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Old 21-10-2019, 19:56   #1
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Sailing in Belize

Iím considering a charter in Belize (out of Placencia) and was hoping to get some info from those of you who have experience sailing in that area. Thanks in advance for any advice you can provide:

(1) A number of the cayes are described (at least on the internet) as ďprivateĒ islands with resorts (e.g., Whipray, Thatch, South Water, Tobacco). Are sailors welcome at these places? Can we use the beaches and go to the restaurants? Even if they technically canít stop us, should we expect an attitude from the staff (since we arenít paying resort guests)?

(2) How is the weather in mid-April? Is there still a substantial risk of cold fronts coming through and bringing lots of rain and cooler temps that time of year?

(3) Iíll be sailing with fairly little kids, so I worry a bit about emergency medical care. It seems like Belize City has some pretty good hospitals, and Iíll have travel medical insurance, but what happens if we have a medical emergency on one of the outer cayes? Would the Belize coast guard (or anyone else) respond? Or should I assume Iím on my own, at least until I can get back to Placencia?

(4) How worried should I be about the Belize laws regarding reef damage? The charter company websites warn that if you damage the reef, you can be fined and have your passport seized. Iím an experienced (and very careful) sailor, and Iíve never hit a reef (knock on wood). But we all know sometimes bad things happen, and I donít really want to end up facing a huge fine or time in a Belize prison because of an accident.

Thanks again.
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Old 21-10-2019, 22:45   #2
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Re: Sailing in Belize

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattL View Post
Iím considering a charter in Belize (out of Placencia) and was hoping to get some info from those of you who have experience sailing in that area. Thanks in advance for any advice you can provide:

(1) A number of the cayes are described (at least on the internet) as ďprivateĒ islands with resorts (e.g., Whipray, Thatch, South Water, Tobacco). Are sailors welcome at these places? Can we use the beaches and go to the restaurants? Even if they technically canít stop us, should we expect an attitude from the staff (since we arenít paying resort guests)?

(2) How is the weather in mid-April? Is there still a substantial risk of cold fronts coming through and bringing lots of rain and cooler temps that time of year?

(3) Iíll be sailing with fairly little kids, so I worry a bit about emergency medical care. It seems like Belize City has some pretty good hospitals, and Iíll have travel medical insurance, but what happens if we have a medical emergency on one of the outer cayes? Would the Belize coast guard (or anyone else) respond? Or should I assume Iím on my own, at least until I can get back to Placencia?

(4) How worried should I be about the Belize laws regarding reef damage? The charter company websites warn that if you damage the reef, you can be fined and have your passport seized. Iím an experienced (and very careful) sailor, and Iíve never hit a reef (knock on wood). But we all know sometimes bad things happen, and I donít really want to end up facing a huge fine or time in a Belize prison because of an accident.

Thanks again.
Matt,

1: There are a number of private isalnds in Belize, some are more private than others. Those you mention: Whipray: small fishing lodge, but they are visitor friendly, awesome snorkeling esp on the NE edge, poor anchoring (very deep), but moorings may be available. Thatch: resort, but very cruiser/charter guest friendly, resturant, may have ice available, moorings on W side. South Water: larger island with a number of small resorts, very visitor friendly, may have fuel/water available, dinner ashore too, excellent snorkelling off S end. Tobacco: funky little village with a number of small lodges, several options for drinks/dinner ashore, very visitor friendly. Note: dinner ashore, fuel, water, ice are all dependent upon availability with needs of lodges and their guests taking priority on all these islands.

2: Typically excellent! Cold fronts end in March.

3: Belize has limited medical facilities and no officials are likely to be of any assistance in case of an emergency...especially not after business hours. The "coast guard" is not very well equipped or trained.

4: It is a concern, Belizean waters are complex and often not well charted (never trust any electronic charts). Its not uncommon for officials to shake down those who end up on the reef. Hiring a local captain is a good option to consider. This also opens up routes for you which are prohibited for bareboats.

Related story: https://amandala.com.bz/news/shambal...arine-reserve/

Many threads here discussing Belize:

Belize sailing and diving recommendations


Belize sailing and diving recommendations

Belize Cruising


Belize Cruising

Navionics Belize Missing Detail


Navionics Belize Missing Detail

Belize - advice on 4 day catamaran charter


Belize - advice on 4 day catamaran charter

Belize??


Belize??


Belize Cat Charter w Captain recommendations?


Belize Cat Charter w Captain recommendations?
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Old 22-10-2019, 14:47   #3
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Re: Sailing in Belize

You could get back to the city in a half day easy from just about anywhere you will go on your charter. All the resorts have fast boats. Some of the time you will probably be able to see BZ City, it's a small cruising ground. Air travel is pretty good too. It's only a half day to the reef from Placencia.
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Old 22-10-2019, 17:22   #4
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Re: Sailing in Belize

I use Medjet which is evacuation insurance. They come to the nearest airport wherever you are and take you to whatever hospital you want in the USA. Not a huge expense, esp. compared to what a charter costs.
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