Sailing a Lagoon 440 in Cancun

July 2013

A Free Vacation

Cancun, Mexico conjures up images of crazy spring breakers and all night clubbing. And terrible stomach bugs; don’t drink the water! Not necessarily my vision of paradise. However, when my brother purchased a sailing charter in Cancun, was unable to attend, and gifted it to us – we couldn’t turn it down.

Arriving on a Lagoon 440

We had no idea what to expect when we arrived. Would we be on a Gemini – Matt’s dream catamaran? Imagine how blown away we were when we stepped onto a Lagoon 440 sail catamaran! This thing was like a floating city! We were immediately served welcome cocktails and soon thereafter set sail for Isla Mujeres, stopping for a snorkel (and an amazing post snorkel fresh made guacamole snack!) along the way.
Lagoon 440 sailing catamaran in Cancun, Mexico

Arriving to Isla Mujeres
We arrived just in time for a stunning sunset – is this real life?
Isla Mujeres, Mexico: Fishing boats at sunset

Lucy and a Lagoon 440 sailing catamaran in Isla Mujeres, Mexico

Day 2: Sailing Clear Electric Blue
Javier cooked an amazing breakfast – complete with fresh fruit. We wandered Isla Mujeres for the morning and then set sail. The water was incredible – bright luminous blue and crystal clear.

blue water sailing in Cancun, Mexico

We sailed to a secluded anchorage. Javier and Fernando free dove for hours for lobster and octopus. I became more and more horrified as lobster is neither mine, nor the boat’s sensitive plumbing systems, favorite. How am I going to eat 9, 10, 15 lobster?

Imagine my relief when I realized the guys were freezing the lobster to take home to their families. Matt was highly entertained by the poor wretch who pretended to be thrilled while eating a cockroach of the sea. Its cold dead eyes were trained on me! (The plumbing system was not entertained by the results.)

Sunset on a Lagoon 440 sailing catamaran, Cancun, Mexico
Day 3: Whale Shark Lookout
After another great breakfast, Captain Fernando whisked us and a honeymooning couple from Texas who anchored next to us off to an old Spanish church. Now, this church was very far away, through a maze of mangroves. Are we part of Survivor Mexico: unwitting vacationers abandoned in mangroves; who will survive? No one!
boating in Cancun, Mexico
The honeymooning couple were the first to succumb. They looked cute and were upbeat in the morning, then got sunburned, then a swarm of hungry mosquitos attacked and feasted on them. By the time the dinghy engine didn’t start for the return, they were mere shells of their former selves, only able to mumble humble appreciation for Maude’s foresight.

Bats in a cave in Mexico
Bats had overtaken the church
Octopus catching in Mexico
Yes, this was horrible. Yes, he got eaten :-(
Luckily Fernando and the dinghy engine lived to navigate back to the boats, and then we were off in search of whale sharks.

We went out into deep water, out of sight of land. Javier was looking for a change in water color that would indicate plankton.

Sadly, I’m sad to tell you the sad news. The whale sharks were saved from our exultant cries of joy; they were left to enjoy their plankton without interference. Gutted, crushed, destroyed, we picked up the pieces of the ruined vacation and tried desperately to re-find the meaning to life. Through bitter tears of disappointment, a pod of dolphins appeared to frolic in our bow wave. Whale sharks – now you’re just somebody that I used to know.

We sailed to a reef for a final snorkel. Javier caught a Bonita tuna and we ate it for dinner. Then we sailed to Cancun for a night at the dock amongst partiers on speedboats. 

Fishing in Mexico from a Lagoon 440 sailing catamaran

After a final amazing breakfast and sad goodbyes we were off into the hustle of the airport to pick up our rental car.

Beach Bungalow
I quite enjoyed the drive to Tulum while Matt was disturbed by the other drivers lack to attention to signs, lanes, and general societal norms. It was a little different driving through armed checkpoints – what are they all so worried about?

We stayed in a sweet bungalow on the beach with windows for a breeze, candles for light, and shared bathrooms. We watched turtles beach themselves to lay their eggs under the stars
beach bungalow in Tulum Mexico
Beach bungalows

Tulum, Mexico beach with palm tree

Tulum and Coba Ruins
We went to Tulum ruins, and then to Coba so we could sweat and climb Nohoch Mul’s 120 steps up. It was easily 650 uneven, steep, terrifying steps down, which I tackled one at a time on my bum. Young gazelle like people giggled as they leaped over my head, taking two steps at a time.
Ruins on beach at Tulum, Mexico

Climbing down the ruins at Coba, Mexico

Cenotes Dos Ojos
Our final stop was a cenote. We hired a guide to take us into "the bat cave" where you swim underwater in complete darkness to gain entrance. Equal parts terrifying and thrilling. At some point, Lucy's head went full throttle into a stalagmite. She did not die.

snorkeling at Cenotes Dos Ojos, Mexico
Into the darkness
snorkeling at Cenotes Dos Ojos, Mexico
Totally enchanting
Back to Real Life
Then, it’s back to real life via a car rental and an airplane. No, we didn’t immediately start boat shopping for a Lagoon. It was completely out of even my delusions of grandeur to imagine buying our own catamaran and continuing adventures like these. So, no, we didn’t drink the water,  but we did swim in it and picked up an insipid bug that grew until we were up all night; not clubbing, but scheming.

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