All Settled in for a Stay
05 February 2016 | Puerto Isla Mujeres Marina, Mexico
Beth / windblown and content
Sunny days and a nearby pool ... hmm ... guess what we've been doing?
We have certainly been taking full advantage of this beautiful marina, Puerto Isla Mujeres. With coffees in hand, we listen to the local VHF radio net at 8:15, switch on the SSB (Single Sideband Radio) at 8:30 to hear Chris Parker, decide we aren't going anywhere, eat some fruit and granola, and walk to the pool. Or maybe we walk to the Chedraui - the big grocery store down the way - to pick up a few items for the galley and save the pool for the afternoon. Either way, it is astounding how little one can get done in a day.
We do some basic housekeeping chores, but with good books to read, pelicans to watch, and a lovely place to lounge around, there is not much else happening here. Speaking of books, I just finished Bone and Bread by Saleema Nawaz, one of the books on the Canada Reads list for 2016 - beautiful fiction writing and a good story of family relationships. Now I am reading the non-fiction H is for Hawk, by Helen Macdonald, recommended by my friend, Denise, ages ago and just now coming up on my list - that one was a slog for me though because I can't imagine why anyone would want to get so involved in training and hunting with birds! On the lighter side, I enjoyed the third in Robert Galbraith's (aka J.K Rowling) Cormoran Strike Mystery series. Jim recommends An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris. This historical fiction is about the Alfred Dreyfus affair back in the 1890's in Paris and told from the point of view of Georges Picquart, head of the counterespionage agency that "proved" the young Jewish officer had passed secrets to the Germans. (Thanks for that, Dick Deveau!)
While we still have most of our meals on the boat, we have eaten breakfast, lunch and dinner at our new favourite little restaurant, Green Verde, just outside the marina entrance. It's a sweet little spot with pretty and interesting food - stuffed peppers, spinach omelettes, fish tacos - all beautifully presented with nice garnishes.
On Tuesday, we joined a crowd of long-term Isla boaters down at Oscar's Marina for the semi-weekly Happy Hour hosted by Tim and Reba on Tropical Fun. On Tuesdays they go for tacos, and on Fridays they just wander up the dock for pizza. We followed the gang up a street, around a corner, and along the lovely walkway around the Saline Laguna - a salt water lake in the middle of the island - to a tiny local taquileria where we dined on tasty tacos (pollo for Jim, and some kind of very red seasoned beef carved from a hanging slab - like donairs at home - for me) for the grand total of 100 pesos for the two of us, including sodas and tip! ($1 CA = roughly 12 pesos)
We were so very glad to be on a dock last night. We knew there was a Cold Front coming through, and here on the boat it is so clear when it happens. The air was still all afternoon, and the water was like glass. We knew people were taking it seriously because a couple more boats came into the lagoon, and we heard several new arrivals making arrangements to pull into marinas. We sat in the cockpit till the bugs drove us inside, and then went out again to watch lightning in the western sky after dark. By 9:00 there was still not a breath of air and Jim went to bed. As I was doing a last minute check a half hour later, rain drops started to fall and, literally within minutes, the wind made a 160 degree shift to NE, picked up from nothing to 25 knots and we were deluged with rain that lasted about 15 minutes. The wind blew hard all night - reportedly up to 33 knots out in the anchorage - and even on the dock we could feel the lines straining.
This morning, the radio was full of chatter about boats dragging, people sitting up all night on anchor watch, and we could sigh and say, "Thank goodness for 'just in case' marina money in the cruising kitty." It has become Jim's daily mantra - Have I told you how happy I am to be on the dock? (Once upon a time, the "Have I told you" was followed by "how happy I am to be sailing with you?")
I've been replaced by the dock!