“Morning Has Broken” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

Up around 04.15 hours yesterday. A bit earlier than usual I think because in my sleep my subconscious thought was reminding me that this was going to be a BIG day. The day that our boat was going to be towed from Captain Shark’s Boatyard in the DFC area to Louis Gillett’s workshop in Boca Del Rio. Louis is the engineer who we hope will make our sick engine well.

It didn’t too long to make my mug of black coffee (it never does, that’s why it’s called instant!), pick up the iPad and be out on the veranda. In the dark.


I took the camera out there as well just so you get an appreciation of just how dark it is.

There’s very little that can be seen at that time of the morning but there are plenty of sounds. The breeze rustling through the trees. And now that we have a palapa either side of us I can hear it rustling through them too. There’s the sound of fish (I’m told its snappers) launching themselves from the lagoon and then the splashing sound as they re-enter the water. I’m also convinced that I hear the sound of crocodiles as they swish their tails to propel themselves though the water.

There’s also the clicking sound that geckos make as they awaken for the day ahead. And of course the sound of barking dogs as their peaceful slumber is broken by the sounds of people making a long trip north -either on foot or on a bike – for the start of their working day. When that happens I know that morning has broken.

As the sky starts to brighten the birds start to chirp to let their friends know where they are before they break in to song. And sometimes one them might join me on the veranda.


I passed the time reading The Times online but have to admit that I didn’t pay too much attention to what I was reading. I know that there’s a lot of important stuff going on around the world but yesterday my thoughts were selfishly focused on collecting the boat.

Around 07.00 hours my phone rang. It was Lloyd. He’d found someone to tow the boat for me (his boat is being used on an island off of Ambergris Caye) and he would come and collect me at 08.00 hours.

I knew that I had time to spare but clear and logical thought went out of the window and I had showered, shaved, brushed my teeth and dressed within twenty minutes. Not a record for me (I once accomplished this in ten minutes when I overslept for a plane I was catching) but quick by my Ambergris Caye standards.

Lloyd arrived around ten minutes early and we drove the short distance to Boca Del Rio to meet his friend John and within minutes we were off, heading down the waterways on the western (lagoon) side of the island.



Within minutes we had the San Pedro Sunset Boardwalk and Water Taxi Terminal to our left


and then it was behind us.


John (the other one, not me) at the tiller.

Within a few more minutes we were heading down the canal to Captain Shark’s Boatyard



We moored up and I hopped ashore (I can still hop even at my age!) and found Omar so that we could get our boat in to the water.

Gunner (that’s what we have named it) was already on a trailer and in no time at all Omar had hooked it up to a tractor and it was heading towards the slipway.




Lloyd observing proceedings intently.


And ‘she’s’ afloat!

Lloyd and John then secured the ropes


and we were off!



I travelled back in Gunner but Lloyd started the journey with John but after a short time joined me to Captain the boat.


“Your fingers are facing the wrong way Lloyd”. Or are they?

We took the same route back and passed the vegetable and fruit sellers who were by now in ‘full swing’.


We then pulled in to the canal where Louis has his workshop


and Lloyd punted Gunner to its temporary (really temporary I hope!) mooring.



Safely moored.

The headline for today’s edition is based on the single released in 1972 by Cat Stevens (now known as Yusuf Islam) which reached number six in the US Billboard Hot 100 and number nine in the UK Singles Chart. Now I’m under instructions to include this next bit of information. Cat Stevens went to Hugh Myddleton school. The same school Rose went to. She’s much younger than him though (under instruction to point this out too!).


  1. Steve Ward says:

    Great stuff, good luck with Gunner’s Yamaha engine, in my view the best manufacturer of Marine Engines, ogh and I also have two Yamaha motorbikes so I am a big fan of their engineering..
    Once fixed, regular maintenance should keep it tip top, some of it you will be able to do yourself just get hold of the owners service manual… I do regular maintenance on our old ’76 Chrysler, just like a car engine maintenance really. Look forwrad to hearing when the Yammy is fixed John!

    1. Rose is the DIY person between the two of us so it sounds like the engine maintenance might be one for her!

  2. Ironically, now back home from Ambergris Caye, Riki & I were watching last night our DVR of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame event. After his induction, Cat Stevens sang “Morning Has Broken” along with several other favorites.

    1. Hi Rob. Watched the same programme which is what acted as the catalyst for my song choice. Hope that you managed to do what you wanted to do whilst you were here. If not you have the perfect reason (excuse) to come back!

  3. kristina nadreau says:

    this boat information is all new to me. I had no idea that for engine work it was necessary to take the whole boat in to the mechanic. I thought the engine was portable. oh well, I learn many odd facts from your blog.

    1. Hi Kristina. I could have taken just the outboard to the engineer but it is a big engine and it could have proven to have been a rather precarious drive on the golf cart. The other benefit of leaving it on/with the boat is that the engineer can check that all of the controls work. At some point the engine needs to be tested on the boat. Given this it’s easier to leave it on the boat.

  4. Jane says:

    I’m assuming it’s Rose who went to the same school as Cat Stevens and not some mystery woman, John. :). Gunner looks truly beautiful – sporty and fun!

    1. Rose is a mystery woman Jane. She’s also ‘sporty and fun’!

    2. Oh and thanks for letting me know about my omission. Corrected now.

  5. robert Vernon says:

    Whart, No champagne launch. The Queen was free today !!!!

    1. Not going under its own power yet Robert. And have you seen the price of champagne here!

  6. Paul Cloutier says:

    I hear the salt water really takes its toll on engines.
    Great photos as usual !

    1. The salt -whether in the water or the air- takes it toll on everything Paul. You need only look at my golf cart!

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