Route to the Rio: Puerto Aventuras to Bahía de la Ascension, Mexico

Route to the Rio: Puerto Aventuras to Bahía de la Ascension, Mexico

The house we had lived in for almost four years in Playa del Carmen, Mexico was being packed up. The movers and their truck were in and out over several days with multiple trips. It was as hot as it gets in May in the Caribbean.

Simultaneously, work was at its capacity with Katy organizing the entire decor for the handful of weddings her company would be decorating during the month we would be sailing. I was busy running deliveries and working a convention for my beer distribution company and managing all of the day to day of our online marketing company.

For more about our sail along the Mayan Riviera coastline and waypoints you can use for your own sail, read on...

Nowhere to go, nowhere to be: Sunday, Sailing, Sunset

Nowhere to go, nowhere to be: Sunday, Sailing, Sunset

Finally a day with no worldly obligations. Yesterday we took Edward Blair out to sea with our friends Mack and Lisa. No plan and no need for one. We didn't even know if we were going to head south or north while exiting the marina. Who cares.

I made the decision to sail south away from the wind for a relaxing morning and a more exciting trip of beating into the wind it for the return later in the day.

One Lap Around The Bay

It doesn't look like it in this shot, but at one point out in the Yucatan Channel in front of Puerto Aventuras, we were in 8'-10' seas with short periods and high winds. It was supposed to be a mellow Sunday with our friends Miguel, Susana and their two year old daughter, Uma.

Then the bow of Edward Blair dug into, and submerged through one of the largest waves we were confronted with, breaking out the other side. While all the adults aboard were wondering if the conditions would ease up or not, Uma took a nap. Uma doesn't worry about big waves and poor conditions.

After only an hour at sea on a no-destination Sunday Sail with friends, we grew tired of getting tossed around, making between 1.5 and 4 knots, depending which side of a wave we were on, and headed back to the marina for a better idea. Barbecue and beer.

Sure, it's damned fun to watch as the bow of your boat goes straight into the ocean and comes back up, blowing through the waves in front of you, but with a two year old aboard and a full cockpit with no real destination it was time to avoid the, "This could get worse..." possibilities and head on in. 

Later in the day around 5pm the winds calmed down and so did the seas. Our friends Mack and Lisa came over to our slip in their 26' zodiac and its 250hp outboard. They picked us up and whipped out across the bay, airing off the tops of the longer, rolling waves into a protected caleta where cenote water comes out from under the seabed.

When the cenote water merges with the ocean water, it makes a cold mix of salt water and fresh water that will redeem the day and cool everyone down in this Caribbean heat.

All photos by our good friend, Susana Hidalgo.

Home Sweet, Where Is Home?

Looking west from the patio in Sian Ka'an, Mexico.

Katy and I have been away from our home in the Mayan Riviera for about five months. Sometime in April to sometime in September. We've sailed through the Sea of Cortez, spent time on land around La Paz, Pescadero with friends and other spots inland Baja. We've been all around Florida, Miami, Fort Pierce, Apollo Beach and Tampa, sailed from Palmetto to Key West, along Cuba and into Mexico. Recently we headed for some quality time in Mexico City with mezcal, beer and one of the greatest people you could call a friend, followed by a relaxing family trip to Rhode Island and Boston. 

It's been a hell of a time, and being able to roll around from airport to airport, apartment to apartment, and port to port between different historic landmarks is a thing you understand is good fortune. But, five months on the road, sea and sky can easily make a person miss their old habits and routines. It makes sense, routine is comfort.

Being out of your comfort zone is something everyone should do as often as possible, but returning to routine and our close friends in Playa del Carmen is also something we have looked forward to. Tonight is our first night out on the patio at home. There is no agenda and it smells like cigars, whisky and familiarity.

This weekend we'll head to the marina, jump on Edward Blair and sail out around in the Caribbean, but most of all, we'll feel at home. 

It's good to see you, Quintana Roo.


Mix and Match Photos From a Season Around

Mexico City, It's a Big Place

Mexico City is a big place. We all know this, but unless you're right in it, a scale is just a fact that you can agree with and not much more. When you approach by plane, you get the overview and you begin to have a better impression of that fact. A city that stretches as far as you can see into the mountains in every direction.

When you land and take that taxi to your apartment, that impression may fade a bit as it becomes less apparent when you're on ground level, only going block by block. Maybe you hop neighbourhoods here and there, still only covering a small portion of the city. Roma to Condesa, San Miguel Chapultepec to downtown D.F.

Yesterday I had a day that gave me a bigger impression than flying over the city ever has. After a group breakfast, I was taken by a brewery we work with at Casa Barriles in a transport van out from the downtown area, through the city, to its outskirts and hours beyond to San Juan del Río.

The van was filled with Mexico's craft beer distributors, heading out to Cerveceria Primus for a brewery tour, some sensory training and a discussion on the state and potential of the craft beer industry in Mexico.

Thank you beer for letting us see new places and meet new people.

Driving through more of the city than we had done previously, passing out of the main district and into the countryside gave me more of an impression and made its scale more real than it seems from above. 

Heading in one direction for hours and still being surrounded by city is an overwhelming thought when you imagine zooming out. You can fit the entire city of Vancouver 14 times into one Mexico City. Going from north to south would be like getting in the car and driving straight from Vancouver to Whistler and being surrounded by buildings, intersections, traffic, pedestrians the entire time. City block after city block for 100km. Then, you realize that is just one road around Mexico City, and maybe even just cutting around the outskirts.

Mexico City is a big place, and if you want to feel small while having an adventure, put it high up on the list.