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Old 12-04-2018, 05:16   #151
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Re: Belize Cruising

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
A bad grounding can rattle your cage for sure, but always best to conquer a fear...and not the other way round...you will be glad you did. Lesson learned: dont transit where waves are breaking!

If you look at my Western Carib Cruising Notes (also on Amazon), there is a summary of all the cruising guides for the area. Fortunately, there are some excellent ones to guide you along.

Cuba. I dont cover Cuba in my notes, but Nigel Calder's aging guide to Cuba is quite good for navigation at least. Just be aware that the area around Isla Parasio was rearranged by a hurricane...not sure if more current charts have been updated.

Belize. Follow Freya Rauchers guide in Belize and you will be fine. I saw some rubbish posted about it being inaccurate recently -- complete rubbish...ignore the noise. My Notes are supplemental to her guide and hopefully add some worthwhile info.
Thanks. Yes, I read about the guides and I have all those suggested. There is a new Waterway Guide to Cuba for 2018 that I have which is quite detailed.

I saw one of you pics of that ketch up against the reef in San Pedro, maybe (?). THAT'S what I'm afraid of. I'm afraid we won't see something or read something correctly. I know I've got to get over it, but it's just so hard. We'll be trying to find a buddy boat, both in Cuba and over to Isla Mujeres and down. Strength in numbers as they say.

Thanks for the advice.
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Old 12-04-2018, 07:09   #152
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Re: Belize Cruising

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Originally Posted by CaptsWife View Post
Thanks. Yes, I read about the guides and I have all those suggested. There is a new Waterway Guide to Cuba for 2018 that I have which is quite detailed.

I saw one of you pics of that ketch up against the reef in San Pedro, maybe (?). THAT'S what I'm afraid of. I'm afraid we won't see something or read something correctly. I know I've got to get over it, but it's just so hard. We'll be trying to find a buddy boat, both in Cuba and over to Isla Mujeres and down. Strength in numbers as they say.

Thanks for the advice.
Yes, that pic is at San Pedro pass. Thats not the first time boats have been lost there. Its got 1 local mark as reference, has a sharp bend in it, and is a fair weather entrance only. And, if you get it wrong, its likely to be catastrophic. Besides, I dont like the anchorage or San Pedro (however, Im in the minority).

Thus my recommendation to use Eastern Channel: super easy pass.

Once well inside the cut at Eastern Channel, most cruising boats (other than extremely deep draft) can exit the channel onto the flats and dont need to follow the entire length of the winding channel.

Even many electronic charts (like Navionics) are accurate around the Eastern Channel/Belize City area because it has been recently surveyed due to commercial traffic. Dont trust electronic charts anywhere else in Belize (except maybe Placencia due to new surveys in preparation for cruise ships ).
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Old 12-04-2018, 10:28   #153
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Re: Belize Cruising

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Originally Posted by CaptsWife View Post

I saw one of you pics of that ketch up against the reef in San Pedro, maybe (?). THAT'S what I'm afraid of. I'm afraid we won't see something or read something correctly. I know I've got to get over it, but it's just so hard. We'll be trying to find a buddy boat, both in Cuba and over to Isla Mujeres and down. Strength in numbers as they say.

Thanks for the advice.
There's really no reason to use that pass, it's goofy in the best of times. just a little further south is also the submerged section of reef at the north end of long cay. It's easy enough to hop in there, anchor for the night @ long cay, then under the Q flag make your way through portostuck in the morning to belize city to clear in. The route is clearly spelled out in Freya Rauschers book. Portostuck is only intimidating if you let it intimidate you.
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Old 12-04-2018, 11:55   #154
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Re: Belize Cruising

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There's really no reason to use that pass, it's goofy in the best of times. just a little further south is also the submerged section of reef at the north end of long cay. It's easy enough to hop in there, anchor for the night @ long cay, then under the Q flag make your way through portostuck in the morning to belize city to clear in. The route is clearly spelled out in Freya Rauschers book. Portostuck is only intimidating if you let it intimidate you.
I think many get psyched out by Port O' Stucks repuation and allow themselves to be drawn toward the old light structure there...which of course is exactly where you dont want to be.

Go slow, very slow, follow Freya's route, and you will be fine. Good news is that if you do screw it up, and are going slow, its just an easy grounding...no big knarly reef there thats gonna really ruin your day...back off and try again.

You do have to also get thru Swallow Bogue after Port O Stuck to get to Belize City, but its not very challenging to negotiate...just gets shallow on the N end...and again no big knarly reef...just shoals.

Both are much less of a concern than San Pedro pass. However, either can be made more entertaining by meeting the sugar barges that use that route.

Or avoid it all by using Eastern Channel.
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Old 13-04-2018, 03:38   #155
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Re: Belize Cruising

I met Cheryl Barr last summer. She is working a brand new updated Cuba Cruising guide to be released soon.
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