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Belize to Panama

By doina — last modified May 14, 2008 07:22 PM

Published: 2008-05-14 19:22:36
Topics: Caribbean Sea
Countries: Belize , Panama

I'm trying to figure out a decent route from Belize to Panama and also the timing. I'd like to leave it as late in the "season" as possible but without taking too many risks. I have a good boat and about 1000Nm of fuel so its not critical but I prefer to sail! Any hints gratefully received!

The route is not as difficult as you think. Make sure you leave before the start of the next hurricane season - late May or early June is about the latest. The most difficult part will be at the very start as you will have to make enough easting to pass safely to windward of the NE corner of Honduras. Don't worry too much if you are pushed a bit to the north, as long as you manage to stay S of Swan island. As soon as you can, lay a safe course to pass well to windward of Honduras. Once past that point, set a course to pass to the east of Old Providence island, and then stay east of all the various islands and reefs that lay close to the course to Panama. You sould have E or possibly ESE winds, and if the trade winds are strong, fairly high beam seas - especially as you get closer to Panama.

Various routes described in my World Cruising Routes, such as AN Jamaica to Panama. The latest/ 6th edition is due to be available in March. You can order a copy from our website.

Good luck!

Jimmy Cornell