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Old 18-03-2011, 12:50   #1
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Route from Mobile Bay to Guatemala

Can anyone tell me the best route to go from mobile bay, alabama to guatemala. I was thinking about going east of Cuba then south of Cuba then towards Jamaica and on to Guatemala. Is that better than going west of Cuba /east of Mexico and down past belize to Guatemala. Is coastal cruising along the Texas and Mexican coast an option? Or should I island hop the windward and leewards then the coast of venezuela up central america to guatemala. We have a Pearson 35 sailboat. Any suggestions or opinions? We dont want to motor much if possible. Thanks,
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Old 18-03-2011, 12:56   #2
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Re: route from mobile bay to guatemala

If it was me, I'd make to isla mujeres and coastal hop the rest of the way down.
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Old 18-03-2011, 13:02   #3
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If it was me, I'd make to isla mujeres and coastal hop the rest of the way down.
Any particular reasons?
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Old 18-03-2011, 15:55   #4
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Re: route from mobile bay to guatemala

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Originally Posted by JohnGaltJr. View Post
Any particular reasons?
take a week to hit isla, then enjoy the ride. Unless you're on a delivery? is time of the essence?
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Old 18-03-2011, 16:56   #5
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Re: route from mobile bay to guatemala

I have done the trip from Pensacola, and have friends that do it regularly.

You will need charts obviously, and the guide books by Freya Rouscher & Nigel Caulder.

Get to the Keys by either a straight 3 day shot, or hug the coast, and pull in when you need a good night's rest.

Re-provision, and daysail to the Dry Tortugas... Wait for a good weather window.

Head South, to as close to Cuba as "just off" of their seas. (To keep US coasties off your back). I think it was 5 miles off, but double check. This gets you beyond the strong Yucatan current.

Follow the coast west, right around the west tip, and continue south, still just off of the coast.

As you are about to leave their coast, still going south, turn West and go to Isla Mujeras Mexico. There is a STRONG North current in the crossing! This is a wonderful place to hang for a while! (This 2.5 days from Dry Tortugas to Isla, is the only real passage).

You can do a daysail to Puerto Aventuras, then an overnighter to Ixcalak to clear out of Mexico. ALWAYS DIVE YOUR ANCHOR, it is hardpan here. I picked mine up and physically dropped it in a hole!

From here you can make a day hop down the coast, anchor close in the lee of barrier islands, and the next day cut through the Belize reef at San Pedro. (shallow draft and a maneuverable boat help here) Otherwise there is a pass further down.

Now you have to enjoy the barrier reef... and if you like diving, Lighthouse & Glovers Reef Atolls. Clear out @ Big Creek.

Next is a daysail to the mouth of the Rio @ Livingston. It has a 6' bar @ high tide, so if your draft is not "way less", your position and timing must be perfect.

Once cleared in, on your way up the river, prepare for the scenery of a lifetime!

Anchor in El Golfete, then the next day you make it to your marina of choice, in "Gringoland"... Fronteres. It is cheep... Be sure to travel inland to Tikal, Antigua, Lake Atitlan, etc. It is all a must see!

Enjoy...

Mark
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Old 18-03-2011, 18:34   #6
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Re: route from mobile bay to guatemala

I have to agree with Sailmonkey and Mark as we are going to make the trip from Galveston next December, although we will sail direct to Isla. I would welcome input for the return trip. We will be going to the San Blas and want to head across the Atlantic next May/June. Yeah I know, we won't be spending much time South before we head across, but after a year in Europe, we'll go back to Panama.
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Old 21-03-2011, 14:57   #7
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thanks for the replies very much appreciated
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