Monday, June 30, 2014

Isla Mujeres Day Trip and Farewell to Chuck and Deb on s/v Neytiri

It seems most of the cruisers here in Isla Mujeres were waiting on a weather window to head to Florida!  Every morning there was a group of captains listening intently to the morning Chris Parker weather broadcast.  There was much discussion, as Chris was recommending that the cruisers sit in Isla Mujeres a little longer, as there was large waves on the other side of Cuba!  The trip back to Florida can be one of the most challenging one, if the winds and waves gang up against you!  There is also the gulf current, which flows north but then loops back south and around Florida that is another factor.  Getting out into any north wind, against the current causes really rough seas, so care is needed to find the right weather window.  

If our case, we were not waiting on a weather window, but for a new buyer to fly down and inspect and do a sea trial.  The first deal fell apart for some unknown reason, but not related to the condition of the boat, so we had another offer and was now waiting for the new buyers to show up.  

So in either case, we were all waiting on something, so we went on a day trip!  We rented a four passenger golf cart with our friends Chuck and Deb from s/v Neytiri and headed around the island.  

 Chuck, Deb, and Augie ready to go!
 East side of the island

After navigating through the downtown part, we headed around the island.  The golf cart wasn't exactly brand new, and had two speeds...stop and full throttle!  Of course the full throttle was only about 30 MPH and Chuck did a good job getting us through the downtown streets without too many issues!  

As we came down the east side of the island, we finally arrived at the most south east spot.  There was a walking path with beautiful views of the cliffs, ocean, and some metal artwork.

 Zip Lines over the water in the distant
 Cancun in the distance


 360 degree photo

 Chuck and Deb taking photos
 Wow, the waves were large today!  Glad that no one left for Florida!

 Dale, Deb and Chuck returning from the trail

 Frigate birds enjoying the updrafts from the bluffs 

Chuck, ready for a break!

We enjoyed the hike and headed over to Mango Cafe for lunch!  It was excellent as usual.  We then took advantage of having a golf cart and went to the nearby grocery store for supplies!  It was back to the marina to drop off the girls and the groceries, while Chuck took the golf cart back.  I then met him at the ferry dock with the dinghy, and it was a quick ride back to the marina.  Another successful day and fun trip around the island!  
That night we went to the Soggy Peso for dinner!  They only have one item to order, but it is usually really good.  This night they had their famous (at least famous among the cruisers) Cheese Burgers!  It was excellent and we all had cheese burgers, chips, sweet potatoes fries, and margaritas!  
A successful day!  Dale, Augie, Chuck and Deb

A couple of days later, Chris Parker gave the OK for the group to head to Florida!  It was like a mass exodus as about 14 boats left.  We said goodbye to many friends as they sailed past our anchorage, heading north to Florida.  Fair winds to all!!!

 s/v Neytiri on a sail by, heading to Florida!  Fair Winds and calm Seas!!!
 Goodbye Chuck and Deb!!!

Happy Sailing from MokaKat!!!!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Isla Mujeres, Mexico - The Crossroads of Sailors

We have spent many months in Belize, sailing among the beautiful islands, catching lobster, snorkeling and enjoying the beauty.  We socialized with a few cruisers that came through Belize, but for the most part we were the only cruising boat around.  Most cruisers seem to sail past Belize, as there is a perception of high costs and difficult rules for immigrations and customs.  It is a shame, as Belize has lots to offer to the cruising community and we enjoyed our time there. 
Isla Mujeres was completely different, as there was a large community of cruisers.  It was really fun to get to know the different boats, their stories, and where they were heading.  Most of the cruisers we met were in Isla Mujeres as a staging ground to head to another destination.  Most were waiting for a weather window to head to their destination, but they really enjoyed their time there!
Every morning at 8:30 there was a cruisers net on channel 13 on the VHF.  This was a good time to hear what was going on in the area and to meet many different boats.  We listened to the net every morning.
We met many new cruiser friends here and met up with some old ones that we met from the Rio Dulce, Guatemala.  It was fun to be apart of a little community, helping each other with information or spare parts!  Everyone is known by their boat name first, and then later first names!  It is funny to be in town somewhere and meet a fellow cruiser and the boat name is all that you can remember! 

 Booze Cruises (Not part of the cruising community, but entertaining)

 Isla Mujeres Harbor
 These tourist catamarans go by many times a day!
 Our favorite band:  Sol Rockers!!!  At Bahia Tortuga Bar and Grill!  Sorry to see Anna leave!!!  We went every Sunday night to hear them play!!!
Sun Downer on MokaKat!
Another beautiful sunset at Isla Mujers!
Working on the mast, getting ready to head to Florida!
More tourist booze cruises!!

Our friend Wayne, with captain Claudia, heading to Florida!!! 
Our friend Marcelo on s/v Mar Mar pulling up anchor 
s/v Mar Mar (Marcelo) heading to Florida with crew from the local hostel!
Another beautiful sunset!
Lunch with s/v Neytiri (Chuck and Deb) s/v Aquadesiac (Doug and Linda)
s/v MokaKat (Dale and Augie)
Doug and Augie ready to eat 'pescado frito entero' que rico!!!
We were able meet James on s/v Rhapsody with crew Jack.  James was completing a circumnavigation and was on the last leg before arriving back in Texas!  It was nice to finally meet him as we have followed his adventure on Facebook!
 James and Jack from s/v Rhapsody
 s/v Rhapsody heading on her last leg to Texas!
Fair winds s/v Rhapsody
More pictures and activities in Isla Mujeres!!
 Yes, another beautiful sunset!!!  with s/v Second Wind (the catamaran)
There were two s/v Second Wind's in the harbor for awhile, so we had to distinguish between the monohull and the catamaran!
 Mom, doing what she does!!!!
 Another beautiful sunset with s/v Second Wind
and, yes, another beautiful sunset with s/v Second Wind 
 Local cruiser with his two dogs!
 The dogs loved riding in the dink!!!
El Milagro Marina had a cruiser BBQ one night, so we all pitched in some money and the staff from El Milagro cooked fish, ribs and many side items.  It was fun for all!!!  Great job Julio!!!

 Julio with Barbara and Clark from s/v Koa Kai
A large group showed up!!!
Happy Sailing from MokaKat!!!!