| Crew Member: ||Christine|
| Location:||Isla Mujeres, Mexico|
| Photo Album:||(2008-02-22) Isla Mujeres, Mexico|
Iguana Catching Some Sun
Cerg and Jen
Swinging Back a Few
|We finally made it out of the states! Hurray! It's not that there's anything particularly horrible about cruising the coast of the U.S., it's just that it somehow feels like we're really and truly cruising now that we're in foreign waters. Silly I suppose.
We had a quick 69 hour passage across the Yucatan Straits and arrived with our yellow 'Q' flag hoisted and passports ready for check in. Entering another country via water is a bit different that arrival by air. We're required to haul up a 'Quarantine' flag that alerts Customs, Immigration, Sanitation, and the Port Captain that we've arrived, but not yet checked in.
First stop, immigration. We bring numerous copies of our passports, crew list (a document that lists the crew and a description of the boat), and U.S. Coast Guard documentation on the vessel. Immigration, in turn, gives us a Tourist Card/Visa, and places a stamp on very nearly everything we've brought in. Next stop, Sanitation. At the local hospital we fill out paperwork basically testifying that our boat and crew are not hosting the ebola virus, hepatitis, etc., and there are no carcasses aboard that might be carriers of hoof and mouth disease. Easy enough. Sanitation, in turn, places stamps on everything we've brought in. Final stop, the Captania de Puerto. Everyone is very friendly. We butcher the language, but because we have aforementioned copious copies all stamped and in order, they politely forgive us. Bueno. Done. We’re legal visitors.
For those of you who know us, you know that Isla Mujeres holds some special memories. Jason and I married here back in 2002 on our last cruising trip. Our parents flew down and the whole ceremony was conducted in Spanish, barefooted, on the deck of our boat. The island is a welcome return for us.
In late February, our Colorado friends Jen & Craig joined us for 5 days of Mexican merry-making. We stayed a week at Marina Milagro. It was a real treat for us to come into the marina. To keep our budget manageable we rarely stay in marinas (why bother when anchoring is GRATIS). But, I won't lie, it's nice to occasionally have hot running water.
A week later my folks also flew in from Colorado (I'm beginning to suspect it really has been a miserable couple of winters there). With my parents we really had the chance to see more of the island than we might have otherwise: turtle farm, Playa Norte, cliffs at the island ruins, and a slew of fancy dining places. It also didn't totally suck hanging out at their posh accommodations. Poolside bars really are quite brilliant! The best way to beat the heat!
I was sorry to see our guests go. In some strange way it sort of validates what we're doing to have friends and family visit us and the boat. Every once in a great while one of the two of us will wake up and ask, 'What the heck are we doing?' Good visits remind us what it's all about.
I should also mention there are numerous cruisers here in I. Mujeres. On any given day, at least 25 boats are anchored, moored, or docked locally. There is even a cruisers radio net each morning on the VHF. It's a wonderful cruising stop with a strong (though transient) sailing community. We met too many colorful and wonderful folks to mention in this entry. It was genuinely difficult to pull up and leave for Belize.