From Puerto Morelos we sailed overnight to Bahía de la Ascensión. This is part of the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve, and we thought it would be nice to be in a natural place after the weeks of hubbub in Isla Mujeres and Puerto Morelos. Into the bay we were met by a dolphin who led us to Cayo Culebra, a large island. According to the cruising guide, we could sit out the high SE winds there. But, the guide was wrong, and we moved twice for protection -- the final time 4 miles closer to the mainland. The only others in the bay were fishermen and one sailboat. We kayaked around Culebra and off Wilson Point (also called Punta Noh-ku and Punta Hualaxtoc) seeing lots of little fish, birds, mangroves, palms and a huge expanse of sky. We went aground by kayak -- this time Patti did the honors of dragging the boat across the sand. Until we saw the rays buried in the sand -- back in the boat!
Finally, a weather window! Off we went (bashing into water east from the bay) but after turning SSW, sailed all day and thru the night with a 'sporty' 20 knots, or higher, getting to Belize too early. We had tried slowing down, first dousing the jib, replacing it with the smaller staysail, then sailing just on the main. Instead of heading to San Pedro as planned, we started to the English Channel (the main ship channel into Belize City). But 10 miles past San Pedro, the sun came up and we saw the wind and water recede a bit, so went in Long Cay Pass and turned north to settle in at Caye Caulker, Belize. Finally.
Cayo Culebra, Bahía de la Ascensión: 19d42.142'N 87d29.098'W
Wilson Point, Bahía de la Ascensión: 19d38.795'N 87d27.632'W
Owen Island, Bahía del Espiritu Santo: 19d22.022'N 87d31.073'W
Caye Caulker, Belize: 17d45.803'N 88d01.991