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Old 14-01-2012, 11:59   #1
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Cruising Belize

I'm looking for info on cruising Belize. What experence have you had there... Michael..
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Old 14-01-2012, 12:29   #2
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Re: Cruising Belize

I haven't cruised there, I did go fishing off the reef one day and saw several cruising boats in the area. I have visited the country twice via airlines and rental cars and enjoyed it very much. People are friendly and I have stayed for a month each time. They have the 2nd largest barrier reef after Oz. Nice weather, loads of Iguanas, sea turtles etc..., I got to visit the Mayan pyramids in San Ignacio, that was truly awe inspiring. All in all I give it a 2 thumbs up, USD and local currency is easily exchanged at 2 to 1 USD, you really don't have to change your money, USD is readily accepted everywhere we went. I am pretty much planning on retiring there.
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Old 14-01-2012, 13:16   #3
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Re: Cruising Belize

Michael, Too much info to post here but these posts on our website detail our last trip...

Voyages of Sea Trek: Belize Begs For Exploration
Voyages of Sea Trek: Wandering through Belize
Voyages of Sea Trek: Placencia Belize

Hope it helps. Chuck
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Old 14-01-2012, 13:57   #4
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Re: Cruising Belize

It was 2 decades ago but the diving and snorkelling out on the islands was absolutely superb

Just go

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Old 14-01-2012, 18:21   #5
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Re: Cruising Belize

Thank you all for your help....Michael..
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Old 14-01-2012, 21:46   #6
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Anyone here cruise Belize with a deep keel? I've heard it's pretty shallow there and wonder if it's more catamaran country.

Ron
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Old 14-01-2012, 22:22   #7
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Re: Cruising Belize

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Anyone here cruise Belize with a deep keel? I've heard it's pretty shallow there and wonder if it's more catamaran country.

Ron
Check out post #3, waterwayguy has some good info on the subject. Take a look...Michael..
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Old 15-01-2012, 07:34   #8
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Re: Cruising Belize

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Originally Posted by Mahaila View Post
Anyone here cruise Belize with a deep keel? I've heard it's pretty shallow there and wonder if it's more catamaran country.

Ron

Ron, If you read our posts, Sea Trek has a 6 foot draft. Chuck
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Old 15-01-2012, 08:30   #9
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Re: Cruising Belize

I cruised in a keelboat out of placencia a few years ago. Not a problem - The place is littered with reefs but the passages between are pretty deep. I wouldnt have wanted to try to go over any of the reefs in a catamaran either. It wasnt at all like the Bahamas where there are plenty of reefs and the water is 10 ft. deep between them. More like 40 or 50 in many places, at least in the South which is where you will be if you go out of Placencia.

A note - Neither the charts nor the chartplotters based on them are accurate. We used the chartplotters to get an overall view of where we were headed but used eyeballs to actually maneuver our way in to anchorages. Some places had charts that were based on "handline surveys from the 1840's" according to the notes (these were Admiralty charts - the best there are for the area) Lots of times we were hard aground according to the chartplotter.

Freya Rauscher's cruising guide was excellent and all her waypoints were spot on (at least all the ones we used)

Most important nav gear is polarized sunglasses. much easier to read the water with them.

Best diving and snorkelling around. Really beautiful deserted islands to explore. We loved it. On land, go to Guatemala next door to see Tikal. You wont regret it.
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Old 11-02-2012, 18:08   #10
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Re: Cruising Belize

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Originally Posted by rubyjean View Post
I'm looking for info on cruising Belize. What experence have you had there... Michael..
I've lived, cruised, and worked as a captain/instructor in the region since 2005. You've gotten some general info replies already -- any specific area or subject you want to know about?
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Old 11-02-2012, 18:15   #11
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Re: Cruising Belize

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Originally Posted by Mahaila View Post
Anyone here cruise Belize with a deep keel? I've heard it's pretty shallow there and wonder if it's more catamaran country.

Ron
Yes. The perception that Belize is "shallow" is not entirely correct. What is characteristic of Belizean waters (at least central and southern Belize) is frequent and dramatic variation in depth.

If you know where the deep areas are you can cruise here quite nicely with a deep draft vessel. I used to captian charters in Belize aboard a couple of different boats that drew 6ft. No problem (provided you know the bottom).

Shoal draft can certainly be useful in some areas in Belize (particularly further north), but you can cover a significant percentage of the cruising ground with 6+ draft if you know the routes.
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Old 11-02-2012, 18:35   #12
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Re: Cruising Belize

Cruised it in both power and sail ! 6ft6in sail draft!! no problem, just don't rely on a chart plotter to much as ALL charts are Rough, off a bunch most everywhere except for some entrance and harbor charts, depth is not a problem, but night cruiseing is pretty much out unless your Off shore beyond the reef areas. It's probly the best diveing Ive ever seen in my 50+ yrs of cruiseing, the folks speak english most every where, moneys simple, good medical services even had a tooth fixed there once !!One of Our favorite cruiseing grounds !! Just Our 2 cents Bob and Connie
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Old 12-02-2012, 09:55   #13
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Re: Cruising Belize

A bit more on charts and surveys and such. The only area which has relatively up-to-date survey data is just around Belize City. This is because of the commercial traffic that comes into Belize City. Almost all other areas are still based upon very dated British surveys (many not updated since the late 1800s).

As mentioned, Freya's guide is the best navigation info available on Belize. In over 6 years sailing Belize I have only found a few errors and omissions.

Since essentially all charts of Belize have some level of inaccuracy, there is no substitute for local knowledge. Having someone with local knowledge aboard is the best option, but if that is not feasible then at least discuss your route with a local or a cruiser who has been there. And, pay attention to what is actually around you rather than the, almost certainly inaccurate, image on the chart plotter. I know of many groundings that have occurred here simply because boaters were so glued to their chart plotter that they did not look up to see the reef protruding from the water in front of them!
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