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Old 13-07-2014, 17:27   #1
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Rio Dulce from Florida

I am thinking about sailing down from Florida gulf coast to Rio Dulce, Guatemala

My route would probably take me hugging the west end of Cuba and heading straight South to the Swan Islands, then over to Roatan and then on to a Rio Dulce.

My question is what are the best months for Rio Dulce? I generally try to avoid the winter cold fronts in the Gulf.
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Old 19-07-2014, 10:39   #2
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Re: Rio Dulce from Florida

Been years since I've been there but I would have thought Rio Dulce is good year round. I read your response about sailing down the Keys in Apr/May to avoid Northers and hurricane season and think it would be the same. Last time I was there, it was after hurricane season spent in Trinidad and Venezuela, then wintering in Rio Dulce from that direction. I then did the opposite and waited until Apr/May to head north back to the Keys.


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Old 19-07-2014, 12:38   #3
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Re: Rio Dulce from Florida

Could not locate the swan islands. A easier trip might be after getting to the fort myers area. 1 overnight to dry tortugas. 2. After some sleep head south for Cuba, then west along the coast. Then across to Isla mujeras mx. That's a 3 day run from fort Jefferson so weather will be spot on. You can very easily day trip down the Yucatain pennensula , maybe jump from puerto adventures straight to Belize or stop at some of the more remote areas. Once in Belize easy day sails to the rio. Have fun


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Old 19-07-2014, 15:52   #4
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Re: Rio Dulce from Florida

Thanks. I have done that route from west end of Cuba then over to Mexico. The big problem going that way is you have to fight a three not current sweeping up alongside Mexico. That's why I am thinking of just heading straight south until I reach the same latitude as rio Dulce which would take me by Roatan.
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Old 19-07-2014, 16:25   #5
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Re: Rio Dulce from Florida

Both times I did the route found a nice counter current close to shore, had to get further off at night of course.


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Old 19-07-2014, 16:59   #6
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Re: Rio Dulce from Florida

In the Rio Dulce, March and April are hot. Unbelievably hot. Summer is warm and humid like all of the Caribe, fall is almost constant rain like most of the Caribe, and winter can get the big cold fronts like the Bahamas do, but is pleasant like the Bahamas otherwise.

The Swan islands are a more fair weather anchorage - you would not want to be there when cold fronts come through or when it is really honking. Your idea of hugging the West coast of Cuba and dropping south is a good one, but consider giving up on the Swans if the weather isn't cooperating. Instead just angle over to Guanaja or even Roatan - it will keep you out of the current and the difference in mileage between Swan and Guanaja is only 50nm, so Swan doesn't break up the trip substantially.

But if you have the weather for the Swans, why not? Few cruising boats go there (we haven't yet), but it is a safe place except for bad weather. The underwater life is supposedly pristine.

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Old 19-07-2014, 17:40   #7
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Re: Rio Dulce from Florida

Rauscher's book is pretty spot on concerning the rio dulce generally and routing from florida specifically.

my opinion is having this guidebook onboard is practically a requirement for cruising the area..


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Old 19-07-2014, 18:19   #8
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Re: Rio Dulce from Florida

[QUOTE=brantleychuck;1588049]Both times I did the route found a nice counter current close to shore, had to get further off at night of course.

We are only 1 for 2 on that trip. We ended up at the worst spot at night one time. We were sailing ok but doing one knot backwards.
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Old 20-07-2014, 06:54   #9
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Re: Rio Dulce from Florida

dMac, Our approach to avoiding the Yucatan Channel was to sail west from Key west until we were almost due north of Isla, then turn south. From Isla we cruised down the Mexico coast to Belize and then inside the reefs to the River. This route avoids both crossing the Stream between Florida and Cuba and having to cross the Yucatan Channel. We had a slight counter current for about 4 hours during the entire trip. Having a good working knowledge of where the currents are located will determine how far west you travel before turning toward Isla. Chuck
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