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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Margaritas in Mexico

It was with a huge sigh of relief that we dropped anchor in Mexican waters – just off the island of Isla Mujares.  Our two day/night trip up from Belize had been an uncomfortable bash to windward.  The predicted winds from the south east did not eventuate and we had to sail with the wind hard on the nose for 200miles!  At times – with the wind against the Yucatan current – things were a little exciting!
Since leaving the Med we’ve had wind behind us and at times we’ve moaned about the rolling you get going downwind, but after our windward bash we’ve decided we’re definitely downwind junkies.  What did thrill us was the way Bandit performed.   With two reefs in the main and a furled headsail she romped along at speeds of up to 10 knots.  (with a little help from the Gulf Stream!) In fact we furled the headsail and rolled out the smaller staysail to try and slow her down but she had the bit between her teeth and she was off.  At least it was a fast passage. 
We sailed along the Coast of Cancun – past all the high rise five star hotels, the sandy white beach that stretches forever and that amazing turquoise water.   Once we altered course and headed for Isla Mujares the water shallowed to about four metres and was the most amazing shade of Bombay Sapphire blue. The wind had lightened off a bit and we had a lovely reach under headsail – now why wasn’t like that all the time?  As we approached the anchorage we pulled the fishing line in to discover a rather drowned fish – we’d been way too busy sailing the boat to fish!  So fresh fish for dinner.  But first up Mexican margaritas.
We went ashore to Bar Tortuga and ordered four margaritas and they were fantastic.  Just to make sure, David and Mark had a second one.  The bar had live music and these guys were really good.   A few nights later it was Amanda’s birthday so – you guessed it – more margaritas.  Afterwards we ate lobster tacos at the Soggy Peso bar and grill.
Isla Mujares is fairly touristy – its streets are full of tacky tourist shops, with plenty of bars and restaurants too.  The waterfront is lined with thatched roof bars.  If you take the time to cycle the backstreets you do come across the odd quaint house/shop and there is a nice boardwalk that runs around a lot of the island.
The beaches on Isla Mujares are beautiful – endless white sand that seems to stretch forever. 
With a northerly blow forecast we headed into a marina and when the wind arrived we were pleased we had.  We recorded 30 knots the first day and it was accompanied by rain.  Cancun beckoned so we headed over on the ferry but weren’t that impressed so went to the movies.  That is such a treat for us and at $5 – a cheap treat at that. 
The wind blew for three days and life was a bit uncomfortable in the marina – Bandit strained on her mooring lines so not much sleep was had.  We felt sorry for the smaller boats that were stern to the wind and swell….they were bucking like rodeo horses with waves crashing over the stern.
Of course the sun came out again and the wind died and so once again we set off exploring the island on bikes – fantastic free bikes provided by the marina.  We also enjoyed a week of long hot showers (even when it’s 30 degrees a hot shower is nice), free power, wifi on board and just being able to step off the boat without a wet dinghy ride.
We’re hoping to head to Cuba on Wednesday all going well.  Internet is not that easy there so not sure when we will next be able to blog.  But we LOVE getting emails.  We will have our boat email up and running – but as it comes through a satellite phone please do not send any attachments, photos or files.  Even company letterheads must be deleted first.
We’ve been using our free time lately to backdate our blog – which we only started in 2010.  So if you feel inclined – scroll down the left hand side until you see 2007 and 2008……we’re slowly adding blogs and will continue to do so until we’re right up to date.  Enjoy.