Monday, February 28, 2011

Things Are Moving Along

I can't believe it's already been a month since my last post. We've got a few more things going on around the house. We are getting quotes for the fence work we need to do and we are starting the landscaping of our front yard. They have begun to bring in marl to raise the level of the lot by about 6 to 8 inches. There are several areas in the front of the lot where the water pools because the crown on the side of the road is higher than that of the lot.

They are going to start with four loads of marl for the driveway and the carport pad. After that, they will bring in the top soil for all the landscaping and then crushed rock to finish the driveway. This will probably be an ongoing project for the next several months.

I finished my pet project down at the seawall, that included adding a handrail, umbrella stand, and a nautical flag pole. I do seem to get things done, it's just done at a Belizean speed. All and all, I think it adds a nice touch to, what was otherwise, just a plain seawall.

We recently attended our local art fair called Art in the Park. It was a very enjoyable evening that started with pizza and beer at one of our favorite drinking establishments, Jam Rock.

After finishing off a pizza and a couple of beers, it was time to head over to the park. It was a lively gathering, with lots of families attending. There were some beautiful wood carvings, jewelry and paintings throughout the park and of course, food vendors. I was beginning to wish I hadn't eaten before we came.

We met many of our neighbors from Consejo and lots of our friends from town. We came across Dave and Diana, who write the Winjama blog, also there for the food and fun.

We picked up some meatpies and stuffed jalapenjo peppers, which were absolutely delicious, to take home for later. We toured all the art stands and found a very unusual mahogany bowl that we ended up buying for $50 BZ. There was some very good deals there on local artwork. It's a well attended monthly event.

And this past weekend, I helped our neighbor, Jason, who was hosting a video shoot for the Belize Tourism Board(BTB). They were videotaping a young lady, Iman, in various places throughout Belize, that would showcase things to see or do in that particular area. For the Corozal district, they had contacted Jason about sailing on his Hobie Cat out in the bay. He wanted another crew member to help out, so he contacted me. It was a great morning for sailing, with about a 12 mph wind and small chop on the ocean. We went out for a couple of tacks and let Iman steer the boat for a while. She was really having a good time. The cameraman said he got some great shots of us out sailing. So who knows, I may be in the next Belize tourism video.

On Sunday, we sailed Jason's boat down to town, where they were hosting the first annual Corozal Waterside Festival and Expo. It's an idea that originated from members of our Consejo Yacht Club(CYC), and we were originally going to host the event as the Corozal Sailing Regatta. But the logistics of planning and hosting an event like that was just too daunting for such a new and small yacht club. So, we conacted other groups about helping us, and the Belize Sailing Association (who knew Belize had a sailing association?) stepped in and ran with the idea. They were well connected to the right people, so that most of the things the yacht club would have needed to provide, if we had hosted the event, were provided for FREE. That included port-a-potty's, park space rental, booth spaces, etc. They got the Belize bank to donate the prize money and others to pay for the transportation of the Sea Scouts and 10 of their boats, to Corozal, so they could race.

We sailed Jason's Hobie from Consejo and Gerard had sailed his in from just outside of town, so we were able to race in the multi-hull catagory.

The Belize Sailing Association came in, set up the course, explained the rules and provided the officials. There were 12 boats total, with three different classes.

There were lots of food vendors selling meat pies, shish kabobs, BBQ chicken, tacos and all kinds of other good things. It makes me hungry just writing about it. There were also several companies showcasing their goods, to see if there is a market for them in the Corozal area. And what would a festival be without a beer tent?

Finally it was our turn to race. As we waited for the starting horn to go off, we got caught up in "irons", which means we were sitting dead in the water. The air horn sounded and the other Hobie was off and sailing, but we were still caught up in irons. After three or four minutes, we were finally off and sailing, but we were well behind the other boat and had a lot of ground to make up.

But, after two laps on the course, we were on their tails and closing fast. We had two more bouys to clear before the race was over, so it was now or never. Unfortunately, we missed our tack and had to regroup to try and tack again. We got close, but we came in second (there were only two boats in this class, so I look at it from the best side).

The waterside festival was a smashing success and everybody seemed to have a good time. As the kids played in the water, their parents listening to the band as they ate and drank, other kids participating in art workshops or learning to sail, it was a truly fun day and the weather could not have been better. I'm already looking forward to next year.