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Old 04-03-2010, 15:04   #31
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Originally Posted by NWCouple View Post
Mgfa 24, As you probably read in a previous post we will be on a 41 mono from moorings for the whole month of December. I'll be very interested to read about your trip in March. I have this post marked to pop up on my email when there are additional posts. Have a great time. By the way we recently returned from a month in the French Polynesia area. It is a tricky area due to all the reefs especially in the anchorages. Just make sure you have good lighting and someone is at the bow in those tricky areas.
Thanks NWCouple, I'll keep you posted of our adventure...
By the way we also went to French Polynesia 10 years ago, we picked up a 41 mono at the mooring base in Raiatea, then we went to Taha, Huaine and Bora Bora: it was a wonderful and unforgettable experience (also when we met a "family" of sharks when snorkeling in the lagoon, with mam and dad around 2,5 meters size.. )
We also experienced what it means to sail in a tricky area with coral reefs all around, although the red and green buoys with light beacons where quite helpful when sailing in the lagoons (something we don't expect to find this time in Belize...)
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Old 04-03-2010, 16:38   #32
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Mgfa 24.....those are the islands that we went to also. Spent one week on each. I'm happy to say no experiences with sharks but we did have this black and white fish that kept trying to attach himself to me. (that's what they do to large fish) I kept trying to kick him away but he would not leave me alone.....followed me all the way to the dingy then swam around the dingy for a while. I usually need help getting into the dingy from the water but not this time....I flew in. I keep a watch out for any posts from your Belize trip.
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Old 04-03-2010, 17:21   #33
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"the red and green buoys with light beacons where quite helpful when sailing in the lagoons (something we don't expect to find this time in Belize...)"

you have that right. there are no (zero, none) aids to navigation out in the cays in Belize. Maybe there are some up north but sailing out of Placencia we saw exactly one beacon the whole time and that was close to Placencia.
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Old 09-03-2010, 11:28   #34
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Just back from a week in Belize on Moorings 41.3. Weather was not great which limited snorkling and made the eyeball navigation quite a challange. With descrepancies between plotter & cruising guide there were many places that someone on the bow was critical. Moorings briefing was about the best and most complete we've ever received and clearly necessary in a place with no nav aids and lots of thin water. A cat would have meant a bit less to worry about in terms of depth but would not have made any difference in terms of the need to be very careful. Only real objection to the 41.3 is that she was an underpowered dog in terms of performance.

re: provisioning we paid Moorings to do basic stuff which simplified things. We then brought a few things and shopped in Placencia for the rest. Much soda & beer are in returnable bottles which means that it was a lot easier to have it at the boat when we arrived rather than drag the cases from town.

Unlike some notes above we enjoyed Belize and would hope to return.
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Old 09-03-2010, 11:50   #35
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I think the very reason I love Belieze is the same reason others hate it. It's true that there is very little development and most islands and shorelines are uninhabited. you have to plan you provisioning and water is a rare commodity. However don't let a monohull ruin your plans, or even slow you down. In the area south of Placencia I can only think of two places where the draft would be of concern, but still doable, 1. porto stuck.....you just have to be sure to be in the middle on a mono. 2. the entrance to the rio Dulce. If you have no plans of clearing out at either Belieze city or monkey river town this spot isn't even a problem.
the Cays have more than enough water to pick a spot, although not quite as close as the cats (we're talking on average less than 500 feet).

I just realized I fell victim of a thread that's a year old!!!!!!
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Old 10-03-2010, 16:10   #36
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Just back from a week in Belize on Moorings 41.3. Weather was not great which limited snorkling and made the eyeball navigation quite a challange. With descrepancies between plotter & cruising guide there were many places that someone on the bow was critical. Moorings briefing was about the best and most complete we've ever received and clearly necessary in a place with no nav aids and lots of thin water. A cat would have meant a bit less to worry about in terms of depth but would not have made any difference in terms of the need to be very careful. Only real objection to the 41.3 is that she was an underpowered dog in terms of performance.

re: provisioning we paid Moorings to do basic stuff which simplified things. We then brought a few things and shopped in Placencia for the rest. Much soda & beer are in returnable bottles which means that it was a lot easier to have it at the boat when we arrived rather than drag the cases from town.

Unlike some notes above we enjoyed Belize and would hope to return.
Hi ChasD,

we are going to take your same Moorings 41.3 at end of March, so just a couple of questions...
- What do you mean by underpowered, is that about the engine or the sailing gear which is not performing well ?
- Is the dinghy suitable (i.e. right size, right power - and more important -relialable outboard engine) for the challenging environment ?
- We are not currently planning to have the boat provisioned by Moorings, we plan to provision it ourselves on the couple of markets which should be on the base sorroundings. Do you think this can be an issue (for instance, we don't know if those markets are at walking distance from the base) ?
- Last (but not least), the food... Something you suggest we shouldn't miss , or we should avoid.... For instance we have red on a tourist guide that March - April should be lobster-time...

Thanks !
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Old 10-03-2010, 16:43   #37
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just a note on the market - the big market is in walking distance of the Moorings base but might be farther than you want to walk with loads of groceries. Taxis hang out at the end of the main drag (the store is on it and it dead ends at the town dock where the taxis are) and can be hired for not very much to help you take it to the Moorings base where you can put it in a cart to take it out on the dock. Placencia isnt all that big and none of these places are very far apart. On the other hand, if I had my teenagers with me it wouldnt have been an issue.
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Old 11-03-2010, 10:34   #38
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We simply thought the sailing performance of the 41.3 was pretty awful and that the rig was underpowered. For this charter not a bad thing just frustrating to people who race. Under power she was still slower than I would have expected for a boat of this lenghth but this wasn't a problem. Dinghy was fine with 5HP engine which is still manageable for lifting on an off.

The new Moorings location is not walkable to town. Apparantly they moved in the last year or two. The cab ride is about $15. The hardest thing to drag back will be the liquids. With no water available we had many jugs of water. Also the Belikens Beer (very good) comes in returnable bottles as does the tonic some other sodas. This means many cases of glass bottles.

Based on what we saw at the markets we were not unhappy to have chosen the Moorings partial provisioning and paid some extra for them to deliver all the basics. We then brought a couple of meals with us (makings for a pasta dish etc.) and shopped in town for the rest. The best friut and some vegetables were sold from a truck that parks in town every day.

If you PM me I'll reply with some additional details from our provisioning lists.
Chas
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Old 11-03-2010, 16:19   #39
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Yes it is true the Moorings base is now in a small marina on the lagoon side of the pennisula, north of the airport. There are no markets in walking distance. We will also be taking a Moorings boat the last week of March and are planning to do our own provisioning. Last year we rented a golf cart for the cost of two cab trips per day and were able to reprovision in Placencia relatively painlessly. There will be plenty of locals offering their services for a cost, be careful with them. Depending on where you are staying before the charter start, you may be able to get help with provisioning from them.
The truck farmer that parks across from the gelatto place in town is the best place for perishables and some frozen foods. He also has some cheeses sometimes. I am not sure he is there every day but will be there on Sunday morning. He also stops at the Laru Beya/ Roberts Grove resort area very near the Moorings base. I think he provides most of the resorts and restaurants in the area with their fresh produce. We saw the lady that runs Wendy's place an order with him last year.
As far as must places to go, based on last years experiences, we plan to go north to Tabacco and or South Water Cayes, a visit to Cary Bow Cay, then south to the Silk/Queen Cayes, Ranguana, ending as far south as Sapodilla Cayes. Hopefully the weather gods will smile upon us with favorable trade winds and sunny skies.
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Old 11-03-2010, 18:31   #40
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Belize Bareboat Charter Info

Cruising World Magazine Editors Herb McCormick & Elaine Lembo, along with Angus Phillips, Washington Post Outdoors Columnist, chartered a catamaran in Belize last year. The three of them wrote separate views of the trip in the August 2009 issue of Cruising World. Interesting to note that even with all of their combined sailing experience they were required to take on a mandatory skipper when going outside the barrier reefs.

You might want to read their stories online before your trip:
The Good, the Bad, and the Cranky - Cruising World

Smooth sailing and have a great trip!

Marshall
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Old 20-10-2010, 10:15   #41
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We have cruised in Belize 3 times in the past 7 years, all on catamarans. In 2003, we chartered a 38 foot cat, Tropicat, from TMM and in 2009 and 2010 we were on our own 43 foot cat, which draws 1.3 meters. Very few places south of Drowned Cays will create an issue with draft as was mentioned several times in this thread. From there north, however, the water does get quite shallow. Of course, constant vigilance is required except in the main channels.

One place that we liked visiting but is not mentioned in this thread is Thatch Caye. They have mooring buoys for visitors, have pretty good food with advance notice, and have an on-site dive shop that can take you to the reef to dive. See another post on this forum for more info: Belize Cruising
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