Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 20-09-2011, 23:04   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Orange Beach, AL
Boat: Tartan 34 1985
Posts: 17
Alabama to Rio Dulce

I am planning a trip to Rio Dulce from Alabama via Dry Tortugas and Belize this November. I'm hoping someone can suggest the best route to avoid as much as possible the Northerly current. I have read that clearing in in San Pedro is relatively painless. Any thoughts and suggestions will be appreciated.
Thanks, Bob
__________________

__________________
Tif Blue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-09-2011, 06:54   #2
Registered User
 
lorenzo b's Avatar

Join Date: May 2009
Location: Panama
Boat: Steel trawler 63' Eileen Farrell
Posts: 961
Re: Alabama to Rio Dulce

Avoid Belize like the plague, if you're doing the blue water route just come straight on through. If you want to take your time, go down the coast of Florida and spend some time in the Yucatan. You can try for the occasional backwash but mind the reef.
__________________

__________________
lorenzo b is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-09-2011, 07:18   #3
Registered User
 
s/v Moondancer's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Fiji but heading for Alaska
Boat: Tayana 55
Posts: 1,226
Re: Alabama to Rio Dulce

The current going north in the Yucatan channel turns into the Gulf Stream off Florida and the rules are the same...

Cross at narrowest point, do not sail directly into it, avoid it like the plague when the winds are out of the north on the back of northerly lows.

Get your southing on the edges.

Lorenzo has it right, spend your time and money in the Yucatan, Isla Mujeres and Puerto Morelos are great places...free anchorage in Mujeres and free moooring balls in Morelos. Marinas are excellent and cheap, we paid $25/day for a 55 ft boat!

Clearing into Mexico is a day long or more $250 process using an agent most easily done in Mujeres, Port Captain in Cozumel was difficult to deal with.

But we stayed in Mexico for 3 months and thought it was one of the best places in the Caribbean... nice people, safe and low prices.

South from Mexico just stay out of the current and try and get southing on northerlies that occour every few weeks.

Do not trust any chart plotter south of Mujeres, I use 2 different systems and each was out by 400 yds but in opposite directions. While moored inside the reef one showed me outside the reef and the other showed me at a bus stop outside the church!

The charts are reasonably accurate it's just that Mexico and it's reefs are not where the plotters they think they are!

We missed out Belize and Rio Dulce because we draw too much water.
__________________
Phil

"Remember, experience only means that you screw-up less often."
s/v Moondancer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-09-2011, 08:15   #4
Registered User
 
defever's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: wherever the boat is---from central amer to canada....so far...
Boat: defever trawler 41-nomad
Posts: 192
Re: Alabama to Rio Dulce

1st of all, get the freya roucher (sp?) guide to mex/belize/rio dulce. all you need... go to isla mujeres and relax for awhile...it's a fun place and after a day the hawkers will recognize you and leave you alone... when heading south, hug the reef in about 50-100 ft of water to pick up a counter current...a quarter mile off the reef you'll be facing a pretty good current. 1st night tuck into hut point , 2nd night is puerto aventure, 3rd and 4th are the 2 big bays, then to banco chinchorro and last to xcalak to check out. don't stop in belize but continue on to the rio. check out the riodulcechisme.com for info...have fun
__________________
defever is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-09-2011, 08:30   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Orange Beach, AL
Boat: Tartan 34 1985
Posts: 17
Re: Alabama to Rio Dulce

got it! Sounds like a plan, thanks for the detail. but what's the problem with Belize??
__________________
Tif Blue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-09-2011, 08:34   #6
Registered User
 
cdennyb's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Northern California
Boat: finally a catamaran dive boat...
Posts: 505
Send a message via MSN to cdennyb Send a message via Yahoo to cdennyb Send a message via Skype™ to cdennyb
Re: Alabama to Rio Dulce

That country is almost bankrupt and according to sources here and on the net, they financially "rape" cruisers and the crime is getting worse.
__________________
the perfect dive boat is one you're on...
cdennyb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-09-2011, 09:35   #7
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,594
Re: Alabama to Rio Dulce

Skip Belize???? Why in the world would you suggest that. I love Belize..Been there a bunch, Never a problem...Your draft needs to be 4' or less...
__________________
Randy

Cape Dory 25D Seraph
rtbates is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-09-2011, 10:46   #8
Registered User

Join Date: May 2011
Boat: Hitchhiker, Catamaran, 40'
Posts: 354
Re: Alabama to Rio Dulce

We made it to the Rio Dulce in just four days from Key West by motoring across the gulf stream and hugging the west coast of Cuba where there is a nice counter current. If your goal is to save money then you would skip Mexico and Belize entirely although a lot of people seem to go inside the reefs of Belize without clearing in. Most of the boats come to the Rio Dulce for hurricane protection and I am curious why you are choosing that destination for the end of the hurricane season when it becomes safer in the Bahamas and the rest of the Caribbean but if you are looking for a cheap place to dock your boat, Rio Dulce can't be beat!
__________________
Thumbs Up is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-09-2011, 11:08   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Orange Beach, AL
Boat: Tartan 34 1985
Posts: 17
Re: Alabama to Rio Dulce

Not so interested in saving money. I'm meeting some friends down there and then sailing back with them in March. November's a great time to go south and I kinda like the Rio.
__________________
Tif Blue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-09-2011, 00:51   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Summerville, SC 29483
Posts: 75
Re: Alabama to Rio Dulce

Hi Bob,

In May '07 I went from Tampa to Isla, checked in one day and out the next. Two days to Light House Reef, Belize (two nights) and then one day to the Rio. Checked in, in Livingston, and then up to the bridge by the same afternoon. We motored about 75% of the time in a Tayana 42.

Gulf Stream info can be had on weather fax if you have it or the internet prior to leaving stateside.

Good luck!

Glenn
__________________
Northstar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-09-2011, 06:42   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Orange Beach, AL
Boat: Tartan 34 1985
Posts: 17
Re: Alabama to Rio Dulce

That's probably more like the trip I'll be taking. Did you bother to check into belize?
__________________
Tif Blue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-09-2011, 07:17   #12
CF Adviser
Moderator Emeritus
 
Hud3's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Virginia
Boat: Island Packet 380, now sold
Posts: 8,929
Images: 49
Re: Alabama to Rio Dulce

Here's a NOAA site that has a graphical model of the Gulf of Mexico currents. It's three weeks old, but it's useful in that it clearly shows the counter-current off northwestern Cuba and the strong current off the tip of the Yucatan peninsula.

Ocean Prediction Center - Product Loops

.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	GOM current model.jpg
Views:	162
Size:	148.9 KB
ID:	31908  
__________________
Hud
Hud3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-09-2011, 07:26   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Orange Beach, AL
Boat: Tartan 34 1985
Posts: 17
Re: Alabama to Rio Dulce

Very cool, thanks. I found other sites but none showed the counter currents
__________________
Tif Blue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-09-2011, 07:37   #14
Marine Service Provider
 
AnchorageGuy's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Wherever the boat is!
Boat: Marine Trader 34DC
Posts: 4,618
Re: Alabama to Rio Dulce

I really don't understand comments to avoid Belize. We had a great time there and found the people very friendly. There is some great cruising. Have a look at this post on our blog, Voyages of Sea Trek: Let It Begin Florida Keys to Guatemala , for our route from Key West to Isla Mujeras. If you know where the Yucatan Currents are it will be helpful. Our plan was to go west from Key West until we cleared the current and then south to Isla. It worked perfectly and we did not have to deal with any strong currents or wind against current situations. Have a great trip and make as many stops along the way as you can. There are some great places to visit along the Mexico coast and you could spend months cruising Belize. We can't say enough good things about the Rio Dulce. The entire trip is posted on the Sea Trek Site. Have a great time. Chuck
__________________
Chesapeake Bay, ICW Hampton Roads To Key West, The Gulf Coast, The Bahamas

The Trawler Beach House
Voyages Of Sea Trek
AnchorageGuy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-09-2011, 07:52   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Underway in the Med -
Boat: Jeanneau 40 DS SoulMates
Posts: 1,904
Images: 1
Re: Alabama to Rio Dulce

we did it last year - left miami and went around to charlottes harbor to visit our 1st sailing instru - how kewl was that that he taught us to sail and now we actually are "cruisers" - he was tickled that we made it as far as we have
anyway - we left charl harbor and headed out and crossed the gulf stream really high and sailed down to the east of it -
we use chris parker for our wx so that was a big help --
we ran all the way down until we were slightly south of isla mujeras then turned into the gs and ran wnw across it -
we did go south along the mex coast and had a great time
we spent 2 months or so in belize and we draft 5.5' and had no problem - just find someone with waypoints as the charts are way off - we ran one cut and had 6+' of water and our electronic chart was off by .17nm - at time we anchored and our chartplotter had us in the middle of a cay - but the cruising is great -
if you have an ssb a lot of cruisers can give you the how to to get into belize without a lot of hassel and cost - the problem is the port captain and if you are asked how long you are going to stay just say 2-4 days as you do not need the hassel from gov't officials - one cruiser said 30 days and the pc demanded $10 a day - almost all the cruiser do not pay and say if that is so they will leave but stay anyway -
we spent 6wks in the rio and had a great time -but in a marina away from the city -

anything we can help with let us know - belieze is one of the great cruising grounds

chuck patty and svsoulmates
cartagena colombia
__________________

__________________
chuckr is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
alabama

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
DIY Sailboat Summit - Rio Dulce - February 22-29, 2012 spostamento nobile Cruising News & Events 1 08-02-2012 08:58
How Safe Is Rio Dulce ? susan kennedy Our Community 39 14-12-2011 08:13
Marina in Rio Dulce, Guatemala flysci Atlantic & the Caribbean 19 04-09-2011 18:14
Rio Dulce ironhorserider2 Atlantic & the Caribbean 7 11-07-2011 21:33



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 23:41.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.