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GVI Marine Training kit

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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Travesia Sagrada Maya meets Tropical depression Alma!

The day arrived; after 4 months of hard training, very early morning and plenty of sore muscles we were ready to attempt the crossing to Cozumel and back to Xaman-ha (ancient Playa del Carmen). But Ixchel, Goddess of  fertility, health and well-being had different plans for the brave rowers - the 1st Atlantic Tropical Storm of the Season (Arthur) had joined forces with the 1st Pacific Tropical Storm of the Season (Alma), bringing rain, strong winds and incredibly rough seas. 
1500 people travelled to Xcaret on Friday night to attend the all-night ceremony that would see the rowers depart early morning. Expedition Members and staff from the Mahahual, Pez Maya and Tulum expeditions were also present at this incredible event. As the departing time approached, the energy raised and the rowers eyes moved to the seas. Unfortunately, Marine Authorities did not allow the canoes to leave the port of Xcaret, and we must confess that, even though we really wanted to do it, we were glad this decision was made!
Instead, the Amigos de Sian Ka'an & GVI team (wearing traditional Mayan clothes), alongside with the other 35 canoes rowed around Xcaret to give the visitors a taste of what it could have been!
After this, the rowers and visitors left Xcaret hoping for the winds to die down, so the event could continue, as planned, on Sunday.
Sunday came and the winds had decreased, although not much! It was decided to modify the route, leaving from Xcaret and ending in Playa del Carmen. The team, again, was ready to take on the challenge - unfortunately, the seas had different plans for us!
After rowing out of Xcaret, a huge wave came out of nowhere and threw the whole team out of the canoe, very close to the rocks. We were all ok, but the canoe was being crashed against the rocks, and now we had to swim to a safe spot on the shore. With some good team work and effort, we all managed to come ashore, wet and tired, but still wanting to get on another canoe and give it another go, something that the organizers didn't allow for safety reasons!
In the end we went to Playa del Carmen, to meet to 3 canoes that did make it, and all together took part in the closing event!
 Even thought the event didn't go as planned, we are all honored to have been a part of it, and we will be 
back for more next year!

Important to mention that we took part in this challenge to raise funds for the Marine Programme of Amigos de Sian Ka'an. You can still donate by going to:
We are still off our fundraising target, so all donations are welcome!
Will keep you posted, as it looks like we might be able to fininally attempt the crossing next weekend!