Thursday, February 22, 2007

Isla Blanca and Punta Sam

We left Jeff in Tulum and headed north, stopping first in Playa del Carmen. Really didn't care too much for Playa. Compared to Tulum the beaches there were small and crowded and the sand wasn't as clean. The water wasn't enticing to go swimming in either. Great place to go shopping and I imagine a great night life, but we weren't looking for that and since the wind wasn't blowing we continued north and got a place for the night in Puerto Morelos. Wind prediction the next morning didn't look good so we decided to go to Isla Blanca to check it out and to be ready for the Northerlies that were due the next day. We lucked out and there was wind on the ocean side of Isla Blanca (actually it isn't an island and it isn't an ocean) and we got in a good day of kiting. There was a kiting school there and they told us of a place to stay nearby. We went to Hacienda Punta Sam and got a nice room plus all meals and drinks for under $50 each. Very good food. The place was a real bargain. It was right on the water as you can see in the photo below.

The northerlies came as predicted the next day, along with a little bit of rain. We went to the beach early and there were already some kiters out tearing it up. They were also having an instructors clinic going on so there were more than a few people, all of them helpful and friendly. The beach launch was small, but you could also launch from the water as it stayed shallow for a long ways.
The wind was gusting well over 30 knots most all day and was a bit much for my 12M Rhino but later the wind dropped just enough that I could get a session in. The next day was Saturday and the wind was light. A few people got out from time to time on big kites and finally the wind picked up enough that I could get out on my 12M, the only kite that I brought on the trip.

The next day was Sunday, our last day. It started out rainy and didn't seem too windy. We drove out to the beach and it was already nuking. Another 30+ knot day. The local guys were out catching lots of air on 7, 8, and 9 meter kites and I had to wait a while before I could get out. The wait was always worth it as the whole lagoon is shallow and even when the wind is howling there is very little chop.

Next morning it was off to the airport and after a stop in Mexico City we were back in Hermosillo. The bus from there to Guaymas was only $5 each and we were back in San Carlos.

I think I got in 7 days of kiting out of the 2 weeks that we were gone but most of those days were in marginal conditions. If the wind was better, I would definitely spend most of the winter in Tulum. It really was nice there. The best wind was at Isla Blanca, which is just north of Cancun, but the drive out there was long and Cancun is expensive.

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