Bareboat sailing in the Caribbean vs. Belize?

Old Mar 26th, 2006, 06:38 AM
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Bareboat sailing in the Caribbean vs. Belize?

We are a group of 6 or 8 experienced sailors who have done trips to the BVI, St. Lucia and the Grenadines. For our next trip we are looking at maybe a little more adventure. Belize seems like a great choice. But we are also considering Antigua. Can anyone who has sailed both areas give us some comparisons? We love snorkeling, beaches, lots of sailing, some shopping and restaurants but we are also comfortable cooking and eating on board. The crowds at the BVI anchorages are a big turnoff. I hope to hear from you!

Maria
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Old Mar 29th, 2006, 03:44 AM
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Having sailed using the Moorings 3 times I would say that the British V.I. is your best bet followed by the Grenadines. But, if you rent a 50 ft. boat and you are sailors who want a little comfort 6 people should be the max. If you take one of their catamarans then 8 is doable but tight. They rent boats up to 60+ ft. but the prices are high but the boats are 1-3 years old. Shopping is not something you should really put at the top of your list, in my opinion, Rather snorkeling, sailings waters, beaches coves and a quality boat. Great coves for overnights in British V.I.'s.
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Old Mar 29th, 2006, 05:03 AM
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I've sailed both the Caribbean (BVI, Grenadines, Abacos) and Belize. I absolutely LOVED Belize, but it is not for everyone, and it may not meet your needs. I sailed out of San Pedro with TMM, which is the more "developed" of the two charter bases in Belize; you can sail with TMM or Moorings out of Placencia as well.

While it is certainly an adventure, sailing Belize is all about seriously getting away from it all. Once you leave the San Pedro base -- which has hotels, restaurants, and bars -- the next major stop is Caye Caulker, which has those amenities on a smaller scale. After that, basically nothing except a few fishing camps: no place to refuel, re-water, re-ice or provision. You may be able to get a meal at a fishing camp or private island resort. (Sailing from Placencia, once you leave there, it's pretty much nada as well). You need to rely on yourself for entertainment and conserve your resources.

The tradeoff is empty, pristine anchorages, great snorkeling, manatee watching, etc. If you're looking for beaches, your choices are quite limited if sailing out of San Pedro. Belize is simply a water destination, but not so much a beach destination. There are some pretty beachy spots on the cays lying on the barrier reef (e.g. Goff's Caye and Rendezvous Caye), but the cruise ship daytrips land there as well -- so you should plan accordingly.

We found Belize very appealing, but as I said, it's not for everyone. May I suggest the Abacos as a change of scenery? In any event, I have all of my sails written up on my personal webpage at www.homestead.com/islandtime/MainPage1.html.

Fair winds!
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Old Apr 2nd, 2006, 06:16 AM
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Callaloo,

Thanks for the great information. I plan to spend some time at your home page reviewing your other comments, expecially about Abaco. My research had also indicated that few beaches are found on the northern Belize areas but more may be available if we sail out of Plasencia.

We will take all your advice seriously in our decision making.

Maria
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