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Old 28-04-2011, 22:23   #1
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Killing Time in the Caribbean

I'm looking for some CF community wisdom...

Assume a boat is bought in the Belize area in June or July. The plan is to go through the Panama Canal in time to start the Pacific meander to Australia in February to March.

Is it feasable and what are your thoughts for seeing a bit of the Caribbean from July to February as part of the boat shakedown, without being belted around by hurricanes?
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Old 29-04-2011, 03:36   #2
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Re: Killing time in the Caribbean

You'd be wise to keep south of the hurricane belt until the first of November or so. Southern Grenada has been seen as a refuge, going 50 years between hurricanes until cat 5 Ivan wiped the island out in 2004. Or Trinidad, where a lot of cruisers wait out the season. So, in November you could work your way north and experience the Lesser Antilles for 2-3 months before heading west.

p.s. the trip from Belize east is upwind.
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Old 29-04-2011, 05:44   #3
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Re: Killing time in the Caribbean

Hud is absolutely correct about getting out of the hurricane zone. As he points out, Grenada was a traditional refuge until Hurricane Ivan - care must now be taken, however, as some insurers are no longer covering loss there during hurricane season and are requiring boats to head even further south to Trinidad or Venezuela.

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Old 29-04-2011, 06:17   #4
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Re: Killing time in the Caribbean

You could enjoy the best of the W Caribbean while you're there, do the reef & atolls, (while watching the weather), and for the worst of H season, (If you have 6' draft or less)... Go up the Rio Dulce, for perfect storm safety. The Guatemala inland trips are astoundingly beautiful & interesting!

Enjoy, Mark
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Old 29-04-2011, 06:47   #5
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Re: Killing time in the Caribbean

I think Mark's got the better idea. First of all, it's going to take you longer than you plan to get a new-to-you boat ready to cruise long distances. That's the first rule of boat buying, right? If you buy the boat in June or July and have it ready by August, I'd be surprised.

It really makes more sense to hang out in the Rio Dulce for the hurricane season and then cruise Central America down to Panama, rather than trying to beat all the way to the Lesser Antilles, risking being caught out by an early season storm.
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Old 29-04-2011, 06:51   #6
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Re: Killing time in the Caribbean

Believe me you don't have to kill time, in fact it is time that is killing you, second a t a time and irreversibly
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Old 29-04-2011, 07:03   #7
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Re: Killing time in the Caribbean

Thanks. Good constructive stuff.
I fully expect to spend a few months, maybe even quite a few, getting the boat cruise ready as well as getting to know the boat itself.
From this side of the planet we don't get to hear much of what there is to see in the western Caribbean. Guatemala sounds like it's well worth investigating.

As is so often the case, once you're there you find that there isn't enough time to see it all anyway.
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Old 29-04-2011, 07:11   #8
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Re: Killing time in the Caribbean

Safe anchorage during hurricane season is also in Santiago de Cuba. Anyway if you are interested in good music, cigars and rum.
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Old 29-04-2011, 07:15   #9
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Re: Killing time in the Caribbean

"Killing time"!! Sounds like the title of a horror movie.

Rio Dulce seems like a great place to keep a boat during hurricane season, and a great place to "kill time". Lots to do from there.
Storage costs seem reasonable. Though I didn't look at anything else, this marina posted what seem to be reasonable storage fees:
Guatemala Yacht Broker-Boats-sailboats for sale-Oldest brokerage firm on Rio Dulce GUATEMALA
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Old 29-04-2011, 07:30   #10
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Re: Killing time in the Caribbean

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hud3 View Post
I think Mark's got the better idea. First of all, it's going to take you longer than you plan to get a new-to-you boat ready to cruise long distances. That's the first rule of boat buying, right? If you buy the boat in June or July and have it ready by August, I'd be surprised.

It really makes more sense to hang out in the Rio Dulce for the hurricane season and then cruise Central America down to Panama, rather than trying to beat all the way to the Lesser Antilles, risking being caught out by an early season storm.
There seem to be a bunch of Rio Dulces on GE... Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala... which do you have in mind?
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Old 29-04-2011, 07:31   #11
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Re: Killing time in the Caribbean

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Originally Posted by TeddyDiver View Post
Safe anchorage during hurricane season is also in Santiago de Cuba. Anyway if you are interested in good music, cigars and rum.
Ok... you've got my full attention
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Old 29-04-2011, 07:36   #12
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Re: Killing time in the Caribbean

Quote:
Originally Posted by YADO View Post
"Killing time"!! Sounds like the title of a horror movie.

Rio Dulce seems like a great place to keep a boat during hurricane season, and a great place to "kill time". Lots to do from there.
Storage costs seem reasonable. Though I didn't look at anything else, this marina posted what seem to be reasonable storage fees:
Guatemala Yacht Broker-Boats-sailboats for sale-Oldest brokerage firm on Rio Dulce GUATEMALA
Thanks.

Any thoughts on places to get any work done that might be needed relatively cheaply? It's a given that I'd need to be there and involved to make sure the quality is good.
I know a few cruisers who've recommended yards in DR, and Mx, but on the Pacific side.
Any recomendations in the western Caribbean?
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Old 29-04-2011, 07:57   #13
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Re: Killing time in the Caribbean

Rio Dulce Guatamala. Cruisers have been riding out hurricane season there for many years.

riodulcechisme.com - Home
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Old 29-04-2011, 21:03   #14
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Re: Killing time in the Caribbean

Quote:
Originally Posted by VirtualVagabond View Post
Thanks.

Any thoughts on places to get any work done that might be needed relatively cheaply? It's a given that I'd need to be there and involved to make sure the quality is good.
I know a few cruisers who've recommended yards in DR, and Mx, but on the Pacific side.
Any recomendations in the western Caribbean?
The boatyards/D-I-Y yards for during the H-season are in my opinion, are I.M.I.S in Chagauramas Bay Trinidad or in Venezuela, Medregal Village medregal village marina drydock boatyard chantier posada hotel auberge venezuela
- - Grenada has only two boatyards and is indeed a problem getting insurance company rider to stay there. But on the other hand you as a very good cruising area from the lower Grenadines to the north to the south shore of Grenada. In Trinidad you are locked to an approved marina, TTSA anchorage or a boatyard.
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Old 29-04-2011, 21:16   #15
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pirate Re: Killing time in the Caribbean

Many friends have said Venezuala's THE place for quality cheap work .... but that was back in the '90's and early 2000's...
Today..? I honestly don't know... not been out there since '07....
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