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13 March 2000 - Monday - Cozumel

Antica is lying on the roadstead of San Miguel the (capital of the island). I'm by myself again and I don't know if I'm going to have a crew for the next stage. I'm considering the possibility of sailing all alone to Miami and omitting Cuba. For the time being I'm going to stay here till the end of the month. I've got to paint the whole yacht. I've got a lot of work connected with rigging and the engine.

Sailing from Belize was quite hard due to the wind pushing us to the coast. Besides, we were sailing along the long reef barrier. The area itself was fairly interesting and versatile. We left Belize lagoons to the open sea near the English Cay (a lovely island) and after several hours of sailing we anchored by the tiny island called Crawl Cay belonging to the group of the. Turneffe Islands We spent only one night there.

The next place where we stopped was the northern part of Banco Chinchorro. It is a big part of sea surrounded by the reefs - a kind of atoll with several islands within. We were enchanted by this place. Great clean water, lots of fish and a beautiful rich and colourful reef. A heavy wind did not let us penetrate the place very thoroughly.

From Banco Chinchorro we sailed to the island called Punta Allen located in the northern part of the charming bay - Bahia De La Ascension and we anchored opposite a little fishing village. We spent several days there delighting ourselves in originality of this lovely place and its unparalleled colours of water. Unfortunately the lagoon was too shallow for Antica. Instead we used a pontoon. As a reward we met two big turtles. In the village restaurant the delicious Mexican Guacamole was served. It is a kind of paste made of avocado with a hot salad and pies. We were sorry to leave this place.

Next there was a short 'leap' (60 miles) to San Miguel on the Cozumel Island. A place which is very different from the places we had visited so far. Very commercial , full of tourists, buzzing and noisy and, to top it all, filled with enormous number of cars and loud music. We escaped with the crew deep inside the island to see the ruins of the old Mayas temple in San Geryasio and the Columbia Lagoon. It is a national park where crocodiles and flamingos live. There are also the remains of old navigational signs put on the Mayan coast.

It was a successful and interesting part of the cruise. I wish we had visited San Pedro and Tulum but unfortunately the water out there was too shallow for Antica. The engine still seems to be a problem for us. It appears to be getting out of order again.

Capt. Jerzy W±sowicz

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