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The Cruising Adventures of Joan & Ben Schuetz aboard  
Francesca
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      Part 1:  Caribbean Bound   |         Part 2: Southern ICW   |         Part 2A:  Preparing to cross the stream   |         Part 3: Cuban Delights   |         Part 4: Great Hospitality, Awful Beaurocracy   |         Part 4a: Interesting weather   |         Part 5: Lo siento (I'm sorry) no lobsters   |         Part 6: If you make plans, don't tell anyone   |         Part 7: At the western tip of Cuba   |         Part 8:  War Stories   |         Part 9:  Hanging out at Isla Mujeres, Mexico   |         Part 10: Isla Mujeres to Puerto Aventuras   |         Part 11: Bahia Ascension y Bahia del Espiritos Santos   |         Part 12: Oooh, the weather is so exciting. . . .   |         Part 13:  The illegal aliens beat it over the border   |         Part 14: San Pedro and Caye Caulker, Belize   |         Part 15: Bluefield Range (Belize)   |         Part 15A: Waiting for good weather at Bluefield Range   |         Part 16: Rio Dulce Bound   |         Part 17:  On the Rio   |         Part 18: A Spectacular Couple of Days   |         Part 19:  On to Lago Izabal   |         Part 20: More on Lago Izabal   |         Part 21: Rainbow on a full moon   |         Part 22: At the dock            |         Part 23:  It gets better & better & . . . .   |         Part 24: Antigua, Lake Atitlan, Chichicastenango   |         Part 25: Panajacel and Chichi   |         Part 26: Heide heads home   |         Part 27: Leaving river city for a while   |         Part 28: Back to Belize   |         Part 29: Time out for paradise   |         Part 30: Natures way   |         Part 31: Best of the best   |         Part 32: Jack's Cay No - Glover's Reef Si   |         Part 33:  A few days of ambling   |         Part 34: Treasures of a Lifetime   |         Part 35:  It's a better day today   |         Part 36:  The loss of a friend   |         Part 37:  Rite of passage   |         Part 38:  The last bit of open water   |         Part 39: 1000 miles and counting   |        Part 40:  Shoes-, me?

      Part 11: Bahia Ascension y Bahia del Espiritos Santos
Thursday, 13 January 2000

Yesterday, we tried to leave Bahia Ascension, but the seas at the reef break were just to darn big.  So we turned around and went back to a calm anchorage.  The motor sailors Estrilita and Driftwood had arrived the previous evening from Aventuras and we were all in a row.

With the Heides in their dink and Joan and I in ours we ran around Punta Allen inside of the Bay and found a small village.  There was a grocery store, fisherman's co-op, a church, a small cabana type hotel and of course two friendly bars.  We know that at least one of them was friendly anyhow.  A fisherman at the bar told us that it was late in the lobster season and that they were pretty well fished out.  Well, I hate to admit it, but we broke down and bought lobster at the co-op.  Yes, the hunters had failed again.  So last night, here on Francesca, we had seven modest sized lobsters and every morsel was savored.  Joan, Marv and I were all thankful that Marge does not eat the critters.

This morning, we again set out through the reef break at Ascension.  The seas were almost as big as before, but the time between swells was a couple of seconds longer and it could be navigated with little risk.  After getting out through the reef the seas were still 8 feet or better, but again with the longer period between the peaks.  So, we slogged along for about 4 hours down to Bahia del Espiritos Santo, another very large bay.  The reef break here is about 1 ½ miles wide with good deep water and the waves didn't build much through the cut.

The weather report for day after tomorrow is not promising.  Winds are supposed to be up to 30 knots and seas too large for us to deal with.  We may have to stay here in this bay until the bad stuff passes.

I spent some time snorkeling the reef this afternoon.  It was very pretty with large staghorn coral and many, many fish.  Even saw a few keepers in the 10 lb. range, but I don't like to shoot fish anymore.

We're about 80 miles from the Mexican / Belize border and anxious to get there.  Once there, we will cruise the next 130 miles or so behind the reef in nice calm water.

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Joan, Ben, Marge, Marv & Maggie