Punta Negra

28th to 30th May 2022

Our search for a beach was complete – this is a LONG beach, which we anchored relatively close to in around 5m of water. The forecast suggested no winds above 10kt from the East for several days which means we should be in good shelter here. But then the previous night, forecasts had suggested <10kt gusts overnight and our instruments recorded 27 from the South and, after the wind swung around and the rain intensified to “blinding”, 29 from the North. So, we let out plenty of chain and felt secure in this huge bay for any reasonably-plausible weather.

That was a good decision, as the wind was again occasionally in the mid-20s, resolutely from the northeast. There’s no shelter in here when the wind is from the northeast, as we didn’t tuck in particularly close behind the island, and when the wind had died down we ended up side-on to the remaining swell. Nothing too uncomfortable, and its actually nice to be somewhere we notice we’re on the water for a change!

There’s nothing ashore except for a long narrowish beach in front of scrub-forest. When we write “there’s nothing ashore”, we mean: it’s lovely. It could be even more beautiful, but the entire length of the beach above the tide line is strewn with plastic and other rubbish for metres back from the shore. Such a shame, but we suspect that much of the waste comes from elsewhere in the Caribbean, if not further afield and it must feel futile to keep on top of clearing it.

Regardless, the kids and Charlotte had a great time there, digging, swimming, and collecting the abundant coconuts. The struggle to open the coconuts reminded us that we didn’t buy a machete before we left Rio Dulce, as we’d intended to. Hammer and hacksaw sufficed, although we also tried the circular saw to amuse the kids.

Hector’s current favorite foods are coconut flesh (which he guards menacingly, in case his brothers might want more than their fair share) and freshly caught and fried jacks. He’s in the right place. We collected some more coconuts with the intention of buying a machete in Placencia over the following days.

While here we also caught up on a few boat and domestic jobs; the boat is nearly tidy inside and rainwater leaks are almost a thing of the past. Note the words “nearly” and “almost”. And were visited by the park authorities and coast guard to collect their fee and have a chat about living on a boat with kids. They charged $10Belize for each of the adults, nothing for the kids. And only for the day they visited us, even though I explained we’d be there the next day, too, and had been elsewhere in the reserve for a few days. Here’s hoping that attitude to park fees continues through the rest of the country.

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