La Bella Isla de Cozumel

Sunday December 22, 2013

Cozumel, Mexico

With only a good day and a half on our hands in Cozumel before shoving off for Isla Mujeres, we had a lot to do. Not only in the sense that there was now only 32 hours including sleep standing between us and our departure time (11:00 pm tonight) to see everything we want to see on the island , but now there was a multitude of boat projects that needed to be done as well. Those leaks that we found on our way from San Pedro to here? They weren’t going to fix themselves. And since (I’m not joking here) every piece of Matt’s clean clothing plus 60% of mine were now damp in salt water because of those leaks, they all had to be laid out to dry as best as possible until we can find a laundromat. The clothing was quickly strewn on to the lifelines as soon as we got back to the boat yesterday, but we figured the leaks could wait until the next morning. Even with the terrible swells rolling through this anchorage, I don’t think they’ll be enough to do any more damage while we sit here.

Taking the opportunity for a little shore leave yesterday, we packed as much in as we can. Most of it involved strolling the main boardwalk and hunting down a McDonalds. All cruise ship ports have them right? Or at least a Burger King? While we couldn’t find these highly popular US fast food chains, we did find a couple of their more upscale compatriots such as Hooters and Senor Frogs. Some hot wings were sounding damn good at the time, but for the cost of $12.50 for 8 wings, I think I wait until we’re back in Florida to find some. Just like my McDonalds…sigh. Since we couldn’t find our greasy McDoubles or flame grill Whoppers, we settled on the next best thing. Tacos. Which, unbeknownst to me through our travels now, are actually climbing up and replacing my love for fast food. Since there was a cruise ship in harbor and all the shops were trying to pull in as many people as possible, we were able to enjoy a delicious meal of three pork tacos and a beer for $5. Which also gave me the opportunity to add a new beer to Jessica’s World Beer Tour (coming on the website soon).

There wasn’t much reason for us to check out many of the shops that lined the boulevard, they were mostly selling kitschy items like oversized sombreros and screen printed t-shirts that read “One tequila, two tequila, three tequila…floor”. Then there were of course the upscale botiques selling duty fee jewelry, perfumes, and makeup. None of these were things we wanted to waste our precious time looking at, so we found something that could have kept us busy for hours. An actual mega supermarket. No little tiendas or Dispensa Familiars. We found a place that had e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. The first time we went in, we just happened upon it and didn’t have much space in our one backpack which was still storing all our papers, so we bought a few very essential items, enough to make dinner that night, while also making a mental list of everything else we needed. Scouring all the aisles we were just a tad disappointed that we couldn’t find a few of the items we’d been craving for so long, such as Skitles or shredded cheddar, but the overall variety was more than enough to make up for it. Later that night after we had gotten back to the boat and made a meal that I was actually able to stay awake for at eat this time, we hit the streets of Cozumel one more time with two empty backpacks in tow, ready to do some provisioning.

It’s also official to say that our well eating cruising friends have begun to rub off on us. Instead of searching for meals that are basically pre-made and only need to be heated, we’ve started shopping for ingredients to make meals from scratch. Wha..??!! I know, I’m just as surprised as you are. Stocking up the backpacks on fresh produce and some sweet treats from the bakery, we carried our overstuffed bags to the main square in Cozumel where a Christmas concert was being put on by some of the local children in the school band. Hundreds of folding chairs were placed in rows under the clear night sky, and we listened to tunes of some not so familiar carols while kicking back on the cement curb. We stayed for about five songs, until our refrigerated good really needed to make their way back to a refrigerator. The rest of the night was spent desperately trying to connect to a wifi signal with our long range device, and making sure that our weather window was still holding open for the next night.

Matt walking Cozumel

Christmas tree at Cozumel

Christmas banners in Cozumel

Today it was back to boat chores, trying to find where that despicable leak had sprouted and making sure we could seal it before our 45 mile jaunt to Isla tonight. Matt traced it back to a few chain plates on the port side that didn’t look like they were bedded tightly enough. I thought this might be an all day project, but all it took was 30 minutes with me holding a screwdriver on the topside of the deck while Matt worked with a power drill below, and it was deemed good enough to get us to Isla. We’re not expecting the island itself to hold a lot of marine supplies for us, but it’s only a 4 mile ferry ride to Cancun where we should be able to find everything we need. Sticking in a little extra butile tape, the job was done and we were free to roam the town once more.

Getting ourselves officially and 100% checked in, we visited the Port Captain’s office once more to show all the stamps we collected yesterday and received our cruising permit in return. Most of our day was spent doing the same things as yesterday. Wandering the boardwalk and hitting up the grocery store one more time. Although since we’re finally in a place again where the water is crystal clear, we took a dive off the back of the boat to see if we could find anything interesting in the anchorage. Again, no coral where we were sitting, which is really making me miss our spot in Grand Cayman (minus the swell). We dove on the anchor just for fun, and I worked on my pressurizing, which, I’m still terrible at.

Since we’re leaving at midnight-ish tonight so we’ll arrive at Isla Mujeres in first daylight, I tried to implement an early dinner with a mandatory nap to follow. I spent 2.5 hours laying in bed, tossing and turning, so it looks like I’ll just try and catch a few zzz’s right when we’re off anchor so I can relieve Matt before he gets too tired. I don’t think his nap went to well either, judging by the glow of his computer screen.

motorbikes line up in Cozumel

pedestrian walkway in Cozumel

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