Position Report – Turneffe Reef, Belize

TIME: 2015/03/08 19:51
LATITUDE: 17-10.47N
LONGITUDE: 087-53.77W
COMMENT: Beach House – ANCHORED – Turneffe Reef,(Turneffe Reef Lodge) – Belize

We took advantage of a light wind day to get east which is normally against the trade winds here. It was so light, we motored most of the way.
For all you boaters who go \”far a field\”…take note! Belize and Southern Mexico\’s charts are not \”geo referenced\”. This is the process where the surveys were done
PRIOR to GPS! The surveys are pretty good (not perfect!), but the land areas are not in the correct GPS position. Why? Because they did their latitude and longitude
by sextant! Very close, but NOT exact. They were \”good\” cartographers, but NOT perfect. As such, the reef entrance here is shown 550 feet further east than it really is!. Careful eyeball navigation is essential when you know the charts are not \”geo referenced\”.

Geo Referencing is done using satellite imagery and other techniques. The first areas to be done were started about 8 years ago and of course where commercial shipping and cruise ships go – those areas were done first. As we are in a pretty non commercial area…they haven\’t caught up here yet. Just today\’s \”boating 101 lesson\”…

Turneffe Reef is one of only four true atolls in the Caribbean. The other 2 we hope to visit over the next week. Chinchoro Bank in Mexico is the fourth.
These reefs are very much like the atolls of the South Pacific in the Tuamotu Group as well as many of the Cook Islands and others in the Western Pacific and Eastern Indian Oceans.

I got great response from the Cuba Blogs, thanks for all your notes.
We\’ll head to Light House Reef (17 miles to our east) tomorrow and hang out there for awhile. It\’s the home of the famous \”Blue Hole\” that Jacques Cousteau made famous. He actually dynamited the reef to get \”Calyspo\” inside. When the Belizean Government heard he did it without their permission, they banned him from ever returning to Belize. Ironically, despite the fact that it\’s a great aerial photo, it\’s a nothing dive. It has become the number one diver/tourist attraction to this nation. Who knew?…:-)
Scott and Nikki