March 1, 2011
Dear Friends and Family,
Where did February go? Well, I guess the first day of the month will be easy to remember as our arrival date. Yes, we have finally made it to Mexico! Rob is with the officials who will be checking us in and we should be visited soon here on the boat. Chat-Eau and we docked at the marina almost 48 hours to the minute of when we left The Dry Tortugas. It was an interesting trip. We made a route that set us on a straight path to Isla Mujeres, thinking we might moderate in the gulf stream but we stayed course pretty much all the way. About 2 hours after we left the Dry Tortugas, we got in to the gulf stream. The winds really picked up and we had to double reef the sails. (For those non boaters, that means take some of the sail down to make a smaller area.) We didn’t seem to lose any speed this way and went through the night rather fast over some high waves. It was rough but not frightening or maybe I am used to it by now. By morning, things moderated but so did the wind and most of the rest of the time we motor sailed. We put on a particular push to get here in day light and we got in about 1:00 central time as we have now changed time zones.
This is a good time because we will have time to get the boat washed from all the salt spray and get a little organized and cleaned up ourselves. We hope to go in and have dinner in town tonight.
We plan to stay at the marina for two days and then will probably anchor out. Not sure how long we will stay before moving south. We are eager to get a move on but want to connect with friends who are now living in Mexico. Whether it is here or another anchorage, we need to determine.
It was interesting to see the entrance to the island on the north side. The only other time we were here, we came in at night and when we left, we left from the south side.
The picture Craig had used in an earlier blog was unfamiliar to me but now I saw where that hotel is located. It is the first thing you see when approaching the island. It is not where the marina’s and boats are anchored. I took pictures coming in but not sure the camera will show how beautiful the water is here!
This is a resort island and there are ferries to and from the main land and lots of tourist catamaran excursions as well as snorkeling and fishing options. You can see the very white skinned tourists from up north in their little swim suits ready to go out on an unshaded boat for half a day and you know for sure they will come back burned to a crisp! Thank goodness for our full bimini cover! From being here before, we already know there are also the required cruise ship stores selling jewelry, perfume, liquor, etc. We’ll go in and have a look around tomorrow. Nancy and Steve will be making a trip in to Cancun to import their boat. It is something the Mexican government requires if you stay more than 3 days but it is good for 10 years. We did ours 6 years ago so don’t need to do that step.
We may not stay here very long, we will see. Russ is eager to get home and have his boat ready for a big race week in our area at the end of the month. He may help us get down the coast a ways. We hope to make some plans tonight and then of course we will have to research the weather for the passage.
The agriculture people were just here. I guess you cannot bring in meat, fresh fruits or seeds of any kind unless they are in the package from the store. I repackaged most of my meat. Normally they would take it but I promised that I would not take any ashore or give any meat to anyone else. It had not been my plan anyway. I am fortunate that they didn’t take the whole freezer full!!!! She also was concerned about my huge bag of flax seed which I eat every day. She gave in for that too but cautioned me not to take if off the boat. She said that here they feed it to the birds! They must have healthy birds here. I knew about the fresh produce going in to Belize but I didn’t know about it here. Probably, it is easier to check in at anchor as they may not then need to go on the boat. That may have changed since we were here six years ago as there was nothing like this at the time.
We will have internet access here for a couple of days so hope to send some pictures and do some skype calls. Crazy to come all this way and then just sit on the boat so we can communicate with the people we just left instead of enjoying our visit!!! Will try to do both!
Sue and Rob
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