Friday, January 27, 2017

It’s a very fishy island

Fishing at Arrowsmith Banks, 23 miles out -     
Isla Mujeres, just a few minutes away by passenger ferry from the tourist-mecca of Cancun, was settled generations ago by the Maya fishermen and their families. The fishing culture is still very prevalent on the island.

Winter residents - fishing off the dock

There’s fish to catch: You can go fishing with friends, or charter a boat from an islander, or sit on a dock, or stand on the shoreline to catch your finny dinner.

These two guys found a good spot to enjoy the day

Charter boats big and shiny, or small and humble, are docked at the wharves - their knowledgeable captains waiting to take folks out on the ocean for a day charter, or as a participant in an organized fishing tournament.  Unless you are prone to seasickness it’s a great way to get some sun, have a bit of fun, and exercise your muscles while hauling in the tasty treats.

Islander diving for dinner

Some of our island friends free-dive to depths of eighty or more feet to spear a meal. The level of physical fitness required for this activity is astounding. We are the sit-on-a-boat kind of fishing people, and then only rarely. 

School of fish

Fish to swim with: Tug on a pair of fins and add a mask and snorkel, or pull on the full diving gear ensemble and you can cavort with your finny friends along the world’s second-longest barrier reef. With sixty-five species of stony coral, three hundred and fifty varieties of mollusks, and five hundred types of fish the reef is a bio-diverse universe.

Depending on which section of the reef you explore you might find inhabitants such as moray eels, scorpion fish, crabs, lobsters, shrimps groupers, grunts, oceanic triggerfish, angelfish and the multi-coloured parrotfish as well as other creatures such as delicate seahorses.

Invasive Lionfish in tank at turtle farm

The red lionfish, originating in the Indo-Pacific region, has in recent years made an appearance in the Caribbean Sea, devouring many of the reef-cleaning species that maintain the health of the coral. There are annual cooking competitions along the Riviera Maya, featuring lionfish cuisine to reduce the invasive population. 

Although not fish, the reef is host to playful dolphins, giant sea turtles, peaceful manatees, majestic rays and in the summer months the gentle whale sharks.

Local fishermen repairing nets 

And fish to fry. The beaches on the western side of the island are strewn with small boats capable of holding five or six men and a pile of nets. These tough little boats and their hardy owners supply the island residents and tourists with tasty fresh fish whenever possible. When the weather prevents the boats from leaving the harbour the fishermen spend the time cleaning nets or maintaining their boats, or just shooting the breeze with fellow fishermen at their co-ops, cooperativas, located along the western shore of the island. While calloused hands deftly weave the bobbin of nylon yarn, mending rips and holes there is laughter and raunchy jokes. Beers are consumed, insults yelled to friends.

Waiting to go out

Fish can be purchased directly from the cooperativas, to prepare in your condo or apartment. The prices varying according to your island status; born on the island local, new resident, or visitor. The ability to speak Spanish also has some bearing on the prices. However, the fish is definitely fresh when purchased direct from the fishermen.

Yum! At Veradero Cuban Restaurante

Between catching and eating, or photographing and playing with there are lots of fishy activities in and around Isla Mujeres that can entertain and occupy any person no matter what their fitness level.

Come and enjoy a bit of paradise,

Lynda & Lawrie

Don't miss this! 
Get your copy today and join the adventure!

By Amazon Customer on December 11, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

Lynda Lock invites the reader to join the exciting adventures of Yasmin and Jessica as they search for buried treasure on Mexico's beautiful Isla Mujeres. Those of us lucky enough to have already experienced this magical destination will enjoy reading about some of their favorite places. I enjoyed the book's fast pace and I actually learned a thing or two about the Mexican culture that I so dearly love. On my next trip to Isla Mujeres, I plan a treasure hunt of my own - finding that frozen ginger Margarita! 

$2.99 USD on Amazon e-books
Free downloadable app to read on any electronic device. 

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