Originally Posted by gentlerain
Expensive very few anchorages
and even less marinas. I was glad to leave Belize after spening a winter season there trying to hide from northern winds which is difficult as the islands (really mangrove covered sand spits) are north south orientated so no protection. Plus the charts
are not accurate so you have to eyeaball which is only possible when the sun shines which it didn't do much of last winter. Good Luck! I would choose another destination
True that most of the cayes do not offer protection from the N-NW-SW quadrants, but there are a number of good foul weather
anchorages scattered from N to S which offer very good protection.
Like the Bahamas
, Spring months are the best time to be there.
Most charts (paper or electronic) are not accurate, but Freya Raucher's are quite good.
My notes on foul weather anchorages below. There are a few more I've left out (like Sittee River) because they require detailed local knowledge and a shoal draft
to get into.
Foul Weather Anchorages
In the event that foul weather threatens, there are a number of good foul weather anchorages available. The prudent strategy is head
for one when a strong cold front is forecast
, regardless of forecast wind
Brief descriptions of some recommended anchorages below, arranged roughly N to S.
Drowned Cayes. Many bogues, running roughly E-W, divide these cayes and offer a multitude of well protected anchorages and interesting exploring.
Robinson Cayes. OK as long as wind
doesn't go SW. Holding in N anchorage not very good in soupy mud.
Bluefields. Two slightly tricky entrances, but good protection.
Tobacco Caye Range (not Tobacco Caye). Just W of Tobacco Caye. There is a hole in the S end of Tobacco Caye Range that can shelter a few boats. You can also just anchor
in the lee if winds are NW-W.
Twin Cayes. Just W of Southwater Caye. Inside Twin Cayes in a very protected lagoon
. Entrance is a bit tricky.
Sapodilla Lagoon. Mainland lagoon with an entrance from the E. S of Sittee River. Complete 360 protection.
Blue Ground Range. W of Twin Cayes. Slow going picking your way across the shoals from Southwater. Entrance from the W is easier.
Lark Caye Range. Just across from Placencia. Very deep (60'), but good holding and protection.
Placencia Harbour. Popular anchorage with good holding. Open to the SSE-S. Can get ugly here if winds pick up from this direction. Many move to the N side of the cut or to the back lagoon in that case.
Placencia Lagoon. A little tricky to get into, and best suited to vessels drawing no more than 6', but offers miles of well protected anchoring
options. There are also several mangrove holes accessible from the back lagoon in case really ugly weather threatens.
Big Creek. The mangrove creek that exits Big Creek to the West and extends for miles and offers many very well protected anchoring
New Haven Bay. Way south by Ycacos lagoon and Snake Cayes. Excellent holding and full protection from almost every direct, except for partial protection from the S-SW.