Meeting George Bush in Mexico
27 April 2013 | 21 15'N:86 45'W, Isla Mujeras
I arrived yesterday in Isla Mujeras, a charming island not far offshore from the throbbing tourist mecca of Cancun. It is the jumping off point for Rich and me to sail to Florida, planned departure on Monday mid-day.
After exiting Xcalac in calmer but still gripping conditions I sailed on in generally nice conditions with stops at Banco Chinchorro (another beautiful offshore coral atoll, the 4th and last of those in the northern hemisphere), Bahia Espiritu Santo, and Cozumel. I was puzzled at Cozumel, from my visit there over 10 years ago I recall many boats in the general anchorage, on my arrival there were no other cruising boats. I had to finalize immigration and customs procedures, since Xcalak was an "incomplete" port of entry, and that was the most arduous I have ever experienced, over two days requiring 4 trips to the port captain's office, 2 to the airport, one to downtown immigration office, one even to the hospital, and ferry inspectors to Hekla where they took nearly all of my food. Behind the ancient bureaucracy I knew there was a charm to the island, and good diving. I enjoyed 4 fabulous dives over two days, in clear water with intricate coral formations and fascinating s wim-through tunnels to depths of 96'. This was my best dive experience ever. I recommend Aldora divers, first class.
On my last day in Cozumel I took a motor scooter to the Mayan ruins in the center of the island. There I hired an old Mayan man as a tour guide. Great guide, he and his family have been involved with the excavation and restoration of the site. He explained lots of stuff on the practices of the ancient Mayans, the astronomy, the bee keeping in hollow logs, the water collection cisterns and aqueducts, the manufacture of mortar cement, the ceremonies, the calendar, the accurate N-S-E-W roads. Many of the traditional ways of food collection and production were used in his youth, but he complained that today kids just watch TV and drink beer, they don't know the old ways. His name is Jorje Xiu, which he wrote on his hand for me, the last name being Mayan for a bush. After explaining that, he laughed and said "so my name is George Bush!"