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Old 08-05-2010, 14:28   #1
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Question Marina in Rio Dulce, Guatemala

I'm thinking about the possibility of moving my boat there for the hurricane season.

Does anyone have any recommendations as to a Marina? That is, if they're not all so crowded I should take whatever I can!

What's a good source to find out 1) all the available marinas, and 2) whether they have space.

Thanks,
Margo
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Old 08-05-2010, 14:48   #2
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noonsite, then email?
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Old 08-05-2010, 15:10   #3
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riodulcechisme.com will provide lots of local info, including marinas
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Old 08-05-2010, 15:10   #4
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noonsite, then email?
Thanks! Noonsite is helpful.

MR
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Old 08-05-2010, 15:32   #5
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You should aslo read Indigo Moon's log entry on Guatemala to get a sense of the local conditions: Indigo Moon - Guatemala Part One (part 1, there is also part 2). It is long, but I recommend reading it in its entirety.
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Old 08-05-2010, 16:50   #6
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Margo, We spent over 5 months on the Rio Dulce and it is hands down one of our favorite places. Good marinas would be Mario's, the social hub, Tortugal, or Catamarans. If you plan to leave the boat at all, stay away from Bruno's and the wakes at Mar Marine can be a problem. There is a new marina across from Mar Marine, Ram Marine, that has a travel lift and land storage but it was under construction when we were there. You can read about our trip on our Sea Trek website. We have several friends that leave their boats in the river and fly home during the hurricane season and have never had any problems. We also have friends that have lived on the Rio Dulce for over ten years.
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Old 08-05-2010, 19:39   #7
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reading ......

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You should aslo read Indigo Moon's log entry on Guatemala to get a sense of the local conditions: Indigo Moon - Guatemala Part One (part 1, there is also part 2). It is long, but I recommend reading it in its entirety.
Cheez, Ziggy, I've been reading for hours and still haven't gotten to the end! That guy needs an editor; lots of repetition. But he does make some compelling points.

He has convinced me 1) that Guatemala is a dangerous country; I was shocked by the casual attitude to murders there. 2) I might not like the cruisers culture there. and 3) I don't want to go there on a trip south because it's hard to leave due to adverse winds, currents, and pirates!

I think I"ll find somewhere else to take my boat for hurricane season, and someday visit Guatemala by tour bus!

Margo
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Old 08-05-2010, 20:22   #8
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Margo, It is unfortunate that you will let one individuals views keep you from a truly wonderful cruising grounds. My wife and I traveled all over the country, mostly by bus, including Guatemala City and never had a problem or felt unsafe. Can't say the same about some places in the US. But we each must do what we are comfortable with. Not sure how many here on the board have actually been there besides us, rather than simply relying on someone else's writings on the internet, especially outdated information, but good luck where ever you choose. Picking a hurricane hole in the Caribbean can be tricky.
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Old 08-05-2010, 20:30   #9
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Margo,
I didn't mean to discourage you but I thought you might want to consider the "other side" in making your plans. If you do get through the entire story, Buddy makes it clear that overall he and Melissa found visiting Guatemala a very rewarding and interesting adventure. But I'm not sure I'd want to follow in his footsteps. There are may other places I'd like to visit first.
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Old 09-05-2010, 09:33   #10
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Thanks, Waterwayguy. I understand your point, and I usually do try to take all viewpoints into account before deciding anything.

But if you read that guy's blog post, you'll see it's written more like a sociological treatise, complete with many sources including governmental, news pieces, and sailors blogs. I'm a scientist and am used to reading information and applying my critical thinking skills. The evidence was pretty persuasive that because of the long and destructive 30 year civil war, the country is left with an almost non-existent law enforcement apparatus, which virtually never investigates murder and theft, let alone solves or prosecutes. So now there is an accepted culture of vigilanti justice, where mobs condemn someone then kill them, often by burning alive. This is is an accepted way to deal with criminals. The various sources called it "murder with impugnity".

I don't think we have anything like that going on in our country, even in the worst of neighborhoods.

In any case it was the piloting information that actually convinced me. I had been thinking it would be easy to slip down to Panama from there. Not so. So I'll make other plans.

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Old 09-05-2010, 09:45   #11
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the country is left with an almost non-existent law enforcement apparatus, which virtually never investigates murder and theft, let alone solves or prosecutes. So now there is an accepted culture of vigilanti justice, where mobs condemn someone then kill them, often by burning alive
they say that about certain parts of Hell A as well, enjoyed it anyway. And Guatemala as well
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Old 09-05-2010, 18:48   #12
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What a pity that you have crossed Guatemala off your itinerary on the basis of one 'gentleman's' report. How can I put this politely? Buddy was maybe not the most objective of reporters to be found on the Rio. I will say no more .

As in all places there is good and bad but there are enough places on the Rio to choose one that suits you...

All of Central America has it's problems. Indeed if you are looking for another USA don't go there. It's poor and rugged and the people don't speak American BUT it's beautiful and challenging and so many other things that you cannot begin to imagine.

Panama has problems for hurricane season storage, principally there are only a handful of marinas on the Caribbean side and some of them are pretty inaccessible. And if you want to stay out cruising the lightning is something else!

I recommend Steve Pavlidis' book 'Guide to the NW Caribbean'. Steve spent many years in those waters and knows the situation well.

Sorry you have been put off, you are missing one of the most amazing cruising areas in the world!
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Old 09-05-2010, 18:56   #13
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What a pity that you have crossed Guatemala off your itinerary on the basis of one 'gentleman's' report.
Did you read my response to waterwayguy?

In the end it was not that blog nor the details I read on the state department web site about violence, but the location, to the west of that big peninsula, that led me to cross it off - getting south from there would be a bear.

I hope someday to see and enjoy Guatemala.

Margo
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Old 09-05-2010, 19:00   #14
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OK..

If you have time and can wait for weather windows it is perfectly possible to head south from the Rio. Wait for the Westerly to get you to Guanaja, rest up and wait for a Norther of more Westerly to get you around Cabo de Gracios de Dios and then its a lovely beam reach all the way to |Panama.
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Old 09-05-2010, 19:02   #15
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The evidence was pretty persuasive that because of the long and destructive 30 year civil war, the country is left with an almost non-existent law enforcement apparatus, which virtually never investigates murder and theft, let alone solves or prosecutes. So now there is an accepted culture of vigilanti justice, where mobs condemn someone then kill them, often by burning alive.
Huh? "Often?" "Accepted?"

I first started going to Guatemala while the civil war was still on ('91) and have been back many, many times. It is my favorite country because of the kindness and generosity of the people I have met and become friends with there. I have traveled all over that country, often by "chicken bus" and always in the midst of people living in dire poverty, yet have never had any unpleasant experiences at all. Quite the opposite, in fact.

I personally can't wait to go there on my new-to-me boat.
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