Friday, May 25, 2007

Where is everybody?

We´re now on Isla Mujeres, Mexico, awaiting a break in the weather to sail back to the Florida Keys. We´ve just sailed north from the Rio Dulce in Guatemala, through Belize, and then up the coast of Mexico. These are beautiful cruising areas, with gorgeous coral reefs, friendly ports, and plenty of nice things to do ashore. What has struck us the most is the lack of cruisers. We only saw one other cruising boat on the entire Mexican coast between Xcalak and Isla Mujeres--and that was in a week of harbor hopping. In Belize we were frequently the only boat in gorgeous anchorages, or maybe we shared them with two or three others. At Half Moon Cay on Lighthouse Reef we saw two other cruising boats. So, if you get tired of trying to shoehorn your way into crowded anchorages, head down here to the Northwest Caribbean and join the few of us down here--we´d love to see you!


Anonymous said...

Can you check on the couple from Iceland that got attacked there?

Jim Lea said...

I am interested in your experience in Belize. I have heard from a number of cruisers that there seems to be some confusion about fees for anchjoring in "national preserves". I am not adverse to paying reasonable fees, but concerned about arbitrary or worse yet, illegal fees being collected. Did you experience any problems in this regard?

John J. Kettlewell said...

Sorry for the delay in responding--we've been pushing a bit to get back to the U.S.A.

We met the Icelandic couple. They were anchored in Venezuela when a boatload of fishermen approached. They pulled out guns, tied the couple up, and spent several hours robbing the boat. They managed to limp on to the ABCs where they resupplied the boat and we saw them cruising in Colombia and in Panama. They were on their way to the Pacific.

As to fees in Belize, we were charged for visiting the Sapodillas and Glover's Reef. We should have been charged for Lighthouse Reef, but we never saw any officials even though we went ashore on Half Moon Cay and walked around for a few hours--they don't have a lot of staff. We had to pay $10 per person per day, which I think is way too steep for a cruising boat. I'd like to see Belize offer a year's pass for a boat for something like $100. We were given printed receipts when we did pay the rangers.

Nosualcy said...

We spent a week in the town of Xcalak. We were not cruising, just visiting. We found it to be a wonderful place to visit. It is a very small town and the people were friendly. There was a town festival while we were there and the neighboring towns (Majajual) and a small town in Belize came for their annual football game. There is a public dock and a couple of mooring balls nearby. There was one cruising boat there at the time, but we were not able to meet the people.
All in all, a wonderful little place.
Our children loved the fact that they were able to snorkel right from the dock where we stayed to see any number of fish, eels, lobsters, conch and so much more.