SUCH A THING AS Route Planning TOO FAR IN ADVANCE?
We like to know our routes well in advance and have them memorized as well as possible so while underway recognizing the fixes and horizons doesn't feel like new territory. Especially with all of the shoals, rock and coral along Belize.
We draw 4', so it shouldn't be as much of a concern as others have in the region, but there are still some tricky spots along the reef line. For those not sure what a boat's "draw" means, it's your boat's draft — the vertical distance from the water to the bottom of your boat under water.
We have paper charts, Freya Rauscher's charts, Navionics (with MacENC), Garmin's BlueCharts and have been referencing ActiveCaptain. Between the lot of them we should have as good a reference of the area as you can without having been through yet.
The western Caribbean region here doesn't seem to be consistently documented by any of the chart makers, so we've been taking notes of inconsistencies between each from first-hand accounts of other sailors. One may be right at this anchorage, while another has a reef entry a bit too far east.
When we write our own posts for each anchorage along the way I will account for corrected waypoints in the sidebar and any details. This Route to the Rio series, when complete, should help out anyone else heading along the same path.
Plans for rio dulce
- Haul the boat for a new bottom paint job.
- Brightwork from some storm damage against a concrete pier (we lost five fenders to the concrete, and then the teak rail became a fender before we were able to fix the problem).
- Fresh non-slip topside paint job.
- Eat, fish, drink. Repeat.
- Work remotely from the boat.
- Visit interior Guatemala.
We have a growing list of the cays to stop off at along the way, but any suggestions, waypoints or tips for the route or while in Rio Dulce are welcome in the comments or use the contact page!