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Old 22-09-2011, 08:13   #16
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Re: Alabama to Rio Dulce

We are in the Rio and have been asking around about Belize for some months now and would like to go as they have wonderful reefs. About half the people we talked to say there had no problems but that it was expensive, the other half say do not go. Some say they had horrible experiences, huge fines for ridiculous violations.
For obvious reasons, fewer people will be traveling this coming season so things may get worse. On the other hand, we may all be living in Central America soon, if they let us in.
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Old 22-09-2011, 08:46   #17
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Re: Alabama to Rio Dulce

What month did you leave KW last year. We were in the Dry Tortugas in Dec. and it was cold.
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Old 22-09-2011, 09:41   #18
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Re: Alabama to Rio Dulce

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tif Blue View Post
That's probably more like the trip I'll be taking. Did you bother to check into belize?
No we didn't. On the south/south west side of Light House there is a great anchorage. It's a regular stop for dive boats to hit the wall. You may...or may not be able to pick-up one of their mooring buoys...you will just have to play it by ear. If not you can tuck back up in behind the island and stay a lifetime...;-) Great diving!

In '01 I ran the typical circuit coming back from Colombia via Honduras, Guatemala, Belize, Mexico back up to Charleston. The political climate can change like the weather down there...it is what it is.

All the folks I had contact with could not have been more friendly! Each country has it's own pace and after you speak with enough people as you are doing here you will figure out how to deal with it. I would go back in a heart beat! I can only imagine, as the rest of us, you will love it!!

Smooth sailing and a safe passage,

Glenn
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Old 22-09-2011, 14:00   #19
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Re: Alabama to Rio Dulce

lorenzo b -- if we listened to all the negatives or positives from others we would have never made colombia - we were told that colombia is dangerous, everything would be stolen from our boat, the people are not nice, there is nothing there ect ect - what we found was entirely the opposite
- people have their own prejudices - some folks we know had a terrible experience in belize- one boat had a $300 fine and it was THEIR fault - they should have know better and then bad mouthed belize for the fine - quess what this is not the usa and you do have to abide by the countries laws you are in
we loved belize and figured out how to play the immigration game to keep the cost at what it legally should be
you can listen to others and we do - but we make our own decisions -

if you skip belize you will miss some great people and an incredible cruising ground

just our opinion
chuck patty and svsoulmates
cartagena colombia
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Old 22-09-2011, 16:21   #20
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Re: Alabama to Rio Dulce

Northstar,
That's excellent information and I will use it. I look forward to seeing the reef and doing some diving. Thanks for taking the time to share your experiences.
Bob
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Old 23-09-2011, 08:30   #21
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Re: Alabama to Rio Dulce

Chuckr
Couldn't agree with you more.
People have been wonderful wherever we've gone from Indonesia to Bolivia and we do ignore all those silly State Dept warnings.
But we were backpacking then and now we travel in a large boat with our cats. It's virtually impossible to comply with the regulations when importing pets into Belize even if they never leave the boat, and that is just one example. 9 out of 10 everything will be OK, but that 1 out of ten could cost us big. So you have to ask around and thanks for your input.
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Old 25-09-2011, 08:08   #22
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Re: Alabama to Rio Dulce

Talked to another sailor who passed through Belize recently and they had a horrible experience. The local immigration official tried to fine them $1500 each for a mistake they made themselves. Took the sailor months of emails and phone calls to the government to straighten it out.
Just saying.
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Old 25-09-2011, 11:21   #23
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Re: Alabama to Rio Dulce

what was the $1500 fine for???
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Old 25-09-2011, 12:57   #24
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Re: Alabama to Rio Dulce

Failing to get an exit stamp from immigration because a port captain said they were all done and could leave.
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Old 25-09-2011, 13:37   #25
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Re: Alabama to Rio Dulce

Chuckr,

I love Cartagena and think it is the best place in the Caribbean to get work done and the people are wonderful and would happily return...but safe it is not!

In the nine weeks we were there the following happened:

French couple, our friends, robbed and tied up at gun point in the 5 Bays,
German in the backpacker trade stabbed badly but not fatally,
German lady in backpacker trade thrown in the harbor by a Columbian lady with a history of shooting her ex-boyfriend,
Australian boat boarded, robber injured when he was hit by a winch handle,
Five dinghys stolen,
Robbers discouraged by a flare shot at them and finally...
I spent a delightful evening drinking with a Spaniard who subsequently killed 2 cruisers and stole 2 boats.

Which is significantly more crime than we have been around in the last 4 yrs in the rest of the Caribbean and it is why my insurace company will only cover me for theft/piracy in Cartagena and approaches.
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Old 25-09-2011, 18:20   #26
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Re: Alabama to Rio Dulce

I want to thank everyone for their thoughtful responses to my post. And although I appreciate all the warnings my inquiries regarded the best route to get there and clearing into Belize.
Thanks again,
Bob
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Old 26-09-2011, 07:06   #27
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Re: Alabama to Rio Dulce

Bon voyage
Sorry I took your thread off topic, I thought you may be interested in some problems some people were having in Belize. Many say they have fabulous reefs and lovely people. I hope your trip goes well.
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Old 26-09-2011, 10:11   #28
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Re: Alabama to Rio Dulce

lorenzo -- that is too bad - we did not deal with the port captain on entry or exit - you do not have to deal with the port captain - the issue is talking with other cruisers on how to avoid them and we did - for example on check out we were in placencia and took a bus to dangria to check out - they have customs and immigration there - no port captain - and it was not just us - the day we went up there were 5 boats who went with us - the day before 2 boats -
as i said it is how to play the game and that comes from getting on the ssb or talking with other cruisers on how to play the game

just our thoughts
chuck patty and svsoulmates
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Old 26-09-2011, 10:24   #29
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Re: Alabama to Rio Dulce

moondancer -- not sure when you were here but it was probably a while ago since you mention the spanish guy who was killing cruisers and was caught in panama earlier this year. by the way they think he killed at least one person in the windwards and perhaps more - he is a mass murderer as they are really not sure how many he killed - he was know as a really friendly guy and someone who seemed like you would want to come over to your boat for a drink (we met a few people who knew him) - but once on board it was all over - as someone who has been around a lot and lives in panama told us - be careful about who you invite on board and who you take on as crew - that is why if we do the pacific we will do it alone --

as for the rest - we have been here going on 45 days and have had one dingy stolen - the colombians began to take this security thing serious and really cracked down - we went to a barrio for a festival and while our colombian friends said it was safe the police escorted us out as they did not want anything to happen to us - other cruisers went later and got to stay - our colombian friends said that the police are so conscious of their image that they are going overboard

by the way our insurance company allowed us to come but we had to stay in a marina - and we had to pay a small (and i do mean small) extra cost for it -- i understand some insurance companies are now waiving any extra cost because of the lack of issues here

and javier martin is in a panama jail for a long time -
and it does highlight the fact that you have to be careful anywhere

a couple of our friends just got accosted in tobago when someone broke into their boat with them aboard - and just before we got to guanaja in the bay islands one boat was broken into with the couple on board and were robbed and beaten up - so it can happen anywhere and you do need to be careful -

then again we lived in miami and had a few drive by shootings and home invasions near us when we where there -

just our thoughts
chuck patty and svsoulmates
cartagena colombia
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Old 26-09-2011, 21:45   #30
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Re: Alabama to Rio Dulce

Chuckr,
I just happened to be in guanaja when the boat was broken into. If I remember correctly it was a French catamaran and it was back in late March/early April. One of the boats we were with were in communication with them and so we got all the details firsthand. They were handled roughly and lost some money. Afterwards there was some talk on the radio warning all cruisers to stay away from Guanaja...at little over the top to say the least. The affair was unfortunate but we still had a great time there, went out diving with one of the locals, visited the city and hiked the Island. It can happen anywhere.
Providencia sounds like the place to clear in so thanks for that bit.
Thanks again to all for their comments...it's all good!
Bob
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