We have now been in the Rio Dulce for just over a month, and I can see how people end up never leaving this freshwater cruising ground. It is large enough that you could pickup and anchor in scores of new spots and never get bored. You could anchor off in side rivers, or in little coves, or near the town, or near one of the resorts or just off in the middle of the river/lack and have all the privacy in the world.
The crew was very excited to head up the Rio Dulce and all spontaneously were awake and ready to go by 0600. Livingston is a high-energy party frontier town with the fishing fleet coming and going 24x7 and seemingly endless firecrackers at 0400.
We weighed anchor and immediately felt like we travelled back in time. On either side of the bank were amazingly cool, but rusted out riverfront enterprises from the mid 20th century.
For the first time I did a facebook live video event as we started up between the 300 foot tall jungle covered limestone cliffs on either side of us.
Chinchirro to Half-moon Cay is 97 nm just east of south at a bearing of 176°. I was anticipating the wind being more true east than south of east, but even so, 176° made me grimace in disdain thinking back to the roll of 191°. I went back to the charts and kept exploring different ideas, after a half an hour I had a new plan: We would not go the shortest route to Half Moon Cay - but instead the longest route - hah! We would first do a u-turn around the northern tip of Chinchurro Bank under enginer power and earn 10 nm of easting the hard way, then on a single straight line sail 197° to the west side of the chain of cays that had Half-Moon Cay on the south end. This would increase our journey from 97 nm to 130 nm - a 33 nm increase, maybe the first time I have consciously increased our planned passage distance. But we would be sailing at 197° - that is a huge 20° difference.
Hauled up the anchor and we started to beat our way east with the iron canvas, the seas were about 1.5 m and the winds were about 20-22 kts.