Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Easter Sunday Sarteneja Sailing Regatta

It's Easter Sunday here in Belize and everything is closed, including the Chinese stores. Last year the police actually took some of the store owners to jail for not closing on Easter Sunday, so it's a big thing here. Most people were off all day for Good Friday, which is a holiday, then had Saturday, Easter Sunday and Monday, which is another holiday. A nice four day weekend for most people. My contractor gave the guys the option of an extra Saturday's pay or take the day off. About ten of the guys decided to work, knowing they still had two more days off after that.

I had planned, with a couple dozen other people, to take a boat over to Sarteneja to watch the Easter Sailing Regatta. So we loaded up at 9:30AM, at the Mayan Seaside dock, for the hour plus boat trip over to Sarteneja.

Casablanca Hotel and the Customs station with Bob and Martha's apt. right behind it.

Winds had kicked up a bit and the seas were a little choppy. We were in two pangas, with about 12 or 13 in each one. As we moved into the bay, the first 5 minutes gave us an idea of what to expect for the rest of the ride. Patches of not so bad water, then patches of bone shattering pounding, as we went into the wind and waves. It would have been just as bad if we did the 3 hour drive over the road to Sarteneja. It can pound you just as bad. Gordon and Illianna had the best plan. They flew their private airplane over. Eighteen minutes, no bumps, no spray, no problem. Some people have all the toys.

Our boat ride was the longest hour, with the waves, the spray. the pounding. I wasn't even able to take any pictures of the trip over except just as we arrived at Sarteneja. But what a beautiful village as you arrive from the sea with all the sail boats, ready for the regatta.

We docked at the pier, just before the start of the first race. Boom, the sound of the starting gun, and they were off. It was a beautiful day for the regatta.

People were lining the pier, watching as the boats raced to the first marker. For me, I headed down the pier and into town.

There was a local band from Corozal playing some great Bob Marley songs, just after the beginning of the pier.

Locals were showcasing their artwork and conservation groups highlighting kayaking and backpack tours. Vendors with rice and beans, even fresh coconut milk. Not too bad. I even got a frilly straw with my coconut.

But Capt. JIm said it's time to gather the sailors, cancel shore leave and head for home. We gathered on the boat, expecting to get the same ride as when we arrived, but were pleasantly surprised when the sea was fairly calm and the trip was made in less than 45 minutes and was quite enjoyable.

I bought some art work from the local vendor and the shirts off the Belikin distributors back.

I'm back at the Don Quixote Hotel, as I struggle through another day at the office. More decisions to be made. Isn't it time for another Belikin?


sandy a said...

thanks for posting the great pics! I just love sailboats. Looks like fun!

Donna said...

"day at the office" - priceless!

Thanks for sharing....will have to visit Sarteneja one day too....looks wonderful!

Rick K said...

I am Jealous Perry, looks like a great trip. Wish I was there.
Sarteneja looks nice

Beyond Touring said...

Very cool!

Beli92 said...

Like the Pics!

Solie said...

My home very beautiful, I remember it fondly.