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Old 08-03-2013, 00:31   #16
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Re: Anybody have waypoints for passes through the Belize barrier reef?

Hello, I am new to sailing, that is way I just join the forum that I have been reading for a long time. Now, it is my time to get to the water for the first time and I will do the passage from Rio Ducle to Isla Mujeres in 10 days. I am a little scared because of all the dangers in the area and my inexperience. If you could help me deciding the best route in regards of easyness and at the same time beauty and remotness I will appreciate it.
Thanks!!
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Old 08-03-2013, 04:57   #17
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Re: Anybody have waypoints for passes through the Belize barrier reef?

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Gerardo.
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Old 08-03-2013, 06:26   #18
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Re: Anybody have waypoints for passes through the Belize barrier reef?

I did that trip in 2011. You can find my kmz file here at post #4
Anybody have waypoints for passes through the Belize barrier reef?

I also have it in a gpx file. Let me know if you want by sending me a private message with your email address.
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Old 08-03-2013, 08:53   #19
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Re: Anybody have waypoints for passes through the Belize barrier reef?

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Originally Posted by phiggins View Post
I did that trip in 2011. You can find my kmz file here at post #4
Anybody have waypoints for passes through the Belize barrier reef?

I also have it in a gpx file. Let me know if you want by sending me a private message with your email address.
Thanks Paul you already gave it to me back when this thread was new. It got raised from the dead. Sadly my new boat bunny isnt going to be up to the trip and there are issues that prevent me leaving her alone right now and going it solo. Hopefully next year. The FL keys is even looking doubtful. I want to do a couple more overnighter with her on lake pontchartrain and then maybe we try for Pensacola or Panama City but it doesnt look promising at this stage. She finds Mr Wiggles to be too crowded for her and me and I am going to have to rent a house I guess. Darn. Where are all the footloose hippie backpack sailor chicks in this town, anyway? Love is so illogical.
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Old 08-03-2013, 09:33   #20
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Re: Anybody have waypoints for passes through the Belize barrier reef?

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Where are all the footloose hippie backpack sailor chicks in this town, anyway? Love is so illogical.
I think I followed the same plan 1. Fall in love with landlubber. 2. Decide to go sailing.
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Old 08-03-2013, 09:41   #21
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Re: Anybody have waypoints for passes through the Belize barrier reef?

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Originally Posted by Gerardo View Post
Hello, I am new to sailing, that is way I just join the forum that I have been reading for a long time. Now, it is my time to get to the water for the first time and I will do the passage from Rio Ducle to Isla Mujeres in 10 days. I am a little scared because of all the dangers in the area and my inexperience. If you could help me deciding the best route in regards of easyness and at the same time beauty and remotness I will appreciate it.
Thanks!!
The good news is you nearly always have lots of wind. The bad news is you nearly always have lots of wind. If you are in a very small boat the trade winds in your area can seem daunting and relentless. Anything over 40 feet with a sea kindly hull will romp along like a happy puppy and give you an exhilerating passage but under 30 will have you wishing for land or a bigger boat at times if you are not accustomed and familiar with that kind of sailing. Where have you sailed before? Do you have crew or are you solo? What boat? Are you able to do a short shakedown sail in the area before you leave for Isla Mujeres?

Going north will have you in a following current that gets stronger as you go north into the yucatan channel, but it can be frustrating in a small boat southbound. Will you be sailing the boat back down to Rio dulce? If you know what Pilot Charts are, consult the appropriate one and learn to decrypt the cryptic symbols and you will get an idea of what to expect in way of current and wind. Right now the trades are fairly moderate but they build in late April and may. By late June and July you will be seeing a lot of thunderstorms and such and while they pass quickly, they can be quite strong. Watch te tropical weather off west Africa too, because that is where most of your hurricanes will come from, if you will be sailing July through September.

When in doubt, reef early. Heeling over at 30 degrees or more is exciting but very inefficient and is hard on the rig and puts you at risk. As the rainy season approaches, reef when it gets dark because you dont always have much warning before a squall hits. So you lose a knot... big deal. Its not a race.

The prevailing winds will be setting you onto shore so consider a route that keeps you well offshore. I say consider, because a near coastal route is still quite doable but better for more experienced skippers than less experienced imho.

The main passage through the Belize barrier reef is well charted and an easy entrance (still better to have an engine available than not, though, particularly on the way back out) in case you want to break the trip up.

Bear in mind that while i have sailed in Belize and between Belize and the gulf coast, i cant say i have ever been south to Rio dulce so hopefully some old hands will chime in.

Finally, if at all possible get some more experience with short sails before making a longish sea voyage. You will be glad you did.
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Old 08-03-2013, 10:38   #22
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Re: Anybody have waypoints for passes through the Belize barrier reef?

Quote:
Where are all the footloose hippie backpack sailor chicks in this town, anyway?

I know what you mean. I'm in Isla Mujeres which as you most know means "Island of Women" in Spanish....they lied.
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Old 08-03-2013, 21:04   #23
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Re: Anybody have waypoints for passes through the Belize barrier reef?

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I know what you mean. I'm in Isla Mujeres which as you most know means "Island of Women" in Spanish....they lied.
Lol yeah I know. I was there a couple of times in the late 70s on shrimp boats... we worked the Contoy and the Triangles banks and visited IM during the dark of the moon. For the mujeres we had to go across to Cancun, which was not a built up tourist destination back then. The women were much more welcoming over there. The Mexicans let us gringos drag for shrimp around Contoy and Cape Catoche because the Mexican boats didn't fish there due to the current and the vicious bottom. We tore up a lot of nets but we made some money. IM was pretty laid back and peaceful, and didn't know what to make of a bunch of crazy Louisiana and Texas shrimpers. They kept their women, children, and most livestock safely behind locked doors when we were about, I think. They didn't mind selling us cerveza and ceviche, though, and we had fun on the rented scooters. But Isla Mujeres? A misnomer.
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Old 09-03-2013, 00:57   #24
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Re: Anybody have waypoints for passes through the Belize barrier reef?

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Originally Posted by GrowleyMonster View Post
The good news is you nearly always have lots of wind. The bad news is you nearly always have lots of wind. If you are in a very small boat the trade winds in your area can seem daunting and relentless. Anything over 40 feet with a sea kindly hull will romp along like a happy puppy and give you an exhilerating passage but under 30 will have you wishing for land or a bigger boat at times if you are not accustomed and familiar with that kind of sailing. Where have you sailed before? Do you have crew or are you solo? What boat? Are you able to do a short shakedown sail in the area before you leave for Isla Mujeres?

Going north will have you in a following current that gets stronger as you go north into the yucatan channel, but it can be frustrating in a small boat southbound. Will you be sailing the boat back down to Rio dulce? If you know what Pilot Charts are, consult the appropriate one and learn to decrypt the cryptic symbols and you will get an idea of what to expect in way of current and wind. Right now the trades are fairly moderate but they build in late April and may. By late June and July you will be seeing a lot of thunderstorms and such and while they pass quickly, they can be quite strong. Watch te tropical weather off west Africa too, because that is where most of your hurricanes will come from, if you will be sailing July through September.

When in doubt, reef early. Heeling over at 30 degrees or more is exciting but very inefficient and is hard on the rig and puts you at risk. As the rainy season approaches, reef when it gets dark because you dont always have much warning before a squall hits. So you lose a knot... big deal. Its not a race.

The prevailing winds will be setting you onto shore so consider a route that keeps you well offshore. I say consider, because a near coastal route is still quite doable but better for more experienced skippers than less experienced imho.

The main passage through the Belize barrier reef is well charted and an easy entrance (still better to have an engine available than not, though, particularly on the way back out) in case you want to break the trip up.

Bear in mind that while i have sailed in Belize and between Belize and the gulf coast, i cant say i have ever been south to Rio dulce so hopefully some old hands will chime in.

Finally, if at all possible get some more experience with short sails before making a longish sea voyage. You will be glad you did.
Thanks for your reply, it is reassuring to get helpful tips from experienced sailors.

I have some experience sailing in the Caribean. Sailing the boat is not the issue. Is the reefs that make me a little nervous and the fact that it is not marked. Here is a good question. Phiggins is offering me a GPX file. I imagine that it a list of waypoints. I am not sure which program I should use to view it. Could I just follow those waypoints with my eyes closed and I will be free of dangers??

I took a look at the Pilot Charts. I will be sailing in mid March, and I have 12 days to get to know the boat and get to Isla Mujeres. I chose to go inside the reef so I would not have to sail at night. The plan is to do daysailing all throughout, maybe except when heading to isla mujeres from Xcalak.
The boat is a Cal 2-46 we bought recently. I just sailed it once inside Lake Izabal. Has a wirking engine, Roler Main and Genoa.
Here are some doubts.
How do I check the meteo with VHF? There is also a SSB/HAM but I do not know how to use it. I remember sailing with a person that connected the a big radio to the PC and woul get the meteofaxes from New Orleans.How can I do this?

Is there any channel I can call to for help in case for example....the engine stops working through a tight poss in the reef?

How can I get in touch with saiors in the area for advise?

I could keep on going for ages with questions like this.

Thank you again!
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Old 09-03-2013, 19:01   #25
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Re: Anybody have waypoints for passes through the Belize barrier reef?

Try the wx channels on vhf. Google for hf weather bfoadcast s hedules.

Faxes can be received in a number of ways. Currently rhe simplest way is to use your sound card and appropriate software. Older computers with serial ports can use the simple to build HAMCOM modem and a program like JVFAX. There are also expensive TNC type interfaces that do the same thing except they cost a lot more than the couple of bucks that the HAMCOM modem parts cost, or a simple audio cable Ro the Mic input of your computer. Google is your friend.

2182 is the standard calling and distress freq on hf. On vhf, channel 16. But for non emergency transmissiin on your hf radio you must have an operators license. Further, you need a ship station license to have it in the boat, and it is not transferrable from rhe previous owner. You need to hit the books on the radio stuff. It is more than can be learned in a few posts on this board. For short range communicatiins use vhf. Range is basically line of sight or a bit more. Hf can be used to communicate over thousands of miles if you know how to set up your station and operate it effectively.

Out of all the aspects and sub topics of sailing and cruising, communications is by far the most complex and you need to devote some serious study time to it. Start by getting your ship station license and restricted operator license, then read everything you can get your hands on related to SSB, HF, ham, rttty and other digital modes, fax, VHF, including operating procedures, setup, rules and regulations, etc. Study for a ham license, and for a higher class marine license such as the GROL, General Radiotelephone Operator license. The knowledge gained in the process will make you a more effective communicator and could save lives some day.

Meanwhile, tune ariund and listen. There are shortwave broadcast stations, shore stations, hams, all manner of cool things to listwn to. You dont have to transmit (illegally) to get use and enjoyment out of your hf transceiver.
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Old 09-03-2013, 19:18   #26
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Re: Anybody have waypoints for passes through the Belize barrier reef?

And just blindly following Pauls tracks will no doubt keep you out of danger, IF nothing goes wrong. Thats a mighty big if. A good gpx file is a great resource but the key to prudent seamanship is redundancy and contingency. A gps and a little knowledge offers zero redundancy. A gps and a deep understanding of piloting and navigating offer a lot of backup. A good navigator is not particularly troubled by a malfunctioning gps or lack of electric power for it.

From your posts I think I would be much more comfortable if you had someone experienced to go with you on your voyage. Frankly I am having doubts for your safety. And its not jusr what you know you dont know that will getcha, but more the stuff you dont know rhat you dont know.

A good app for working with gpx files is Open CPN. Download a copy of the cm93 charts if you want to go bootleg, or pay for commercially availavle charts is you want to stay legit and legal. OCPN will display most unencrypfed chart formats and overlay the gpx routes and waypoints. Interface your gps to the computer and the program, and your position and other dara will display as well.
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Old 09-03-2013, 19:32   #27
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Re: Anybody have waypoints for passes through the Belize barrier reef?

"2182 is the standard calling and distress freq on hf."

WAS. No more is. Officially has been obsoleted and no longer monitored for a couple of years now.
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Old 12-03-2013, 02:00   #28
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Re: Anybody have waypoints for passes through the Belize barrier reef?

Time to read a little bit more about everything I guess! Thank you!
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Old 12-03-2013, 05:51   #29
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Re: Anybody have waypoints for passes through the Belize barrier reef?

Gerardo,

I sent you the gpx file. It is the actual track of the boat from Rio Dulce to Florida and it has some waypoints when I logged something.

You can turn the track into a route by importing the file into OpenCPN using the route manager then use the "Route from Track" button. You can then activate the route and follow it. You might want to smooth the route out a little by deleting some of the points but keep the important ones going through passes in the reef.
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Old 12-03-2013, 07:53   #30
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Re: Anybody have waypoints for passes through the Belize barrier reef?

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
"2182 is the standard calling and distress freq on hf."

WAS. No more is. Officially has been obsoleted and no longer monitored for a couple of years now.
The USCG says they still monitor 2182 24 hours a day as of Nov 2012.

MF/HF Distress and Safety Watchkeeping Schedule
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