We returned to Mexico, this time to the Caribbean side for a quick stop to see our dear friend Randy at his beautiful casa in Tulum.
Tulum is on the Yucatan Peninsula along a stretch of ocean they call the “Mayan Riviera.” It’s essentially miles and miles of all-inclusive beach resorts behind huge gated walls, kind of bland and unnatural. Tulum is the hipsters’ answer to the Riviera Maya. If Cancun’s frat boy-filled non-stop party or the Riviera Maya’s all inclusive mega-resorts aren’t your thing (and you know they aren’t ours) then head to Tulum for a yoga retreat, eco-chic chill out. Even the Mayan ruins there (the only one built on the coast) are low key and easy to navigate in a few hours, then you can cool off in one of Tulum’s many cenotes (freshwater sinkholes).
We also ducked into El Cid marina in Puerto Morelos for a safe haven for Neko while we did some land travel (more on that in the next post). When we pulled into our slip I looked over and to my delight saw one of our sister ships, “Beach House”. You have to realize there were only 13 (Neko is #12) Switch 51’s made and I’ve never seen another. Pete is active online in the Switch owners’ group and they all “know” one another in the virtual world, so it was a kick to meet Scott and Nikki in person and check out each others’ boats.
We headed over to Isla Mujeres to wait for our weather window and to enjoy a few last days in Mexico. Like Cabo on the Pacific side, Isla Mujeres was a bit too touristy, but the folks were friendly and for our fellow boaters the anchorage is well protected – apart from the wakes from the giant over-packed party excursion boats. And clearing out of the country was a breeze.
Then after a year and a half it was time for us to head to the strangest land of all…Florida. With the help of the Gulf Stream giving us an extra 2+ knots push we sailed along at times up to 10-12 knots, making the trip in a speedy 48 hours . We would have loved to stay in Key West a bit longer, but only had time for a delicious fish dinner and trip to the Hemingway house before a cold front and cruise ship invasion made us zip out and up to Fort Lauderdale and a marina tie up.
Funny, we left San Francisco under the Golden Gate Bridge and returned to the U.S. under another bridge, this time they had to open up for us to fit under.
So after some boat repairs here in boat heaven, a.k.a Fort Lauderdale, visits with family and friends, and trips to Target we will move on to the Bahamas and then, who knows?