Leaving soon?

Phil & Nikki Hoskins
Sun 5 May 2013 20:12
We've been out for some more delicious meals ashore this past week, in fact our restaurant striking rate climbed from one a week to three. We enjoyed another impromptu fish barbecue in Marina El Milagro courtesy of an invite from David & Britta on Anam Cara featuring some more of those delicious Red Snappers the fishermen here seem to land with great regularity.
Just how good can locally caught & cooked fish get........                                                            ...this good!!!
Then Thursday it was back to 'Soggy Peso' for the 'Cheeseburger in Paradise' night with 'Killer Prawn Ceviche' for the 'Admiral'.  Then to round off the week's feasting activities yesterday we went out for an anniversary dinner at 'Oscar's' which is another marina with restaurant attached situated inside the protected inner lagoon. As the pics show 'Oscar's' has some incredible seating for their guests seemingly carved out of one piece of tree for each item of furniture. Well, it appeared that way but we were a few drinks into the evening before we looked closely at the carvings. From a distance the place looks like a scene from a horror movie featuring man-eating furniture.  Phil tried to shift his chair to squeeze his legs under the table and was in danger of requiring another immediate hernia procedure. Best not to try and re-arrange the furniture here. Steve kindly made it a threesome for the meal and we enjoyed another evening 'chewing the fat'. As well as celebrating six years of marriage it also doubled as probably(?) our farewell meal with him. We'll miss our weekly get-togethers and hope to meet up later in the year in the Bahamas.
The Bride looking relaxed (almost) in the easy chairs by the entrance, with Phil shoehorned into his lump of wood for the evening
'Chanticleer' in it's new dock in the lagoon and Phil & Steve in a 'who's first to blink behind sunglasses' competition
Prior to yesterday evening we walked into town to stretch our legs and buy a sombrero.  Here it is.........obviously Mexican, probably via China
                                                                       It wasn't for us of course but ..........  
 ......................one of the ship's bears                                                                                    Olay !!
Looks great on the little fellow but if the breeze is blowing strongly through the cabin we've found he gets blown over due to the windage caused by the sombrero's wide brim. The equivalent size for a human would have a 6ft brim so it's obviously a little oversized for a small bear. We may have to anchor him down with a dive weight to stop him blowing away.
One other event of note this past week was the 'Admiral' becoming entrapped in the ladies lavatory at the marina facilities at about 0630 one morning. Unfortunately the push button code locks become 'confused' when not operated properly. This became a proven fact when two unknown persons attempting to gain access from outside continually entered the code without allowing the mechanism to go through it's unlocking phase. The mechanism finally threw a wobbler and refused to respond to any code whatsoever both outside and inside the premises. This left our beloved 'Admiral' stuck on the inside calling for help whilst Phil slumbered peacefully back on the boat. The security guard turned up at some point and directed the persons outside to an alternate facility onsite which solved their dilemma but was unaware of the inability of our 'Lady of the Bog' to open the door from the inside. Finally some resolution to the problem was obtained courtesy of the marina manager and his large crowbar. The lock was forced and now without any doubt whatsoever no longer works.
When we originally arrived back in the marina from Grand Cayman we noticed the marina Palapa was missing it's straw roof.  The new thatch has been stacked up waiting for the thatching team to arrive. Well, they duly turned up on the windiest day of the year so far which had the not too unpredictable result of straw blowing downwind into all the boats with open hatches. Our neighbours who were in direct line of the straw storm shut down and start their air conditioning. The team gave up after a few hours and returned when there was marginally less wind to continue the job. And it's still not finished! But this is Mexico of course.
Day 1                                                        still day 1                                                       Day 2                                                          Day 3 & now they are on holiday for 2 days
We've had some really crazy weather over the past few days beginning last Wednesday when Isla Mujeres was hit by a major thunderstorm with winds to 50 knots. This system had been forecast to arrive the following day but these systems are so unpredictable. The humidity was through the roof and the sky darkened as the storm approached near dusk. Then the light show started with impressive cloud to cloud and more dangerously cloud to ground lightening all over the area. Then the squall arrived like a banshee and it blew old boots for two or three hours. Actually it blew old flip flops as we found out the next morning that one of Phil's was missing from the foredeck where they were parked (stupid boy). The left flop (or is that flip) is now pining for his mate which is probably enjoying life floating gaily along in the Gulf Stream with a million others before eventually washing up on a beach somewhere. We'll keep the left one - just in case Phil becomes a latter day Long John Silver! A few boats just across from us in the marina fared much worse in the storm having valuable instrumentation wiped out by lightening strikes. Boats in the anchorage were dragging in the high winds. Crews were risking a direct hit on themselves as they struggled to gain control and avoid collisions with other craft. It was chaotic for a few hours and we considered ourselves lucky to have only lost a small item.
                 Interesting curved white cloud line at top of pic with growing thunderheads lower down
Then a frontal system hit us on Thursday from the northwest which is not a good direction for any of the boats either anchored in the outer lagoon or in any of the marinas in the general area. Once again boats were on the move although this time the lightening storm was more over the mainland. Generally there was little damage done.  One couple whose boat is moored in the marina adjacent to us had to take a room ashore for the night. They couldn't get back onboard their boat due to the waves coursing through the marina causing their monohull to buck wildly.  However, it's all due to settle down in the next day or so and we can look closely at escaping Isla and making a run for Florida.  Monday or Tuesday looks favourite although knowing the weather in this area we are not holding our breath.