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Roatan Island Honduras: General notes for anchorages

By doina — last modified Aug 02, 2005 11:41 AM

Published: 2005-08-02 11:41:48
Countries: Honduras

West End/ West Bay Anchorage is suitable and well protected in normal trade wind conditions but becomes untenable in winter northers. Anchorage is badly exposed to northwest and north winds and vessels often drag anchor and occasionally go ashore in these conditions. Buoys in north end are mostly private and permission should be asked before using. Most local vessels move to south side of the island if strong northers are forecast.

Brick Bay Marina Superb storm anchorage! Rode out Hurricane Mitch here with a 35-foot sailboat with no damage along with several other boats. Max wind speed observed was 68 Kts in the harbor itself while it was blowing a measured 120 kts on the hill directly above. Average depth is 9-10' with sticky mud bottom. Anchors went in over 6 feet into the mud during the storm as measured by the caked mud on the chain rode. Strongly advise not using the finger docks in storm conditions as they are in average to poor condition but main dock face still strong. Still best to anchor out.

Entry into this marina - Entry through the reef is now marked by steel posts on either side of the entrance. Lights are intermittent but when working are in ILAB format, (red right return). Coral runs down both sides of the bay. On starboard hand the reef curves off to starboard and is visible at low water to a cetain extent. This passage will also lead you to Barefoot Caye Marina. Coral on port side follows the shoreline with a small pass into the marina. Aim for the houses on the left side of the small barrio directly in front of you as you enter and keep to the center until you are well in. As you get closer you will see a coral patch directly in front of this barrio at which time the remains of an old dock ,(pilings), should be visible fine on your port bow. These pilings are directly off the end of a small point that sticks out and marks the entrance to the marina. As you close this point the entrance will open up on your port hand. Turn in towards the point and keep it close aboard on your starboard side as you enter. There is normally a small float marking the end of the reef at the entrance but it occasionaly disappears. If there, keep it on your port side and pass between it and the point. As always in coral, entrance should be made in good light and visibility.

Barefoot Caye Marina Main entrance through the same pass as Brick Bay only follow the reef around to starboard after entry. Good water depth all the way in. As you come around you will see the docks of a local shipping company fine on your port bow and Barefoot Caye will be a series of white buildings directly ahead and fine to starboard. Watch for tugs and barges and small freightvessels that may be moving around the shipping company docks as these are very tight quarters for them to work in. The marina is brand new and I believe more is being added at this time. Other way to get in is to come in at French Harbor then turn to port once well inside and proceed down the center of the bay until you reach a dredged channel at the western end. The marina lies on your port side along this with docks just after you pass through on your port side. I am not sure what the water depth through the channel is nowdays as I only run skiffs up through it but it used to be around 7- 8'.

Mike Saunders, 2nd Officer, R/V Western Pride

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