It was a perfectly gorgeous June day today with just a hint of VOG and just a comfortable breeze blowing. I encountered some loopy-type swells as I paddled out, but the ocean calmed down by the time I was passing Kam II. Even Lanai has been visible the last couple of days! I didn’t see a single turtle on my way down to the boat ramp, but once I got there, the turtles didn’t disappoint me! My turtle count for the day was nine turtles and a couple of them were just babies. One of them dove down in front of the nose of my board and then popped up, banging into my board! Then it panicked and zipped away. I was so glad to see some turtles today since the last two days I had only seen two turtles! Four of them surfaced as I was starting to leave the area, with me getting to sit in-between two sets of turtles! I paddled back in nice conditions and even ran into my husband swimming! The real excitement for the day was while I was out for my swim. I had just been watching an assortment of fish darting around the reef when a big turtle showed up beneath me! I kept swimming and it stayed right under me and then three or four times, the turtle surfaced right under me so I got to rub its shell! (of course I would deny that…..hmmmm..). The turtle led me right to Kam II and then a smaller turtle swam up to me and the big turtle! It was swimming in the direction I needed to turn, so I turned to swim with that turtle for a while. It was smaller and faster and I had to work hard to keep up with it! I could see that it was definitely not going to flirt with me and then it took off and left me in the dust. Too funny! I swam back with the “double turtle encounter” making my day and the conditions stayed nice. What a great Sunday for paddling and swimming!!
Nice sunset sky
Well, this morning was much calmer. I cracked up at myself because I was in such a hurry to get out on the water that I jumped on my board and realized I didn’t have my paddle! I hate when that happens. Anyway, I paddled down to the boat ramp and as I was heading into Kam III, the wind started to blow and the conditions got choppy! I was annoyed but kept paddling. Then as I paddled into the boat ramp area, the wind backed off and it was nice again. I waited for a while and only saw one turtle again today. I can’t imagine where the turtles are hiding out right now but they have not been around. The conditions stayed nice all the way back and all the way through my swim. The visibility of the water has really improved and I even saw a couple of Unicorn fish at the reef today! I wonder if the turtles will be back tomorrow….we’ll see!
The swell that was starting on Tuesday got worse on Wednesday and didn’t let up until today. When I first got up this morning and looked outside, the wind wasn’t blowing and I was ready with my board strapped on top of my car! When I arrived at the beach, the wind was just starting to threaten but it was still a beautiful day. Just as I was going out in the water, the wind picked up and the ocean got choppy! I really wanted to paddle and I really wanted to go down to the boat ramp, so I continued on knowing what I might be up against. The wind was actually blowing from the south but it looked like it was blowing the other direction out farther which was causing the bumps and choppy conditions. I paddled against the wind all the way down to the boat ramp, just hoping it would back off, but no such luck today! Just as I was paddling past Kam III, a turtle surfaced in front of me, so I stopped for a bit to visit with it. The turtle went under the water and surfaced a couple of times and then it dove down and disappeared. I continued paddling to the boat ramp area and the wind intensified. The conditions were so choppy, so I didn’t stick around! I hoped to catch the wind on my way back and I did. The wind pushed me back in no time! My swim was a choppy one too as the wind just wasn’t going to back off today, but at least the visibility was pretty good and I did see fish down at the reef. The white caps started hissing and the wind was getting stronger, so I swam back. I was very happy to get out on the water today even though the conditions weren’t perfect and of course, the ocean always feels so good! Maybe tomorrow will have better paddling conditions for me…..you never know!
Paddlers enjoying a sunset paddle!
It was another nice day today except there was a noticeable swell and it was causing a surge at the shoreline. I watched for a few minutes to see what the ocean was doing and decided to go out when I didn’t see any real shore break. There was a surge however! Once I got out past the bumps, the ocean was pretty glassy and nice. I paddled down to the boat ramp and once again, I had the place to myself. Just as I headed into the boat ramp…..turtle #1 was waiting for me! After that, I had to wait for a bit for the next one. Soon turtle #2 and #3 popped up to greet me and I sat in between them! The conditions were nice out there but no more turtles surfaced so I headed back. Three turtles is better than none! I paddled back in nice conditions and it stayed nice through my swim. Unfortunately, the swell and surge was already causing limited visibility in the water, but I was still able to see some fish at the reef. Supposedly the swell was supposed to build today, along with some high tides, so I don’t know what tomorrow will be like. I’d be happy for some consecutive nice days in a row right now!!
I love turtles!
Well, it took us a crazy 24 hours to get back to Maui from Cancun. A wild storm blew in the day we were leaving and just as we got on the road to the airport, the storm got increasingly worse! It rained so hard that it was difficult to see on the highway and then by the time we got to the airport, it started to thunder and lightning! I had never experienced a storm that bad before and it was scary. Our flight was delayed almost three hours due to the lightning striking the ground and making it impossible for the jet to be fueled! We finally got on board and the first thirty or so miles were rocky. It was a stressful end to a really wonderful vacation in Mexico! My first day back on my board ended up being perfect though. Nice conditions prevailed and I paddled down to the boat ramp to hopefully see some turtles. Just as I was passing Kam III, I spotted my first turtle on the surface. I paddled over to it and it looked so odd. It seemed like there was something wrong with its shell….. so I got closer to get a better look. To my complete surprise, another turtle was actually on the other turtle’s back! Then it hit me, they were mating! I was sorry to intrude on their private moment but I stayed there and watched them (don’t judge!). I have seen turtles mate before but never have I seen one actually under the water…..ON the other turtles shell! What a surprise for my first day back on the water after our trip to Mexico! After a while, they separated and for a few minutes I was sitting between them. Then I paddled on to the boat ramp and the rest of the turtles didn’t disappoint. Ten turtles surfaced while I was there! That was a total of twelve for the day! The conditions stayed so nice and it was great paddling back. I was hoping my swim would be nice too and it was! The water is so warm and clear and there were lots of fish darting around the reef. What a nice day to come back to! I hope tomorrow is just as nice…..stay tuned…..
Last cenote adventure in Riviera Maya
This morning the sky towards Tulum looked dark and threatening…..and we almost turned around, but thankfully we kept driving! It was our last day here and I hoped for one more adventure. A couple of miles past Tulum we found two cenotes right across the highway from each other, called Cristal and Escondido. Both cenotes are connected by a series of underground caves and apparently a favorite for scuba divers. We swam in both cenotes and I snorkeled too. In Cenote Cristal, a baby turtle zipped by my head and then swam down to the bottom of the cenote! It was so cute. Cenote Escondido is much deeper and has more underground caves…..a few so dark, it was spooky! The jungle path to Escondido was longer than I expected and full of pesky mosquitoes. I got quite a few bites and now I am itching! The cenote was worth it though. After we swam in the cenotes, we headed to the beach in Tulum. It was so beautiful! I can’t get over how turquoise the sea is and how white the sand is……just magical. We were having such a nice time swimming in the sea and enjoying the beach when the clouds started to move in and start threatening to rain! Before we knew it, the rain started to come down so we ran to the car! I’m so glad we got another great day before our travel day! Tulum is an amazing place and I look forward to spending more time there on our next trip. Tomorrow is a travel day to Los Angeles and then Sunday it is back to Maui and paddling!!!!!!! I really have missed my paddling! Adios!
Gran Cenote in Tulum is an amazing place! A genuine natural wonder. We swam and snorkeled in underground caves amongst big stalagtites and fish! It was amazing. There were turtles there too. One of them was sunning itself on a rock! We couldn’t stay long because the mosquitoes were relentless so we headed to the beach in Tulum. The beaches in Tulum are so beautiful and that turquoise sea is amazing! I went for a walk and then swam in the sea. It was so neat! I love this beach. While I was swimming I noticed a big sea bird flying up above and it was turquoise……then I realized that it was the sea reflecting on the underside of the bird! The town of Tulum is a pretty neat place too. Only one more full day for adventures before we leave for Los Angeles. I can’t believe that our three weeks is almost over. Stay tuned for one more day of Riviera Maya!