|Like Captain Ron says "If it's going to happen, it's going to happen out there". Although our port side transmission repairs held out just fine the three times that we ran the boat up and down the river over the summer,it failed between Guatemala and the Sapodilla Cays. The only comforting thing about losing an engine when at sea is the fact that we have two! We were now down to one and neither one of us was looking much forward to the long trip to Roatan on just one engine. So when the weather window presented itself, even though we hadn't had much chance to explore the Saps, we skidaddled. There wouuld be other days to play here.
Our chartplotter indicated a time of 21 1/2 hours to our destination; leaving at 11:30 a.m. would get us in at around 8 a.m. We set off in a flat calm sea with a light west wind and following sea, our favorite. I scanned the horizon for the telltale peaks that mean waves! NONE ahhhh lucky us. The wind changed, however as we made our way east, coming from the north, on our side, our least favourite! The speed at which our origianal calculation was based upon left us lurching and rolling with boat contents crashing and falling all over the place so we sped the one engine up a little, making things slightly less miserable.
The sea laid down nicely by about 10 pm and the clouds parted, presenting us with a partial moon and a star filled sky. The sea sparkled below us and the sky sparkled above. We took turns napping, 3 hours each and during my watch I saw not a single light on the radar, not a vessel out there except us. Past Utila I went and on towards West End while the Captain slept peacefully below. I wanted to let him sleep longer and surprise him when we arrived but we were getting too close too soon so I woke him and he slowed us down a little so we would have daylight to enter the cut through the reef. I could have done this myself but I know that any change in engine speed would jolt him awake, that is my signal to him for help when I need it.
By 6:45 a.m. we were tied to a mooring ball in the mooring field between West End and West Bay. We tidied up a little, made a log entry and went to bed and slept until noon. When we woke up to crystal clear, aquamarine water for as far as the eye could see the agonies of the previous night were forgotten.
We both agreed that absence does indeed make the heart grow fonder. The six months away had us seeing the beauty of Roatan with new eyes. We agreed that these 2 tropical paradises, the islands and the Rio Dulce, couldn't be more diverse in their beauty. So many shades of green in the jungle and out here, an equal number of shades of blue.