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A Week in Isla Mujeres, Mexico
A series of articles written by the homeschooled Calder children about cruising the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico.

By Pippin and Paul Calder, ages 11 and 9
Posted Monday, May 9, 2005

Two days later we went snorkeling near a dock. Paul spotted a scorpion fish, a bat fish, and a sea hare!

For sailors crossing the Gulf of Mexico, Isla Mujeres is the first inhabited island that they come to. It sits just off the tip of the Yucatan penninsula and is where visiting boats must check in with Mexican officials.

When we sailed in, we saw beaches, hotels, and palm trees. The temperature was 80 degrees, and the sun was shining. We anchored in a bay in front of the town int he ocmpany of many other cruising boats. After a week on the boat, everybody wanted to go ashore, but Daddy, the Extra Stinky OLD ogre, said: "Since it is Sunday, and on Sunday we have to pay overtime charges to check in, why don't we home school today and take tomorrow off instead to go ashore?" So that's what we did. It was totally horrid.

The next day we went ashore and checked in with the port captain, the doctor, immigration and customs. It was a bore! Then we went shopping. THere was street after street stuffed with tourist shops (mostly all the same). The most common stuff was sombreros, T-shirts, jewelry and Mayan checker boards that had the Spanish army versus the Mayan army.

We met some people with whom we had made friends on Isla Contoy and then we played soccer with their daughter and her friends. That night we went to the square to play soccer with about 15 kids, including us. Most were Mexican. Then we went to the playground, and the boys started kicking the ball around and accidentally kicked it into a man's backyard. The man said he wouldn't give it back, but we got it back anyway.

Two days later we went snorkeling near a dock. Paul spotted a scorpion fish, a bat fish, and a sea hare! Scorpion fish are very poisonous. They change color to match their surroundings so they are very hard to see. Bat fish are also hard to see because they cover themselves with sand. They have a little fishing rod on their heads which they constantly move back and forth to attract their prey. They look very cute. The sea hare looks like an orange piece of seaweed and at first we were fooled, but in reality it is a big slug.

On the last night of our stay, there was a huge Norther. This is a cold front which occurs when Artic air from Canada pushed down toward the tropics. We had two anchors out but they dragged in the 40 knot winds. We put out a third anchore trying to stop the boat from dragging, but all three tangled together. Mummy and Daddy were running around in their underpants half the night trying to sort out the mess.

The next day it was calm again so we checked out and started motoring for Guatemala. Read about Guatemala next time!

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