sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Australia Cruising USA Cruising Canada Boats for Sale Sail-World Racing Photo Gallery FishingBoating
Video Gallery Newsletters

 

Sail-World.com : Cruising to Guatemala - the Wheeler Family on Mima

Cruising to Guatemala - the Wheeler Family on Mima

'Hold On, Our First Major Squall In Sapodilla Cays, Belize'    .

We continue the story of the Wheeler Family, Mark and Susan with their children Marshall and Amy in their yacht Mima. They are heading for Guatemala from Belize where they will remain for the next three months. Here they continue their tale of sailing as a family, with distance schooling and a journey rich with life experiences:

We were enjoying ourselves in Sapodilla Cays in Belize so much we decided to stay another day and do some more fishing and snorkeling.

The following day started like any other I guess - that is if you are fortunate enough to find yourself sitting on a sailboat in the middle of paradise. The sunrise brushed the sky with a plethora of oranges and reds beyond description, and as the sun made its daily journey into the sky the water turned from black to blue and then settled on a shade of turquoise only the sun and sea seem capable of creating.

A Surprising Fishing Expedition:


Snapper for the barbecue -  .. .  
Marshall awoke and his feet had barely touched the floor when he began pleading to call Greg on buddy boat CToy and go fishing again. I informed Marshall that Greg watches more sunsets than sunrises, so after a quick breakfast we headed out for a little fishing on our own. We had experienced good fortune yesterday trolling a couple of lures around the cuts between the reefs and so we rigged up and began to wind our way in and out of the reef.

If you have ever taken kids fishing in the ocean you know what the conversation consisted of. 'Dad what if we catch a Marlin that weighs 200 pounds or one of those giant Tarpon we swam with yesterday?' 'That would be awesome!' I said. Secretly hoping for maybe a 10 pound snapper or grouper but not wanting to dampen Marshall’s enthusiasm.

After trolling for an hour and a half a squall blew in with quite a bit of rain and we decided to head back to Mima to wait out the rain and maybe get Greg to join us for round number two.

As we began to head back I asked Marshall, 'Do you want to troll back or bring in the lines and go fast?'
'Let’s troll back,' he said.
'Good choice.' I commented, 'You never know when you are going to catch a fish.'
We were making our way slowly back to the boat when Marshall’s line was slammed.
'Dad I got one!' hollered Marshall as he began to play the fish. After a few violent runs the fish tired and Marshall landed a nice little two foot long Barracuda.
'Can we show Greg?' Marshall asked as we slowly towed the barracuda behind the dinghy.

Once alongside CToy, Greg rewarded Marshall with a healthy dose of enthusiasm and encouragement. We were chatting and telling fish stories with Greg and Barbara when Marshall suddenly let out a blood-curdling scream heard by all three boats in the anchorage. In my peripheral vision what I thought had been a chunk of coral under the boat began to move and was heading directly for us. I was so alarmed that I literally stepped back, which is hard to do in a dinghy, trying to avoid the vague leviathan approaching. A moment later a mouth appeared out of the water and swallowed the barracuda whole.

Now this created a problem. The barracuda was still attached to Marshall’s line and we now had a Goliath Grouper hooked on very light tackle. If we landed this fish it would be a world record. Marshall was fishing with the equivalent of a medium weight trout rod. Perfect for small reef fish but way under powered to land a giant grouper.

Marshall handed the rod to me and as line screamed off the reel we both stood in shock at what we had just observed and Marshall realized he had been robbed of his fish by none other than a fish larger than himself.

His earlier 'what if' questions seemed to be coming true and for a few brief moments I just held onto the rod and Greg kept saying 'Whoa! Did you see that?'

As the grouper headed back to where he had come from I tried to set the hook but eventually the grouper decided this little barracuda was not worth the trouble and spit the fish out whole. Marshall landed the barracuda for a second time and he was much the worse for wear. Scarred and cut up by the grouper’s teeth we got the barracuda on board and sat in awe of what had just happened.

Like true fishermen everywhere we spent the rest of the day trying to catch that grouper again on stronger tackle, but in the end I guess that grouper did not get as big as he was by falling for the same trick twice.

Off to Guatemala:
The following day found us sailing for Guatemala. Another 8 hours of motor sailing into the wind and we arrived in Puerto Barrios, Guatemala greeted by a pod of Bottlenose Dolphins. We spent a day looking around the town and visiting a mall where the kids eagerly hit McDonalds for lunch while we opted for tacos.

We were up and weighing anchor the following morning at 2:30 a.m. to take advantage of a high tide crossing over the bar at the mouth of the Rio Dulce River at sunrise. Mima draws a little over 6 feet and the mean low water level at the bar is 5 feet 6 inches. If you do the math that means we need extra water to make it over safely without hitting bottom or going aground. Add to that equation a rather narrow 'sweet spot' in the channel and you have an exciting bit of navigation before you.
Crossing the bar at the mouth of the Rio Dulce -  .. .  


We were at the set up buoy at 6:00 a.m. and with S/V Dream Odyssey and S/V CToy in the lead, both of which draw less than Mima, we began our slow and well planned crossing. For the next 15 minutes we carefully followed GPS waypoints with Greg calling out depths to warn me of any potential shallow spots. I was a nervous wreck, Susan faired pretty well, and Amy and Marshall were still in bed asleep. Sometimes it is good to be the crew and not the captain.


Boy do we love shrimp -  .. .  
Our crossing was accompanied by the shrimp fleet returning and once we had cleared the shallowest part of the bar Susan quickly got in the dinghy and was negotiating for shrimp before we were ever anchored. Marshall woke up and helped me set the anchor and by 6:30 we had crossed the bar and Susan was now the proud owner of 10 pounds of fresh shrimp.

We checked in with the local authorities and spent a few hours in Livingston, Guatemala before beginning up the Rio Dulce to our new home for the next 3 months.

What a week it had been. Three countries in seven days highlighted by a pristine jungle experience, snorkeling and fishing in a paradise-like setting, Marshall being robbed by a giant grouper, and finally, safely crossing the bar into the famed Rio Dulce.



Greg, Michelle and Susan in Livingston.JPG -  .. .  




by Mark Wheeler

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=48335

11:27 PM Fri 29 Aug 2008 GMT






Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.


Sail-World Cruising News - local and the World

Michael Thurston, the owner of the Australian yacht Drina, sent us a message from Nome, Alaska, to inform us that he and his crew had reached the Pacific Ocean thus successfully completing a transit of the Northwest Passage. A late opening of the Bellot Strait allowed Drina to reach the central part of the Northwest Passage only by mid-September. ... [more]  

The World ARC fleet departed the Cocos (Keeling) Islands this morning, embarking on the second longest sail of their circumnavigation; a 2350 nautical miles journey to Mauritius. Their stay in the tropical atoll has certainly been one to remember. ... [more]  

Pantaenius, the world’s leading specialist yacht insurance company, has been at the forefront of yacht insurance for more than 40 years, earning a reputation for transparency and commitment to customer service that provides round-the-clock international support and reliable, speedy claims settlement. ... [more]  

World-wide the development of marine wind farms will grow. Britain's RYA is taking a proactive stance that can serve as an example for other yachting bodies. If wind farms could be an issue in your waters, its important to follow just what is happening in GBR. Speaking today Stuart Carruthers, RYA Cruising Manager said 'The RYA will now be responding to those of the Panel’s questions that have bee ... [more]  

How to make a distance scale for faster navigation by Captain John Jamieson, Florida
If you are anything like me, sailing navigation can be a challenge when short- or single-handed sailing. But you still need to be able to plot fast and accurate positions for sailing safety. Here one little-known sailing tip used by the pros that will help you do just that! ... [more]  

The 14th edition of the Atlas also includes a new double page map of the Arctic Ocean, which highlights the dramatic long-term decline of Arctic sea ice cover. The sub-ice maps draw on bedrock data, provided by the British Antarctic Survey, to show physical features which are obscured by ice cover. ... [more]  

Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) volunteer crews from Flamborough and Bridlington launched the afternoon of Tuesday, 16 September, after a helicopter crashed close to Flamborough Head. Flamborough RNLI’s Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat launched at 1.45pm, followed soon after by Bridlington RNLI all-weather lifeboat. ... [more]  

On Monday 22 September the EU Naval Force flagship, ITS Andrea Doria, met the Chinese Navy ship, CNS Changbaishan, in the Gulf of Aden. ... [more]  

The Presque Isle peninsula is a 3,200-acre – 7-mile long arm that extends northeast into Lake Erie creating a large, sheltered boating paradise of a harbour. With a string of well equipped marinas, a wealth of facilities and a very impressive yacht club, it has attractions for boaters that place it at the top of a cruising destination list. ... [more]  

Iridium have recently released the Iridium GO!, their latest product in the satellite communication market. It’s portable, battery powered, and creates a WiFi hotspot. www.predictwind.com!PredictWind!new have partnered with Iridium to put together a package catering specifically to the marine market. ... [more]  

In the early morning of Friday 19 September, EU Naval Force frigate, ESPS Navarra, came to the aid of a stricken yacht in the Gulf of Aden. The yacht had been detected on the warship’s radar in the early morning. ESPS Navarra’s Bridge team initially tried to hail the yacht via their VHF radio. ... [more]  

As their annual migration south approaches, sail and powerboat cruisers are stocking their boat’s lockers, checking systems and taking inventory of spare parts. But that’s not the only preparation these cruising 'snowbirds' will need to do, says Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS). ... [more]  

Lost your rudder at sea? Michael Keyworth perfected a way to steer using drogues. To engineer this solution, he removed the rudder from his own boat(!), and experimented with different method, and has summarized his technique in this terrific article. ... [more]  

You scratched my seagrass! by Steven Katona, Newport, RI
Sailors for the Sea publishes monthly articles that translate the language of marine science into fascinating articles about ocean health. ... [more]  

Following a relatively short stopover in Christmas Island, eleven of the World ARC fleet have now arrived in their next paradise, the Cocos (Keeling) Islands. From first settlement in 1826 by English merchant Alexander Hare, through decades of administration by the Clunies-Ross dynasty, most island inhabitants had little freedom or contact with the outside world. ... [more]  

Paul Whitehouse and Simone Wood, from Wolverhampton and London, were in La Paz in Baja California when Hurricane Odile hit the Baja California peninsula last Sunday. It is thought their yacht overturned, and the couple have not been seen since. The couple is thought to have been living in La Paz for around a year. Mr Whitehouse is believed to be a scuba diving instructor in the city. ... [more]  

This might be the Texting and Facebook generation but boaters need to use VHF radio says volunteer rescuers from Weston-super-Mare's lifeboat station who rescued a yachtsman whose boat sank in the middle of the Bristol Channel and who then texted his girlfriend. ... [more]  

Earlier this year two men died in their bunks of carbon monoxide poisoning caused by the highly toxic fumes given off from a poorly maintained butane gas cooker. The cooker which was located in the wheelhouse had been lit to heat the wheelhouse and sleeping area. A carbon monoxide alarm was not fitted. ... [more]  

The Arctic is an ocean surrounded by land and Arctic sea ice is the thin layer of frozen ocean water that forms and grows during the winter, and melts in the summer. Dr Jeremy Wilkinson from the British Antarctic Survey provides a scientist’s perspective on the trend for decreasing Arctic sea ice. ... [more]  

The Virgin Islands are an archipelago. That part, which is a British overseas territory, is commonly referred to as the BVI. About 30,000 people live in the BVI, most of which live on the island of Tortola. The BVI are comprised of about 50 islands the majority of which are not inhabited by humans. ... [more]  

Visitors to this year’s his year's Genoa International Boat Show will find the event 'renewed and more dynamic', adapting to the needs of an industry that is just beginning to see Spring at the end of a long hard Winter. Exhibitor numbers are up on last year, with sailing boats and small-to-medium sized motor boats leading the charge. The show will have a new layout ... [more]  

The Galley Guys take on the Vancouver International Boat Show by Greg Nicoll with Frank Leffelaar and Friends
The Galley Guys hit the Vancouver International Boat Show running. All day long, we were checking out new boats, looking into ice lockers, peeking into storage compartments, seeing what’s new for gourmet cooking onboard and being forced to live on 'show food' by day. ... [more]  

Are you ready to enter that marina? by Captain John Jamieson, Florida
Are you ready to enter that narrow canal or passage ahead that leads into the marina? Have you prepared your boat and crew for the unexpected? No matter if it's a brand new marina or the one you use as 'home base', docking preps will be the same each and every time. ... [more]  

Each summer, in a Canadian cruising tradition, thousands of Western Lake Ontario sailors join the annual summer migration to the Bay of Quinte and the Thousand Islands. ... [more]  

The RYA is working to improve its understanding of the number and spread of leisure boaters either using or not using AIS on board their vessels, in order to quality assure our data as we update the RYA’s Coastal Atlas of Recreational Boating. ... [more]  

Unlike an automobile, recreational boats have special safety needs when it comes to refueling. Stern drive or inboard powered boats have closed engine compartments where volatile gasoline vapors don’t easily dissipate, and older gasoline powered boats are the riskiest to refuel as their brittle fuel hoses can crack, leaving gas in the bilge after a fill-up. ... [more]  

For the next 72 hours the majority of the World ARC fleet will be moored in Flying Fish Cove on Christmas Island. The crews will have been planning their 48 hours stopover here before leaving Bali so they can make the most of it. Christmas Island is one of the jewels of the Indian Ocean and has a lot to offer. 63% of its land mass is made of National Park which is home to many endemic species. ... [more]  

Three-time President of French Polynesia, Gaston Tong Sang, and current mayor of Bora Bora, has written a strong letter of support for the Blue Planet Odyssey, assuring the fleet a warm Polynesian welcome when they arrive there in 2015. ... [more]  

Do you want to win a trip of a life time to any port of call along the Round the World Race in 2015? Great, because it is simple! All you have to do is design, scribble, write or draw a T-Shirt design and submit it online at www.ecsix.com/contest. 'You don’t have to be a designer to win, we are after the best creative idea that fits our brand' says ECsix’s Scott Vogel. ... [more]  

Remember to properly dispose of obsolete distress beacons by Australian Maritime Safety Authority
You might not be 'down under but here is a cautionary tale!- The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) is urging people to ensure they dispose of their obsolete and unwanted distress beacons correctly after emergency services spent more than six hours homing a beacon eventually found dumped in bushland on Queensland's Sunshine Coast over the weekend of 6-7 September. ... [more]  

Blue Planet Odyssey - We made landfall the morning of Saturday, September 13th at 0900 local time as we passed Race Point at the entrance into Cape Cod Bay. Since leaving St John’s less than one week ago we had covered 1109 miles, at an average of just under seven knots. ... [more]  

The World ARC fleet made a great sight on September 14th as they sailed across the start line at the entrance to Benoa Harbour, Bali. Before leaving Bali International Marina, Arsa, a tour guide who had looked after the fleet during their week-long stay, visited yachts to perform a traditional Hindu blessing. It was a beautiful way to send off the fleet and a very special moment for many. ... [more]  

An international team of scientists, including the British Antarctic Survey, studied the geologic history of the area of the Antarctic Peninsula where the Larsen B ice shelf disintegrated, the portion of Antarctica that extends northwards toward South America. The new findings support the idea that such a dramatic collapse can be caused by surface warming. ... [more]  

Baltic 4 Nations - Next edition sets sail July 2015
BoatUS offers 'Boater's Guide To Winterizing'
Yachts prepare for second Atlantic Odyssey, departing this November
Thai drama with Phuket yacht clampdown
Marine Rescue volunteers in two searches on NSW northern waters
Sailing Rallies launch two new events at PSP Southampton Boat Show
World ARC crews in Bali
Could your sailing navigation use a tune-up?
Images of marine sunsets by Tripadvisor
Citizen science model proposed to fill fundamental ocean data gap
Africa-Europe Challenge - Three short harbor races to be organized
European Odyssey - Sardinhada in Lisbon for the fleet
Ocean Cruising Club celebrates 60th Anniversary with record gatherings
The Boat Cookbook
La Grace - Flagship of Africa-Europe Challenge in 2014
Indian Ocean-wide tsunami exercise to test readiness
Blue Planet Odyssey - Aventura makes landfall at St John’s
18 anti-piracy weapons for ships to fight pirates
World ARC fleet now arriving in Bali
Governor’s Cup Yacht race - Great for cruisers and racers alike
Cowes Breakwater causes new tidal flow   
EU Naval flagship- frigate assist yacht twice maydays in pirate zone   
An offer a Galley Guy cannot refuse   
Dinghy Safety - More to think about   
World ARC fleet to enter Indian Ocean for the first time   
What can you do to prevent electrocution and ESD?   
Pack this sailing gear for 'hands-free' lighting   
Salty Dawg Rally Seminar Series planned October 8 in Annapolis   
Europe tightens up on skippers competency certification   
World ARC fleet departs Darwin under full sail   
NOAA expedition discovers ship’s timepiece silent for nearly 200 years   
Blue Planet Odyssey - Northwest Passage gate opens   
A Cruising Guide to the Dominican Republic 6.0 now available   
BNS Leopold I to commence counter-piracy operations   
Africa Europe Challenge introduces 'Spectator's Package'   
Wanted youth circumnavigators on a 'Voyage of Imagination'   
Niagara-on-the-Lake, a popular cruising destination in Canada   
The crowd-pleasing comforts of catamaran cruising   
Death by Dinghy   
'Sailing Stones' of Death Valley seen in action for the first time   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph, contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW CRU NH
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT