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Old 13-04-2012, 10:50   #1
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Cruising the Western Caribbean

We am planning to sail to Columbia and spend a year or two in the Western Caribbean. We will set sail from either P.R. or the D.R. this fall.

Does anyone have favorite cruising guides / sailing routes books they can recommend?
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Old 13-04-2012, 15:40   #2
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Re: Cruising the Western Caribbean

Freya Rauscher's Guide is still the best along with Pavlidas' Western Caribbean Guide. We only went as far south as Guatemala and left from the Florida Keys. We did go from the DR to Cuba and cruised the south coast. It's an easy hop to Isla Mujeres from the western end of Cuba. The trip is detailed on our Sea Trek blog. If you do Cuba, use Nigel Calder's, the Simon Charles book is a joke. We used it and wondered if he really had ever been there. Chuck
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Old 14-04-2012, 05:01   #3
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Re: Cruising the Western Caribbean

Google "Colombia" and put "caribbeancompass.com" in the "site or domain" box, and you'll get a series of cruising guides for, you guessed it, Colombia.
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Old 14-04-2012, 05:57   #4
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Re: Cruising the Western Caribbean

Alpenglow Lights sponsors the following guides that you can access online. We used the DR one, finding it very helpful last year. We also found new marinas in Samana and Cap Cana that allowed us to avoid the hassles of 'hands out' officials that may or may not be in the guides just yet. Look and see.

Main Host Site: Free Cruising Guides
Dominican Republic: Dominican Republic Cruising Guide
Jamaica: Jamaica Cruising Guide
Haiti: Haiti Cruising Guide
Trinidad: Trinidad Cruising Guide
Cayman Islands: Cayman Islands Cruising Guide
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Old 14-04-2012, 06:58   #5
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Re: Cruising the Western Caribbean

Look for the on-line guide put out by the boat "Pizazz" for the best routes and advice from the ABC's to Panama. Email me if you can't find it online.

In the caribe part of Panama, the only useful guide is Eric Bauhaus's. It is expensive, but worth far more than he asks just for the accurate charting of the San Blas alone.

Doyle puts out two guides for the ABC's, but they are not worth paying for. The ABC's are well-charted, well travelled and all information from any guide is available in the tourist offices. Doyle also has a good Venezuela guide, but I imagine you will be skipping that part.

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Old 14-04-2012, 22:23   #6
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Re: Cruising the Western Caribbean

Pat Rains guide is very useful for route planning. This combined with Freya's and Puvladi's is a very good combination.
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Old 15-04-2012, 06:42   #7
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Re: Cruising the Western Caribbean

All the guides mentioned so far are for the NW caribe. The OP states they are going to Columbia, which is the SW caribe. For the SW, it is pretty much Bauhaus and Zydler for published guides on Panama and Pizazz for unpublished cruiser info on Columbia and the passage from the ABC's. We have both the Panama guides and do not find the Zydler guide very useful.

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Old 21-04-2012, 08:10   #8
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Re: Cruising the Western Caribbean

Hello,

I have the cruising guides from PR to Barbados, paper charts and Navionics CF/908P-2 Caribbean. All like new. Never used. Half price. See pictures.
If you have any question, I will gladly answer.
Michel.
ThanThan. Oceanis 423.
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Old 21-04-2012, 08:38   #9
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Re: Cruising the Western Caribbean

I have to respectfully disagree with colemj. The Zydler guide is far and away the best cruising guide I've ever used. All his hand-drawn charts are completely accurate, and his soundings and directions as well. It is not for those who wish to simply plug in GPS waypoints and routes and follow them, (which is what the Bauhaus guide is all about) but for those who rely on piloting and eyeball navigation (which is safer, to me, than following a 50-waypoint route through shoals). I guess it comes down to a matter of style, but the Rauscher guide to Belize also requires eyeball skills, as do certain harbor entrances in Honduras. Anyway, by all means lay hold of a Zydler guide. It's a great resource.
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Old 21-04-2012, 08:54   #10
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Re: Cruising the Western Caribbean

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Look for the on-line guide put out by the boat "Pizazz" for the best routes and advice from the ABC's to Panama...
CRUISING GUIDE FOR COAST OF COLOMBIA ~ by Lourae and Randy Kenoffel (Pizazz)
CRUISING GUIDE FOR COAST OF COLOMBIA
CRUISING THE COAST OF COLUMBIA

UPDATED CRUISING GUIDE FOR THE COAST OF COLOMBIA
Cruising Guide for the Coast of Colombia
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Old 06-05-2012, 19:45   #11
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Re: Cruising the Western Caribbean

Thanks for all the info, now I just have to sort through to find the relevant guides. I said we are traveling either P.R. or D.R. to Cartegena. Then we will travel slowly up to Mexico. Already have Freya's Belize and Mexico, Bauhaus' Panama. Looking at Calder's Northwest Caribbean maybe.....
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Old 10-05-2012, 08:30   #12
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Re: Cruising the Western Caribbean

Related note: we are currently in San Andreas, Colombia. If you want Internet access here you can purchase Wi-Fi access from T.V. Isla. They have coverage over most of the island. The signal is weak, but usable in the anchorage. Sure beats hauling the laptop ashore.
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