Today we are prepping for the half-a-dozen guests coming to visit us in Isla over the next two weeks – yay, y’all! Thanks for coming!
For some of our guests, they will be staying on board for their visit. Then a couple of Damon’s long-time buddies will continue on board as they help us crew Mother Jones across the Gulf and back to Texas.
Needless to say, with friends coming and the prospect of returning home (to land, to work, for the foreseeable future) we have found ourselves reaching into our present moments trying to appreciate life aboard – with just the two of us (and Kemah, of course).
So, what did we decide to do on our last day alone on the boat?
WE WENT TO THE MOVIES!!!!
Yep, I know it might sound crazy to all y’all on land, but given we spend most of our time outside (albeit amongst sea-breezes and gin-clear waters), it’s a real treat – something un-usual for us – to go to the cinema.
So, we were excited!
There’s a cinema 10 miles across the bay in Cancun’s hotel zone that has amazing VIP treatment: you reserve your seats at purchase so no need to wait in line, the seats are lazy-boy recliners, they serve sushi (for me) and philly cheesesteaks (for D) and the sound and picture are out-of-this-world. Basically, in contrast to re-watching an old favorite on our laptop, the Cancun Cinepolis is a perfect out-of-the-ordinary experience for a flick like Hombre de Acero* (Superman)!
*Movies in Latin America are dubbed and subtitled depending on the showtime. Most affluent Spanish-speakers (aka “readers”) prefer subtitled movies for the premiere acting experience over dubbed movies. Kids and other less-literate folks prefer dubbed movies. Or so we’ve been told.
our awesome seats
Plus, even though we’ve been in Isla for about a month, we had yet to explore Cancun. While we prefer sleepy Isla to “the Vegas of Mexico”‘s miles of hotels, Chili’s and Sears, we thought “hey, why not? It’ll be good practice for our immersion next month”.
We actually thought of this land-date weeks ago and while we were eager anticipating it, we put it off until yesterday: our last day to go. D checked the weather when we got up and said there might be a few scattered showers, but nothing major to worry about (you always worry about weather when you leave the boat). So, we were clear to go.
I got dressed up (adding mascara and jewelry to my jean shorts, t-shirt and flips) and let my hair down (it had been in my anti-humidity, stand-by braids so was all super-mermaidy-kinky-cool). D got dressed up, too (donning a clean t-shirt with his board shorts).
We checked movie times and ferry times, pumped up the dinghy and headed to shore. We popped into El Milagro Marina – where we’ll be pulling in for our guests – to chat with some friends* before leaving, and make final arrangements for our berth.
*by the by, our friends have a little cucaracha problem on board; we had some extra boric acid and were happy to hand help them out. Although, handing them over a small, ziploc baggie full of white powder, in reality could have seemed a bit, ahem, awkward . . .
Anywho, by the time we chatted with our friends – made a few new ones – and confirmed arrangements at the dock, the wind picked up, blowing a cool breeze across the island. A scattered storm was approaching, no doubt.
“Heh heh, great day to be away from the boat?” we joked to one another. I mean, it was just a little bit of wind, with sprinkles, right?
Just then, we saw the dockmaster run up to us sailors saying “is your boat red & white? It’s dragging. Fast!”.
Nope, it wasn’t our boat. It was Pamela Ann and she was about to swipe a Cat with her stern.
Pamela Ann, the Cat & the reef in the background
From the dock we could see three dinks full of assistance zipping their way – plus the wind was actually really light – so we opted to stay out of the way, on shore.
Luckily, Mother Jones and the rest of the boats in the anchorage* weren’t budging so we still felt confident keeping on with our plan.
*We all want to know how to prevent dragging. So, without trying to judge anyone, it’s natural to ask “why?”. In such light winds, to drag that much when no one else is, lead us to believe the problem was in the anchoring technique of Pamela Ann‘s captain.
Within 5 minutes (which is long or short depending on whether you’re the one dragging or not) we watched Pamela Ann hook in (you see a sharp turn into the wind) and all seemed under control. We left the marina and caught a cab a mile or so north to the ferry dock.
Standing on the ferry dock, with 30 minutes before our boat left, the wind and rain picked up – like, a lot. Soon the wind was probably about 20 knots and it was white-out rain.
Ugg. We knew what this meant: we really should get back to the boat – or at least somewhere we could see the boat – and other boats in case they drag into us. Aaaaaahhhhh! Stupid wind getting in the way of movie time! Has this ever happened to you? If you live on land, probably not.
We hemmed and hawed. We really wanted to go to the movies! Just to have a fun day playing tourists in a new town.
But, off we went, away from our ferry to fun-town, in the kinky-hair-killing-rain back to the marina where we watched our boat hold steady in the wind until the storm blew past.
Within about 40 minutes, all was quiet again. So, undetoured, we tried again. Cab, ferry, tickets, GOT ON THE FERRY, GOT ACROSS THE BAY and then, THIS was waiting for us:
a trio of pirate ship replicas used for dinner-theater sunset cruises
I really wish we’d have know about this when Mom was here. She’d have loved it (and made us do it). Ok, maybe I’m glad we didn’t know about this when Mom was here . . .
Costumes included with your dinner cruise
Davy Jones is surprisingly cordial
Anyway, the rest of the story isn’t that remarkable. Superman was great. McDonald’s still has awesome fries. Reclining movie theater seats rock.
And, so does this:
In case of fire in a Mexican movie theater, become a fireman, costumes included, axes on inside of glass #DIY #BYOAxe
In short: weather-threatens “normal” plans, boaters rally to help each other out, movies are special treats, pirates are apparently no big deal & other cultures do things different. In other words, a typical day.