I will be doing a very similar trip in the upcoming weeks/month. I can tell you that everyone that I have heard of goes around the north side of Cuba
I heading back to the boat in Rio Dulce in 3 days and I can't wait. I assume the boat that you're interested in is up the Rio. My advice is to not be too set on one boat; there must be 30 cruise-ready sailboats for sale
in the river. All owned and loved by people who are getting too old to handle them and have to give them up. Many don't want to face the reality of the boat market because they know what they've put into there lovely boats, but if you low ball and wave money
in the broker's face he should be able to convince them sell. Go there with a pile of cash and optimism. There will likely be a few things that interest you.
I cruised Belize
last season, my first of a 3 year Carib plan. It's worth 2 weeks sailing inside the reef. They do great tourism marketing
, it's good but not great. When you see charts
of the reef and photos of island beaches you don't realize that %90 of the reef is mangroves! also, anything on the mainland is rather ghetto.. but suprising good health care
for $3/day... but's that another story. You need the Freya Rauscher(?) blue book, it's essential.
As for the route
. From what I've read on-line, in the Calder Cuba guide from '99, and the newest Bahamas Chartbook and heard from people who've completed the trip, my planned route
is to sail from belize
to Western Cuba (are you American), then day trips inside the reef for a week and then one overnight to Havana into wind
but with the current
stream assisting. From Havana or Varedero I will head
to the inner Bahamas and spend a few weeks around there.
Im not sure where to end the season yet.. it's looking like either the US or Puerto Rico
. I might depart from about George Town and ride the end of Norther to the NW as much as possible and then head
south to P.R. or the BVI's to find moorage. I'm sure I'll learn as I go from people who know the area. I want to get far East this year so that next season is easier sailing.
Perhaps we'll be in touch down there. good luck with the boat search