Cruising 2007

To Return or Not?

Chapter 4: Cozumel

A couple days later we are underway to Cozumel, a long day’s sail under favorable conditions.  Of course we don’t have favorable conditions and arrive well after dark. It is close to 11:00 p.m. when we pull into the secluded harbor at Banco Playa, just north of San Miguel where the cruise ships put in.  As directed by the night security, I back into an open slip, a formidable task if I had been alone.  But with the help of my “seasoned” crew, in the dark of night we secure the bow to a float and tie the stern off to the sea wall in no time at all—in time for all of us to get a good night’s sleep after the rough passage.

The activities of the next day, however, would have put the Key Stone Kops to shame.  About mid-morning, before we have a chance to disembark and head for the town, the marina directs me to relocate the Sirius II.  A simple task in daylight it would seem, but as soon as the boat is free from her moorage, the wind picks up.  During the next 90 minutes or so, I manage to wrap an anchor line around the prop, snag my own anchor on another buoy and, with the uninvited assistance of a local crew member, break the control unit mounting bracket for the automatic steering device. Later, when I examine the latter, I notice that the motor housing for the auto steering is cracked as well, exposing the motor to water and the elements, conditions for an untimely death.

Then, before we have a chance to relax from all of this, with apologies from the marina, the owner of the slip we are now in returns and demands that we move one slip over, to a slip that does not have a mooring ball to which to tie the Sirius II so that he can have the slip that is rightfully his.  Of course we lose overboard our boat pole during this maneuver.  What a way to start our stay on this celestial island!

The next day we go on a snorkeling excursion.  After we are underway, the guide points out that where we will snorkel will be much different than in the past.  Hurricane Wilma two years ago destroyed much of the prime diving and snorkeling areas.  Incidentally, this is the same Hurricane that I have reported in previous accounts that did so much damage as a Category one hurricane to Key West in 2005.  When Wilma struck this area of Mexico it was a Category five hurricane; and it sat here for nearly two days!!

And the guide was right.  Although we enjoyed the afternoon swimming in the warm waters off Cozumel, there weren’t many colorful fish nor underwater reefs or shoals to view.

The next day we take the ferry over to Playa del Carmen so that Russ and Spencer, all too soon, can catch the bus to the Cancun Airport for their flight back to Seattle.  Carmen and I spend the rest of the day shopping and enjoying Playa del Carmen, which has a wonderful beach and many tourist related shops and nice restaurants in which to spend your money.

Playa del Carmen
Saying adios to Russ and Spencer

Chapter 3 Chapter 5

Copyright © 2008 Steven Jones. All Rights Reserved.
2007 Cruising