Left the Dry Tortugas in dead calm winds, which eventually picked up during the 2.5 day trip to Isla. The last day we rollicked along with major water over the bow and were happy to be coming in to harbor. But the trip along the Cuba coast (which we never saw) was beautiful and lots of little dolphins swam along with us for at least an hour, jumping, spinning, and splashing as if to show off for us. Our own private SeaWorld.
Anchored in the Bahia along Isla’s northwest coast, we settled in and waited to start the administrivia of checking in till our first full day there. It went smoothly (until John lost his credit card at the ATM machine...recovered an hour later...oy) but it took three tries to find the Customs official and have him stamp us in. Kay and Sonny on Valentina welcomed us to town and introduced us to the delights of eating in Isla where we eventually OD’ed on fantastic ceviche and black bean soup. The town itself is not exactly what we expected -- much more crowded with daytrippers ferried in from Cancun and all the touts renting golf carts and selling souvenirs. Very hectic. Most of the cruisers stay in marinas and spend weeks if not months there. We stayed anchored in the Bahia through a couple of northers, one with winds in the upper 30s, and the anchor paid for itself again. We moved not an inch. Hail Rocna!
We walked all over the island, with one long trip to the Mayan ruins at the southern tip. Most of the ruins were knocked over in a hurricane and looked pretty ruined, so there is an outdoor art park there to encourage more people to come visit. It was pretty nice, and the water crashing into the rocks extremely dramatic. But there wasn’t enough in Isla to keep us there, so we left when the winds let us and headed to Puerto Morelos.
Isla Mujeres: 21d14.778’N 86d44.772’W