Our Days In Isla Mujeres

Catching you up on the last week at anchor here in Isla…

We started our week with, what else, A COLD FRONT! These are getting SO old! This particular one was going to come from the northwest. We were facing southeast with zero wind, and then like a light switch the winds shifted 180 degrees and came from the northwest at 30+ knots. Of course, it happened at night, when it’s more challenging to keep an eye on your location, and that of others around you.

Scott had been nervous about this front for two reasons. First, we’d heard that the anchor holding here was bad, and that boats regularly drag. Second, strong wind swinging you 180 degrees tends to dislodge an anchor. As the front slammed  into the anchorage, our iPad app that we use to track the anchor showed that it was skipping a bit. My stomach sunk at the thought of having to pull up and re-anchor in the dark with 30 knot winds. Scott decided to wait, and see if it continued. The Hulk skipped about 50 feet and then had enough, and dug in hard.

We stayed up until 1am, making sure that the Hulk was happy, and that others in the anchorage were safe and secured. Scott got some brief sleep in the pilot house until daylight. After listening to the cruiser’s net (no way I could sleep through that!), we crawled back into bed to catch up a bit. Since then, the week has been full of fronts coming through, bringing moderate winds and chop to the anchorage. Life as usual this winter!

Speaking of chop, as I mentioned before, we are anchored alongside the I-95 for tour, fishing and charter boats. All sizes pass by us, usually at higher speeds than they should. For the most part, it’s tolerable, but some of them really give us a roll.

What is amazing and entertaining is the amount of catamaran party boats that pass us, and how full they are! They are stuffed with people, so full that they are sitting on the roof and hanging over the sides.

It’s fun to watch the passengers as the catamarans go by, to see who’s already feeling the effects of the rum punch…we’ve seem some entertaining dancers! The music is also interesting. Loud, dance club-type music..all the time. We can hear them coming way before they pass by. Scott likes to say that it’s always 3am  here!

So the last week has been spent exploring the island, visiting  local restaurants and meeting some new people. We’ve found that that things are pretty darned cheap when you use pesos, while using the US dollar doesn’t get you the best price (up to 20% more than using pesos!), so we quickly made a stop at the money exchange store in town, and are now spending like locals!

We have left our bikes at Marina Paraiso, and when we dingy to the southern end of the island, they are there for us to go to the big grocery store, or to just ride the island. When heading to the downtown area, there is a dock next to one of the commercial fishing piers that cruisers can tie to. We have become pretty familiar with the downtown area, and are taking more time to explore the southern part of the island lately.

The town celebrated carnival, in the days leading up to lent. Scott and I went to shore on Sunday afternoon, to watch one of the parades. The costumes and dancing were pretty neat.

But what was more entertaining was the overall organized chaos of the whole thing. Beer was an integral part, with participants drinking it before, during and after the parade, usually while catching a ride to or from their place with a group. (Notice the beer in her hand)

Support beer cart..

We watched an entire fleet of dressed dancers on scooters ride up into the parade, get dropped off to dance and then picked back up and whisked away. Strange.

There was never an official “start” to the parade, with huge gaps between floats and dancers (luckily, that gave us plenty of time to run across the street for 2.00 beers, or next door to the ferry terminal for their restrooms). Outnumbering the parade’s numerous performers and participants, where the many, many “support” vehicles and people walking alongside on the sidewalk. We guessed that the people walking alongside must be parents…all of the parents, by their numbers. The support vehicles carried giant speakers blaring music at deafening levels and much, much beer. After awhile, the parade was randomly diverted by police onto a different street. I guess they’d used up the allotted time??

We decided it was a good time to head back to the dingy, as we’d been invited to meet other cruisers to watch some of the Superbowl at a nearby bar. The winds kicked up quite a bit while we were there, dropping the temperatures. Scott got downright cold, wishing he’d worn his foul weather coat to block the winds rushing into the open bar. As his shivering got worse, we called it a night and headed back to the boat, timing our climb back on board in between waves.

On Monday, Scott and I biked some of the southern end of the island. We had lunch at Oscar’s, where  cruisers in the area meet for Pizza Friday. Since we plan to do that this week, I enjoyed shrimp for lunch.

Afterward, we made our way to the eastern side of the island. While enjoying views of the coastline, I noticed Villa Bella. It appeared that there was a bar, and it was public, so of course we went to investigate.

our village

The small property is beautiful and relaxing (no one under 18, and no groups of people over four in number), with many “island” details.

They have a Cadillac margarita, that contains two shots of aged tequila, a shot of Cointreau, fresh squeezed lime and a shot of Grand Marnier on the side; there is a limit of two per person. Although Scott was very tempted, we opted for the regular margaritas, going easy on both the wallet and our livers. The drinks came in neat coconut glasses, and Scott soaked up some warmth from the full sun, as we’re still waiting for it to act like winter here in Mexico!

Oh, on a happy, happy note, we have solved our washer problem! Scott finally heard back from technical support. Based on the email, he was able to figure out that our washer doesn’t like Mexican electricity(??). If we run the washer on our inverter it works like a charm, go figure! So no more bucket washing for me, and we save many dollars not having to order a control panel! We just have to time washing on sunnier days, to take advantage of power from the solar panels…fair enough!

So life here at anchor is rolling…literally. Here are some photos.

“Shells Sink, Dreams Float. Life’s Good On Our Boat!”

2 thoughts on “Our Days In Isla Mujeres

  1. YAY!!! on fixing the washer!!!!!!

    I am just sitting here drinking wine, slowly becoming a property developer and wishing I was on that catamaran!

  2. Hi,
    Love to follow your adventure and am sort of following in your footsteps. About to make an offer on “the boat”. KK42 is on the short list. What are you using for an anchor? Thanks for sharing, dave

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