On our third attempt we managed to check out of Honduras. the next morning we departed towards Mexico. The route along the coast is know to have a lot of current we estimated to progressively pick up more speed the closer to our destination we got. with that in mind we attempted to arrive early Monday morning to be able to anchor and make the check in during the morning.
The sail started out on the easy and slow side. With the wind slightly against us we sailed under full sail. That is when we caught the first fish of the trip. A decent size Mahi-Mahi that was dressed and put in the fridge. The very next day at lunch time our luck struck again. This time the fish was pulled up and went straight in to the kitchen to become a extremely fresh lunch.
After a couple of days we intercepted the current. Our speed started to increase. When we approach Isla Mujeres we measured 9 knots over ground at a wind speed of 9 knots. The only problem with this high speed, were that we arrived six hours earlier than we previously planned. we anchored on the leeward side off the island just after midnight (red anchor). At the time we thought we anchored in front of a nice beach. In the morning we realised the the beach only contained one grain of sand (being a solid rock edge of the peninsular that is).
During the morning we relocated in to the main anchorage on the inside of the peninsular. We decided to attempt to check in to Mexico. At the dinghy dock we got accompanied by Maik on Zeefalke ( https://sailingistruth.com/ ) who also had arrived during the weekend. On one hand this attempt went really fast on the other hand we didn’t accomplish anything. We’d accidentally arrived to Mexico during a public holiday and we had to wait for another day to start the check in progress. during the mean time we were free to explore the island. We saw streets packed with people and fully stocked stores.
The next morning Pili Aloha that we met on Roatan arrived. Since Michelle speaks Spanish we planned to wait for them to anchor and get ready, before we asked them to join us for the check in. But since COVID-19 is all around the rumours said that we had to hurry up before they closed their borders. Turned out this was just a rumour. Steve and Michelle on Pili Aloha had been to Mexico before and explained that it was going to be a long procedure to check in. They didn’t waste any time to join us in our mission to check in. In the Eastern Caribbean we usually just handed over our passports to Captain. He then went to customs and immigration and that were usually the only thing we needed to do. One could say that it was a bit more cruiser-friendly over there. We spent the majority of the day in different offices waiting for different stamps, payments and paperwork. But we also had a coughing doctor checking our temperatures. But it turned out that the port captain was in a meeting during the afternoon, and couldn’t stamp our papers until tomorrow morning. we saw that as an success and had some champagne at Pili Aloha. We agreed to meet them later for beers at Skulls Landing which with a fast internet and cheap drinks is the main cruisers nest on this island.
Since we didn’t planned to stay for more then a week in Mexico we tried to make the most of our time. Between our anchor spot and Skulls Landing we found something that we hadn’t seen in quite a while, a Swedish vessel. We stopped by and introduced ourselves and told them that what we were up to. They decided to join us and later convinced us to continue our night out in town.
The next day it was time for picking up the papers at the Port Captain and start our grocery shopping. since we heard that Cuba didn’t have the best supply and that Bahamas is expensive we started to stock up as much as we possible could here in Mexico. It was at this point the COVID-19 outbreak started to get real. We started to see photos of empty shelves back in Europe but in our little world in Mexico everything was like normal. Well a bit more Corona merch than you usually would see but life was still normal.
Steve and Michelle from Pili Aloha wanted to show us the island. We therefore rented a big golf cart and took a trip around the entire Island.We started out by making our way to the south side of the island.
On the south most end of the island we started to notice some changes due to COVID-19 here as well. the government had started to close down tourist attractions. Since the walking trail at south end counts as one they simply had closed it with a note asking people to not visit.
We stopped on our way back north and asked for directions for the underwater museum. We realised that it wasn’t accessible from the shore. We did however notice that the tourist attractions were getting cheaper. Apparently they’ve seen a drop in tourism on the Island.
We stopped for lunch at nice beach club with good food and nice pool facilities we even tried out the sea for awhile. One could easily say that we spoiled our selves this day.
On our way back we took advantage of the golf cart and continued our shopping. and by now we started to see some signs in the store saying we weren’t allowed to buy more than a serten amount of some articles. We mostly bought heavy stuff like beer and cans. Before we returned the car we did an extra shopping round. This time also stocking up with beer and other heavy stuff.
Later that afternoon they announced on the radio that they were about to stop selling alcohol in stores. So naturally we had to go and stock up. We noticed that others also started to do this. Because they were all out of our favourite beer brand.
By now we kind of realised that this COVID-19 shenanigans were going to affect us here as well. Both Cuba and Bahamas had started to close their borders and we felt obligated to sit back and wait for the situation to be less hectic.
So here we are stuck in Mexico for now.
Over and out Anders