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Old 09-11-2018, 11:40   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Rocheport, MO
Boat: 2011 Lagoon 40
Posts: 1
Texas to Guatemala

New to the life and looking for help to plan first trip. Have had a 40' Lagoon cat in Corpus Christi, TX for 2 years with minimal use. I was primary caregiver for Mom in Missouri and she passed in July at 95....long and great life. Now my interests are no longer "on hold" and I will learn to live on Boat. Bought the boat from charter fleet in Tortola June 2016 and moved her to TX in Dec with hired Captain and my 2 brothers. Was sort of 'Three Stooges Cross the Caribbean' for 21 days. Enough background. I'm certified but very little experience.

Went to Rio Dulce, Guatemala in Sep to check it out and intend to spend January to April there.....after I get there.....then leave her in that safe Hurricane Hole when I go back to MO for Summer. Have two guys with sailing experience (one is Bareboat Captain) but not trip-experience. So, I'm lookin for comments from those who have experience sailing the western Gulf of Mexico from TX to Honduras. My first toughts are a hug-the-coast plan.

Please offer input or resources or advice to get me started. Boat has no performance issues that I know about...fixed a few things after the Dec '16 trip.
She is 2011 model and I'm a 1949 model; both of us pretty stout actually. Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-11-2018, 13:26   #2
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Re: Texas to Guatemala

By "hug the coast" do you mean the W coast of the GOM? If so, its not that great of a cruising coast, much if it is heavily commercialized (oil patch) and...its WAY further (step it off on a chart vs straight across). There is a thread about that route somewhere here on CF.

For these reasons, most hop straight across...like Corpus to Isla Mujeres. From there you can coastal cruise all the way down to the Rio.

Weather Window is the biggest consideration...the GOM can be VERY nasty in the wrong conditions. April-May are most settled months...though Ive had my butt kicked in the GOM then too!

Also, get familiar with the Gulf Loop and Yucatan currents...both significant considerations on this route (straight across). The Gulf Loop is highly variable so you want most recent info before departure.

You mentioned Honduras...careful...lots of security issues there in recent years. I suggest avoiding mainland Honduras by a VERY wide margin (minimum out of sight of mainland based on mast height). See CSSN/Noonsite for details. The Bay Islands of Honduras are much less of a risk and a great cruising area. If sailing from Rio Dulce to the Bay Islands, I advise going far NE into Belize (like Turneffe atoll) and sailing down to the Bay Islands so as to completely avoid mainland Honduras.
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Old 09-11-2018, 13:33   #3
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Re: Texas to Guatemala

Also, like you did for the prior repositioning, its prudent to get more experience aboard if not confident in that of you and your crew...GOM in full storm conditions is no place for inexperience.
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Old 09-11-2018, 13:58   #4
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Re: Texas to Guatemala

If you could wait till early April you would be more lucky. January is still full of northers. That is like a 4 day passage (?), then you will probably need 6-7 days of good wx in January.. Once you make MX there shouldn't be many problems with wx. You can just stop somewhere and wait.
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Old 09-11-2018, 14:50   #5
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Re: Texas to Guatemala

Hug the coast is harsh. Always close to danger. Offshore is the happy place!!
I sailed down to Utila in the bay Islands from Jacksonville last may. Light wind, 16 days. Down the Fl coast, across to the Bahamas then sth, across the top of Cuba , around the tip then sth straight to Utila.
Was happiest past Cuba.
I sailed direct to Utila so as to be offshore the whole way( after Cuba of course). Like it was said, coastal Honduras can be iffy, but not like thieving scum are good at anything but thieving, so not likely to take their skiffs well offshore right?
And being alone I did'nt feel like taking the risk, even down the coast of Mex for that matter.
Make sure you have good safety gear, GPIRB etc, good solid safe boat and go for it. Too many folks worry about too many things. You will only get experience by doing.

PS Hurricane season is the best time to be in the bay Islands. Everybody is in the Dulce hiding. You can see anything worth worrying about coming a week off and you are a two day run at best away from the dulce.
Just my experience. I dare say others will disagree, and thats ok.
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Old 10-11-2018, 22:02   #6
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Re: Texas to Guatemala

Re Bay Islands/Belize during hurricane season:

Yes, the weather is generally good, except a bit more squally at night, and early in the hurricane season you have ample warning time, but...late season storms can spin up just N of Honduras with very little warning. Most of course will go N-NW away from Honduras, so this is more of an issue if in Belize, but the odd one like Mitch can go S...with devastating results.
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Old 10-11-2018, 22:16   #7
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Re: Texas to Guatemala

Yep, but thats my point, Mitch we could see coming a week out.
I know because I was in Utila and watched it come.
There was loads of time to run to the Dulce, loads.
That was my first hurficane, spent it on Utila, 40 odd miles away from the centre of a cat 5. Got my respect.
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