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Old 22-12-2009, 13:10   #1
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Lake Nicaragua

Hello! This is my very first post on this site and one, I suspect, that will not get a lot of responses.

Have you ever sailed Lake Nicaragua? Do you know anybody who has? Do you know if charts exist for the lake?

Thank you in advance for your help!
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Old 22-12-2009, 14:23   #2
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Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Dariengap.

You may not find a conventional nautical chart of the lake, but evidently, the U.S. National Science "Margins" program survey produced a bathymetric map for Lake Nicaragua

see ➥ NicLakes

Unfortunately, I havenít come across an on-line version.
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Old 22-12-2009, 15:11   #3
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Lake Nicaragua............

First off........Shame shame gord....you're slippin!!

Jes kidden......

RE accurate Nica charts......for Lake Nicaragua...they don't exist. There are sharks in the lake that attack humans. Also, if you have interest in the lake, you should explore San Juan del Sur. A gorgeous place on the Pacific side. I live in Nica -land 6 mos of the yr and I love it. Very few English speaking people in this country. as compared to Costa-land where everyone speaks English and the prices are high. PM me for inside info.
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Old 22-12-2009, 16:46   #4
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We never made it to the western Caribbean. But, while cruising the eastern Caribbean, we met many people with great stories about Belize, Honduras, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, the San Blas, etc. Now that I think about it, I don’t think I ever met anyone who mentioned cruising the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua much less Lake Nicaragua. Is there something I should know?.
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Old 22-12-2009, 17:57   #5
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Nicaragua.....the best kept secret.......shhhhhhhhh

"I'll never tell..............
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Old 22-12-2009, 21:35   #6
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Thank you for all your responses!

Thank you all, and Gord in particular as his response is really the only useful one !

Gord, I checked both the link you posted and the website of the Margins program but I have to confess I understand very little about that. What is exactly a bathymetric map? Is it just a map showing water depth? Would it be enough to safely sale the lake, in your opinion?

With respect to the sharks eating humans... it is actually exactly the opposite. It is true that Lake Nicaragua is a unique ecosystem, and the only freshwater one in the world where sharks live, but it is also true that the bull sharks that were once very common in the lake are now almost extinct, after having been hunted for decades, and particularly in the 1970s.

The Caribbean coast of Nicaragua is beautiful and definitely worth exploring even if it is very rainy, even during the so called 'dry season.' Most of the indigenous population living on the Caribbean coast (the well known Mosquito Coast - remember the novel and movie?) do not actually speak Spanish but a form of Creole English (not at all easy to understand, anyway!) It is true that in the rest of the country few people speak English. Luckily for me, my Spanish is way better than my English !

One more time, many thanks!
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Old 23-12-2009, 07:59   #7
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we own a small piece of land on the northern pacific coast of nicaragua - very beautiful and very cheap. But the caribbean coast is very unpleasant, or at least i thought so. low, bug infested, malarial, steamy hot. as for the lake, go check it out in downtown granada and it may well cure you of ever wanting to swim in it.
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Old 23-12-2009, 08:49   #8
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Well, sck5, I guess we all have different opinions. Personally, I love steamy hot places and the coast is beautiful.

With respect to the lake, it is true that perhaps three hundred meters of shore in Granada are not clean (as it is the case here in Toronto, where I live, and close to most large cities) but Lake Nicaragua is a stunningly beautiful body of water almost half the size of Lake Ontario. Ignoring it just because of a very localized pollution problem would be, IMHO, a huge mistake! Just kayaking less than half a hour south of the main dock in Granada takes you to a beautiful lagoon with hot, volcanic water, surrounded by rainforest, where you hare welcomed by hundreds of golden-mantled howler monkeys... And this is just an example!

Peace!
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Old 23-12-2009, 09:44   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dariengap View Post
... What is exactly a bathymetric map? Is it just a map showing water depth? Would it be enough to safely sale the lake, in your opinion?...
Bathymetry is the study of underwater depth of lake or ocean floors, and the maps produced thereby usually show bottom terrain as contour lines (called depth contours or isobaths) and selected actual depths (soundings).
Itís the underwater equivalent of a topographic map.
Depending upon the detail, it might be safely used to navigate the Lake, but will not indicate navigation features (buoys, lights, etc. if any)

See ➥ * Bathymetric Map - (GIS): Definition
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Old 23-12-2009, 10:05   #10
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Darien

You know more about lake nica than i do. As for the eastern coast, I like hot places but have always liked the pacific coast of central america more than the caribbean. Any of it is better than where I am right now, an hour south of Lake Ontario. Cayuga Lake looks quite beautiful out my window but if I got into it I would die in about two minutes.
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Old 23-12-2009, 10:16   #11
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Thanks again!

Thank you Gord! I really appreciate your help!

sck5, you are right: Cayuga Lake is beautiful! But this time of the year I would definitely prefer drinking a cold beer with you on the shores of Lake Nicaragua than in Western NY!
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Old 23-12-2009, 10:33   #12
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Sharks in the lake........

Well Darien, I am afraid you are wrong about shark attacks in the lake. Only 4 months ago there was an attack. Also the Bluefields area on the Carribbean side is gorgeous and very hospitable. The lake is cleaning up its pollution and fish are plentiful. When were you last in Nicaragua?? You appear to be out of touch.
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Old 23-12-2009, 11:35   #13
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Sharks...

Shark revenge! That's good news!

I agree Bluefields is beautiful, as it is most of the Caribbean coast between Costa Rica and Pearl Lagoon!
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Old 31-12-2009, 20:50   #14
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Is Bluefields both lovely and safe? I.m on the Rio Dulce now and have been told to watch out for the large percentage of predatory desperadoes. Most everybody who cruises from this corner of the Caribbean goes to Isla Providencia, then and Boca or Colon.

Have any of you actually cruised there (Bluefields)?
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Old 01-01-2010, 09:02   #15
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Looking at the charts that are available for the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua, which I have in front of me, it seems that navigation would be pretty demanding. There are large areas of shallows and reefs, none of which appear to have any navigation aids, lights etc.

We contemplated the area a couple of years ago but decided that the area was a bit too taxing for us!

There was a spate of American boats taken by the Nicaraguan authorities a couple of years ago and last month a Chilean flagged vessel was boarded and robbed off the Cabo de Gracios a Dios. Crew tied up but not harmed...

The Corn Islands have been visited by a few cruisers. Pretty and acesible I understand.

Access to Lake Nicaragua is unclear I have been told that there are some extremely shallow, rocky areas that would prevent all but the shallowest draft vessels entering. Which is borne out by the fact that large numbers of trading and pirate vessels were trapped in the lake by an earthquake back in the late 1700's when the river bed rose and prevented them from leaving!!

However I too would love to hear more...
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