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Old 13-04-2014, 18:43   #1
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Cruising guide

I am looking for a good cruising guide for the East Coast of Central America from Mexico to Panama esp. Honduras Guatemala and Nicaragua any suggestions
Thanks
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Old 13-04-2014, 20:25   #2
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Re: Cruising guide

A few:

The "Rains Guide", as it is often called, by Pat Rains. More of a route planning guide than a cruisng guide, but very well done.

Freya Rauchers excelent Belize guide. Primary focus is Belize, but also covers parts of Mexico and the Rio Dulce in Guatemala.

Steve Puvladis (sp?) guide. Coverage is a bit eccentric, mostly Bay Islands and N coast of Honduras, but good detail where he does cover.

For Panama Eric Bahaus' excellent guide. Truly one of most well done, comprehensive, and detailed cruising guides I've ever used.
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Old 13-04-2014, 20:44   #3
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Re: Cruising guide

More detail from a previous post:

I just received the latest edition of the Rains guide so thought I would post my 2-cents on NW Carib Cruising guides. I live and cruise in the region so know first-hand the areas covered by these guides. Below is my perspective on each of the three publications (that I know of) which cover this region (note there are also a few out of print guides and other Internet based sources of info as well).

Cruising Ports: the Central American Route (AKA "Rains Guide"). Excellent guide to passage planning between cruising ports. Very good publication. It is not intended to be a "cruising guide" per se, but does also include a fair amount of information supplemental to its purpose. It's primary value is for planning routes between cruising ports.

Cruising Guide to Belize and Mexico's Caribbean Coast, including Guatemala's Rio Dulce (Freya Rauscher). Another excellent work and the only comprehensive reference for Belize. Her charts are the most comprehensive and accurate available for Belize (Excluding the small area around Belize City which has current surveys -- all other government issued charts are based on very old surveys). There are a few, very few, errors and omissions in this guide so, as with any other source of information, use it prudently, but overall it is accurate and very well done -- especially true given the extensive and complex waters of Belize.

A Cruising Guide to the Northwest Caribbean (Stephen J. Pavlidis). This is an odd publication. It only covers a relatively small area of the NW Carib. For example, effectively no information on Belize or Mexico -- even the section describing potential routes from the Gulf Of Mexico to Rio Dulce omits Belize like it does not exist -- tough to do from a practical perspective (Not even a reference to Freya's guide for more information). It's primary value is the navigation information it provides for the Bay Islands and Northern coast of Honduras (many more ports are covered than in the Rains guide...which appropriately only covers those commonly used for transiting the area). The navigation information is sparse, but sufficient and accurate. However, there are voluminous sections on local culture and history (reasonably well done, but all this information and more is available from other sources). The sparse navigation information for each port is supplemented by much more extensive information regarding Internet access and dining options for that port. Those anchorages which lack much in the way of these services are typically dismissed as having nothing of interest for the cruising sailor (other than a good anchorage!). And, just in case you missed something, there is even more information in the appendices regarding Internet access and dining in the NW Carib. *An update that makes much of this voluminous documentation of Internet Cafe's obsolete -- good, inexpensive cellular Internet access is available through-out Honduras and the Bay Islands from TIGO -- buy yourself a TIGO stick including one month of service for less than $30US total and surf even when underway!
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Old 14-04-2014, 00:36   #4
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Re: Cruising guide

Have you looked here - Free Cruising Guides - not sure how they stand up to the competition, but the price is right.
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Old 14-04-2014, 16:42   #5
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Re: Cruising guide

Thank you for that great info will def check out Raines guide has anyone been to the Pearl Cays and Bluefields area that is our ultimate destination!
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Old 14-04-2014, 21:10   #6
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Re: Cruising guide

Re Las Perlas/Bluefields. The "Miskito Coast" is an intersting area, but most cruising boats avoid the Carib coast of Nicaragua. It is very remote and mostly hands off by the Govt, so some pretty dicey places there. A number of cruising boats have had trouble there in the past. Although some do visit the Corn Islands apparently without incident that I've heard of.

All boats I know who've tried to clear in at Bluefields have had problems (not necessarily all, but all I know).
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Old 16-04-2014, 15:38   #7
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Re: Cruising guide

Yes after having spent 3 months in Pearl Lagoon running a Panga I can see that being the case but we will go back
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Old 16-04-2014, 17:49   #8
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Re: Cruising guide

Cool, but of course a cruising boat attracts a lot more attention than a panga.

Having local contacts there should help (assume you developed some while running a panga). I've been into a few places I would not even consider going without a local.

How did you end up running a panga there?
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Old 25-07-2015, 01:50   #9
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Lightbulb Re: Cruising guide

Quote:
Originally Posted by warren nygaard View Post
I am looking for a good cruising guide for the East Coast of Central America from Mexico to Panama esp. Honduras Guatemala and Nicaragua any suggestions
Thanks
HOPEFULLY ...not to late this answer??

... and i am amazed nobody mentions the excellent cruising guide from Nigel Calder ( The cruising guide to the Northwest Carribean)who describes in detail the ....Northwest Carribean, Yukatan Coast of Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and the bay Islands
over 100 handdrawn charts... (I used it to take the RioDulce bar! just to tell in what detail NC goes)
He is a well known cruising author in Europe , and his books always are going into much details !!
let me mention the chapters to see if it can be of any interest to you
[U]PART 1 Preparations for cruising the NW Carribean[/U]
PART 2 Cruising the NW C
Mexico's Yucatan
Belize
Region one ...San Pedro to Belize city
Region two... belize to Placenia
Region three The outer cays and routes to and from Punta Gorda
Region Four Belize's Coral Atolls
Guatemala
Honduras and the bay Islands
Reg 1 Utilia
Reg 2 Roatan, Morat and Barbareta
Reg 3 Guanaja
Reg 4 the cayos cochinos
Reg 5 Mainland Honduras
Appendix A supplemental reading
a cruising guide to the carribean(William T stone Putnam Ed
Commodores Bulletin( by the SSCA cruising association)
Belize cruising guide(Bill Sorem Angelus press Belize)
Cruising guide to the bay islands(Julius M wiensky
etc...
appendix B light list
Index


I was looking in this forum to see if somebody has something to say about
a passage from RioDulce to Miami and i came across this question.
hope it is helpfull! I am not sure if this is the right place to post my question...

Anybody??

Stef from S/V Saudade currently Rio Dulce
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Old 25-07-2015, 21:58   #10
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Re: Cruising guide

Calder does excellent work. I've thought about picking up a copy his old NW Carib guide. They are still available on Amazon last I checked.

He also wrote an excellent Cuba guide.

Best to start a separate thread, if you have not already, on the Rio - Miami run. Its a common route so should get plenty of responses. Also I think there have been threads on this run in the past so give it a search. Any specific questions?
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Old 25-07-2015, 23:40   #11
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Re: Cruising guide

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Calder does excellent work. I've thought about picking up a copy his old NW Carib guide. They are still available on Amazon last I checked.

He also wrote an excellent Cuba guide.

Best to start a separate thread,Also I think there have been threads on this run in the past so give it a search. Any specific questions?
Thanks for the reply on my question, i will start a Thread.
Specific questions would be

1/ what are the arguments ( nautical not touristic)
to go outside the reef landscape an avoid Belize( known for his hassle on cruisers?? rumours or not?) and do landfalls on the Cuban Westcoast and proceed in the Gulfstream to Islas Mujeres or even round-up Cuba and Go to Hemmingway Marina in Havanna an to Florida from there?
( I shall try to find Calder's Cuba guide...)
my boat is a 35' Belliure Endurance heavy displacement full keel ketch, not really the most adapted vessel for coral waters!
Furthermore i will do this more or less singlehanded so i am exploring possibilities to anchor or do landfalls( marina's if available;; nearly every evening or other night.... that by itself might be a challenge on this route!

2/ find-out best anchorages and/or docks( marina's...) when adopting the inner route behind the coral Barrier along the Belize, Mexico coastline
and also tips to avoid hassle with the authorities

3/ i'd like to have "fresh" experience reports because Calder's Book is a bit old ( 1990...i have to look if there's a more recent edition)

4/ it might surprise you ...but i did a good research on this run, in different fora and generally on the net ...the hits are nearly none
Everybody talks about going South ...but they all seem not to come back again...the Calder book itself is laid out starting from North proceeding South
... not easy this search
thanks
stef
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Old 26-07-2015, 18:25   #12
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Re: Cruising guide

Quote:
Originally Posted by STEFSAILOR View Post
Thanks for the reply on my question, i will start a Thread.
Specific questions would be

1/ what are the arguments ( nautical not touristic)
to go outside the reef landscape an avoid Belize( known for his hassle on cruisers?? rumours or not?) and do landfalls on the Cuban Westcoast and proceed in the Gulfstream to Islas Mujeres or even round-up Cuba and Go to Hemmingway Marina in Havanna an to Florida from there?
( I shall try to find Calder's Cuba guide...)
my boat is a 35' Belliure Endurance heavy displacement full keel ketch, not really the most adapted vessel for coral waters!
Furthermore i will do this more or less singlehanded so i am exploring possibilities to anchor or do landfalls( marina's if available;; nearly every evening or other night.... that by itself might be a challenge on this route!

2/ find-out best anchorages and/or docks( marina's...) when adopting the inner route behind the coral Barrier along the Belize, Mexico coastline
and also tips to avoid hassle with the authorities

3/ i'd like to have "fresh" experience reports because Calder's Book is a bit old ( 1990...i have to look if there's a more recent edition)

4/ it might surprise you ...but i did a good research on this run, in different fora and generally on the net ...the hits are nearly none
Everybody talks about going South ...but they all seem not to come back again...the Calder book itself is laid out starting from North proceeding South
... not easy this search
thanks
stef
1. Outside the reef you have a N flowing current. Inside S flowing. Landfalls would be easier to make on the inside. Although you can stop over in the atolls and likley not have any issues. Yes, Belizean officilas can be a PITA, but its really not a big deal and Belize is a great cruising ground. Landfalls every night is not a problem from the Rio into Mexico. Of course more challenging as you head East from Mexico.

2. Lots of anchorage options on the inside route in Belize. Few Marina options, but growing. Routes and anchorages suitable for deeper draft vessels too. Contrary to popular misconception there is plenty of deep water in Belize...you just have to know where it is. I used to run monos with up to 6' draft all over Belize. What's your draft?

3. Get Freya Rauchers cruising guide. It is by far the most accurate and comprehensive guide for Belize. It also covers the Mexican coast and the Guatemalan coast.

4. N bound is not uncommon. Start a thread and you will likely get more hits. Also search, its been discussed extensively here. If using the mobile app, its search is a bad joke...use browser based site instead for searching.

PM me your email address and I will send you my Belize Notes. Years of accumalted notes, meant to be supplemental to Freya's guide. Still in rough format, but has proven popular here.



.
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Old 27-07-2015, 06:47   #13
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Re: Cruising guide

svsarana has best ones in this area. newer than rains, which now are outdated some, the sv sarana ones have current info. that is important. excellent guides.
charlies charts also are good, but are best on pacific side.
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Old 28-07-2015, 06:54   #14
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Re: Cruising guide

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
svsarana has best ones in this area.
took a quick look at Sarana's guides ...pretty good stuff but on the Westcoast
of Central america not the east coast !!!...or did I miss something??
thanks anyway for te link to a fabulous website!

I want to post a new thread about the best North route to Miami from Gua's Rio Dulce wit every night a different stop... I cannot find how todo that
there's no "create a new thread " button here or a link ...
missing something again

and the extensive writings about it suggested by Belizesailor

[QUOTE=belizesailor;1876927]1.
4. N bound is not uncommon. Start a thread and you will likely get more hits. Also search, its been discussed extensively here. If using the mobile app, its search is a bad joke...use browser based site instead for searching.[QUOTE]

i did not find any ... I must be Computerblind ...

thanks
Stef
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