Friday, February 21, 2014

The other side of paradise ....

The three crazy friends on their new yacht!
Salty turquoise water sprays over the side of the boat, soaking my hair and shirt, coating my skin with fine grains of sea salt.  

It feels great.  We (well, let me amend that) Lawrie is now a proud boat owner in partnership with Richard Grierson and Chuck Watt.  

It's a twenty-six foot panga, a local style of fishing boat.  Currently named El Quinto Sol (the fifth sun, not son) it will eventually be renamed to something more suitable for the guys.  All week they have been bantering around names for the vessel but personally I am leaning towards Los Tres Amigos Locos.   The Three Crazy Friends! 
Two car ferries, and the Thor Heyerdahl school-ship

I must admit, the panga is a great way to see the island from a different perspective, up close and personal from the water.  On Sunday the six of us took it out for its first shakedown cruise.  After a few minor tweaks and fiddles with the fuel lines we backed out of the mooring slip and into Maxak Lagoon.  Then pointing the bow north we slipped along the western side of the island, past several marinas with a variety of boats: yachts, work boats, runabouts, and half-sunken wrecks.  

Interesting use for a ladder.
Powering along parallel to the shoreline we slid past the Thor Heyerdahl a topsail schooner that is used as a live-aboard training ship for young adults and teenagers from Europe.  

Then we passed the two car ferries docked near the naval base, and a large sailboat registered in Panama that had a quirky arrangement utilizing a regular ladder to access their dingy and the swim grid.  

North-western side of Isla 
The western side of the island is more familiar to us as we usually see it from the car ferries, and the Ultramar passenger boats.  

The beaches in front of the Posada del Mar and IxChel were both busy with the Sunday crowd of day-trippers, baking on the beach in a variety of colourful bathing suits.  

We anchored in the shallow waters of North Beach for a short time while Chuck took a dip in the ocean, primarily to see why one of the motors kicks up when put in reverse. Apparently there is a small piece - a metal pin - that is missing. It's an easy fix now that they have identified the problem.

Anchored beside the big guys at North Beach
Pulling up the anchor we motored around the northern point of Isla, into bigger waves, bouncing us around too much for me to focus the camera, and wouldn't you know it - we spotted a pod of dolphins cavorting in the waves, hunting for their lunch.  I couldn't dig the camera out of my waterproof bag fast enough.  They whizzed past and disappeared into the surf.  I missed completely missed that photo opportunity.

Got a bit wet when we were on the east side of Isla
However, it was still very interesting to see familiar sights from a different angle.  Houses and buildings that we walk or drive past on a regular basis look completely different from the water side.  

At the southern end of the island the waves were a coming at us from two directions as we cut through the swift current that runs along the island, past Cozumel.  And then we were around the southern tip, and into calmer waters.

Calmer after we rounded Punta Sur back to the west side
Brilliant sunshine, light winds, sea salt on our skin; it was a glorious afternoon.  As we headed back to our marina berth, we decided we should dock at our favourite island beach bar, the Soggy Peso, and pop in for an icy cold drink.  Sunday afternoon in high season!  What were we thinking?

There was not a seat, a stool, or a place to perch anywhere inside the bar or on the lawn, so we took our cool beverages down to their private beach and sat on the loungers.  

Beach bums at the Soggy Peso Bar & Grill
Huh!  Different perspective again - sand between our toes, palm trees rustling in the breeze, the beautiful blue water to look at, and a soft lounger to sit on. Not bad.  I could do this again.

When we returned home I downloaded the photographs and discovered that a number of them had a hazy spot or two.  Dried sea salt obscured the lens in a few spots.  Next time I will take my waterproof camera, and cleaner for the lens!

I can't wait to see what name the guys decide on for the boat.

Hasta Luego
Lynda & Lawrie

The new yacht! 

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