Thursday, April 30, 2015

Isla Mujeres to USA

We had a great sail from Puerto Morales to Isla Mujeres. It’s only 30 miles and we got to sail all the way.  Yea.  By now we have given up trying to get to Cuba.  It’s not worth it at this point and someday when it is truly open we will take a ferry there.  Isla is fantastic with a ton of cruisers there all waiting to head to the states.  The north end of the island is “Miami at spring break”.  Thousands of young people on the beautiful white beaches and crystal clear water.  Restaurants and bars galore with tourist shops in between.  Everyone drives gulf carts which I just love so we rented one with another couple and went island exploring for the day.  The island is huge.  The south end has all the outdoor entertainment with zip lines, kayaking, boat tours for snorkeling, diving, fishing etc.  It really is quite a lovely island made for tourist.  There were a lot of cruisers on sailboats our age and a very tourists our age, mostly much younger.  If you want fun in the sun, this is your place.

I wanted you to see the beautiful blue water of Isla Mujeres

Sort of far away but the beach scene at Isla M

Cruiser's gathering for Sundowners and pizza

We rented a golf cart with Christie and John on Indian Summer so we could tour the island

Very strange statue.  I wonder if she always walked around with a bird on her head

Me conversing with a very large iguana

George and Becky on C-Level.  They are good friends from Bradenton, Fl that had just arrived after a very long and not so much fun passage.  As you can see they are very happy to be there.  Luckily we were able to spend a few days with them before leaving for the states.  They are headed south.
On April 9 we got the perfect weather wind from our weatherman so 6 boats all took off the 3 day passage to the states.  We did indeed have great weather but never really found the big current that would move us fast up the Yucatan channel but we sailed all the way, using our motor from time to time.  We arrived in Marathon on April 12 with Indian Summer –our buddy boat.  Christie and John are from Alaska and sailed the Pacific side for many years and then came through the canal and up the western Caribbean.  We met them last summer in the Rio Dulce, Guatemala.  So now we are showing them the east side. After showing them Marathon and us meeting up with cruising friends we haven’t seen in 3 years, Jay and Nancy, we sailed up on the Keys.  We spent 3 days in Miami touring the Art Deco areas and doing groceries, laundry etc.  

Our hitchhiker while sailing through the Florida straits.  He would not leave and didn't care that I took a picture close up.  Harry thinks he was dying that's way he would not leave

South Beach in the Art Deco area of Miami.  Not a real good picture of the art deco

Typical old cars we saw parted along the street

A couple of the art deco buildings seen at night.  You really can't appreciate all the art deco unless you are there walking the streets
Then we motor sailed up to Ft. Lauderdale.  No wind, Yuk.  Harry and I spent a day with my brother and his wife and their family.  That was great fun.  Then we spent a day with some old cruising buddies, Frank and Joanne Finney.  That was great fun as well. 
So we get back to the boat after visiting with Frank and Joanne, ready to leave in the morning with Indian Summer and our engine wouldn’t stay on.  After 4 hours of  labor with John and Harry no luck. By midnight they were exhausted.  So as any sailor knows, flexibility is the key to staying calm about issues as they arise.  The next day was Plan B.  We got towed about 4 miles down to Dania to Harbortown Marina.  It is much cheaper then any marina in Ft. L.  A mechanic came and we ended up changing out all the fuel hoses.  This is something we have talked about doing for many years but just never got up to our priority list.  So about $1000 later we are all fixed.
We left for Lake Worth, Palm Beach, where, once again we went into a Rybovich Boatyard to get our alternator fixed.  It’s always something.  I am glad all this is happening back in the states where we know we can get good help easily.

We met up with some people we met in Mexico, Charlotte and James on Pegasus.  They were also in this marina.  Small world.  It has been fun with them.  They have a rental car so we went shopping and then out to dinner on my birthday.  They are great people.  So here we sit, waiting for out alternator to return so we can finally start moving north.  Last night for dinner we went to the other Rybovich which houses the super mega yachts.  Never saw so many huge yachts in my life.  They start at 150 ft and up to 260 ft.  Amazing.  I added a couple of pictures.

A 200 ft yacht in a travel lift.  Amazing

Check out the size of those tires

Check out the fender for this yacht

JFK's yacht called "Honey Fitz".  He had a lot of famous people aboard this boat back in the 60's.  Boars have really changed.  It was named after his grandfather.

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