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Stuck in Guatemala

Aggiornamento: 19 ott 2023

On March 14 2020 we had to leave Belize because our temporary importation permit for Angelique II was expired. This happens every 90 days, because Belize Custom release 1 month temporary importation permit which can be renewed 2 times. After 90 days a vessel must leave Belize waters, even for just 24 hours!

We usually go to Rio Dulce, in Guatemala which lies around 130 nautical Miles south of Caye Caulker and spend there one week or two, doing maintenance, provisioning (way cheaper than Belize) or just enjoy the"rio".

Once cleared out from Belize in Placencia, a wonderful sandy town 75 miles south Caye Caulker, we spent two nights in Sapodilla, the southernmost tip of Belize Barrier Reef, an incredible and isolated spot, with amazing spearfishing.

Sapodilla is still Belize and although there is a Belizean Navy Post, the military tollerate the presence of foreign boats, even if the boats and the crew have not yet cleared in Belize.

So on the 16 of March we reached Livingston, port of entry of Guatemala and from there few hours later we were mored at the Manglar del Rio Marina, where our friend Gwendal was waiting for us.

Gwendal is a French sailor, who arrived in Rio Dulce some years ago and never left.

He is now managing Manglar del Rio Marina, also known as the French Marina, even though, also Italians and other nationalities are always warmly welcomed.

On the 17th of March we were informed that due to the spreading of the COVID 19 Pandemia, Guatemala closed for 15 days its land and water borders!!!

We could not believe how lucky we were.

If our temporary importation permit in Belize was not expired we could have been stuck in Belize, which by the way closed its borders few weeks later.

This could have been for us a much worst situation, considering that Belize has no yachting facilities and also considering the approach of the Hurricane season.

So much better to be stack in Rio Dulce, in a beautiful marina, with a huge supermarket 5 minutes walk from our boat, in an Hurricane Proof location as Rio Dulce and among friends.

In fact, beside Gwendal also other 4 friends were stacked as we were in Rio Dulce.

Cristian & Zulema and Patrick & Lavonne.

We met Cristian and Zulema in San Blas in 2017. Both Argentinian, they are sailing and chartering around the world since long time.

Last year they purchased a second hand catamaran in USA, they took it in Rio Dulce and since than, they are working on an overall refit. An incredible and well done job.

Patrick and Lavonne were the first people we met when we arrived in Belize in 2018. They live on a boat and work for a charter company in Belize City as Crew.

Lavonne is the Captain and Patrick the Stuart.

The situation in Rio Dulce is not that difficult. We are obliged to carry a mask only in shops and public places. Beside this there are no restrictions. Curfew has been implemented from 4 pm to 4 am in April, but already in May was postponed from 6 pm to 4 am.

The only difficulties for us is to find a way to fly back to Italy.

For the time being there are no flight to Europe and Italy looks totally closed.

So we try to enjoy the most we can from this time which is all about relax and a lot of cooking......

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