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Old 12-09-2015, 18:56   #1
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GPS WP for Rio Dulce Entrance + Advice

Just got into the rio following Freya's guide and a charter boat's waypoints. Came in exactly at a 1.7ft high tide in the morning with little wind and touched several times with a 6' draft.

I noticed there was a marked channel (marked with water bottles, and other trash, but marked nonetheless) about 100 meters to starboard.

Anyone have any info on this, like if this is where the channel shifted or they started dredging? I didn't have the balls to leave the advice I was given up to that point.

I'd like to make trips to the Belize keys, so advice or waypoints is greatly appreciated.

(inb4: I've already asked around a bit locally to no avail. Yet. My backup plan is to put the dink in front with a marked stick.)
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Old 12-09-2015, 19:21   #2
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Re: GPS WP for Rio Dulce Entrance + Advice

There is no marked channel. Those floats (bottles) you saw were likely attached to fishing nets...stay well clear of those. Ditto for the black flags you will see in that area. Freyas recommended route is fine...course of 225T from sea bouy. For reasons Ive never discovered the sea bouy gets slightly repositioned from time to time, is taken away completely sometimes, and later replaced with a different style of bouy...no se porque. :what:

If you touched with 6' on a 1.7' tide then you may have been a bit too far to starboard (Livingston side). It shoals up quickly on that side. Correct route is close to right down the middle of the mouth. Its common that people want to favor the Livingston side and find themselves in shallow water (when the seas are up a bit, you can see them breaking on that side).

On that route, once abeam of Livingston (not before fully abeam), you can turn toward
Livingston and carry 6' all to way to the municipal dock.

Never seen any dredging at the mouth of the Rio...over the past decade.

The newer edition (2007) of Freyas guide has a couple of way points on the approach, but all you really need is the sea bouy (~ 15.49.25' x 88.44.76') and hold a course of 225T.
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Old 12-09-2015, 19:58   #3
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Re: GPS WP for Rio Dulce Entrance + Advice

Re Sapodilla Cayes. Again, Freya's guide is accurate and newer edition has waypoints.

Its only about 35nm from the sea bouy to the Sapodillas, but its dead to winward. When leaving Livingston, head for Ox Tounge Shoal light, and then leave Cabo Tres Puntas to starboard.

Dont anchor off the SW side of Seal Caye, its very steep and the reef is close at hand. So, if the wind goes SW on you (a bad sign) you can end up on the reef (as a number of boats have). You can dive down and find their old mooring pins and attach to those directly with you own line. Dont trust their mooring lines...they've always been in bad shape when Ive been there.

I also dont recommend Tom Owens Caye as an overnight anchorage. Its very small, with reefs & shoals close at hand, and the holding is not that great. So, if a squall comes thru in the wee hours and you drag...not a good situation...hard to eyeball navigate in the dark.

Otherwise, see Freyas guide and her recommended anchorages.

The Sapodillas are not a good place to be in foul weather.

Inside the reef between the Sapodillas and Ranuana is a clear route and good sailing.

Good fishing outside the reef in the Sapodillas, have caught some nice Wahoo there.
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Old 13-09-2015, 05:43   #4
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Re: GPS WP for Rio Dulce Entrance + Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
...

Inside the reef between the Sapodillas and Ranuana is a clear route and good sailing.

...
That should have read "...Ranguana...".
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Old 13-09-2015, 08:02   #5
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Re: GPS WP for Rio Dulce Entrance + Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post

The Sapodillas are not a good place to be in foul weather.
Excellent advice. Thank you.

Regarding the holding there, I completely understand. On my way down I anchored at Frank's with two anchors off the bow. At about midnight we were hit by a sudden 30-40kts on the beam and immediately started dragging. Luckily it was more or less out of the entrance to the reefs, but when the anchors caught again, I was in the middle of the entrance. So, I cut the anchors and backed out.

Spent the rest of the night thankfully tacking back and forth to pick up the anchors in the morning then headed to Punta Gorda.

But it's **** that it's like that for all of them. The Sapodillas are wonderful. But, I'll definitely check the rings at Seal.
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Old 13-09-2015, 11:10   #6
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Re: GPS WP for Rio Dulce Entrance + Advice

Here are the waypoints for the Rio Dulce entrance that a lot of people use. I believe they are a bit to the south of the Freya guide

As Belize Sailor says, the Sea bouy moves and is not always there so use the waypoints and go for it.

I draw less than you and go in and out a lot at various states of the tide and I have found that 2 hours after high water sometimes there is MORE water but this is not a scientific survey

Waypoints

1. 15 50 100N 88 43 960W
(out near the Sea Buoy)

2. 15 49 299N 88 44 734W
(starting point for crossing bar at Livingston coming down river)

Do not turn in towards the town too soon, wait until you are level with the Texaco dock as per Freya guide; However, the Texaco dock does not have a sign anymore, Look for a rusty barge with fuel pumps on it

Anchor off or near the fuel dock. The further East towards the sea the shallower it gets

Good luck
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