Belize: Yachting in Style But Without A Toilet

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“But man is not made for defeat,” he said. “A man can be destroyed but not defeated.”
Ernest Hemingway, Old Man and the Sea

What an adventure I had when I boarded our yacht in San Pedro, Belize, last week. We had taken an uber, three flights, an airport tram, a golf cart, and a tender, and after twelve hours of travel, we had arrived. Belize is bordered on the north by Mexico, on the west and south by Guatemala, and on the east by the Caribbean Sea. The yacht had been in dry dock for several months, so she was newly painted, cleaned, fixed, and ready for deep sea adventures. We stayed in the San Pedro area overnight before our somewhat seasick morning cruise to Ambergris Caye. One of our guests, Greg, made the rookie mistake of smoking a pre-cruise breakfast cigar with his orange juice, and he shortly found himself hugging the rails and tossing his cookies on route.


San Pedro, Belizefullsizeoutput_b526

Belize DolphinBelize Yacht Cigar Smoker

Ambergris proved to be everything we had heard. The turquoise waters were as clear as cut crystal, and the snorkeling (or as our South African friends, Hilary and Greg said, “schnor-keling”) was magnificent. We swam with giant groupers, trigger fish, needlefish, and even sharks! I felt like I was in an exclusive club since we needed wrist bands to snorkel in the marine reserve. The bands said “Hol Chan” on them. I was waiting to see if they would also get us admitted to the local bar afterwards.


As we left Ambergris, on route to Turneffe Atoll, Breakaway Yacht lost all functioning of the plumbing system. In other words…. no toilets! There were four crew members onboard and four guests, half women and half men. Now, I’ll spare you the nitty gritty details, but I’ll let you know that everyone reacted differently to this dilemma. Scott quickly took the Hemingway approach and decided he could use the ocean for all his needs. He promptly jumped overboard whenever “nature called” and took care of business. We were given the option of using the showers or the sinks for “number one.” Later that day, Scott said to me, “You looked like a jack rabbit jumping up onto the sink!” and, yep, he managed to sneak a photo of me. And, nope, I will not be posting it. After 24 hours without any toilets, our trusty Captain was able to rig some unused pipe in one bathroom to make that particular toilet tank go directly into the sea. For the rest of the trip, all eight of us were allowed to use that toilet (no paper), and encouraged to pray that it didn’t break down. We made it through the week! I was never so glad to see an airport bathroom in my life!

Yacht in BelizeDock in Belize

The Breakaway Crew

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