Stormy Belize!

Tuesday afternoon we headed off into town – and this time wandered the concrete walkway that goes from one end of the island to the other, between the beach and the high road.   Apparently it took 30 years to build!   The walkway meanders through local housing and small artisan gift shops….all woven together with lovely gardens and beach access…and quaint street names.

Pathway 1 Local homes on walkway Pathway 2 Quaint street names Walkway flowers

There are also new apartments being built – at US $50k with direct beach access they seem quite reasonable! 

New apartments

We found the sign to the Tipsy Tuna and went through the entrance – surprised by how big it opened up onto the beach – and enjoyed the walkway of signs.  This one was our favourite…..

Tipsy Tuna Entrance to Tipsy Tuna Wall of signs

We got a couple of beers and enjoyed watching the drunken antics of the holidaymakers who had clearly been on the sauce all day long…..reminded us a bit of the BVIs on a quiet day LOL.    

Time for a beer Tipsy Tuna beach

Later on we stripped off and went bobbing in the sea.  The sea was pretty rough – and the beach was covered in sea grass – so we didn’t stay in for long….  But we did enjoy being in the water for a while….

Beach selfie Surfs up

After a few hours of people watching we returned to Morphie just in time to see the sun disappearing….but not before we had a dolphin encounter.   Not that close to us in the dink but was lovely to see them in the anchorage.   

Dolphin encounter Dolphin encounter 2

Had been a lovely day….goodnight.


Wednesday we awoke to a very stormy day…..with rain on and off and thunder and lightning surrounding us.    We had hoped to be moving off to explore many of the little cays that lie inside Belize’s huge barrier reef – the second largest in the world – but the weather forecast was for disturbed weather with scattered thunderstorms gusting 30-40 knots for the foreseeable future….   There are few anchorages with all round protection so we, regretfully, decided to wait for the weather to change. 

More storms

Later on – with the sky showing signs of improvement – we went out for a couple and you can see how the weather was affecting the sea which was much improved. 

Getting better....

Walking back along the walkway we were lucky enough to catch a photo of the woodpecker which had created a huge nest in a palm tree and we could hear the chicks chirping to be fed.     

Mr WoodpeckerOn the way back to the town’s dinghy dock we came across a school graduation ceremony – for those moving from nursery to primary education – all a bit strange!!!

Graduation ceremony

Overnight there was lots more thunder and lightning….very very frightening….

Thursday morning we had a lazy time as we were a bit sleep deprived and decided to return to the beach in the afternoon but this time we frequented the Barefoot Bar.   

Barefoot bar Barefoot bar 2

Was a nice place – very friendly – and we chatted with a number of ex-pats that had settled here.   The Belizean government are actively encouraging people to retire to the country with tax breaks – especially promoting that this is an English-speaking country.   Well, it is, but the local creole takes some getting used to LOL.

Having left Barefoot we popped over to visit Yolis beach bar and had a couple of sundowners before returning to Morphie and another spectacular sunset.

Goodnight 2

Friday morning it was grey and cloudy again…but the forecast had improved slightly.   We stayed on board again doing boat jobs and went out late afternoon to catch the local live band at Barefoot.  They were good – reggae based – but most of their songs were pretty rude if you actually listened to the words.   

Local music

Later on we walked back towards the harbour and popped into the Pickled Parrot.  This bar is slightly more upmarket than the beach bars… we settled in and had an early dinner before returning to Morphie.  Food was average sadly. 

Pickled parrot Parrot selfie

Overnight was another stormy one…..

Saturday morning and we listened to the forecast again….and was pleased to hear that it was improving.   Chris Parker was still forecasting unsettled weather but the wind strengths appeared to be diminishing so we decided to move on from Placencia.   Our destination for the day was Ranguana Cay – a little desert island.     We started off with all sails up – and then the wind direction switched on us – and now we are virtually head to wind.    Damn…..   We can’t really move far from our rhumb line because of coral bombies and uncharted hazards / shoals – so we furled the genoa and motor sailed the rest of the way.

We arrived – felt our way in through the surrounding reef – and found ourselves opposite a really pretty little island and our own slice of paradise, surrounded by lovely azure blue sea.    We went ashore and had a couple of beers – chatting to the family that had come in on the Moorings catamaran just after us – before returning to Morphie for dinner and an early night.

Approaching Ranguana Cay Ranguana 1

During the night….and storms were raging all around us again.   Luckily we had our very own lightning conductor in the huge catamaran which is on a mooring ball not far from us LOL.   

Lightning conductor

Was a pretty disturbed and sleepless night……reminiscent of our night on the Turks and Caicos banks with the vigorous nodding into the surf….and we were very glad that we were not on the local sailing skiff which had six fishermen on board! 

Local fishermen

Sunday morning and the weather remained miserable….grey skies all round….and storms continued to threaten.   

Weather coming in again

Around three in the afternoon the skies brightened for a short while so we took the opportunity to go ashore and explore a little.   This is an eco-resort with a number of rooms available – but they look like garden sheds on stilts with corrugated roofing and no bathrooms.   We didn’t fancy it.   Lovely beach though….

Ranguana 2 Ranguana 3 Ranguana 4 Ranguana 5 Ranguana 6

The island sadly is suffering from erosion due to the rising level of the sea and has shrunk by almost two thirds.   They are filling sacks with concrete and making small walls around the island and moving sand to backfill behind….    It was interesting to hear all about it and hopefully they will be successful in their endeavours.     

Trying to stop the erosion

We enjoyed the bar and chatting to the staff – but our favourite had to be the birds.  There were pelicans and frigate birds everywhere – and they very excitedly mugged the local kid when he came back from fishing in his dinghy LOL.Found the bar! Pelicans Pelicans 2 Frigates Pelicans 3 Any fish for me

Back to Morphie for dinner and another early night.    Was much calmer – thankfully – and we were able to sleep.    But the wind was howling and the rain started again in the early hours, with lightning flashing around us.    Getting fed up with this…..

This morning, Monday, and we listened to Chris Parker.   Disturbed weather with frequent and high wind squalls forecast for another week – we are not sure we want to continue riding these out – so we headed back to Placencia and had a great reach in 20 knots. But with the grey water and the grey skies – always threatening rain – it was more like sailing in the Solent than in the Caribbean!!!

Not like the caribbean

We need to make a plan and we’ll decide in the morning.   If the forecast persists and we continue to get these tropical waves and fronts coming through then we may well check out and head off to Guatemala earlier than planned.    Exploring other Belizean cays may have to wait until next season….

Bye for now