Cap' Badger's NOTES on Sailing Southern Belize.
Belize is interesting. It really is beautiful, but it's tough to navigate.
You don't need a guide, but you do need a bow watch.
When we went, there were a few cold fronts that went through causing some of our overnight plans to be moved to more safe locations.
The overnights are primarily anchor, few to no mooring balls.
Overall, I do recommend the trip. Think of it more of an adventure and less of a sailing trip.
Duber notes - originally sent to a fellow sailor as he was looking for notes for his trip.
The best anchorages were all pretty much mangroves with no real place to go on them.
Our first day we sailed from Placencia to Pelican Caye Range. It's a mangrove. Anchorage is about 50/60 feet and you only have about 150' of anchor rode. That said, the first night we stayed there it was no problem at all.
Go visit Dustin and family at Hideaway Caye. Tell them hi from the Honey Badgers.
He's got a little bar there and the neatest little setup you'll ever see.
He can be hailed on VHF Ch 74.
After Pelican, we sailed up the inner channel to South Water Caye.
There was 1 mooring ball there. It held, but I still dropped anchor as a secondary for safety.
All of the boats that anchored did not have any problem.
They have a nice restaurant called Blue Marlin at the Blue Marlin Lodge.
When you go there ask for Melissa. She's really sweet.
They also have ice if you need it.
The next night, since we had some weather coming in we ran over to Twin Caye for a more protected anchorage.
Be careful of the sandbar at the southern entrance to Twin.
Also note the charts say you have 12-15 feet - it's way less than that but anchoring was not a problem.
There is nothing to do there, so only go if you need protection from a cold front.
From Twin it was time to head back South, so we opted for Pelican Caye again as it's a good mid point.
The second time there we had a really tough time setting anchor, thus we tied up to a mangrove tree.
After Pelican our plan was to sail to Hatchet. I heard lots if good things about Hatchet, as well as that they had a good restaurant. That said, we were worried about anchorage again, so we opted for Larke Caye. Larke is another mangrove with nothing to do there aside from decent snorkeling.
Larke is another 50 ft anchorage. That said I pulled all the way up to the mangrove, dropped anchor in about 35' and it held like an ace.
After Larke, we had originally planned on Ranguana Caye. Ranguana is another spot with a supposed beach bar - that said, we were already too far off course so instead we went to stay the night in Placencia Harbor.
We anchored there - no problems.
We had dinner at the Paradise Resort at Placencia Harbor. They were very good to us.
Avoid the little thatch hut there, they were a little douchey.
- You'll have a secondary anchor to use.
- The GPS is accurate but the underlying charts are not. Moorings gives you pre-programmed way points to Pelican Range - when you follow them, it appears as if you're driving through islands. Good luck!
If you spend any time in Placencia, take a cab to the village and have dinner at RumFish y Vino.
The owners are a couple from New York and they're just great. Excellent food.
Oh, and they can also provision your boat. They run the website peckishbelize.com.
If you eat there, tell them we said hello. They'll treat you graciously.
Also, if you're looking for additional adventure, Roberts Grove Hotel offers a day adventure package.
It starts with a Myan ruin tour which is ok. But then you have lunch at the tour guide's house. He's a very nice Mayan guy named Raphael. It's quite a treat. After that comes the best part - he takes you on a cave swim which is absolutely amazing.
If you can - do the cave swim for sure.
Those are my notes.
We had an amazing time and I'm sure you will too. I wish I were still there. Enjoy!