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Old 06-04-2013, 10:43   #1
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Tulum

Since the subject of Tulum just came up in a recent (now closed) discussion I want to ask if anyone here as been inside the reef a Tulum. This is recommended as a daytime anchorage only during calm seas. Last year we headed south from Cozumel on a calm day and were going to try to anchor inside for a couple of hours. Following the instructions in Freya's cruising guide we attempted to start at a certain waypoint and enter on a course of 330T toward where the cliff and beach meet and you will leave a prominent rock awash 100 yards to port. We tried this, it was very confusing, we couldn't see the rock and we backed out at the last moment and headed south.

I am wondering if anyone else here has had the same experience and if the information in Freya's book is wrong or outdated.

I don't think that boat actually went aground right at Tulum but it reminded me about our experience. We think that Freya's waypoint is too far north. This is generally not a safe place to stop anyway but if I am correct we should post this information.
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Old 06-04-2013, 10:51   #2
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Re: Tulum

I went in through the reef back in 2007 and visited the Mayan ruins, and spent a few nights there. The reef entrance is tricky and very hard to see until you are right on top of it. The main problem is that holding ground inside is non-existent in a very hard bottom. I walked anchors around on the bottom for an hour and finally just laid out lots of chain and three anchors in all directions and hung on the weight mostly with just the tips of the anchors engaged. We had a nice squall come through too, but we hung in there. There are some nice seaside resorts along there with some nice beaches. We had cocktails and such in one of them.

I don't have the information handy on where the entrance is, but I was working off of someone's waypoint who had just come from there--not something I usually do or recommend!
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Old 06-04-2013, 13:24   #3
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Re: Tulum

We have been in Tulum and used Raucher's guide with no problem. The reef is low and at high tide the surge works over the reef. The currents run parallel and if the wind drops you will be sitting beam to the incoming swells. It's one of the most uncomfortable anchorages we have ever been in but one of the most beautiful. We didn't get ashore because we were rocking and rolling too much to launch the dinghy so we got out as soon as the sun came up. The entrance is pretty wide and you can see the reef in most conditions. None of these entrances should be tried in unsettled conditions. There is sand to anchor in but you have to find it. We set the anchor and it held fine for us. Chuck
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Old 06-04-2013, 13:32   #4
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Re: Tulum

I think it was high tide when we tried it.
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Old 07-04-2013, 05:54   #5
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Re: Tulum

Go on south to Punta Allen. Wide entrance. Anchor in the back bay. Go to skif dock and get day van(carries workers and supplies) to Tulum and return the each day. Addtionally. Neat little town, decent eats some supplies and great kind people. Phil
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Old 07-04-2013, 06:14   #6
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Re: Tulum

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There is sand to anchor in but you have to find it. We set the anchor and it held fine for us.
We found sand, but only maybe an inch deep with hard rock underneath. It can be a rather nerve wracking place to stay overnight with the wind howling across the reef, poor holding, waves rollling through the anchorage and the beach right behind you. We did find enough holding to make it through a typical thundersquall late one evening. But, on a sunny day when the wind lays down it is quite beautiful. We hiked all around Tulum, and swam from the beach below the ruins amongst the big rocks.
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Old 07-04-2013, 06:20   #7
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Re: Tulum

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Originally Posted by Kettlewell View Post
We found sand, but only maybe an inch deep with hard rock underneath. It can be a rather nerve wracking place to stay overnight with the wind howling across the reef, poor holding, waves rollling through the anchorage and the beach right behind you. We did find enough holding to make it through a typical thundersquall late one evening. But, on a sunny day when the wind lays down it is quite beautiful. We hiked all around Tulum, and swam from the beach below the ruins amongst the big rocks.
another reason to hang on to that old collapsable heavy fisherman anchor in favour of your new generation anchors that fail so miserably on bottoms like that
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Old 07-04-2013, 06:38   #8
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Re: Tulum

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another reason to hang on to that old collapsable heavy fisherman anchor in favour of your new generation anchors that fail so miserably on bottoms like that
I would have loved to have had a three-piece 100-lb Luke anchor in the bilge for that place! But, my 45-lb Bulwagga on all chain and my two Fortress FX 23 anchors laid out in different directions held us in the end. But, I will say it is a place where weight and sharp points on your anchors is what is wanted, so maybe a very heavy Spade or Manson Supreme or Excel would work there. The Bulwagga has three sharp points, so two engage the bottom on a clawing action which is helpful in those situations. But, Waterwayguy tells us there is sand there somewhere. I hunted around for it for an hour with snorkeling gear and didn't find it, so I must have been in the wrong place. The Mayans pulled their boats up on the beach.
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Old 07-04-2013, 07:51   #9
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Re: Tulum

We found good sand just north of the Temple on the hill and close in to the reef. The bottom, the closer to the beach you are, has less sand. It seems the current scours the bottom but it tends to pile up closer to the reef. Here is a post on our visit, Voyages of Sea Trek: Be Flexible . Chuck
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Old 07-04-2013, 08:07   #10
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Re: Tulum

Interesting! We anchored well south of those thatched roofs on the beach--will have to try further to the north nearer the ruins next time. We arrived rather late in the afternoon with decreasing visibility, so I didn't want to blunder around inside the reef line without being able to see the rocks. We dinghied ashore and enjoyed eating and cocktails in one of those restaurants you mention, and the beach is spectacular there--would make a fun place to go on a touristy beach vacation.
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Old 07-04-2013, 11:06   #11
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Re: Tulum

We have considered going back by land one day. Chuck
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