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  #11  
Old 06-09-2008
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It was actually an attempt at humor...

..sorry if it missed the mark.

I was actually curious about why you felt insurance would help you.
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  #12  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckeyesailor View Post
idealy, I wanted to make the trip myself or with accompanying "experienced" crew. I'm sure you understand.
Please don't think that I am being condescending. I'm not.
I am taking what you wrote above to mean that you want to make the trip in your own boat.
If that is the case, then great. Get yourself a nice little boat and find someone responsible to sail with you. You will certainly have an adventure that you will remember for the rest of your life.
It's just that I have never heard of someone wanting to spend twenty thousand dollars just to get to Honduras.
It sound to me like you want to use the occasion of your daughter being there to facilitate your desire to go cruising.
Not a terrible idea at all.

Good luck

Steve
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  #13  
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"(but having already wasted way too much time on this thread, why not)", Perhaps I read it the wrong way Gtod...I'll work on that....

Knothead, I wasn't referring to you at all on the condescending remark.....I totally respect your opinion and advice.......
I WOULD like to make the trip on my own boat.......but that's why I asked advice on this forum......certainly others have made the trip....I Always prepare my meals from recipies that work.......not from just throwing things together.......(attempt at analogizing)


and your last statement was SPOT ON!...I DO want to use any excuse possible to sail.......this is the first time in my working life that I can actually see it materializing.....(lifelong dream) and my daughter is......and has been from her conception, a true dream child.......many mission trips under her belt, lives for the Lord....and now a real paying JOB in a Christian School.......
You can't imagine my pride........
and sailing to visit her is just the icing on the cake.......

Thanks all for your advice.......
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Old 06-09-2008
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Dude... get a boat soon. Spend some time learning it, and then take off. Yeah, you SHOULD learn on someone elses boat. Maybe you SHOULD take a bus down there. Maybe you SHOULD spend 3 years learning how to sail, and your boat. (never should you take a cruise ship there though... you don't seem like thats your thing).

But... I think you should just go do it. If you want to sail, and your honest about things, and what it will take, then do it, and tell everyone how you did that.

How much better will it be to tell the stories of sailing down there, than of taking a cruise ship there.

There are people who would love to help you sail down there, some will want some money, but I bet there are enough around who would do it for free. You may want to hit up some backpacker websites, and see if you can find some backpackers to help you sail down there. They are a resourceful bunch.

While not as intense as a trip your talking about, I delivered my boat from NJ to VA with 3 friends. I had never sailed before, none of my friends had either, the boat had been mine for about 4 hours, it had been in the water for about 12 hours, and the broker, and PO couldn't tell me anything about the systems on the boat. We had an AMAZING trip... it was awesome.

Dude... do the trip, and post some logs here, so atleast I can read about how awesome of a trip it is.
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  #15  
Old 06-10-2008
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I like you Mystic......we really gotta have a beer together someday.....

I feel the need to clarify a bit......

This isn't just some spur of the moment idea..(sailing) I have almost every issue of Latts and Atts, CW, and others..... My longest time at sea has been three weeks (?) or thereabouts as crew.....I know my limits, All that's been lacking is the ca$h to finance my dream.....BUT, this is my year!........My real question was...."Is it better to take the coastal route or hop to Cuba and then to Yucatan/Belize/Honduras?" I have a pretty good grasp of the rest...

Thanks to all who took the time to reply.......I honestly do appreciate and will mull over every entry.......
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  #16  
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Buckeye,
I am, as they say, in the same boat as you, and I'm telling you: you really shouldn't do it. I have an old boat (C30) that is sound, and I've been sailing her for nearly two years on the open Atlantic and Port Royal Sound off of HHI, SC. I sail A LOT -- like two to three times a week, and I'm as obsessed with sailing as you obviously are. Two weeks ago I sailed to Edisto Island, which is a mere 43nm from HHI, and I thought that was a big deal. It's big water out there... Even if I got a great deal on a bullet proof boat, I wouldn't so much as consider a sail from Sarasota to Honduras. However, if I got a great deal on that boat, and had sailed up and down the coast for a year or so, then I might think the boat and I are up to the challenge. Take baby steps, Cap'n. I hear you when you talk about the dream, and I hear you when you talk about your daughter. The REAL DANGER here is putting the two together to make something extraordinary. It could easily kill you should you prematurely attempt the voyage, and then what's your little girl to do? Buy the boat. Sail the boat. Fly to Honduras and see your daughter. Tell her that you'll be spending the next 12 months or so methodically preparing to sail to Honduras in 2009, maybe 2010. By the way, my only credentials for my opinion are that I own an old, inexpensive boat, and that we share the same dream. Good luck.
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Buckeye,

Caveat: I haven't done this trip, but I have researched it from the standpoint of both personal sailing and a paid delivery (which didn't pan out). So, there's only "book learning" + several decades of sailing experience and lots of offshore miles in these comments -- no "local knowledge".

As you've surmised, the issue of how to get from Florida to Honduras is all about what to do with Cuba, or more precisely how to get around it -- East side or West side.

First off, allow me a brief Cuba diversion: If you want to bring your boat home again, don't go to Cuba. It's not worth it and your insurance company won't cover you if you go there in any event. If you want to go uninsured and don't mind having the USG make trouble for you....go ahead. But, even if you go to Cuba you still have the issue of how to get around it.

Go to the west, its obviously much shorter, but as "Gtod" has pointed out, you will face a significant contrary current (2+ kts) first in the Gulf Stream that sets east between Florida and Cuba and another current that sets more or less north between Cuba and Yucatan. In boats with a long water line and big engines that is not a big deal, but you will be in a small boat with limited fuel capacity. With a 30 ft boat you'll be doing extremely well if the engine (or sails) will drive you consisently at 5-6 knots through the water. With a 2+ knot current that means something less than 3-4 knots over the ground in favorable conditions. I don't have charts handy, but I'd guess that the distance from Key West (or Dry Tortugas) to coastal Mexico is 300 miles -- assume 100 hours under really good conditions. How many hours can you motor? My guess is that in a 30 ft boat you can't motor 100 hours. Which means you'll have to sail a significant portion of it, which means it may take more than 4 days...and as "gtod" indicates the you'll be sailing on a lee shore... and if you're single handing or short handed you're going to get really tired after 3 days.... in short, if I was going to do this in a 30 ft boat I wouldn't go west around Cuba. But, if you are successful in making the passage across to the Mexican coast, you then should have little trouble working your way south day sailing along the coast to the Rio Dulce.

Go east and you'll have a longer, but probably a more "user friendly" trip. You'll have to work your way up towards Key Biscayne and cross the Gulf Stream there. The passage from Sarasota to the Miami area will give you an opportunity to shake down the boat and improve your skills. Then playing the weather you'll move southeast through the Bahamas to the Turks and Caicos / Great Inagua. (There are several books on how this is done and lots of boats do it every year). From Great Inagua you jump off on one or more long offshore legs -- but the wind and current are basically with you all the way. Along the way you can stop in Jamaica and/or the Cayman Islands for water, fuel and provisions. Again, I don't have charts handy, but my guess is the trip from Great Inagua to Montego Bay is probably 350 nm...and from there to Rio Dulce is ~ 500 or so. Downwind with a small winddriven current behind you should easily do 100 nm / day.

From all I've read, Rio Dulce is probably a better place to aim for as there are places where you can leave your boat and you'll be much nearer to inland public transportation.

Only draw back of the long route is that it could take 6-8 weeks to get to Honduras, and you said you had about 3 months. That doesn't leave time for much more than a quick visit, before you sail home via the Yucatan Channel, which as "gtod" said should be pretty easy because you're now going with the wind and current.

Putting myself in your shoes (I too have a daughter who moved overseas for a time and so I know what fun it will be for you to visit her in her new world), ...but putting myself in your shoes, I'm not sure either of these two options are really good ones. The hard route to the West is doable, but without significant sailing experience and confidence in your new boat it could become a really bad scene. The longer, easier route would allow you to build your sailing experience and confidence in the boat as you go (and the offshore bits are at the end, not the beginning), but the trip takes too much time. Maybe, the idea of sailing to Honduras just doesn't work???????

An alternative.... Have you thought of taking the money you've saved and buying a really sturdy car / 4WD vehicle and driving to Honduras? That, too, could be a real adventure. Between now and your departure learn some Spanish, take a course in auto repair, learn something about the history and culture of the places you'll pass through. When you arrive in Honduras you'll have the means to let your daughter show you around the country. If she's living on a tight budget, you may provide her with her best chance to see the country. You'll have more time to spend there with her. When you get home you have a vehicle you can sell more easily than a boat if you don't need it any more. In short, it's probably less risky in terms of personal safety (although, driving in Mexico and C.Am is not without risk), and the skills you don't have now that can add to your personal safety and enjoyment of the trip can more easily be acquired between now and the time you leave. You can always buy a boat and go sailing when you get home.

Have a look at Diary of a Journey down the Pan-American Highway or Google the Pan American highway.

Regardless of the mode of transport, do go to Honduras. You and your daughter will cherish the memories of the trip for a lifetime.

Oh, and I almost forgot....my wife want's to know the breed of your dog.

Last edited by billyruffn; 06-10-2008 at 11:37 PM.
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Old 06-11-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckeyesailor View Post
I like you Mystic......we really gotta have a beer together someday.....
I would dig that.

I myself am planning a trip to Belize/Honduras area for either late this year, or early next. I haven't got it figured out yet (talking to the girl to see how she would feel about it), but if the timing worked, maybe we could float down together. Always better to have 2 boats than one.

Belize, and Utila (Bay Island) are out of the "hurricane box", so insurance companys don't mind.

I will say, it sounds like Billruffn know his stuff in regards to the conditions faced. I appreciate the information passed along, which is useful, and shows consideration, rather than the typical fear-mongering some other people spread.

I am not saying anybody else here is spreading the fear-mongering... I was actually talking about my mother. She don't like 75% of the things I do. In truth, every one who says, learn the boat, learn the waters, learn how to sail perfectly, and plan properly are technically right in that is the ideal way to do things. I am too anxious of a person though, and prefer to learn alot of those things on the road so to speak.

No doubt I may die in the process sometime, just as when I go on a climbing trip. But I would much rather die doing those things than getting hit by a bus on my way into work.

I am headed to Belize in a few weeks, and will talk to some sailors down there about the way they got there, and good routes. I'll let you know what I find out.
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Old 06-11-2008
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Sounds like a plan Mystic......

I too like the "learn as you go" lifestyle...I've said before, "It's amazing what you can do when you don't know you can't do it".....

Dying.........everyone's gonna do it.....and you don't leave till your time is up. I'm in no hurry, but I'm ready when it happens.

I Appreciate every comment on here. I know they were sent with the best of intentions and with much more knowledge than I.

I like your blog too.....I'll read more of it later...... and looking forward to your report from Belize...

I'm in Ohio as well......Fayette Co./south of Columbus. That beer might be sooner than we think.......later
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Hurricanes in Belize and the Bay Islands

Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticGringo View Post
Belize, and Utila (Bay Island) are out of the "hurricane box", so insurance companys don't mind.
This statement is absolutely incorrect and I am NOT fear-mongering.

Hurricane Mitch - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hurricane Iris - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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