Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 17-10-2016, 19:59   #1
Senior Cruiser
 
hpeer's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Philadelphia
Boat: Murray 33-Chouette & Pape Steelmaid-44-Safara-both steel cutters
Posts: 3,391
From Rio Dulce to Eastern Carribean routes?

We are in NC getting set to head South, through Bahamas. We don't know where to end up. Was thinking PR but that's sounds expensive and less than ideal. So maybe Rio Dulce and get some much needed work done while ther.

We will want to put the boat up around the end of May while we go north for the summer, about 4 months.

So I was thinking why not Rio Dulce? Sweet water, hurricane hole, reasonable price. Except how do you then get back to the Eastern Carribean?

I'm guessing Beilze, Mexico, South shore of Cuba, Hispanola, PR? Has anyone done this route? How did you find it?

Are there other suggestions?
__________________

__________________
hpeer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-10-2016, 22:50   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 3
Re: From Rio Dulce to Eastern Carribean routes?

We are thinking about the same general route. Going back up the Yucatán is the hard part, per other cruisers. Looking forward to hearing from recent Rio Dulce residents
__________________

__________________
mpatzer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-10-2016, 05:04   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: W Carib
Boat: Wildcat 35, Hobie 33
Posts: 6,288
Re: From Rio Dulce to Eastern Carribean routes?

Thats a downside to the Rio...its windward to anywhere.

The usual route is up to Isla Mujeres, wait for weather, then to the Keys and onward. Getting N is not so bad, easy coastal hops all the way or go the outside route, catch the favorable Yucatan current (careful weather window selection a given) and make Isla Mujeres in one leg. Staging out to the Bay Islands gives you a better wind angle, but may not be worthwhile depending on your plans. Getting E is generally more challenging, but there are worse places to wait for weather than Isla Mujeres.

Including Cuba opens up a lot of options. I haven't sailed the south coast of Cuba, but have sailed the N coast in both directions. Getting in the lee of S Cuba should reduce sea state for you.

Few do the bash thru the southern Caribbean route. Those I know who have, usually say "never again". Its an easy option for the return trip though, depending on how far south you get.


What month do you plan to go?
__________________
belizesailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-10-2016, 05:37   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: W Carib
Boat: Wildcat 35, Hobie 33
Posts: 6,288
Re: From Rio Dulce to Eastern Carribean routes?

Expanded version:

The Rio is a great option for boat work, but a downside to the Rio is its windward to anywhere.

Getting There:

Ive sailed from the Bahamas to the Rio Dulce. The route we took was:

(1) Acklins to Port Antonio, Jamaica. Pretty straight forward, just choose your window carefully for the Windward Passage. This gap between Cuba and Haiti compresses the wind and, depending on wind direction, you may get a significant increase in wind speed. It also effects sea state, in my experience the seas are more confused inside than outside. We waited for a front to cross and took the NW wind shift south. Systemic winds were about 20-25 knts, we got 30+ sustained thru the Windward Passage with seas of about 6' and second periodic wave train of about 8' from a slightly different direction. It was a great run though, since wind and seas were all from a favorable direction. Lots of commercial traffic transiting the traffic separation scheme off Cuba so be aware of its charted location and pay attention (AIS, RADAR, VHF... You can listen to traffic control on VHF (forget which channel) to be more aware of what the big boys are doing).


(2) Negril to the Guanaja (Bay Islands, Honduras). Another easy downwind run, but there are lots of complex currents in this area which can have a significant impact on your SOG. The rhumb line puts you straight into some strong adverse currents, so plot your route with these in mind. I you just want to get to the Rio you could opt to Belize from Negril (easy run, just the Yucatan Current to contend with).

(3) Guanaja to Belize. I would avoid the route straight to the Rio due to security issue off the coast of Honduras. I suggest sailing to Belize first and then down to the Rio. This avoids the area of security problems and keeps you up in the Trades from the Bay Islands to Belize.


Getting Out:

The usual route is up to Isla Mujeres, wait for weather, then to the Keys and onward. Getting N is not so bad, easy coastal hops all the way or go the outside route, catch the favorable Yucatan current (careful weather window selection a given) and make Isla Mujeres in one leg. Staging out to the Bay Islands gives you a better wind angle, but may not be worthwhile depending on your plans. Getting E is generally more challenging, but there are worse places to wait for weather than Isla Mujeres.

Some cross the bar at the Rio and then anchor behind Punta Monabique. The downside to this is that Amatique Bay has its own localized weather patterns that can turn nasty quick and put you on an unpleasant lee shore. I prefer to go to Livingston the day before by launcha to clear out. Anchor in Texan Bay, have some fun ashore, then depart at dawn (The Canyon is amazing then).

Including Cuba opens up a lot of options. I haven't sailed the south coast of Cuba, but have sailed the N coast in both directions. Getting in the lee of S Cuba should reduce sea state for you and give some potential stopping points (bear in mind that you must get explict permission (Zarpe) for any stops in Cuba even after you are cleared in).

Few do the bash thru the southern Caribbean route. Those I know who have, usually say "never again". Its an easy option for the return trip though, depending on how far south you get.


What month do you plan to go?
__________________
belizesailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-10-2016, 05:42   #5
Registered User
 
travellerw's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Saint Lucia
Boat: Fortuna Island Spirit 40
Posts: 1,402
Re: From Rio Dulce to Eastern Carribean routes?

I don't think there is a "Good" route.. It will be a bash no matter which way you go. The most common I have heard is back to Isla Mujeres and then up to Key West, then back through the Bahamas and the Thorny Path.

This would be the reason that most eastern Caribbean cruisers hurricane in Grenada or Trinidad. Grenada is a little more money with a little less boat services, but nice water. Trinidad is well priced and has EVERYTHING you could want for services, but manky water. Both places offer secure out of the water storage (tied down).

Personally, I have done the throny path once and have no interest in doing it again. My plan only includes Rio Dulce when I'm done in the eastern Caribbean!
__________________
travellerw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-10-2016, 09:46   #6
Senior Cruiser
 
hpeer's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Philadelphia
Boat: Murray 33-Chouette & Pape Steelmaid-44-Safara-both steel cutters
Posts: 3,391
Re: From Rio Dulce to Eastern Carribean routes?

Right now we are in North Carolina. We have from now to late May but have to make a quick trip back to Philly in December. We will come back to the boat about October.

Ive no idea how long the Bahamas will take us. So I'm all confused as to where to leave the boat for next summer. Adding to that was some comments that the big yard in Eastern PR gets booked by February.

Another concern is my Wife is still working a bit and need to maintain some phone service and has to make a dozen or so calls a few days a week. All the parameters make my head hurt, bad.

I was suprised ther were no decent yards in DR.

I've made the trip from Newfoundland to Delaware twice. So I get the pain of trying to make distance windward.
__________________
hpeer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-10-2016, 10:02   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: W Carib
Boat: Wildcat 35, Hobie 33
Posts: 6,288
Re: From Rio Dulce to Eastern Carribean routes?

At least getting back in October will give you a full season to get to wherever.

Winter months in the Bahamas = cold fronts so be sure and keep that in mind for well protected anchorages.

With only a few calls to make you might consider a satt phone. Rates have come way down from what they used to be and this gives you another comms/weather info option.
__________________
belizesailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-10-2016, 10:47   #8
Registered User
 
travellerw's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Saint Lucia
Boat: Fortuna Island Spirit 40
Posts: 1,402
Re: From Rio Dulce to Eastern Carribean routes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hpeer View Post
Right now we are in North Carolina. We have from now to late May but have to make a quick trip back to Philly in December. We will come back to the boat about October.

Ive no idea how long the Bahamas will take us. So I'm all confused as to where to leave the boat for next summer. Adding to that was some comments that the big yard in Eastern PR gets booked by February.

Another concern is my Wife is still working a bit and need to maintain some phone service and has to make a dozen or so calls a few days a week. All the parameters make my head hurt, bad.

I was suprised ther were no decent yards in DR.

I've made the trip from Newfoundland to Delaware twice. So I get the pain of trying to make distance windward.
You will understand once you get to DR. Its a completely third world country. Although its wealthier than Haiti, its about on par with Cuba. In fact, based on your comments I think you might be surprised by a bunch of these destinations. Many of them had much less infrastructure than I expected. Its part of the charm.

As to phone coverage.. Get a T-Mobile phone. At least 3 of our buddy boats had a T-Mobile phone and had complete coverage the whole way down the chain. Even in the DR.

Complimentary to CF, you should do some google searches. There are tons of blogs from cruisers that had to navigate the same logistics. I know of at least 6 (not including mine) that are from active cruisers this year. Its pretty common for south bound boats to leave Georgetown by mid February. The aim is to be in Grenada or Trinidad by mid June!

If you haven't bought this book yet, BUY IT.

https://www.amazon.com/Gentlemans-Gu.../dp/0944428797
__________________
travellerw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-10-2016, 11:01   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: W Carib
Boat: Wildcat 35, Hobie 33
Posts: 6,288
Re: From Rio Dulce to Eastern Carribean routes?

I agree with others that if sailing the E Carib is your objective, then the Rio is not a great option.

You might consider working your way down to Grenada, leave the boat there or in Trinidad. Than make the easy run from there across to the SW Carib (I just did that recently on a Lagoon 38).
__________________
belizesailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-10-2016, 12:05   #10
Senior Cruiser
 
hpeer's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Philadelphia
Boat: Murray 33-Chouette & Pape Steelmaid-44-Safara-both steel cutters
Posts: 3,391
Re: From Rio Dulce to Eastern Carribean routes?

One thing I need to wrap my head around better is distance. Coming from the maritimes I kinda have that mind set. I just laid it out from here to Trunidad and sit only about 3,000 miles, probably a bit more. We did about 2,200 in our small boat this summer.

That comment about folks leaving Georgetown in February to lay up their boats in Trinidad by mid June is helpful. I think we can do that. I don't expect we will be overly smitten by the Bahamas. I'm guessing it will be like the Erie Canal, glad I did it once.

I was worried about rushing the Eastern Carib, but looking at the distances even if we did scoot through this year, next we would have a good long time, 6 months, to run back up to the Virgins and then go back to Trinidad for a second summer of lay up.

Thanks to all. I feel MUCH better about our plans now. Very helpful.
__________________
hpeer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-10-2016, 12:15   #11
Senior Cruiser
 
hpeer's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Philadelphia
Boat: Murray 33-Chouette & Pape Steelmaid-44-Safara-both steel cutters
Posts: 3,391
Re: From Rio Dulce to Eastern Carribean routes?

BTW I just bought VanSant a could of weeks ago and am slowly working my way through. Lots of info there. Need to get the map in my head better. It's a brand new world to me.

Also, we have been to Belize a couple of times. Not the typical tourist fare. Glovers Atoll, Punta Gorda, drove to Tikal. Not sailing. Diving back then.
__________________
hpeer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-10-2016, 13:21   #12
Registered User
 
travellerw's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Saint Lucia
Boat: Fortuna Island Spirit 40
Posts: 1,402
Re: From Rio Dulce to Eastern Carribean routes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hpeer View Post
One thing I need to wrap my head around better is distance. Coming from the maritimes I kinda have that mind set. I just laid it out from here to Trunidad and sit only about 3,000 miles, probably a bit more. We did about 2,200 in our small boat this summer.

That comment about folks leaving Georgetown in February to lay up their boats in Trinidad by mid June is helpful. I think we can do that. I don't expect we will be overly smitten by the Bahamas. I'm guessing it will be like the Erie Canal, glad I did it once.

I was worried about rushing the Eastern Carib, but looking at the distances even if we did scoot through this year, next we would have a good long time, 6 months, to run back up to the Virgins and then go back to Trinidad for a second summer of lay up.

Thanks to all. I feel MUCH better about our plans now. Very helpful.

Yes.. That is exactly what we did.. We boogied south and spent this hurricane season in Grenada. We are now heading back up the island chain SLOWLY to enjoy it. We will go as far as Culebra this year and then run back down for next season (probably Grenada again).

Just an FYI once you make it to USVI, its a 4 day straight sail to Grenada. We know a few cruisers who did that after spending a good amount of time in the VIs. They plan to move slowly back up like us!

Bruce Van Sants book is good, and in fact many cruisers call it "The Bible" for the Thorny Path. However, like anything its not perfect, but pretty close. Some people choose to skip Turk and Caicos and instead go directly from Bahamas to DR. Pay close attention to his suggestion on using "night lees". They can make a hellish bash to the east into a pleasant 2 day trip!

We loved the Bahamas except the prices. We weren't sad when we left the land of $5 beers (yes at the grocery store). Food was also super expensive (fresh milk, forget it).

Have fun and enjoy..

Another thought.. There is at least one rally that heads south from Florida all the way to Trinidad. Have you thought about joining a rally?
__________________
travellerw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-10-2016, 16:08   #13
Senior Cruiser
 
hpeer's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Philadelphia
Boat: Murray 33-Chouette & Pape Steelmaid-44-Safara-both steel cutters
Posts: 3,391
Re: From Rio Dulce to Eastern Carribean routes?

We at the rally Lind of folks. Sorta loners.
__________________
hpeer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-10-2016, 19:02   #14
Registered User
 
ka4wja's Avatar

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Florida
Boat: Catalina 470
Posts: 1,886
Re: From Rio Dulce to Eastern Carribean routes?

hpeer,
Two things here...
1) I've beat into these winds myself, doing a SW to NE passage thru the Caribbean...and it is do-able....
But....
If / how you get from Rio Dulce (or other western Caribbean locales) to the eastern Caribbean will depend primarily on how well your boat, AND you / your crew, goes to windward!!


2) But, most importantly....you will love the Bahamas!
Quote:
Originally Posted by hpeer View Post
I don't expect we will be overly smitten by the Bahamas. I'm guessing it will be like the Erie Canal, glad I did it once.
It isn't the wonderfully clear water, clean islands and beaches, and pleasant weather....it is the Bahamian people that will captivate you!!

I started cruising the Bahamas as a kid in 1965...and thru the early 70's, along with cruising the eastern Caribbean, before sailing the Atlantic, and a few seasons in the Med....and have been back to the Bahamas often (especially in recent years), and of all the places I've cruised, I've found the Bahamian's to be some of the nicest, friendliest folks on the planet!!

They are very "family" oriented, and very traditional people, with a long and rich culture!! Meet them, make friends with them, and you'll be friends for life...
Attend church with them, invite 'em for dinner, or a game of scrabble, etc. etc. and you'll find you'll never want to leave!
If you want your kids to learn a lesson in life (or even just yourselves), bring some notebooks, pencils, and other school supplies, maybe even a soccer ball and/or basketball or two, to some of the local kids in the out islands, and you'll make friends of the kids for life as well...
{Of course, I'm NOT talking about Nassau....please avoid Nassau! At all costs, avoid Nassau, and you'll love the Bahamas...}

And, if you approach life with a smile and sense of "everyone is my friend", the Bahamians will love YOU!!


Now yes, for the most part all of these island nations are what we in modern western society would consider "3rd world", but some (like the Bahamas) have well established cultures that have adapted to modern tourism without losing their identity!
Respect them, treat 'em nice and they'll do the same!

And, FYI....as you get to the Caribbean you'll find crime to be an issue, and you'll long for the days of cruising the Bahamas....
A couple years back, I was in the Exumas, and a couple "lost" their dinghy....it drifted away while they were on the beach exploring...took them a couple hours to notice it gone, and then they were trying to wave down another cruiser to give 'em a lift to their boat...
Well, some minutes before that a local Bahamian found it drifting a few miles away (on its way to Andros!), and was towing it back into the anchorage, stopping by each cruising boat to see who had lost their dinghy...he found the rightful owner and while he wouldn't take any reward, he did sell 'em some fresh lobster!!!
(in Miami, Nassau, or many places in the Caribbean, you'd never see your dinghy again....but in the out islands, it's like being in Mayberry!)

As long as you're not in Nassau, you'll find the Bahamians to be wonderful people!!
Enjoy your time there!!


Fair winds...

John
__________________
John, KA4WJA
s/v Annie Laurie, WDB6927
MMSI# 366933110
ka4wja is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-10-2016, 19:15   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: W Carib
Boat: Wildcat 35, Hobie 33
Posts: 6,288
Re: From Rio Dulce to Eastern Carribean routes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
hpeer,
...

2) But, most importantly....you will love the Bahamas!
...

John
I also dont suggest you rush thru the Bahamas. Definately not a single point of interest kind of place. Hunderds of squares miles and many different island groups. Last time thru we spent 3 months just in the Exumas.
__________________

__________________
belizesailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
rib, route

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
Rio Dulce Information rjbwahsoune Other 7 05-06-2008 06:16
Surveyor in Rio Dulce? sailorgal Multihull Sailboats 4 27-03-2007 17:48
Miami to Rio Dulce - Which route? wdkester Atlantic & the Caribbean 1 16-02-2007 09:30
Cruisers can help in the Rio Dulce AnchorageGuy Cruising News & Events 0 12-01-2007 21:39
Rio Dulce tauras General Sailing Forum 7 09-05-2006 16:35


Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:43.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.