On New Years Eve day we motored over to Isla Mujeres, a reeeaaaallllllyyyyy long journey of about 2.5 miles which took about 3 hours all told between getting out of one marina and deking in and around the shoals finding a new one. A beautiful day, though, sunny and cloudless, calm waters, ferries and party and dive boats zipping in and out and back and forth. A nice little EASY first trip for David and Melanie. They were quickly being introduced to life on a sailboat and that it’s not just sitting in the sun watching the water go by. To their credit, they quickly hopped to and got involved with ropes and ties and casting off and navigating and scouting and and and.
Isla Mujeres can be a bit tricky to get into with the long spit standing out and shallows all over the place. Luckily it’s a sandy bottom so scraping isn’t too bad; stay in the centre of the main channel and there isn’t any problem.
There is only a couple decent marinas on the island; we stayed at El Paraiso, a smallish marina with a couple dozen slips, all Med-mooring. Med-mooring is either nose or tail in, not side-tie, which is a bit tricky with a sailboat. Either we are hopping over the bow around the jib or ducking under the davit to jump to the dock. We had lowered the dinghy to ride in and see if they had room available and I drove it back over so at least it was out of the way. Our transmission was good now (thanks to Mineguez, the mechanic guru!) but our boat doesn’t back up worth crap anyway. Between two guys on either side hauling with ropes and a dinghy up front pushing the nose, the Ete Infini managed to slide into her berth without a scratch. Whew!
El Paraiso is a nice little marina with a bar, restaurant, pool, washrooms (with hot showers),
and a temperamental wifi. The food is excellent, though, which made our stay worth it just in that. Our first night there we ordered the pizza, large enough to feed all 4 of us, for 120 pesos. Carlos and Kevin, the two managers, were great with their help and information. We couldn’t get wifi from the boat even though we weren’t more than 100 yards from the bar so we had to sit there or at the gazebo in order to connect, and even then it was iffy. Oh well, such is life on the water. 🙂
I don’t know the name of the town on Isla Mujeres, if there even is one, but it is a small-ish island and there is only one main town on the south end. We took a day and wandered around and were totally enthralled…with the town and the people and everything. It was like blocks and blocks of open market, souvenir shops interspersed with Oxxo’s (like 7-11’s) and open-air cafes and bistros and the ever-present Tequileria’s. 🙂 We stopped “for a Mexican minute” at a small shop and had a New Year’s tequila with the owner while looking at his wares (which were beautiful). David bought a sweater there that looks very good on him.
There is a little cafe, Cafe Mogagua, deep in the heart of downtown that is interesting. We stopped there for a frappe and a burger and the waiters were wearing t-shirts that said, “If you want to realize your dreams, wake up!” I thought that pretty profound and soooo pertinent.
The prices were pretty good; of course the coffee/frappe in the cafe were the normal $3-4 but the souvenir shops were good, and the Oxxo’s were the typical Mexican cheap for stuff for which we overpay at home.
So, after a few days of the luxury of showering every day and good food and great companionship at the bar, we decided it was time to go before they got to know us too well. And that’s another story……………….>