Thursday, 23 March 2017

Isla Mujeres

So we had our fingers crossed that the trip from Roatan to Mexico would not be as eventful as the one to Roatan. Looking at the weather we had good wind, the first day quite strong but the next perfect and that's exactly how it worked out. 

The trip to Mexico took us just under 48 hours and we sailed most of the way the gearbox behaved perfectly and we tied up at Marina Paraiso ready for a beer! It's not the cheapest Marina in the world but John needed to go back to England to attend the funeral of a very dear friend of ours. It was touch and go whether we would manage it but sailing in on the 21st we managed to check in, carry out the temporary importation of the boat, book a flight and get him to Cancun airport in time to attend the funeral in Wales on the 23rd. We were both glad that at least one of us had the chance to say goodbye and celebrate her life. Sometimes it's hard being so far away from the UK. We could not have managed it without the help of the 'mordida', which is the system here whereby you grease the palms of the officials to make things happen! In doing this we ensured that the health inspector, the food inspector and immigration and the Port Captain all came to the Marina, looked at the boat.....checked yes there was a boat, told us not to eat anything we had bought into the country unless it was on the boat, sign in a couple of places and we were legal! Chepo the dockmaster at the Marina was very efficient at getting it organised.

Typically as John was flying back to the UK he had to arrive when Storm Doris was arriving too! It had its advantages as with a 70 mph tail wind the flight was very early, the downside was it took the pilot three goes to land the plane in Manchester.....bicycle clips all round I think!! John had booked a car for the six days he was in the U.K. however when he arrived at the Car Rental office a smug guy on the other side of the counter made the mistake of telling John ' sorry Sir due to the adverse weather conditions we do not have a car for you' . Mistake!. John's reply ' I have a contract with you to supply a car what are you going to do about it?'  ' Well sorry the only car we have is a nine seater mini bus' Yes... you've guessed it that's what he took, arriving at the Crematorium in Wales just in time!
The weather here in Isla Mujeres was not great wind wise, a strong Northerly set in for a couple of days causing the waves to chop and slap the side of the hull all day and night. Not conducive to a good nights sleep but I had it easy, the guys out in the anchorage were dragging anchors all night and that is no fun!

As it turned out I was not short of company, a lot of old friends were here too. Mike and Jean from Tomorrow's Dawn, who we had not seen since Trinidad, Richard and Kay from Atalanta who we last saw in Surinam as well as Vlad and Carmen from Inti and the crew of Genesis III, were all here. I really like this Island and Mexico in general, it's laid back and good value, an example three tacos and two beers for 85 pesos ( £3.70)! The Island is awash with golf carts that you can hire for around 700 pesos for the day, it's a good way to see the Island though it's pretty flat terrain here so walking is not so bad. Provisioning is easy with Chedraui, an excellent supermarket with just about everything you could want,ten minutes walk away. Not unsurprisingly there quite a lot of Cubans here and a few Cuban restaurants, they always seem to have good music on and it's a good way to spend an afternoon. There is also a bar close called the Soggy Peso, this has dynamite margaritas, one is quite enough, two and you really are playing with fire! The view from the beach at sunset here is lovely.

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