|Harold and Nancy enjoying the sail|
We had a nice motor sail down to Cozumel. The wind was blowing about 15 knots out of the east, so we had a nice beam reach. We hugged the coast, and I mean HUGGED the coast in order to stay out of most of the current. I’m pretty sure we could have reached out and touched the beach at some points! We went south all the way down to Playa del Carmen and then took a 90 degree turn towards Cozumel. There is no real anchorage in Cozumel per se as it is an open roadstead. We anchored just north of the ferry terminal in the late afternoon. We decided not to go into town until the next day and instead cleaned up the boat and enjoyed some sundowners. The following morning, we poked our head into the Capitania del Puerto (Port Captain) office just to let them know we were here. They were very nice and told us to start the clearing out process two days before we wanted to leave. We weren’t going any other place in Mexico and someone had told us that we could not clear out of Cozumel, so we were relieved to hear that that information was incorrect.
|Playa del Carmen|
After taking care of those formalities, we walked down the very touristy main street. There are more silver shops, diamond shops, clothing shops, Senior Frogs shops and restaurants on one street then I’ve seen in a long time. It was information overload! We had a nice dinner and some margaritas of course, and went back to the boat.
The next few days were more of the same. We found a good bar, the French Quarter, that had an all-day happy hour and good internet, so we would pop in there for one drink and get some internet stuff done. We ate at a few good restaurants, explored the streets, admired the souvenirs and listened to some good music in the main plaza. We found a coffee shop that made the best Chai Tea I’ve ever had! We also met up with some friends we met in Isla Mujeres, Kim and Jamie, who live in Cozumel and had some drinks with those guys and caught up.
|Clearing out in the rain|
I cleared out, which wasn’t too bad. We had to walk back and forth between the Port Captain’s office, the bank and Immigration a few times. The Port Captain has to give you a form to give to the bank, and then you pay the bank and they in turn give you a different form to give to the Port Captain. Well, the Port Captain gave me the wrong form, so had to walk the 10 minutes back to their office to get the correct form. Once that is done, you have to go to Immigration for them to stamp another form. Then back to the Port Captain’s office to get your Zarpe (clearance document) and then back to Immigration to present the Zarpe so they will stamp your passport! Oh, did I mention it was raining the entire time and didn’t want to get gouged by the taxi drivers, so needless to say I was pretty soaked. The only one more miserable than me and Maria was our soaking wet dog Niko, who we decided needed some exercise before we left the next day!
We ended up not leaving the next day, as we thought the weather would be better the following day. Luckily, the Mexican officials give you 72 hours to leave after issuing the Zarpe, so it wasn’t a problem waiting it out. We spent our time drinking Chai Tea, writing the blog, checking and re-checking the weather. We were planning on leaving on Sunday and knew there was a weak tropical wave going to hit Honduras at the end of the week. Nothing major, but didn’t really want to be out in 25-35 kts of wind if we could help it. We were planning on Q-flagging it for a night in Belize if we got tired, otherwise it would be a straight shot to Honduras.
We also spent the rest of our pesos on another hammock for the boat (now we have four…can never have too many hammocks). We also got very colorful hand painted ceramic sink for the head. It will have to wait to be installed later as we will have to recut the countertop so it will fit properly, but it will be beautiful when it is in.
The next morning looked pretty good, so we hauled up our anchor and headed south.