Motoring (Limping) to Refuge at Placencia

The boat was running on the starboard engine only. The port engine did not start – we discovered later that the started motor had self-destructed in a spectacular and violent and convincing way. This starter was never going to turn again. It was a hard short from battery to ground and the relay was really hot. Don’t touch!

When motoring a catamaran on one engine it is necessary to maintain about three knots speed to allow the rudders to control the direction of the movement. Slow and easy is out of the picture.

We motored out of the enclosing reef and threaded our way out to the Main Channel of Belize. The Main Channel runs north-south inside the barrier reef. Wide and deep and not at all congested with traffic. We needed that channel, since we arrived outside Placencia at 200 and we needed to wait for dawn, at 630. I did not want to enter an unknown harbor in the dark. (We actually had been there in 2007, but who remembers?)

We motored up and down the Main Channel. Not a boat in sight, using radar. I was choosing the point of sail to maximize comfort. Ori and I were standing watch: one hour on, one hour off. It worked.

All night the moon weaved in and out of the clouds watching over us. At dawn, we entered the main south harbor of Placencia and dropped anchor. Phew! We handled the crisis and arrived safe. We prepared breakfast and sat quietly.

Published by ozdigennaro

coastal cruiser, passage-maker

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: