Isla Mujeres click "comment" to read or make an observation about this  article - click "email" to send this page to a friend
By Lee Martin - College Station, Texas USA
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Lee and Katie in Isla Mujeres
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It took 4 days from Key West. Not exactly what you'de call a hard trip, but we had some weather along the way. One evening of 30 knots with only the jib up, it was off the wind at the time, but unfortunately in the Gulf Stream. You get the picture, right? High winds opposing fast water = not the place to be! We were "pooped" once and I began to understand the true problem of overloading a multihull. The rest of the trip had a myriad of winds from none in the middle [ the G.P.S. showed us going backwards ] , to perfect 10 knots to end. Our F-27 ,TUMBLEWEED, handled the offshore part of the trip beautifully. We finished at Isla Mujeres by crossing the bar just after dark. I broke my steadfast rule of cruising unknown coral waters in darkness, but I had made the entrance before ,so it wasn't totally unknown. We made it with only one small incident. The explanation is weak I know, but it's all I've got , we were tired. As we approached the anchorage, Katie noticed a group of lights off the port side, squinting through salt crusted glasses I responded knowingly," That's a Tiki bar on the end of a long pier, damn tourists". we held course until the " bar" sounded the loudest horn I've ever heard and Katie screamed " that tiki bar has turned into a ferry boat and we're on a collision course". My stomach soured, the engine revved and the tiller almost snapped being put that hard over, we missed the 100' ferry by several feet--no sweat! After the anchors were established as set, my glass mysteriously filled with bourbon. No better payback for four days in a 27 footer.

The ten months that followed were spent cruising the coast in day sails. Down the shoreline southwest, through the bays and islands of Mexico, across the border into Belize and through an amazing display of islands to the border of Guatemala.

We learned a pile of lessons, as we always do, even 30 years later. Had the time of our lives, ate lobster and fresh fish till we could stand no more, met folks and stayed safe, all on a 27 foot boat. Go small- just go now !!!!! Lee