Mar 05

Never a dull moment!

by Adrian in Adventures, Belize, Sailing

We are currently in Belize and leave soon for our last hop over to Guatemala where we will head up the Rio Dulce river and where, with mixed feelings, we will bid farewell to Pako. As if in anticipation Pako has thrown us a few curved balls over the last couple weeks to keep us on our toes! There are four words we have used OFTEN on this trip at the end of the day (generally with a stiff drink in hand)…. ‘never a dull moment!’

Two recent ‘never a dull moments’ are worth a mention. The first was as we were weaving our way down the shallow waters of Belize, we were approaching a narrow cut between two islands which required us to turn on the engine to motor through. Unfortunately after a few splutters our engine died and refused to come back to life. Without an engine, and approaching a narrow shallow cut we were only left with one option as the winds were not in our favour to get through the main channel. We had to sail through a narrow gap on the opposite side with a charted depth of 0.5ft less than our 5.5ft draft!

Luckily the tides were in our favour but even so the depth gauge dropped to 5ft and the alarm was going mad as we skimmed our way through, leaving a muddy wake behind us… Next challenge was getting into a harbour with no engine but luckily we sailed to the harbour entrance and finally some friendly staff came to our rescue and offered us a tow in! Not a moment too soon as we were getting blown very close to some nasty rocks ashore.

Then about a week later with a repaired engine we ventured off to the beautiful Sapodilla Islands in the south of Belize. As we are approaching our anchorage we managed to hook a nice fish, but not surprisingly drama was to follow. As we pulled in the fish, in a last frantic attempt to save its life, it flapped madly and managed to get the large lure hook straight through my finger! We now had a flapping fish and my finger attached to the lure, and Nicky had to use her vice grip to pin the fish down to avoid my finger getting ripped open. We finally managed to remove the hook from the lure, but then with no pliers on board strong enough to cut the hook bard off we were forced to sail another hour to a nearby island (with a small settlement) with the hook still firmly embedded through my finger.

After some desperate radioing by Nicky we were met by one of the locals as we anchored and they whisked me to land on their boat for ‘surgery’. The operating theatre was a chair under a coconut tree and the procedure involved some solid bolt cutters and lots of sympathetic bystanders! Never felt such relief in my life!

I was then given a lift back to the boat where Nicky was still heroically battling to lay a second anchor on her own as we were dragging anchor and getting dangerously close to a shallow reef. It was hard not to burst out laughing at this stage as Nicky was frantically paddling little Pakotini with anchor in tow, trying to reach Pako. Aah man… never a dull moment for true!

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9 Responses to “Never a dull moment!”

  1. From ella:

    wow guys! i love reading your blog, i wish i updated mine as often. sorry to hear about the finger, and adrian you already look like an island boy, how will we be able to reintegrate you into an urban lifestyle? – its over for you, i think you should get a job as a barman and serve pina colada’s forever! enjoy the last stretch.


    Posted on 06. Mar, 2011 at 9:31 am #
  2. From Taryn B:

    ow ow ow, that looks seriously painfull. Well looks like the Liddle Bush is the true sea fearing heroine of the trip. I thought you guys were going to Galapogos? Just saw some pics on Gavin Harpers FB page – looks amazing.

    Posted on 06. Mar, 2011 at 3:28 pm #
  3. From Mum and Dad:

    Wonderful to hear word from you – missing the detail but trust you are keeping a log/diary? Humourous now but navigating shallow reefs and entering a main harbour without an engine must have been truly nerve-racking!and the fish hook? yikes. You two be tough, tanned, well salted and seasoned marineros!love M+D/R+T

    Posted on 06. Mar, 2011 at 3:56 pm #
  4. From Nix:

    Hey salty dogs! Have just done a major catch up reading your blog – sorry been out of the loop so long but finally on maternity leave with a bit of time to myself before babba comes! What awesome adventures you guys have had – I did nearly pass out when I saw your finger A ….ew!!! That must have been pretty darn painful! Well done Nix, the two of you are HARDCORE!! I agree, not sure how you’re ever going to settle back into suburban bliss…ha!ha! Enjoy every minute of your last few weeks. Can’t wait to have you back here, Kayla missing you stax. Take care, no more injuries ok? xxxx lots love

    Posted on 06. Mar, 2011 at 7:21 pm #
  5. From Simon & Nikki Bush:

    Phew! And now you know how the fish feels! Ouchy!!! Hope the finger heals okay Adrian. Nicks you are quite a girl. I take my hat off to you.
    This is really good training for becoming parents one day guys, never a dull moment!

    Posted on 07. Mar, 2011 at 6:50 am #
  6. From Adhil:

    Wow! Never a dull moment! Super Hard Core!

    Can’t believe you’re almost on your way home already…
    Time flies when you’re having fun!

    Posted on 07. Mar, 2011 at 1:47 pm #
  7. From Simon & Nikki:

    Glad all worked out in the end, good to see the humor in some hectic real time episodes!!!!!

    S,N & the boys!!

    Posted on 07. Mar, 2011 at 4:00 pm #
  8. From vanessa:

    Hi guys…sorry about the finger saga but that is probably the thing that will be with you as a memory for ever after! Just as well you had non-squemish Nicky noodle to save the day.. can’t wait to see you both but enjoy the last moments with all your hearts.

    Miss you

    Posted on 08. Mar, 2011 at 7:22 pm #


  1. Sailing into the ‘sea’ of green… | Off The Charts - 19. Mar, 2011

    [...] its been a blogging while, so lots to catch up on! Apart from the drama’s mentioned before we spent a wonderful few days in the beautiful and remote Sapodilla Islands far south in Belize. [...]

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