Friday, November 9, 2018

Buy all three with one click!






June 21, 2018
Format: Paperback 
Verified Purchase

Anyone that loves Isla Mujeres will enjoy this series. 
The author makes it fun to recognize familiar places. 
The mystery of each book is also captivating! 
I suggested buying all three books at one time, 
as you will want to continue reading!


Monday, November 5, 2018

Freddy Medina: “Quiero renombrar la caravana de Navidad en honor de Lawrie.” (English blog posted on Oct 30th)

Lynda and Lawrie 2011

Esta semana nuestros buenos amigos Freddy Medina y su hermosa esposa Yadira Velazquez (Eva) fueron a nuestra pequeña casa en Isla Mujeres.

Freddy dijo, “Quiero renombrar la caravana en honor de mi buen amigo Lawrie.”

Me quedé sin palabras.

Freddy siguió, “Sin su ayuda, esta caravana nunca hubiera pasado y quiero que todos lo recuerden.”

Sugerí porque sus nietos de Lawrie siempre lo llamaban “Elmo”, por qué no nombramos la caravana “La Caravana Navideña de Elmo”.

Este año Freddy puso la fecha viernes, el 21 de Diciembre, empezando a las 5:30 pm. Aquí les explico como empezó todo.

El Inicio- Septiembre 2011

“Qué chido. Nos invitaron a una fiesta de Halloween el 31 de Octubre 2011, en la casa de Curtis y Ashley de Villa la Bella”, dijo Lawrie mientras leía la invitación en voz alta.

Un mes después, el cartero local llegó en su moto a nuestra puerta con un saco enorme de algodón etiquetado con el nombre de Lawrie y nuestra dirección.

“¿Qué es eso?” pregunté, sin saber de las compras por internet que hacía Lawrie.

Eso era un disfraz de Elmo mandado del fabricante Claudio Mascots Oficial Lima Peru, un disfraz grande, peludo, rojo fuerte con una cabeza grande y ojos de plástico. Era increíble. Hecho hermosamente, y una replica exacta de Elmo.

Hace años cuando el nieto mayor de Lawrie estaba aprendiendo a hablar, pensaba que el nombre de Lawrie era Elmo y el apodo se quedó. Los niños iban a visitar en Diciembre 2011. Lawrie decidió aprovechar el uso del disfraz; para la fiesta de Halloween y dar la bienvenida a nuestros nietos en el muelle de Ultramar.

 El disfraz de Elmo fue un éxito total. Durante los próximos dos años, Lawrie lo usó muchas veces cuando fue a buscar a sus parientes – sobrinos, sobrinos nietos, hermana, cuñado y amigos – en el muelle de Ultramar. Elmo-Lawrie fue invitado al primer aniversario de Barlitos cuando estaban en la Avenida Hidalgo todavía.

Todos querían tomar fotos con Elmo; los niños, los padres y los abuelos. Hasta algunos de los personajes dubitativos que pasaban tiempo en la esquina por las noches querían una foto con Elmo.

Luego en 2013 nuestro amigo Freddy Medina nos preguntó si podía prestar el disfraz  para una fiesta de cumpleaños para un niño especial en la isla. Freddy estaba tan feliz con la alegría que le dio al niño que él sugirió la idea de una caravana navideña presentando Elmo y nuestros disfraces nuevos de Micky y Minnie Mouse, comprado por otra fiesta en Villa la Bella.
 
Freddy Medina - Elmo
La primera caravana fue divertidísima. Solo había ocho o nueve vehículos y una docena de motos mas o menos.

Nuestro jefe, Freddy llegó tarde y los carritos de golf se habían formado en una cola muy organizada hacia el norte. Debimos organizarnos hacia el sur para ir a las colonias primero. ¿Qué íbamos a saber? Todos éramos nuevos con lo de la caravana. Eventualmente cambiamos la dirección hacia el sur para ir a los vecindarios muy poblados. La caravana iba por las colonias en una ruta muy interesante que el conductor del primer vehículo había planeado solamente en su mente.

No teníamos ninguna idea de lo que estábamos haciendo.
 
Lawrie Lock & Chuck Watt
La emoción en las caras de los jóvenes. Los abuelos y padres corriendo a buscar a los niños para ver a Elmo, Mickey, Minnie, Bob Esponja, el payaso y el Grinch. El ruido, la confusión. La risa.

 Lawrie y yo habíamos comprado cinco libras de dulces, pero en la mitad de la ruta, les pedimos a nuestros conductores Chuck y Marcy Watt, que pararan de emergencia en Dunosusa para comprar cinco libras mas de dulces.

Lawrie & Lynda Lock, con Sparky
2013 también fue el año que aprendimos a quedarnos en los carritos de golf y no bajarnos con los disfraces puestos. Lawrie había entrado en un grupo de personas para saludar a los niños, cuando un grupo de adolescentes borrachos pensaron que sería cómico para agarrarlo, tirarlo y atraparlo-varias veces. Imagínense un hombre usando un disfraz de todo el cuerpo con una cabeza muy grande tirándose para arriba y abajo en un grupo de personas. Solo en México!

Dos horas mas tarde nuestro grupo cansado se dispersaron en el centro por Rueda Medina. Por casualidad, el vehículo de Elmo se estacionó cerca del punto de inicio de la caravana navideña del Presidente Municipal de Isla Mujeres.

El Presidente le sugirió a Freddy que Elmo debe acompañarles en la caravana. Freddy, que acaba de pasar dos horas bailando en la parte de atrás de una camioneta usando el disfraz completo estaba completamente sudado hasta su calzón con sudor.

Sin embargo, no se le niega al Presiente. Y siguió, bailando y gritando “Feliz Navidad” por dos horas mas. ¡Un Elmo nuevo nació!

En 2014, había mas gente que participaba en el grupo sumando veinte vehículos mas o menos. Freddy arregló con el bus cómico para que la gente acompañara y fuera parte del grupo sin tener que manejar.

El bus cómico es un vehículo muy viejo con dos niveles, decorado con luces de colores y tocando múscia a todo volumen. Iba por las calles de la isla por algunos años, el operador cobraba un poco de dinero para llevar a la gente en un tour alrededor de la isla por la noche.

Ese año seguimos una ruta planeada por la altura del autobús de dos pisos. Los cables eléctricos que se cuelgan muy abajo en las calles siempre son un desafío en México. La solución típica es que una persona se pare en la parte mas arriba del camión o vehículo con una escoba de madera para levantar los cables para poder pasar.

¡Siiiii, levantar cables con corriente con una escoba! Se pasa todo el tiempo. Pero cuando hay una caravana, no hay tiempo para levantar cada cable que está bajo y pasar, así que los pasajeros se agachaban para pasar.

Fue mas fácil para encontrar una ruta diferente. Otra vez, la experiencia fue increíble- el ruido, la gente, los perros, los niños y la música fuerte. Ese año regalamos quince libras de dulces a las multitudes.

Para 2015, pensarían que tendríamos la ruta organizada. Mas o menos. El bus cómico estaba disponible otra vez que significaba que nuestro tour era similar al año previo, hacia el sur, quedándonos en la calles principales y terminando en el centro cerca del Restaurante nuevo Muelle 7 que queda en Rueda Medina.

Teníamos todos los personajes usuales en la caravana, además de Batman-Jimmy. Santa John Pasnau y Sra. Claus Valerie Pasnau silenciosamente se juntaron en medio de la caravana dándoles a los niños una alegría adicional mientras Santa saludaba y decía, “ho ho ho.”

2015 fue el primer año que teníamos una escolta policial en forma de 4 motos que intentaron con muchas ganas para mantener el grupo junto. Fue un poco como arrear los gatos, que si has tenido un gato como dueño, sabrás que es una tarea imposible. Algunos de los vehículos se descompusieron. Algunos de los conductores doblaron mal. Y también teníamos vehículos que no estaban en la caravana entre nosotros, causando mas confusión. La risa de los niños y sus padres sonrientes valieron la pena.

Y luego hubo la caravana del 2016, el sábado 17 de Diciembre, nuestra cuarta caravana anual. Tuvimos camionetas, carros, docenas de carritos de golf, dos moto taxis y algunas motos, pero no había el bus cómico. Parecía que por fin, murió el bus. Teníamos a Elmo, Santa, Sra. Claus, Mickey, Minnie y una Tortuga Ninja. Había por lo menos cuatro o cinco perros incluyendo a nuestro Sparky, vestido por la ocasión paseando en sus carritos decorados. Había docenas de gorros de Santa, decoraciones compradas y decoraciones hechas. Música. Luces. Dulces.


Sin el bus, nuestra ruta era mas flexible. Íbamos al sur de nuestra casa por la colonia Salina Chica, por Salina Grande, La Gloria, por las calles estrechas cerca de la calle principal, doblando otra vez hacia las colonias enfrente de Oscar’s Pizza, seguimos por la calle principal por Chedraui y hacia el centro. Pero no habíamos terminado todavía. Nuestro líder nos llevó por las calles de Madero, Rueda Medina, Abasolo, Guerrero, Juarez, Matamoros y Rueda Medina otra vez. Al final, nos juntamos en la explanada en el centro.

¡Wow! Nuestras caras dolían de sonreír tanto. Nuestras gargantas estaban secas por reírnos tanto. Fue la mejor caravana hasta entonces. Había cincuenta vehículos mas o menos en total. Muchas gracias a todos que participaron en una celebración divertida y familiar. Ustedes son lo que hace este evento tan especial.

Elmo-Freddy & Elmo-Lawrie Lock
En 2017 Lawrie y yo regresamos a Canadá para celebrar la Navidad con toda su familia. Él tenía problemas de salud  y sentimos que podría ser su ultima oportunidad para celebrar una Navidad con la familia Lock. Rob y Julie felizmente se disfrazaron  como Mickey y Minnie en el 2017 y en las caravanas del futuro.

Si quieres ser parte de la loca diversión, contacten a Freddy o a mí en Facebook. No olviden en la lista de compras las luces navideñas con pilas y si es posible sistemas de música. Es muy complicado comprarlos aquí a veces.

Freddy Medina 
El disfraz de Elmo de la fiesta del 2011 reside en la casa de Freddy Medina. Es una casa muy buena para Elmo. 

Gracias por ser la loca persona con buen corazón que inventó este evento.

Y gracias a Freddy Medina por honrar a mi cariño “Lawrie” por cambiar el nombre de la caravana a “Caravana Navideña de Elmo.”







El Elmo-Lawrie Lock original estará con nosotros en espíritu.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Freddy Medina - "I want to rename the Christmas parade in memory of Lawrie"

2011 Elmo makes his Isla debut
Just this week our good friends Freddy Medina and his beautiful wife Yadira Velazquez (Eva) stopped by our little house on Isla Mujeres.

Freddy said, "I want to re-name the Christmas parade in honor of my good friend Lawrie.

I was speechless.

Freddy continued, "Without his help this parade would never have happened and I want everyone to remember him."

I suggested that since Lawrie's grandsons always called him "Elmo" why didn't he call it Elmo's Christmas Caravan.

This year Freddy has set the date to be Friday December 21st, starting at 5:30 p.m.

Here's how this whole parade thing happened.

The Beginning - September 2011

“Hey, cool. We’re invited to a Halloween party October 31st 2011, at Curtis and Ashley’s house Villa la Bella,” Lawrie said as he read aloud an email invite.

A month later the local postman arrived on his delivery moto at our front door with an enormous cotton sack tagged with Lawrie’s name and our address.

“What the heck is that?” I asked, oblivious to Lawrie's recent on-line costume shopping.

That - was an Elmo costume shipped from the manufacturer Claudio Mascots Oficial Lima Peru; a large, furry, crimson-red, costume complete with big head and google eyes. It was amazing. Beautifully made, and an exact replica of Elmo.

Years ago when Lawrie’s eldest grandson was learning to talk he thought Lawrie’s name was Elmo, and the nickname stuck. The boys were coming for a visit in December 2011. Lawrie decided he could get double-duty from the costume; the Halloween party, and greeting our grandsons at the Ultramar boat.

The Elmo costume was a huge hit. In the next two years it was used many times over by Lawrie when he greeted arriving nephews, nieces, great-nephews, great-nieces, sister and brother-in-law and friends at the Ultramar ferry docks. Elmo-Lawrie was invited to the Barlito’s 1st Anniversary celebration when they were still on Hidalgo Avenue.

Everyone wanted their photos taken with Elmo; kids, parents, and grandparents. Even a few of the slightly dubious characters that hang around on the street corner late in the evenings wanted a photo with Elmo.

Then in 2013 our friend Freddy Medina asked if he could borrow the costume for a birthday fiesta for a special young boy on the island.

Freddy was so overwhelmed by the happiness of the young lad that he suggested the idea of a Christmas parade featuring Elmo and our newest character costumes, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, purchased for yet another Halloween party at Villa la Bella.



2013 Elmo-Freddy makes his parade debut


The first parade in 2013 was hilarious. There were only about eight or nine vehicles, and a dozen or so motos.

Our jefe, Freddy was late and the golf carts had lined up nice and neat, facing north. We were supposed to be facing south to head into the colonias first.

What did we know? We were all new at this parade stuff. We eventually got turned around heading south towards the densely populated neighbourhoods.

The parade bounced through the colonias on a higgledy-piggledy route that the driver of the lead vehicle had mapped out in his head.

2013 Parade route - Alexis' photo


We had absolutely no idea what we were getting into.

The excitement on the faces of the youngsters.

The grandparents and parents running to find the kids to come see Elmo, Mickey, Minnie, Sponge Bob, clowns and the Grinch.

The noise the confusion. The laughter.





Mickey and his driver Chuck Watt
Lawrie and I had bought five pounds of candy, but part way through the route we asked our drivers, Chuck and Marcy Watt, for an emergency stop at Donasusa to purchase another five pounds.

2013 was also the year that we learned not to get out of the golf carts in our costumes.

Lawrie had waded into the crowd to say hi to the kids, when a group of inebriated young men thought it would be uproariously funny to lob Mickey Mouse in to the air and catch him – a few times. So picture this, a full-sized man, in a full-body mouse costume including a very large head being tossed up and down in a crowd. Only in Mexico!

Lawrie, Lynda and Sparky

Two hours later our tired raggedy group disbanded in centro on Rueda Medina. Elmo’s vehicle happened to park near the assembly point for the Municipal Presidente of Isla’s Christmas cavalcade.

The Presidente suggested to Freddy that Elmo should join that parade. Freddy who had just spent two hours dancing in the back of a pickup truck wearing a full-body fur-suit was soaked through to his underwear with perspiration.

However, one does not say no to the Presidente. And away he went, dancing and shouting Feliz Navidad for another two hours.

A new Elmo was born!




2014 parade - little Minnie Mouse

In 2014 we had more people join the group bringing the total to about twenty vehicles. Freddy arranged for the funny bus for participants who didn’t want to drive but wanted to be part of the event.

The funny bus is a two level dilapidated vehicle, decorated with coloured lights and blasting loud music. It haunted the island streets for a few years, the operator charging a small amount of money to take people on an after-dark tour of the island.



2014 Funny people in the Funny bus
That year we followed a route dictated by the height of the double-decker. The low hanging electrical wires are always a challenge in Mexico.

The typical solution is to have a person stand on the top of a truck or vehicle with a wooden broom to lift the wires out of the way.

Yep, lift live wires with a broom! Happens all the time. But when it’s a parade there just isn’t the time to lift every low hanging line and sneak past, while the passengers duck below the seatbacks.

It was easier to find a different route. Once again the experience was amazing - noise, people, dogs, kids, and loud music. That year we tossed fifteen pounds of candy to the crowds.




2015 Mrs. Claus and Santa
By 2015, and you would think we would have the routine figured out. More or less, mas o menos. The funny bus was once again available which meant our route was similar to the previous year, heading south, staying the main roads and finishing in Centro near the new Muelle 7 Restaurante on Rueda Medina.

We had all of the usual character costumes in the parade, along with the addition of Batman-Jimmy. Santa John Pasnau and Mrs. Claus Valerie Pasnau quietly inserted themselves in the middle of the lineup giving the kids an additional thrill as Santa waved and said, “ho, ho, ho.”

2015 our escorts


2015 was the first year that we had a police escort in the form of four motorcycle cops who tried their very best to keep us all together. It was a bit like trying to herd cats, which if you have ever been owned by a cat you will know is an impossible task. Some of the vehicles broke down. A few drivers turned the wrong way. And still others had non-parade vehicles cut in between, causing more confusion. The laughing youngsters and their smiling parents made it all worthwhile.



2016 Participants lining up by our casa
And then there was the 2016 parade, Saturday December 17th – our 4th Annual Christmas Caravan.

We had trucks, cars, dozens of golf carts, two tuk-tuks and a handful of motorcycles, but not the funny bus. It seems to have finally died, expired.

We had Elmo, Santa, Mrs. Claus, Mickey, Minnie and a Ninja Turtle.

There were at least four or five dogs including our Sparky, dressed for the occasion riding in their decorated golf carts. There were dozens of Santa hats, decorations bought, and decorations hand-made. Music. Lights. Candy.

2016 Mrs. Claus and Santa

Without the bus our route was more flexible. We wound south from our casa along the Salinas Chica neighbourhood, into Salinas Grande, Las Glorias, through narrow side-streets along the main road, turning again into the colonias across from Oscar’s Pizza, popped out onto the main road by Chedraui grocery store and back into centro.

 But we weren’t finished yet. Our leader took us on a cross-hatch route along Madero, Medina, Abasolo, Guerreo, Juarez, Matamoros, and Medina again. At the end we gathered in the square in centro.

Wow! Just wow. Our faces hurt from smiling. Our throats were dry from laughing. The best parade yet. There was somewhere around fifty vehicles in total. Thank you so much to everyone participated in the celebration of fun and family. You are what makes this event so special.
Elmo-Freddy and Elmo-Lawrie

In 2017 Lawrie and I returned to Canada to celebrate Christmas with his large extended family. He was having health issues and we sensed that this might be his last chance to celebrate a Lock family Christmas.

Rob and Julie Goth happily stepped in to become the new Mickey and Minnie for 2017 and for any future parades.

Elmo's Christmas Caravan is usually the last Saturday before Christmas Eve, but our intrepid leader Freddy Medina sets the date. If you want to join in next year just contact Freddy or me on Facebook. Don’t forget to add battery-powered Christmas lights and a music system to your shopping list. Buying them here is very hit-and-miss.


Elmo getting his annual - post parade bath

As for the Elmo costume of the 2011 Halloween party, it now resides at Freddy’s house. It’s a very good home for Elmo. Thank you for being the good-hearted, crazy person who thought up this event.

And thank you Freddy Medina for honoring my sweetie with changing the name to Elmo's Christmas Caravan.

This year Freddy has set the date to be Friday December 21st, 2018 starting at 5:30 p.m.


The original Elmo-Lawrie Lock will be with us in spirit.


Elmo-Lawrie and Lynda - 2011

~
Available as e-books and paperback on Amazon.com 





July 12, 2018
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase Book 3 of the Isla series follows the crowd as they survive a punishing storm that not only strands islanders and endangers their homes, boats, and businesses but also introduces a drug kingpin’s operations there. Realistic storm sequences kept me flipping pages. Relationships are the glue that gets everyone through the turmoil, with new characters expanding the ensemble I loved in Books 1 and 2. Nice set up at the end for Book 4, which hopefully will be out soon!

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Join me on my new site - Isla Mystery.com on Wordpress!


Isla Mujeres Mystery 

Just click the link above to view my new blog site.

I am trying out a new format for blog articles. Word Press gives me more options for posting photos to make the articles more colourful and fun.

I hope you will follow me on Word Press.


Cheers

Lynda 



Saturday, October 13, 2018

The power of grief

July 1st 2017 - before we knew he had ALS

Anyone who has spent any time around Lawrie and I, has heard the stories about our years as volunteer ambulance attendants and firefighters in a small Canadian community similar to Isla Mujeres.

Over time we developed a very black sense of humour about death. 

It was our protection, our coping mechanism. 

When you frequently take friends on their last ride, you need a way to deal with the grief.

“It happens to everyone,” I would say with a shrug.

Lawrie’s favourite was, “no one gets out of life alive.”

It’s what you do when you are a firefighter, an ambulance attendant, a nurse, a doctor, a caregiver, a hospice worker, a police officer, a mortician, an undertaker, a medical examiner, or anyone working with the dead or dying. You cope or you turn to drugs, alcohol, and physical abuse of family members.

Belatedly, after Lawrie’s recent death, I learned how deep the pain can be when you lose your lover, your spouse, your adventure partner and your best friend.

I was very familiar with grief. My dad died when I was seventeen, but our family didn’t talk about it. It was always the undiscussed elephant in the room. My mom died when I was thirty-six. She had been completely miserable since my dad’s death, so in a small way it was a blessing that she didn’t have to suffer any longer.

And now I understand her grief, her anger, her pain.

Every single day I miss Lawrie’s killer-gorgeous smile, his touch, his voice.

I miss his laughter and good humour. He never saw the negative, only the positive. I miss the smell of him. I kept his bottle of d'Issey just so that I can remember.

I miss him cruising around the Soggy Peso bar on Isla Mujeres, at least once a week, regaling the newcomers with his stories of living in paradise. I admit, I had heard the stories a few hundred times and eventually tuned him out. Now, I desperately wish I had a video of the Social Butterfly doing his meet and greet and making newbies feel welcome.

I miss his never-ending need for adventure, and another damn British car. I can’t tell you how many times I cursed the 1991 DBS V8 Aston Martin, nicknamed Ashley, for just stopping with no warning. The engine was so huge the gas would boil out and she would stop. Eventually after she had cooled down, she would consent to continue our journey.

I miss him asking me, “Where are you and Sparky going this morning?” He always wanted to know in case I had a mechanical problem with the golf cart. Sometimes I would respond, “For heaven’s sake, sweetie, it's a five mile long island. I can't get lost.” But he had to know, every single day where I was headed. I really miss someone caring that much about me.

I miss bringing his morning coffee to him in bed for most of those thirty-eight years, and recently being reminded, daily, that he like more caramel syrup drizzled on his coffee than I did.

I miss him noticing that the container of sugar was getting low, and invariably he would ask me, “Do we have more sugar?” He wouldn’t drink his coffee without three teaspoons of sugar.

I miss his company at mealtime, and I even miss his quirky dislike of most vegetables especially broccoli, asparagus and Brussel sprouts.

I miss that he refused to eat foods that started with ‘y’ – because his dad didn’t like them. Think about that one: yoghurt, and yams. That’s all there was in our Canadian food world at that time that started with ‘y’.

I miss listening to his frequent chatty telephone conversations to his son, his grandsons, his sister, his brother, old friends and new friends. He also had weekly conversations with a feisty woman, Edie Parker, whom he has always referred to as his ex-almost-mother-in-law. She is the second wife of his ex-father-in-law. She is healthy, alert, lives in her own home and still drives. She will be ninety-seven on her next birthday. Edie is a little pissed off that Lawrie is gone, and she’s still here.

I miss him teasing his then-teenage-son, John, and later his two grandsons about anything that would make teenage boys squirm and blush.

I miss his company for evening cocktails. I loved it when he could still pour me my evening glass of wine. I miss being able to reach across the bed and hug him. I even miss his snoring!

I miss his daily proposal to me, “Will you marry me?” He asked me every single day for thirty-eight years. But most of all I miss dancing with him. That’s how we fell in love, dancing.

To our many friends who have lost their loved ones, I apologize.

I had no idea how difficult it would be.

Lynda


Thursday, October 11, 2018

Mañana doesn't mean tomorrow ..... it's just means not today! Updated Oct 2018


2014 Oct 7th, buoy headed our way
At sunrise, on October 7th 2014, I noticed a small green light blinking on the ocean just south of our house, flashing on and off at regular intervals.  

Well, that needs to be investigated. My camera has a decent lens so I zoomed in for a better look; it was a huge marker buoy drifting free, and bobbing its way north towards our beach. 


2014 Oct 7th, buoy down and rolling across coral
Fifteen minutes later it ran aground, tipped over, and ponderously rolled in the waves until it was stuck about twenty feet from shore. We emailed a friend who knew how to contact the naval base to advise them of the problem.  

A group of marinas (sailors) arrived, a non-commissioned officer and his crew, to check out the buoy.  

Then the sleek navy cutter arrived cruising back and forth in the deep water on the other side of the reef, unable to hook a line on the buoy due to the increased size of the waves, and the shallow water inside the reef. 

2014 waiting for a decision   
The weather turned foul so we invited the guys to take shelter on our patio, offering them coffee and snacks while they waited for a decision from higher-up. 

The navy bosses were in communication with the harbour master and two employees arrived mid-afternoon to check the situation.  

2014 Oct 7th, removing the valuable beacon



One lucky guy was designated to retrieve the valuable GPS beacon.  The ocean is very warm in October, but dressed in protective gear it was a bit of a struggle for him to wade into the thigh deep water and remove the heavy beacon, still transmitting its location at 21 14.5 N and 86 44.1 W.  

It is good thing the beacon was removed, or we could have had ships trying to take a position reading off of our house.  We envisioned an unscheduled cruise ship visit, similar to the Costa Concordia that ran aground in Italy in 2012.

2014 October 7th, Marinas and Lynda
By noon we were serving ham or chicken sandwiches to the on-shore crew complete with a choice of coffee or pop and chocolate chip cookies for dessert. It was a pretty good gig, hanging out with us while the jejes decide what to do with the marker buoy.  Around three in the afternoon the officer in charge flashed us a big friendly smile and said that the weather had become too rough and the cutter was not going to be able to pull the marker buoy back out to sea. 

2014 Oct 7th, Sparky on left Tommy on right 
“We’ll come back mañana, or when the weather calms down,” he assured us. 

“Si, claro. Okay, no problem.”
  
Smiles and handshakes all around, and everyone departed: October 7th 2014.  

Yep, four years ago last week, and we still have a huge piece of rusting scrap iron rolling around in our neighbourhood. 

2015 October 11th, still waiting for removal
Back in 2014, I started taking annual photos of the life and times of the navigational buoy.

For the first few weeks the air stank of rotting sea creatures, until our neighbours helpfully hired a young friend to scrape the dying barnacles and mussels from the exposed bottom.  

So how big is this thing?  It has a six foot diameter, and without wading into the water with a tape measure to get the exact measurements, we think it is about fifteen to eighteen feet tall.  It’s big and it’s heavy.

2016 October, pointed straight at our casa. 
We had considered decorating it up for various holiday celebrations:  Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Independence Day. 

We have had friends offer to paint it with cool designs. One graffiti 'artist' did add his tag, but thankfully the weather removed the mess within a few weeks.

No one was allowed to remove, or move it, or even consider cutting it up.  It is federal property, but the feds don’t want it, the navy doesn’t want it and the harbour master doesn’t want it.  


2017 rolling in big waves from Hurricane Irma 
The first week or two that the buoy was here it moved around a bit, a little to the north, a little to the south, ever closer to shore until it is now half out of the water and stuck between two rocky outcroppings.  Our biggest concern is not esthetics, but of safety.  A big storm could turn this thing into a missile and shoot it straight at our house, knocking out walls and ripping down support columns. Or, conversely it could be swept out to sea during a hurricane becoming a dangerous navigational hazard, unlit, unmarked, and big enough to punch a hole in a large ship.


2017 September waves Hurricane Irma in Florida
We know it is not the fault of the folks that work for the navy or the harbour master. 

We have the greatest respect for them. They are willing, and helpful. 

The decision came from higher up the pay-scale ladder.It was just not in the budget.  

2017 October TS Nate now at Punta Piedra
In September 2017, when Hurricane Irma turned away from us, towards Florida, we had several days of big waves. 

We watched with trepidation as the buoy pounded against the three-foot high ridge of coral and sand protecting our house from the floating hunk of metal. 

At sundown it was pointed like a missile right at our casa. When we checked again at sunrise, it had bounced over the rocks moving north and stopping on the beach in front of Maravilla Caribe. 


2017 Oct - Amy, Punta Piedra having fun with buoy
A short time later Tropical Storm Nate moved the buoy a little further north to Punta Piedra's beach. 

Amy Canto decided to have fun with it, instead of obsessing over the unsightly hunk of metal. She made a 'man' by stuffing a pair of pants and a shirt with sargassum seaweed. His head was a round white fishing float, with a sombrero plopped on top.

Juan sat in an old beach chair inside the buoy with his bottle of tequila and a plastic Halloween pumpkin. He provided lots of chuckles for her guests, until another storm washed him away. I found pieces of Juan all along the beach, pants, hat, and head. Amy reassembled him, but the winter storms just wouldn't leave the poor guy alone. Eventually he disappeared. 

2018 Oct 8th moved again during Hurricane Michael 
Then on October 7th 2018 the weather forecast predicted that Michael, a Category 1 Hurricane, would pass between Isla and Cuba. The worrying and wondering started again. Where would the damn buoy land this time? 

Fortunately for us, Hurricane Michael skidded past Isla Mujeres doing very little damage, but it was a category 5 by the time it battered the Florida panhandle. All we can do is hope everyone is safe, healthy, and only a little wet. 

The remnants of the navigational buoy are a tattered shell of the heavy structure that arrived four years ago, but it is still capable of floating. We currently have a disturbance forming just south of Mexico, and Tropical Storm Nadine in mid-Atlantic. Hurricane season doesn't end until November 1st, and then we can breath a sigh of relief. 

In the meantime, Mañana, doesn’t mean tomorrow, it just means not today.


~

Isla Mujeres Mystery series

A big thank you to one of my favourite authors, Jinx Schwartz for her review of Tormenta Isla, Book #3 in the Isla Mujeres Mystery series:

Jinx Schwartz author of the
Hetta Coffey series
Author @JinxSchwartz
Reasons I enjoyed this book: Action-packed, Easy-to-read, Entertaining, Page-turner
Tormenta Isla: Murder and mayhem on a tiny island in paradise (Isla Mujeres Mystery Book 3)
Lynda L. Lock
.
Crime Fiction, Action and Adventure
A mysterious disappearance of a local man and the looming threat of hurricanes headed towards the peaceful Caribbean island of Isla Mujeres create havoc in the lives of Jessica and her rescue mutt, Sparky.
Available as e-books on Amazon, Nook, Kobo, iBooks
Available as paperback on Isla Mujeres or via Amazon


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