The attention to detail was amazing and every little thought that would make it an amazing experience was added.  One of the parts of what we had done was an exfoliating Chocolate rub with a soothing substance rubbed on after.  After you had that on for awhile, including a shampoo while laying on a table, you got up and sat on this stool.  The layer of “mask” was scrubbed off with some fiber like material while the person poured perfect temperature water filled with flower pettles over you to rinse it all off.  Then you returned to the cleaned and dried table and had a wonderful full body massage.  It included aroma therapy at the end and wonderful sounds of rain sticks and symbols.  While we were in an outdoor jungle like setting, it was situated between two large condo developments and the marina on one end and a street on the other.  All you could hear and see though was lush vegetation, birds and wonderfully relaxing music.  You felt the minute you stepped in to the place that you had gone to a beautiful oasis in the rain forest.  I have had maybe better massages, though this was very good, but for an all over experience, this was a high light.  I am so glad I didn’t miss it a second time but you can bet that if I had done it in February, I would have been a repeat customer.  Nancy and the other woman cruiser who experienced it were in strong agreement so I was not the only one who thought that.  I have included several pictures but took about 45 as around every turn was another beautiful picture.

So it is a nice end to the travel portion of our cruise.  From here in, we will have one more night at anchor and then non stop home.  If the weather is as we anticipate, we should have no delays.  Help us pray for good winds, mild seas and a quick passage back to family, friends and home.

Actually, we are hoping to arrive in time to see Wes and Sabine, our friends who lost their boat and who we met in Mexico on the way here.  They are moving back to the U.S. and will be having a party in Punta Gorda that evening  at 6 at one of the restaurants there to see friends in the area before moving on to their new location in Oregon.  We are hoping we get back in time to clean up and go visit.  So the social life back home will begin, even as we make land fall.

I will try to send a message part way through the journey from Steve and Nancy’s single side band but there won’t be pictures.

Hope to see many of you soon.

Fair Winds,
Sue and Rob
Aboard Chat-Eau in Mexico

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