23 August, 2013

Oh, We Sailed On the Good Ship Venus...

Yesterday, the Women's Activity and Gourmet Society (WAGS) was having its monthly get together at Tony' Inn and Beach Resort.

Aye, lassies and laddies, it's the mother of all bawdy, sea-going chantys.
It's probably been around in some form or another at least since the 1700's.
- With a tip of the frothy tankard to everyone who's gone down to the sea in ships - big or small.

Chuck and Jamie, who live over in Orchid Bay were going to make an outing of it. Chuck was going to drive their boat over from Orchid Bay with  the idea that he would drop Jamie off at Tony's dock, then motor down to our place, come in via the canal and we'd spend a quality afternoon hanging by the pool and guzzling beer.

It was going to be sort of a big deal for us too, as we've never had nautical visitors to Casa Winjama before, so I was a little excited as I unlocked the back gate leading from the palapa patio to our dock. I also swung the ladder over so Chuck could get off his boat easily.

I had my camera along to document this historic event. I even had my Bosn's Pipe to honor the occasion of Chuck's first arrival by boat.

I strolled out to the end of our dock, looking north up the canal. Nope, no traffic there, nor was any expected since there's no boats in the water up that way.
Looking North
Looking across the canal, I spied the new fishing dock our neighbor across the canal had built a short time ago. I'm sure this'll help improve relations along the canal. In any case, it looks cool. Agusto and the boys did a nice job of building it.
Ye Old Fishing Dock Across the Canal
And then I swung my attention to the south of the canal, which is where I suspected that Chuck would be coming from since the canal takes a sharp left (port) turn just past the cream-colored house and goes straight out to the bay. I posted the dogs and cats as lookouts, but, nothing in sight yet.
Looking South
After just a few more minutes, I heard a marine motor kind of sound and saw a boat nosing into the channel. I guess he must have been able to navigate through the canal entrance. easier than his last attempt, which resulted in a grounding and no access then to the canal. Different story today, for sure.
Here Comes Someone
Here they're coming closer. Looks like one person only, so the chances are good that it could be Chuck.
They're Getting Closer
It is Chuck. He's proceeding cautiously in a seaman-like manner.
I Think It's Chuck
And, here he is swinging his bows around to moor at our dock. A successful voyage, having safely deposited Jamie ashore at Tony's.
Coming In To the Moorage
As i took his heaved line and tied it off on one of our dock cleats, I grabbed my Bosn's Pipe and piped him Ashore. Unfortunately, my skills with the pipe have deteriorated just a tad. Still I was able to make a suitable racket of welcome.

Chuck easily made it to the dock, using the new swing-down ladder. He also brought a cooler full of beer.
Coming Ashore
Before we headed back to the pool, I took a shot of 'This Side Up', the name of their boat, securely moored alongside the ladder. All performed flawlessly.
Moored and With the Ladder
We hung out in and around the pool, enjoying the 87° (f)  water, drinking ice-cold Belikins, and killing doctor flies. With no women around, we could spit, burp, and fart with abandon. We didn't, but we could have had we wanted to. We did talk about the goings-on up north and decided we were fortunate indeed to be living where we are. In short, it was a very enjoyable afternoon.

Somewhere around 3:30 to 4:00 PM, Dianna and Jamie returned and we sat and recounted the day's activities, both with WAGS at Tony's and with Chuck and myself here at Casa Winjama.

Shortly after 4:00 PM, Chuck and Jamie decided it was getting time for them to depart, get underway and make sure to get back to Orchid Bay before dark-fall.

As you can see, they're back on 'This Side Up', and loosening the moorings.
Chuck and Jamie Preparing for Departure
A short bit of jockeying around to lower the prop back into the water and they were ready to go.
Lowering the Prop
Chuck, driving like a pro, backed 'This Side Up' out into the canal channel.
Backing Into the Channel
Then, they were underway heading toward the bend in the canal.
Coming About
Once they negotiated the turn, it was straight ahead for the open bay and onward around the point to Orchid Bay.
Heading for Open Water
Later that afternoon, I got an email from Chuck that they had made landfall at Orchid Bay without incident.

He did say something about wondering if a longer boat and an increase in horsepower would make for a more enjoyable and softer ride for Jamie. Dangerous thoughts, that, Chuck.

Chuck's final words for the evening: "...It was great to take the vessel there and back without any real problems - helps build confidence for next time. And I found Tony's, and your canal, without any aid from GPS. Amazing."

I had a great time. I think Chuck did too. It was fun having him as our first boat visitor. Hopefully, over the years, many more such folk to come.

Smooth seas and following winds, eh?


Oh, and if you Google 'the Good Ship Venus', you can find most of the lyrics for the song. Best served with beer... or grog.


Mr. Pancho said...

Dave & Dianna,
This posting makes me want to visit Casa Winjama by boat, I am jazzed that your friend made the journey all the way from Orchid me great gringo confidence that I will indeed own a boat if The Lord moves Amy and I to Corozal! I would love to spend the day just cruzing around the bay and maybe even get adventurous and sail over to San Pedro!
When we visited Serros (Myan ruin near Copper Bank right on the Carribean), Our friend said that many people boat across from Corozal on water taxi's to the dock at Serros...maybe we will do that as a day trip someday together!


Dave Rider said...

Hi Rodney,

Sailing in Corozal Bay or even Chetumal Bay is relatively easy. Winds can be very problematical. Sailing or motoring to San Pedro - minimum of two hours motoring and four hours sailing - again winds will be a factor.

Likewise, don't count on formal aids to navigation at all like up north, unless you count an upside-down Clorox jug on a stick as a nav-aid.

I don't know that I'd put much stock in 'many people boat across from CZL to the dock at Cerros' We only have one water taxi here - that's the Thunderbolt which runs from CZL to San Pedro once a day with a stop at Sarteneja on request. Oh, sure, there's the odd private boat that goes to Cerros - not so much the ruins, but more likely to Bill and Jennie's Cerros Beach Resort for beer and a fine meal. That's about it.

Some day there will be a lot more boating on the bay, but not right now.


JRinSC said...

Dave, I guess I ought to ask you why there is no boat "home ported" at Casa Winjama?

But then I reflect on the previous posts concerning things that tend to break, erode, get brittle, leak or just quit working down there and I understand.

I have always found it most satisfying to have friends who own boats. You can alway offer to help with the gas...

All this makes me ask... what ever happened to your little motorbike that you use to use to sail over the "sleeping policemen" in Corozal. Did it succum to the elements also?


Dave Rider said...

Hi Julian,

Yup. Lack of money to pour into the hole in the water. We have hopes however.

The little motorbike is still here - not running. It needs major overhaul and the instrument cowling needs a complete rebuild resulting from my meeting the sleeping policeman over by Dr. Sheila's. I'm debating whether to take it in for a rebuild or break down and buy a new one. I'm leaning toward the new one.

With all this rain, though a boat is certainly looking more attractive.