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Old 30-11-2014, 10:49   #1
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Key West to Belize

Hi Folks...sitting in Key West for the last few weeks waiting for a weather window to Isla Mujeres then on to San Pedro, Belize. Now I'm thinking of going straight to San Pedro by going inside the Gulf Stream and Cuba. Has anyone done this? My satellite pics show the current close to Cuba is southerly in direction. Also are there any ports in south west cuba one can use in an emergency? A boat next to me left for Cayman Islands last week using this route and were glad for a northern wind. Thanks.
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Old 30-11-2014, 12:30   #2
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Re: Key West to Belize

Sure. The best spot if you don't want to check in is about 5-10 miles east of the cape in the mangroves. It shows up on Cmap I think. Totally secure in wx. There is a good counter current along the coast outside the reef and good sailing inside the reef.
You may by-pass Isla but you should think about the 2 bays in southern MX. Both offer great protection and the southern one has Lobster service. Xcalak, I don't know. It's shallow and when a norther comes down it gets rough inside and very rough trying to get out.
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Old 30-11-2014, 19:54   #3
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Re: Key West to Belize

The course across to Cuba, then west will give you a counter current along the Cuban coast. But then you will have to cross the Gulf Stream in the Straights of Florida and then the Yucatan Channel. So your not getting much of a benefit. Our course took us almost due west from Key West until we were north of Isla. Then we just turned south. No contrary currents to deal with and believe me when I say you don't want to cross the Yucatan Channel in anything but very settled weather. Here is some details on our trip in this blog post. Voyages of Sea Trek: Let It Begin Florida Keys to Guatemala . Chuck
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Old 01-12-2014, 07:13   #4
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Re: Key West to Belize

Also, I usually advise against entering the cut at San Pedro. A bit tricky and if you get it wrong the result will likely be catastrophic. Most make it thru without issue, but not all.
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Old 01-12-2014, 11:41   #5
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Re: Key West to Belize

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Also, I usually advise against entering the cut at San Pedro. A bit tricky and if you get it wrong the result will likely be catastrophic. Most make it thru without issue, but not all.

+1

We eyeballed this cut and opted to head further south to a section of submerged reef to cross.


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Old 01-12-2014, 16:27   #6
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Re: Key West to Belize

Eastern Channel further S is wide and deep. Then clear in at Belize City.
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Old 01-12-2014, 17:08   #7
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Re: Key West to Belize

Are we talking about the entrance right in front of downtown? If the bouy is there and the wx is nice, it's no big deal. I would not miss San Pedro. The bouy has some big chain on it. It's there.
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Old 01-12-2014, 18:40   #8
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Re: Key West to Belize

I tried it once, never again. Scared the s... Out of me. Saw the buoy , it was on the reef. Left Belize there once and a big f.... Wave broke over the boat. I say locals only or with there help. Just my 2 cents


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Old 01-12-2014, 18:49   #9
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Re: Key West to Belize

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Are we talking about the entrance right in front of downtown? If the bouy is there and the wx is nice, it's no big deal. I would not miss San Pedro. The bouy has some big chain on it. It's there.
Yep, that one. Boats do get it wrong occasionally.
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Old 01-12-2014, 19:18   #10
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Re: Key West to Belize

We've been in and out of San Pedro and never had any issues with a 6 foot draft. Yes you need to know where the reef is coming in and none of the breaks along the reef are safe with big seas running. The dive and snorkel boats are coming and going all the time and many times you can follow them in. But good eyeball navigation shows the shallows coming in. Just make a sharp right after coming in the entrance.
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Old 03-12-2014, 21:17   #11
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Re: Key West to Belize

Going west along the north coast of Cuba in the spring the Yucatan Current usually hits you right in the face (1.5-2knots) and the wind is not too favorable either. Watch out for the Cuban oil rigs operated by the Chinese. They don't answer any radio frequencies and will probably sent a gun boat out to look you over and make sure you don't hit there rig. That a busy route with a Traffic Separation scheme on the west end of Cuba so keep a good watch. Capt. Jack
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Old 03-12-2014, 22:14   #12
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Re: Key West to Belize

Hey Geozeck, don't have much to offer in way of your initial question, but I'm pretty sure you are in the FP Belize in the same marina I am in and we met when you guys splashed your boat at Robbies - we have the Venezia. I saw you guys provisioning today with all the grocery bags being loaded onto the boat and I am thinking you are leaving at first light tomorrow. Have a safe trip and smooth sailing and it was nice to have met you guys.
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Old 21-12-2014, 21:37   #13
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Re: Key West to Belize

Hi Folks...thanks for all of your ideas. We left Key West December 7 and went to Isla Mujeres, mostly because my water maker needed some attention on land. We hooked SE of Cuba and crossed the Stream and headed up and over to Mexico. Going to Mexico by boat is a real experience. We were quarantined in a locked dock until Big Jorge from the Heath department could come and take our temperatures and certify that we did not have Ebola. Then came a parade of government people to our boat to examine our dog, check our bilges and take away all of our fruits, veggies, cheese and eggs. Our agent STRONGLY suggested that we take the ferry over to Cancun to get the 10 year import form for our boat, which we did. The entire check in process took two days and about $1000 with dockage and agents fees. The third day we rested then checked out with a new zarpe and worked our way against the current to El Cid marina in Puerto Morales. Nice place and easy in and out. Shot down non stop to San Pedro. Check in was expensive but easy, less than two hours and we anchored for free. After several days and several dive trips and lots of cheap food we took the inside route to Cucumber Beach south of Belize City. We had some of our crew view the ruins today and tomorrow we take the Inner Channel down to Placencia where we will stay for a while. If anyone makes it down there look me up.
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Old 22-12-2014, 04:57   #14
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Re: Key West to Belize

Geo, glad you had a good trip. I don't live in Placencia any more, but still have docks there. PM me if you need a place to tie up.
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Old 22-12-2014, 05:08   #15
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Re: Key West to Belize

Thanks for the offer and for your Belize Notes. I'll email you if needed.
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