Sailing south along the coast of Belize
Sailing south non stop for over twenty hours along the Caribbean coast of Belize between the mainland and the Belize Barrier Reef where the seas are low; winds over twenty knots, the boat doing eight, at times nine knots. The miles go fast. Small mangrove islands to port, tall mountains to starboard, dark and mysterious, a huge river delta poring its brown waters in the sea.
At night, we try to take turns steering the boat, Ivo, Viktor, and I, but most of the time Ivo is at the helm, enjoying the speed. As we enter the Gulf of Honduras, the wind dies and the sea becomes flat as a lake. Staying awake is a challenge. Humongous cargo ships criss-cross the gulf, passing just next to our tiny boat. One even alters her course avoiding us. Good thing she saw us.
The Gulf of Honduras bridge
Around 3 in the morning Ivo wakes me up after a sharp tack, worried.
„There is a bridge in front of us and it looks low, we almost crashed into the bridge!“
„What bridge are you talking about, I don’t see a bridge.“ All I see is city lights in the distance. I take the spotlight and gaze into the darkness.
„The bridge, there, don’t you see it? Shit, it’s not on the chart! And that’s exactly where we have to go, it’s on our way!“
He really sees a bridge. Viktor and I try hard, staring into the darkness to see it too. Ivo has convinced us the bridge is right there, only, we cannot detect it…
We spend an hour circling in front of the bridge, altering our course in order not to collide with it, checking another chart to see if they maybe indicated it there. They didn’t. Sometimes the charts are way off, but omitting to mark a creepy low bridge in the middle of the Gulf of Honduras is preposterous!
„Wait a minute, this isn’t a bridge, I say, this is a road on land far away in the distance and you are hallucinating! Go get some sleep,“ I take over the wheel for the rest of the night and turn the boat directly towards the imaginary bridge.
Ivo goes below to get some sleep thinking to himself, „Man I hope she doesn’t hit the bridge…“