Thursday, December 5, 2013

Marina Del Sol in Isla Mujeres

Roy and I are now in Isla Mujeres, Mexico aboard Wahoo. We arrived Thursday, Nov. 21 and our current plan is to stay on the boat until August next year. Note: sailing plans are written in disappearing ink. 

Poncho, the resident iguana met us on the dock
Bringing back the laundry
We arrived at the Cancun airport along with 7 other planes, all full of Thanksgiving holiday-makers. There had to be 1,000. people trying to go through Immigration and Customs. It took us two hours and that was with the help of a wily Skycap. After helping us find all four of our bags (Thank you Southwest for not charging for checked bags) and getting us into the line for Customs he took Roy aside for a whispered "I get you through this quick - $30". Before we knew it I was plopped in a wheelchair and we were zipping through the handicap lane! The kicker came when after we'd passed through the scanning machine, he leaned over and said to me. "Ok, you get up now". I was in front of those 1000s of vacationers, Whooooo, were those daggers in my back. But then we were called to get examined and every box had to be gone through. I'm sure everyone thought we'd gotten our comeuppance. Actually, it wasn't so bad. The Customs agent was a young lady who did her best and when she realised we weren't upset, and weren't going to give her grief for a little custom's duty, things went rather smoothly. In fact, she didn't even notice the 6 lb. of Manda Smoked Sausage. 

Thank you, thank you, thank you to Sebastien for waiting for us and giving us a ride to the Cancun-Isla Mujeres ferry.

Also, thanks to Sebastien for keeping Wahoo safe. She was in great shape when we got back . 

We had left Marina Del Sol in mid-July as a sleepy marina with most boats covered and owners gone. We came back to a bustling place as owners were arriving and getting ready for the Winter cruising season. Such a variety of boats and cruisers. We love it. Everyone chatters away about their own project and plans, yet there's always a hand when you need it most. 

Greg and Carol on their catamaran
We've met Greg and Carol from the Pacific Northwest. They completed a five year circumnavigation on their monohull which is moored in the Sea of Cortez. But they recently bought a catamaran to cruise the Caribbean, and call home a 65ft trawler in Seattle. These are dedicated and experienced cruisers, of 3 different boats. Next there's Jean Pierre from Quebec. He's retired and waiting for his wife to come visit around Christmas. He spends part of his time on Taj Mahal a 33ft steel sailboat and part of the time either traveling  or at home in Quebec. Across from us is another 40ft steel hull that belongs to Etienne and his girlfriend, Pam. They hail from Paris and Normandy. Last year they did a boat delivery that found them becalmed in the Pacific for 80 days! Of course Sebastien's boat Sea Rooster is also here and there are many more. But perhaps the most interesting is the 23 ft pocket sailing cruiser, Maus, from New Orleans owned by Martin and Alysia. They just left for a 9 day crossing of the Gulf of Mexico back to New Orleans. (yep, I said 23 ft - outboard engine if you're wondering)

Maus leaving for New Orleans

Wahoo needs work too. So we've started on the never ending list. 
Definition. Cruising: Fixing your boat in exotic locations.

Etienne working on the aft bulkhead - Tight Fit!
The stern bulkhead needed to be repaired as there was rot near the water line. I was wondering why there was a sloshing sound under my head at night.
The wind transducer quit working when we were in Belize during the summer. So our luggage included a new one. Of course the new one didn't quite work with our instruments, so Roy had to figure a way to fix that. All at the top of our 63ft mast.

We'd also brought two 18" X 2" x 1/2" stainless steel bars that Roy fabricated while we were in Houston. These were needed to repair the anchor holder which was cracked. So while making that repair we're installing new bow cleats. They're much bigger and as we anchor or pick up a mooring most nights, will be very handy. But what a job getting the old ones off. They'd been on since the boat was built in 1992. Lots of pounding and drilling was heard throughout the marina.

Wahoo also needs a new transducer to repair our depth finder which also quit working during the summer and the engine shaft needs some repairs. As Wahoo needs to be out of the water for these, we'll do them at Cucumber Beach Marina and Shipyard near Belize City. In fact there's a whole other 4 boxes of parts that's, hopefully, waiting for us there. 

As those of us aboard say - "If it ain't broke - just wait a minute."

Pelicans nesting in trees near the marina. Never saw this before.


  1. Roy and Dale,
    I was excited last Friday, when we passed you heading to San Pedro from Cay Caulker. I recognized your boat, but could only wave! Maybe we can catch up with you while we are still in Belize! We are on a catamaran still named Caper, but once we get our paperwork, we will rename her MokaKat. We have enjoyed Belize since last August, except the 7 weeks that we were in Rio Dulce. We hope to catch up with you at some point!!! Dale.

    1. Wondering where y'all are. We are in Placencia.