Wednesday morning we got moving around 8:30 and dinghied across the lagoon and up the river to Independence – the Hokey Pokey ferry stop. An elderly man on the dock waved us in and took care of our dinghy while we did stuff. As expected, Papa Dena, the tall skinny, ex soccer star, with long dreadlocks, took us in his cab to get cleared out of Belize. First to the Port Authorities, where we showed our “Ship Report”, which is the formal document that admitted us to Belize waters in late January (it’s BZ $250 for the boat to depart). Then to immigration, a short dusty walk across the street, where a few Americans and Canadians are waiting to extend their visas. Immigration keeps our passengers. It costs BZ $90 for the boat and $7.50 for each person. Then back across the street to Customs. Then back to Immigration. We get our passports stamped with exit visas and the all-important “Zarpe” – the formal document that we are leaving Belize waters. Dinghy back across the lagoon back to our marina. Three hours total, one pleasant hour in the dinghy. Not bad at all.
A nice lunch on the boat, a short nap (Oz can’t without 🤪), and we cast off at 13:30, with help from our marina- mates who act as dock hands. Oz backs the boat slowly and carefully out of the slip. Easy. We motored out of the lagoon into the open seas. Ah, we can sail and we raise up the jib, sailing five or six knots on fifteen knots of wind.
Actually, more than sailing, this time it felt like surfing a gentle swell, like riding on a humongous tamed beast that kept on rolling forward leading us to New Haven, our chosen anchorage for the night.
Coasting toward New Haven, we brushed ground – too close to the sandbar extending from the point. It is a large inlet, very protected, opening to the south-east. A ketch ( a boat with two masts) proceeds us as we anchor hundreds of meters away. Two boats in a vast, serene bay.