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12. Apr, 2011

Baja Cruising aboard the Taks

Baja Cruising aboard the Taks

Been almost a month since the last blog post… we’re back! After crossing Mexico we joined maties Sara & Stof aboard their s/v Takalani in west coast town of Puerto Vallarta. Plans changed slightly and epic Galapagos crossing was changed to a more mellow crossing to Baja Peninsula where the last couple weeks have been spent exploring a small part of the beautiful Sea of Cortez.

Major change in scenery from the jungles of Guatemala to the ‘karoo by die see’ desert landscape of the Baja Mexico coast. This is the stereotypical mexico where you expect a pistol-wielding bandido to jump out from behind a cactus! Unfortunately we met no bandidos but instead were faced with a more terrifying sight of captain Stof in his ‘thread-bare’ mankini!

The deep clear blue Sea of Cortez ocean is really dramatic against the mountanous desert landscape. The barren landscape is in contrast to the amazing sealife below the surface. We encountered everything from flying manta rays, schools of dolphins to breaching whales and strange fish of the deep!

We found some great anchorages around Isla Sancti Spiritus and days were spent spearfishing, hiking, braaing and playing epic games of Scrabble and Black B**ch fueled by some delicous Mexican beer! Big muchos gracias go out to the Hillrats for a great time aboard the Taks. Follow their adventures across the pacific here…

And for dad… the Takalani is a great cruising boat, very solidly built. Crossing from Puerto Vallarta was long as we had to beat straight into the wind and ended up taking almost four days. From then on the winds were very variable with some days very light (managed to get the spinnaker up once) and couple of sails with decent stronger winds (one night sail we were flying at a good 7-8knots!) Our last day on the water was beautiful and we cruised along at a steady 4-5 knots into the town of La Paz, the finishing point of our sailing adventure!

23. Feb, 2011

Mexican Reflections

Mexican Reflections

We are a little behind in our updates, so writing this from a marina in Belize where our boat is being fixed after our engine failed yesterday…more on the drama to follow..:)

We spend a week sailing down the Mexican coastline. Some updates on our time in Mexico…

Arriving in Mexico (at the little island, Isla Mujeres) after cruising in Cuba was like arriving in another world. Lots of boats, people and…SHOPS!! We hadn’t seen shops in a while and wandered around the isles of the grocery store aimlessly just gazing at all the products and admiring all the choice available.

Security eventually started to follow us around as we took photos and did excited jigs of joy to find a variety of food again:)!

Jig of Joy Video

Thanks to a very kind aussie (thanks Storme if you read this!) we stayed in a BEAUTIFUL marina for a very good rate. Clean toilets (that flushed!), clean and la la la la HOT showers….was like a dream come true. We reveled in the small luxuries for a few days. Little Pako with all the big boy fishing boats was quite a funny sight.

Isla Mujeres is a lovely island off the crazy big city of Cancun. We had a wonderful time exploring the small island on our bikes, enjoying the beautiful beaches and crystal blue waters, eating some delicious Mexican food (such a variety, we were overwhelmed!) and of course celebrating with some Don Julio tequila!

We set off down the coastline stopping at some lovely ports along the way

We based ourselves at Puerto Aventuras for a few days to hide from a big storm and took the opportunity to do some land based travel.

The Yucatan Peninsula is a playground of adventure spots from Mayan ruins to hundred of cenotes (deep water filled sinkholes…check out this link if you are interested http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cenote) and incredible underground river systems and cave formations. Its amazing to go through the jungle to find a hole in the ground and a fresh underwater cave system. We dived in an area called one of the cenotes which was a magical, outerspacey kind of feeling. You enter into the jungle in your scuba gear, make your way down a dark tunnel into a cave with crystal clear water. It is the most incredible feeling diving in these caves with magnificent stalagmite and stalactite formations. You feel like you are flying as you can maneuver your way around the formations (beautiful!).

We hired a car and went to see the Mayan ruins at Tulum and Coba. What an interesting and sophisticated civilization so many thousands of years ago and still so much to be uncovered and learnt. At Coba there were a number of mounds which still be need be uncovered…more Mayan temples? …exciting!