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Old 25-03-2012, 07:48   #46
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Originally Posted by Nauti-Nauti
Hang in there. Be cautious. We are in Belize and in the middle of it. Yes it is bad thing that happened. We have made small changes to our sailing plans. Not anchoring alone or isolated. You can still live the dream, maybe with just a little adjustment. I keep in mind, when I go to D.C., N.Y.C., L.A., etc., there are places that are not safe be in. Good luck to you and fair winds.
At this point we are planning to go to Mexico and take it from there. But the whole point of cruising IS to anchor alone in isolated places, in my opinion. If I want to hang out in a marina I would have stayed in new jersey. If I wanted to anchor in a crowd I would stay in no name harbor in key Biscayne, I could learn to raft up and play loud music. But that's not what we want. We've been as far south as Guatemala and never buddy boated before, never wanted to. How do you do it? Just dinghy up to some strangers boat and say hi? Basically we are both rather shy people, I guess we will have to change? Next thing you know we'll be bringing fish dip to a potluck
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Old 25-03-2012, 08:58   #47
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Re: Depressed and Close to Giving Up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nauti-Nauti View Post
Hang in there. Be cautious. We are in Belize and in the middle of it. Yes it is bad thing that happened. We have made small changes to our sailing plans. Not anchoring alone or isolated. You can still live the dream, maybe with just a little adjustment. I keep in mind, when I go to D.C., N.Y.C., L.A., etc., there are places that are not safe be in. Good luck to you and fair winds.
Sure, there are neighborhoods in NYC that are not really safe and I would not consider camping out in South Bronx for recreation or fun. But I think svDestiny is asking whether Belize coast is the Latin America's version of South Bronx.

I recognize that for many, the thrill of survival in a hostile environment may have some attraction. But for some of us, part of the the dream is precisely being able to anchor alone in isolated harbors, without worry and without having to arm ourselves to the teeth and post 24 hour watches.
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Old 25-03-2012, 09:16   #48
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Re: Depressed and Close to Giving Up

We never buddy boat and are pretty antisocial sailors:-)

We have been in a number of so-called high risk areas.

We purposely keep the exterior of our boat a little shabby, not polished to an inch of it's life, a few older ropes looking a little frayed.

We NEVER invite locals below decks, or even onto the boat unless we are absolutely certain of them,and that is very rare.

We don't have music playing on deck, we dress very down market(but always clean).

We take our time in a new anchorage, not rushing ashore in the dink, always haggling hard when offered produce at the boat.

If the slightest thing spooks us in an anchorage we leave and find another one.

We have stainless steel grates at the cockpit and overhead hatches. These are shut and locked EVERY night. The dinghy is lifted EVERY night and the outboard(which is small and tatty) is securely chained up.

Even looking down at heel we have SO much more than many locals in the areas we sail in. You need to be culturally aware at all times.
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Old 25-03-2012, 09:25   #49
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Re: Depressed and Close to Giving Up

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We never buddy boat and are pretty antisocial sailors:-)

We have been in a number of so-called high risk areas.

We purposely keep the exterior of our boat a little shabby, not polished to an inch of it's life, a few older ropes looking a little frayed.

We NEVER invite locals below decks, or even onto the boat unless we are absolutely certain of them,and that is very rare.

We don't have music playing on deck, we dress very down market(but always clean).

We take our time in a new anchorage, not rushing ashore in the dink, always haggling hard when offered produce at the boat.

If the slightest thing spooks us in an anchorage we leave and find another one.

We have stainless steel grates at the cockpit and overhead hatches. These are shut and locked EVERY night. The dinghy is lifted EVERY night and the outboard(which is small and tatty) is securely chained up.

Even looking down at heel we have SO much more than many locals in the areas we sail in. You need to be culturally aware at all times.
All good ideas BUT why no music? Imean I kinda like sitting in the cockpit, looking at the sky, listening to my tunes. Also, locking ourselves in the boat each night? Ugh. Reminds me of my NYC apt where we had gates on the windows. (Funny I should be thinking of NYC so much...my family lived in the south bronx, I also rode horses in the north Bronx)
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Old 25-03-2012, 09:31   #50
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Re: Depressed and Close to Giving Up

We feel that the music draws attention to the boat, and places where we know there are problems we keep as low key as possible...certainly in a safe place there is nothing better than soft music whilst contemplating the meaning of life.

After a while we don't notice the grating, it slots into the companionway and allows plenty of airflow with complete safety for us. Once the dinghy is up the centre of the boat is secure and the grill over the forepeak allows us air in safety.

The points I was making were about the way we sail in 'dubious' areas. Better to be safe than sorry :-)
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Old 25-03-2012, 10:16   #51
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Re: Depressed and Close to Giving Up

You could do like we did last June and sail to Rio Dulce directly from Key West. We left during a calm, motored across the Gulf stream, picked up some counter current off of Cuba and then got enough wind to sail. The entire trip took only four days. If you are trying to get to the Rio on a budget, this is the way to go. A good alternative would be to head for Utila or Roatan first. Free checkins, almost free checkout, easy sail to Rio Dulce from there. If you do come to Isla Mujeres, DO NOT LEAVE WITHOUT A ZARPE! You don't need one if clearing in from the US to Livingston, or the Bay islands, but Mexico now requires a zarpe from the US. We are in Isla Mujeres now and a boat is impounded here partially as a result of not having a zarpe. Also if you do come here, Marina Milagro is having a special, $100. for the first week, then $150. thereafter. The agent here, Julio, charges about $30. extra to get you cleared in and this way the officials come to you at the dock. The cruisers and marinas here moniter VHF 13. We are now trying to decide which route we are taking back to Rio Dulce. Due to mixed reports on the cost of clearing in/out of Belize, we are thinking of avoiding it but are considering anchoring one night somewhere near Belize on the way. Sailing back to Roatan or Utila from Isla Mujeres also seems like a good option. As far as buddy boating (we have never done it yet either), to share an anchorage with other cruisers is always a good thing, even if you do not know one another, speak the same language, or decide not to speak to each other, there is always an added measure of security when you drop anchor near another cruiser. No one ever seems to mind, we don't mind, it is no big deal. Also it is probably normal to worry about security issues (along with everything else on your list) before you leave the "land of plenty". Security is something that everyone wants everywhere. It is the reason that they don't go, but their security is an illusion. Fear and paranoia are what holds our society together. South Florida in the summertime? Rio Dulce gets very hot and humid and can be pretty boring but you won't get a $90 ticket every time you get your dinghy on plane, You can park in a marina with internet, showers, and a pool for $200. month. You can safely leave your boat and travel into upcountry Guatemala, Lake Atitlan is very nice, it stays cool up there and is very affordable. The point is, if you want to leave Florida, don't let something that you read on the news stop you. It is true that Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras are listed as some of the most dangerous places to go but we actually feel safer here than in South Florida. The only things we miss are the Costco, Home Depot, Autozone, E-Bay, and Craigslist. You can't think of everything, but stock up on batteries, led flashlights, solar yard lights for your boat deck at night, a good dinghy motor and a way to lock it, motor oil, filters, any repair items you can think of, good spray lube (inox), fans and maybe one of those $90. window a/c units for your hatch, surf trunks, medications, sunscreen, waterproof bandaids,
snorkel gear, fishing line and lures, knife sharpener, anchor line, etc. It is easy to go crazy with all this stuff but you'll be glad that you did, you should spend your time there worrying about the list to the point where you don't have time to worry about what happened to some charter catamaran in Belize. Pick a weather window, and go! You will be glad you did. South Florida sucks!
"the longer you stay in port, the bigger the waves get!"
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Old 25-03-2012, 10:32   #52
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Re: Depressed and Close to Giving Up

SVdestiny, do you know the details of this incident?
Do you know if it is even true?
Do you know if this happened to a local boat or a boat that was passing through?
Do you know if the locals may have been prevoked? ( Drunken sailer gone to shore and pissed off the wrong group of locals?)
It seems to me there are a lot of details that are unknown, can you help us understand?
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Old 25-03-2012, 10:35   #53
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Re: Depressed and Close to Giving Up

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Originally Posted by Rocketman View Post
SVdestiny, do you know the details of this incident?
Do you know if it is even true?
Do you know if this happened to a local boat or a boat that was passing through?
Do you know if the locals may have been prevoked? ( Drunken sailer gone to shore and pissed off the wrong group of locals?)
It seems to me there are a lot of details that are unknown, can you help us understand?
See Noonsite: Belize, Pelican Cayes: Charter Yacht Brutally Attacked
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Old 25-03-2012, 10:36   #54
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Re: Depressed and Close to Giving Up

to everyone who has posted ... Thankyou so much! The placencia attack unnerved us, but hey, we're on a boat! We can go elsewhere! We are now down to two things... Going up the mast (may need help with this one) and deciding if we need to replace our batteries. Just have a little more paperwork and then hope to leave.

South Florida is definitely getting on my nerves. Currently we are anchored in key largo, where I am tired of being treated like a second class citizen.
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Old 25-03-2012, 10:38   #55
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Re: Depressed and Close to Giving Up

Rocketman you may be interested in this report

riodulcechisme.com - Caution advised in Belizean waters

and this

http://riodulcechisme.com/bbs/viewtopic.php?t=6640

Sadly it does appear that the stories are true.
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Old 25-03-2012, 10:42   #56
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Re: Depressed and Close to Giving Up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocketman View Post
SVdestiny, do you know the details of this incident?
Do you know if it is even true?
Do you know if this happened to a local boat or a boat that was passing through?
Do you know if the locals may have been prevoked? ( Drunken sailer gone to shore and pissed off the wrong group of locals?)
It seems to me there are a lot of details that are unknown, can you help us understand?

Rio Dulce Chisme Vindicator :: View topic - Trouble in Belize

Sorry, info already posted.
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Old 25-03-2012, 10:54   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Svdestiny
going up the mast and
deciding if we need to replace our batteries...
May I suggest you do a search or post as two separate queries in different parts of the forum as they are completely different issues from the original post and from each other. Also it's always best to try to keep information tight so that the next person with this question has an answer readily available and not buried in other posts.

The battery question will get MANY responses.
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Old 25-03-2012, 11:09   #58
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Re: Depressed and Close to Giving Up

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May I suggest you do a search or post as two separate queries in different parts of the forum as they are completely different issues from the original post and from each other. Also it's always best to try to keep information tight so that the next person with this question has an answer readily available and not buried in other posts.

The battery question will get MANY responses.
Sorry! Not actually looking for info, just kinda rambling. I'm actually better at lurking.
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Old 25-03-2012, 11:17   #59
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Re: Depressed and Close to Giving Up

SVdestiny and others, thanks for the links to the stroies about the violance in this area, I can certainly see why you are concerned, It appears that there is a small group of persons responcable for most, if not all of the crime that has recently taken place. It also appears that this crime spree has gotten the attention of the locals. I would bet money that this will be addressed and taken care of quickly, but until it is taken care of, extreme caution should be the rule.
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