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Showing posts from February, 2014

Hostel Playa in Playa Del Carmen

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I'm now back in Minnesota.. although at my Mom's in Minnetonka where I'd left my vehicle. I plan to stay here awhile so I don't have to go up then come right down again for my dear old mom's 93rd birthday on March 20.... I suppose getting by a couple 3 more weeks without turning the heat on in my attic apartment is also partly why. After all prior to jumping ship.. I was not planning to return to Minnesota until later in March or even early April.

Now...about the hostel I stayed at in Playa Del Carmen. I just looked online for a hostel in Playa while in Punta Allen. There were about 5 other options with even lower base prices like $10 US for a bed in a dorm room. I chose a hostel that had a base price of $13 as it had some stars on trip advisor..3 out of 5 I think it was. I think it was the first one listed going lower to higher price that had any rating stars. A nice enough place located just 3 blocks from the ADO bus station with direct runs to the Canc…

Meeting nice people

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Yeah .. Maybe I've ranted about the negative vibe that finally came to a head concerning crewing for the captain. Time to post about the positive feelings I experienced once I'd said my piece and made the decision to go my separate way.
Actually I've already described that feeling of being dropped on the dock and my walk up the beach.
I wanted to blog how grateful I feel to have met Norma sitting in her VW Westfalia Van. I've thought about getting a VW camper van and going on adventures like her and regularly check online for used Westies. How cool to meet a solo traveler of a similar age who'd driven from B.C. Canada to Punta Allen less than 50 steps from getting out of the dinghy! Sure I was relieved of concerns of catching a ride north but she was really fun and interesting to talk to. This we did quite a bit the following day...my 60th birthday.
... Then as I was walking about looking for a place that might except credit cards I ran into Rose and Ross …

Recap

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As I write this recap, I'm still in Playa Del Carmen another couple nights.

This was the second winter in a row of seeking volunteer crew positions and while quite different experiences neither ended up being the kind of thing a sane person would volunteer for. Certainly I've gained new insights and perspectives on spending an extended amount of time living on a sailboat of a size I'd likely end up getting to live aboard for my near future. One thing that keeps me interested despite the negative aspects is what I hear time and again from various other people cruising and living aboard.... "Don't base what you decide on being volunteer crew, it's a whole other world and far better experience when you're on your own boat". No doubt.
Anyway I chose the captain seeking crew to help sail from the Florida Keys to Rio Dulce Guatemala. At the time I had emailed interest but passed on another boat heading from North Carolina to Puerto Rica. That was a …

Punta Allen Fishing Club

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This was the place I stayed 2 days after running into Rose and Ross from England. I also ended up catching a ride to Playa Del Carmen with them on Sunday. I'm not sure how many places take credit cards in Punta Allen but this might have been only 1 of 2. Phones are only via radio or satellite and Internet is only via a satellite. Electricity is via a community generator which runs roughly late morning until about noon and again from 5 pm until midnight or so. Of course some businesses and I suppose private homes have their own generating capability?
Where I stayed was really quite nice and the food was really good! I stayed 2 nights and had 2 breakfasts and dinners plus a small load of laundry which came to US $240. So not a cheap scenario though if you have pesos there are certainly plenty of very affordable cabana or camping options. Norma was only paying about 15 pesos a day to camp on the beach with access to the Banjo. That's like a dollar? I was just feeling r…

Punta Allen, Quintana Roo, Mexico

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Of course one of the things I hoped to find out was where Jeff and Susan from Grand Marais, Minnesota have their place here in a Punta Allen? I asked around a bit but never did meet anyone who knew them? It's so different since the one time I was here with ex Jennifer checking out the kayak touring thing Jim and Margy, also from up in NE Minnesota, were trying to get going. I did not recognize anything. There is so much more going on in Punta Allen than the almost 20 years since I was here....yet it's still a pretty cool place. Heading north sadly the rest of the Maya Riviera is completely nuts with development compared to 20 years ago...IMHO

Jumped Ship in Punta Allen !

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I've jumped ship in Punta Allen. Actually as I'm finally writing this it's Sunday the 23rd and I'm at a hostel in Playa Del Carmen with my flight booked February 26th.
...Back to the the jumping ship. As was the plan we left where we'd been anchored a couple days after breakfast on Friday, February 21st to head (motor) on the inside of the reef to Casa Blanca fishing lodge on the south side of Bahia De La Ascension. From what it looked like in the cruising guide to me...the 12' deep channel was closer to and just inside the reef which was not the route captain chose to take. I'd learned long ago to keep my mouth shut anytime I was in question about a decision he'd made. Add to this we were hearing new more frequent clanking of the chain inside the wheel binnacle. As we were simply motoring slow and watching the depth sounder which was basically already shallower than 12'.. Suddenly it's keel in the sand and captain turns.. seeking unknow…

Bahia De La Ascension

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Well it's kind of windy but I feel plenty of sailors would reef as needed and continue on? Or maybe not. Anyway I finished one book and started another. We started our day with a visit from Mexican authorities of some kind as captain was in the middle of cooking scrabbled eggs with spam chunks in them. About 5 or 6 guys on a gray work boat pulled near. It said Marina with some letters and numbers after on the bow. (I learned later after I'd jumped ship that it was Mexican Navy. There is a Navy post in Punta Allen). A couple of them were pretty young...trainees? They requested our entry paperwork and the TIP was probably in the ziplock bag the captained handed off to them. The wind had picked as yesterday turned to evening and it was quite choppy. After the authorities were satisfied we finished breakfast and moved the boat to the other side of the island. It has proven to be a bit calmer than the other side. With luck the wind won't switch NE and increase.

Marina Puerto Adventuras

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As I'm writing this we sit at anchor behind an island in the Bahia De La Ascension. I kayaked here years ago out of Punta Allen when Jim and Margy who lived summers up the Gunflint Trail were trying to get an adventure travel business going and my ex and I had recently started Cascade Kayaks and were going to offer kayak trips down here. I've also just been told by captain we are going to be stuck here as a front from Texas is coming down and we'll have 4 to 5 foot waves here.. . So it looks like 3 days anchored here rationing our water supply before he wants to continue. Once we do continue we are only going about 20 NM to the other bay of this 'Sian Kian Biosphere Preserve'. Then an over nighter of over 70 miles I guess to the check out town 'Xcalak' I think it is....and we will be in desperate need of water by then. Xcalak has a treacherous reef which needs fairly calm seas to enter the narrow pass. I guess if it's too rough we are allowed to…