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Any Comments on Bareboating in Belize chater
I did a bareboat thru Moorings in Belize on a 38 foot Cat in July. Boat was in excellant condition, although I did not like the running rigging. A lot of work to sail shorthanded, my crew were all novices. I would certainly recommend Belize to anyone who likes remote.
Provisioning: We had them do Full Provisioning. Thank god we did, I would not have wanted to shop down there for food. We had enough to eat, though the meals required much more preparation than we expected, and the produce quality left something to be desired. I didn''t realize they supplied the raw ingredients for meal preparation. I was under the impression that the meals were more pre-prepared boxed, frozen or freeze dried. I was really wrong.
The Heads: Typical boat heads. worn pumps and smelly.
Insect Life: I brought a citronella candle, insect repellant and some suntan lotion containing insect repellant. Did not need any of it, mainly due to the almost constant trade winds. If the wind stops and you are anchored close in, the mangrove flies can be a problem, but we were blessed with none. I got one bite from something unknown the whole time I was down there, and I did see one mosquito which I dispatched.
Humidity/Heat: It was hot for us Pacific North Westerners. 85+ degrees some days, with 90 percent humidity. Thank god for the rain showers we had, I do not think I would have survived the early days without them. We adjusted to the heat after 3 days or so, and it wasn''t bad from then on. But you know life on boats, always damp.
The Breeze and Ventilation: 10-15 knots, day in, day out and at night with little exception. It probably died to 5 knots from about 3 am to 9 am most days. Each cabin had a hatch supplied with wind scoops which worked great. Except that they scooped up passing rainstorms equally as well, so some nights we were awakened with a shower in bed. The cabins were comfortable, roomy and well ventilated.
A Word About The Fishes: Crista and I would meet at 4 am on the transom to have a smoke and watch the underwater light show. Phosphorescent jellies and fish everywhere. Utterly fantastic! Basketball size flashes of turquoise blue underwater with little lights going off on the surface everywhere. And we saw over 25 species diving.
Restaurants: There are a couple you can sail to I believe, but we avoided them. For recluses like us this was the perfect sailing grounds. We ate all meals on board. The hotel we stayed in ashore the night we arrived and two nights after the trip, was called Roberts Grove ( http://www.robertsgrove.com/ It fit our quirky nature perfectly, great rooms, right on the beach and a GREAT restaurant. We got a junior suite one night, and a deluxe suite the other two nights. Simply fantastic. Hot tubs on the roof of each unit, and we went out to watch the gargantuan thunderstorms over Guatemala and Honduras each night.
Monkey River: Our next to last day ashore we took a private guided trip thru Mangrove Swamps up to the Monkey River in a jungle river boat. We stopped in a Creole village where we ordered lunch, they promised it would be ready when our excursion was done. We set off up the river, amidst the Tropical Rainforest and jungle, memories of the African Queen dancing in our heads. We saw iguanas, turtles, crocodiles, parrots and many other species of birds while enroute. No Toucans though. Then we slipped the boat ashore on a river bank, and walked inland thru the jungle to look for Howler Monkeys. We saw many magnificent plants, and a bamboo forest with bamboo as big around as your leg, that grew up into an overhead canopy, so it was like walking thru a cave. Awesome! We could hear two groups of Howler Monkeys growling at each other over a territorial dispute, it sounded like lions roaring! But we only saw one monkey during our hike. They are pretty large, about the same size as a chimpanzee. Oh yea, and we saw a boa constrictor sleeping in the crotch of a tree where he was digesting his last meal.
None of us wanted to come home, we could have stayed on the boat for ever. I really, really loved the whole experience. I have not been that happy in years. I hope I can go back every year or two, it is well worth the effort.
I would recommend a Belize Moorings charter this to anyone who like remote.