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Old 17-12-2012, 09:31   #1
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Anybody have waypoints for passes through the Belize barrier reef?

Thinking about sailing New Orleans to Belize around the end of April. I have been in through English Caye Channel and I have motored a shallow draft skiff through the pass at the north end of Caye Caulker, but I am particularly interested in San Pedro Pass, and any other passes that anyone here is familiar with. I know about the yellow bouy, and I know it isn't there anymore, but what can anyone tell me about the red roof that I am supposed to line up on at 318 degrees with the absent yellow bouy? And is that 318 true or magnetic? Trying to piece these little bits of info and hearsay into something I can correlate with my charts and Google Earth and end up with something useful. My draft is 4'7". Good waypoints would be particularly appreciated, as well as any better descriptions of landmarks and ranges. I want to check in at San Pedro and chill out there and at Caye Caulker for a week or two before hitting the mainland and visiting family I have there. Thanks for any help anybody can give!
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Old 17-12-2012, 10:05   #2
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Re: Anybody have waypoints for passes through the Belize barrier reef?

Waypoints? I'm used to hearing that as a term used with electronics, LORAN and GPS. If you are piloting with visual navigation aids, as far as I know you want information on marks (landmarks) not waypoints.

Since waypoints don't have a physical presence, they don't change. Marks tend to be less reliable, as they often do move and sometimes even get knocked down. Like stacks and roofs.

If you can't get some local response online, try asking the reference librarian at your local library, they can often get in cruising guides from a larger "interlibrary loan system" although it can take 3-4 weeks to get something in.
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Old 17-12-2012, 12:15   #3
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Re: Anybody have waypoints for passes through the Belize barrier reef?

I am greedy. I want the whole package! Both visual aids and electronic ones are welcome when I am contemplating passing through as notorious an entrance as San Pedro Pass in a keel boat!

Roofs do get knocked down. Just as bad, new ones get built. There are now a LOT of red roofs on Ambergris Caye, making finding the correct one not such an obvious no brainer as it might have once been.

I know of one out of print cruising guide that has pretty good information. Your library suggestion is a good one, I think. I was thinking in terms of grrrr... wish it was still in print! I will check the library when I get home in March. Thanks for that.
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Old 18-12-2012, 06:27   #4
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Re: Anybody have waypoints for passes through the Belize barrier reef?

I went from Rio Dulce Guatemala to Florida in 2011 and we stopped in San Pedro. I've attached our track in KMZ format for GE. I also have it in GPX format but its too big to post. Let me know if you want the GPX file and I'll email it to you.

I also was concerned about that pass but it turned out to be not too bad. Just be sure to turn right after you pass through the reef.
Attached Files
File Type: kmz Guatemala to Florida 2011.kmz (179.2 KB, 155 views)
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Old 18-12-2012, 07:16   #5
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Re: Anybody have waypoints for passes through the Belize barrier reef?

Not exactly what you're seeking, but interesting.

Belize Maps
Belize Maps, Ambergris Caye, San Pedro, Caribbean and Central American Maps
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Old 18-12-2012, 07:29   #6
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Re: Anybody have waypoints for passes through the Belize barrier reef?

What's the name of the cruising guide? I've seen several out of print books available from sellers on Amazon.

This looks like a new cruising guide I just found on Amazon.
Cruising Guide to Belize and Mexico's Caribbean Coast, Including Guatemala's Rio Dulce: Freya Rauscher: 9780975575314: Amazon.com: Books
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Old 18-12-2012, 08:00   #7
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Re: Anybody have waypoints for passes through the Belize barrier reef?

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I went from Rio Dulce Guatemala to Florida in 2011 and we stopped in San Pedro. I've attached our track in KMZ format for GE. I also have it in GPX format but its too big to post. Let me know if you want the GPX file and I'll email it to you.

I also was concerned about that pass but it turned out to be not too bad. Just be sure to turn right after you pass through the reef.
That would be great! PM sent!
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Old 18-12-2012, 08:03   #8
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Re: Anybody have waypoints for passes through the Belize barrier reef?

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What's the name of the cruising guide? I've seen several out of print books available from sellers on Amazon.

This looks like a new cruising guide I just found on Amazon.
Cruising Guide to Belize and Mexico's Caribbean Coast, Including Guatemala's Rio Dulce: Freya Rauscher: 9780975575314: Amazon.com: Books
I do believe that's it! Thanks.
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Old 18-12-2012, 08:27   #9
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Re: Anybody have waypoints for passes through the Belize barrier reef?

Have returned from there about a year ago, I can tell you that the easiest way to get through these passes is with full sun and with your head out of the boat. Study the Rauscher book prior to entering, keep the page open and next to you for reference, but just go in using your eyeballs.

The pass in San Pedro can be a little sketchy if there is a sea running because of the sharp turn. But as Belize is small, it's no big deal to head down to long cay and just run over the submerged section of reef and sail back up through porto stuck (anchor up for the night with a Q flag by long cay and run back up the next day too!!).
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Old 18-12-2012, 09:12   #10
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Re: Anybody have waypoints for passes through the Belize barrier reef?

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Have returned from there about a year ago, I can tell you that the easiest way to get through these passes is with full sun and with your head out of the boat. Study the Rauscher book prior to entering, keep the page open and next to you for reference, but just go in using your eyeballs.

The pass in San Pedro can be a little sketchy if there is a sea running because of the sharp turn. But as Belize is small, it's no big deal to head down to long cay and just run over the submerged section of reef and sail back up through porto stuck (anchor up for the night with a Q flag by long cay and run back up the next day too!!).
Can I carry a 4'7" draft over Long Caye Pass and through Porto Stuck? If so, that's definitely an option, better than going all the way down to English Caye Channel if it's too rough to try San Pedro Pass.
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Old 18-12-2012, 09:18   #11
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Re: Anybody have waypoints for passes through the Belize barrier reef?

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Can I carry a 4'7" draft over Long Caye Pass and through Porto Stuck? If so, that's definitely an option, better than going all the way down to English Caye Channel if it's too rough to try San Pedro Pass.
Sure, I've got a 4'6" (by the brochure, a little more now) draft and ran over long cay pass with quite a bit of water under the keel, Porto Stuck wasn't even an issue, Just be sure to stay the course through the narrowest part. Heading north from long cay pass you can follow the prop wash marks from the tow boats until you need to peel off and head to cay caulker and san pedro.
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Old 20-12-2012, 08:58   #12
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Re: Anybody have waypoints for passes through the Belize barrier reef?

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Old 24-12-2012, 19:39   #13
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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
If you can't get some local response online, try asking the reference librarian at your local library, they can often get in cruising guides from a larger "interlibrary loan system"
I didn't know that. Thnx for the tip.
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Old 24-12-2012, 20:30   #14
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Re: Anybody have waypoints for passes through the Belize barrier reef?

I went thru San Pedro pass in 2004 Jan in heavy seas-late in day with the rooftops all looking the same---had the GPS coordinates but it was really scary in those seas and sun in our eyes..plus no markers at all.chickened out the first pass as I hit the GPS coordinates but the "rooftops looked all the same "BLACK!" Called on CH 16 and the charter company TMM answered...They greatly sent a Zodiac out and we followed him in and anchored..5 minutes before sundown! its really narrow (40ft)and the seas break all way across in heavy weather.............YEA TMM!!! why those fools in San Pedro dont mark the channel is unbelievable.
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Old 25-12-2012, 00:08   #15
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Re: Anybody have waypoints for passes through the Belize barrier reef?

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I went thru San Pedro pass in 2004 Jan in heavy seas-late in day with the rooftops all looking the same---had the GPS coordinates but it was really scary in those seas and sun in our eyes..plus no markers at all.chickened out the first pass as I hit the GPS coordinates but the "rooftops looked all the same "BLACK!" Called on CH 16 and the charter company TMM answered...They greatly sent a Zodiac out and we followed him in and anchored..5 minutes before sundown! its really narrow (40ft)and the seas break all way across in heavy weather.............YEA TMM!!! why those fools in San Pedro dont mark the channel is unbelievable.
It used to be marked, sorta. There was a yellow bouy. Ain't there no more. Really, that is probably not a good place for a bouy. Every hurricane is gonna knock it off station.
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