Hola! We're finally in Mexico! We left Key West on January 9th and arrived in Isla Mujeres on the 12th. We had a wonderful trip overall with a little of everything- plenty of wind and bouncy seas while crossing the Gulf Loop current (the beginning of the official Gulf Stream), smooth sailing along the lee of Cuba, plenty of ships to dodge to keep us busy, perfectly calm seas when we reached the infamous Yucatan Channel for a smooth crossing, and even a rain shower to clean off the boat before we arrived in Mexico.
We didn't have much of a moon for this passage, but the stars were spectacular. There were also plenty of dolphin playing around the boat. We made such good time that we had to slow down and just putt on the last night so that we wouldn't arrive at the island in darkness. We've grown to love this part of a trip since all night we can see the lights onshore and know we've made it, and there is a peaceful feeling that comes over us since the pressure is off- now it is just anticipation of a new place to discover.
Mexico is known for an elaborate check-in process that spans days before you can get everything done. Plus, nothing happens on the weekend. So the first couple of days we just walked around on the island checking things out. A hi-light was visiting a sea turtle hatching/protection facility.
There we got to see 3 different kinds of sea turtles at various ages starting with new hatchlings- very cute! We've seen several turtles in the past while diving, but we certainly have never seen newly hatched babies and we probably never would have.
Yesterday (Monday), there were 4 boats trying to check in and we decided to do everything together. So all 8 of us were schlepping around all over from the Port Captain's office to the Health Dept., then to Customs, Immigration, the bank to pay our fees, and then back to the Port Captain again. This took ALL DAY! In between, there was plenty of waiting time so we stopped twice at restaurants to hang out. We all had fish tacos and Mexican beer for lunch and they were delicious. We're really impressed with the food here- everything we've heard has been that Mexico has the best food and it's all downhill as you go South. I guess we'll have to load up! So far it is a lot cheaper too. It is so good to finally get somewhere where your dollar goes further. We are cleared in now- enough to take our quarantine flag down, but we still have 3 more stops to make before we're totally legal. Tomorrow we're taking the ferry across to Cancun for the day to hopefully obtain the import permit for Evergreen and then explore some. Plus, our snazzy wireless keyboard for the main 2 computers died so we have to find a new one. We had ordered a back-up to be delivered while we were in FL but at the last minute the company told us it was back-ordered so we decided to just wait till we come home this summer. But no, it decided to die now. Supposedly, there are plenty of stores in Cancun and we should be able to find something there.
There are lots of cruising boats here and we've met some great and interesting people. We had lunch with a couple today- Rich and Jan on "Slip Away
" and they've already cruised many of the areas that we plan to visit over the next year. They traveled inland in Costa Rica, Guatemala and Belize just as we plan to and even took a Spanish immersion course
as we would like to do. It was so great talking with them and asking questions. We hope to spend more time together later this week.
So far we love Mexico and are tickled to be here. We can't wait to start diving and exploring more. The last few days have been sweet though- the slower pace and the fact that the pressure to "get here" is off is a wonderful feeling. Here are a few pictures of our crossing and of our first couple of days in Mexico.