A Snorkeler’s Christmas Eve

Tuesday December 24, 2013

dinghying outside of Isla

I would like to say that we had gotten around to seeing all that Isla had to offer yesterday, but unfortunately we were still much too exhausted after our ride over from Cozumel to do much.  After a small visit with Luki and Elmari when we anchored, I tried to catch an hour of sleep before waking up once more so we could find out where the Port Captain’s office was.  Luki and Elmari were headed there anyway, they’re still trying to check in after having arrived on Saturday morning (and it turns out they were Almost Skebenga that we passed after exiting the San Pedro cut).  We were told from the office in Cozumel that we needed to check in here with the Port Captain upon our arrival, and Mexican Customs and Immigration was not something we wanted to mess with.  This makes me extremely thankful that we stopped in at Cozumel to check in though, it sounds like Skebenga is having a hell of a time at it.

So yesterday we got back to the boat after about two hours in town, with 2-3 hours of sleep under our belt from the past 30 hours, and enjoyed the sun that’s shinning up here, hoping it will finally start to raise our battery bank over 13 volts, since we haven’t been there since mid November.  I’m just happy that now we’re finally in a place again with sun-kissed weather, and we have good friends at our disposal.  It did not take us very long to take advantage of that part.

This morning we moved both boats over to the lagoon I mentioned earlier.  There’s supposed to be some high winds coming in tonight and we’ve heard that things can get a little rough in the main anchorage of the harbor.  I was just happy to be in a place where we had wifi at our fingertips.  I know, I know, I should focus on other things besides having a constant connection to the world wide web, but it’s hard to let go of after having it everyday at the marina for five months.  And then going three weeks without it (for the most part) until getting here.  I have an addiction, I can fully admit it.

Then it was time for snorkeling!!  Matt and I loaded ourselves up in our dinghy along with our gear and a cooler with a few bottles of water and a couple of beers.  Luki and Elmari did the same in their own dingy, adding two crew members I haven’t mentioned yet, Luki’s brother Jan and nephew Stephan (Stefan?).  Together the six of us tore out of a little cut that leads into the open waters between Isla and Cancun, resting at a little beach to relax and have a lunch of one of the best submarine sandwiches I’ve ever had, courtesy of Luki, prepared with prosciutto and fresh toppings.  And even though I brought my own beer, I had cold Dos Equis passed to me from their cooler.  I still can’t get over how nice and generous these two people are, how lucky we were to find them back in Jamaica, and even luckier that they still like hanging out with us after all these months.

While the four of us original cruisers hung out at the beach for a little longer after lunch, Jan and Stephan/Stefan took out t/t Skebenga to try and find some good snorkeling spots along the coast.  With their 15 hp outboard, they were definitely the better scouts than us.  They came back after 30 minutes saying they couldn’t find much along the coast without going to the very south tip, so we decided it would be better for us to check out the spot next to the little cut we had used to come from the harbor.  Just to the north side was a whole area sectioned off for divers, so we brought the dinghies to just outside of that area to swim over.

I had the job of tying the anchor to the dinghy while Matt outfitted himself in snorkel gear, and a few minutes later I was right behind him.  It was when I crossed under the barrier rope to the designated snorkeling area that I realized the two of us seem to be plagued by a bad snorkeling course.  He were are in some of the world’s finest reef and snorkeling areas, but we can not seem to stumble upon the good stuff.  Belize, Mexico..we’re just left with murky water and eel grass.  I’m sure we could pay to have a tour boat take us out to the really good stuff, and we might have to, because we’re not finding it on our own.  In the hour we spent in the water I think I saw maybe five fish.

We would have loved to hunt more down, but there seemed to be another crisis at hand.  Even though I swore I finally got my bowlines down, and I even waited two minutes before jumping into the water to make sure my knot was secure, t/t ‘Dip came undone from her anchor and began floating away.  Thankfully the good folks on t/t Skebenga noticed this and chased her down for us, towing her back to the spot we were snorkeling.  Now all that was left was finding the anchor, still sitting somewhere on the bottom of the Caribbean Sea.  The hunt was on between Matt and I to find the anchor, and the rest of Skebenga was keeping t/t ‘Dip secure while simultaneously getting yelled at by the Guarda for having divers in the water in an unmarked swimming area, and also not having life vests on.  We think  It was all in Spanish.

Just as we were about to give up, Matt spotted something shiny on the sea bed (that should tell you about the water clarity in this area, we knew exactly where we dropped anchor), and was able to retrieve our anchor before bringing it back aboard.  Even though we didn’t find the amazing snorkeling we had set out for, we did still manage to find an amazing day with our friends.  I’m telling you, it can make all the difference in your happiness when you have friends with you to share your day with.  So it’s a good thing they’re not looking to get rid of us so easily, and have invited us to spend Christmas with them, enjoying lunch and lounging at one of the marinas for lunch before enjoying dinner aboard Skebenga.

Lagoon at Isla Mujeres

Leaving the boats behind in the lagoon.  Not as pretty as the harbor, but much more secure.

t/t Skebenga

The crew of Skebenga, showing off with their fifteen horses.

dinghy cut in Isla Mujeres

The little cut next to our snorkeling spot, and probably where our dinghy was floating after it came undone.

swim with dolphins Isla Mujeres

 Christmas Eve was a busy day to swim with the dolphins.

rain showers off Isla Mujeres

 Rain showers in the distance, but they didn’t come our way.

family on beach in Isla Mujeres

 There’s lot of private power yachts in this area, Mexico’s elite, living it up for the holidays.

spinnaker jumps

 Hoards of tourists piled on to catamarans for tours, some of them performing spinnaker jumps out in the water.

private beach in Isla Mujeres

 One of the power yacht families, setting up a posh spot on the beach to relax.

Isla

water jet pack, Isla Mujeres

 Water jet packs for those tourists that are feeling brave.

 

 

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