Join Date: Mar 2014
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Re: Charter area advice - Belize or ??
Correction, the year was 2010. We chartered a 50' ketch that I located by searching the internet (hence no 20% broker commission).
The name of the boat is "La Gaviota". Contact: Luis Nunez
email: lagaviotacharters at yahoo cot com
The good: Luis Nunez was a great and fun captain as well as a great chef. Prices may have changed in 4 years, but we were able to charter his boat for $300 a day for 5 of us. We did pay extra for fuel and we paid ~$220 for provisions (he took us shopping to his local market on Ambergris Caye). Our charter started off sailing 60 miles from Ambergris Caye to South Water Caye and working our way back from there.
He had 2 local boys as crew who handled all of the boat duties. I could take the helm whenever I wanted to. The crew and captain were excellent free divers, and supplied us with conch, lobster and barracuda (which turned out to be an excellent fish to eat). They knew all of the best sites, and we scuba dove off of the boat at some of the shallow coral reefs (mostly 25-30' deep).
They took us to Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley where they chummed for shark, and eagle rays while we snorkeled with about 25 nurse sharks all around us.
The bad: The boat is a ketch which Capt Louis salvaged off the reef. He personally added tons of lead to the keel, and did major repairs to the hull. She is a bit older, and was missing a boom vang when we chartered (which deprived the mainsail of some extra power).
In spite of the age of the boat and the missing boom vang, she sailed fine, and was quite sea worthy. We felt we got a great deal and were very fortunate to have someone with such great local knowledge to guide us on our charter.
All in all, it was a great sailing adventures, with warm water, flat sailing and great food. If you're interested, I can find more links for La Gaviota and Belize on my computer. You should be able to reach Luis Nunez at the above email address.