Sunday morning and it was time for more laundry….. Later in the afternoon we went to the infinity pool for an afternoon bob followed by a few sundowners at the beach bar and saw the aftermath of the strong winds that had wiped out the swimming area markers, before an early night on board. Just love the pelicans flying past in formation as the sun goes down.
Monday and we were up early. When we returned the car on Saturday the hire company had given us vouchers for breakfast at the neighbouring hotel Now Jade – and on this voucher they promised us $150 cash back if we attended. We knew that this was the hook to get us to attend a timeshare spiel but, having nothing better to do, we thought we’d go along….. We walked the beach and were told to wait in reception – and while we were sitting there minding our own business a departing guest gave us two bottles of champagne as he headed towards his taxi. Result!
We were taken to breakfast – the sales spiel started – and then we went on a tour. Nice place – although the suites were lovely it was all a little clinical, but I wouldn’t say no to the Jacuzzi on the balcony and the sea views LOL.
Tour over and the guy took us to a room to do the selling job on us – showing us figures and explaining the deal….. And all this is going on to a background of champagne corks popping and cheering as people joined up. Of course this is all part of the scam and the tactics didn’t work on us – so he tried reverse psychology by saying that he didn’t expect poor Europeans like us to buy into this as it was really aimed at rich Americans and Canadians. We enjoyed our charade – he gave up – and we got our cash back having only been there for two hours. Result….the car more than paid for itself!!!
We returned to Morphie and remained on board for the rest of the day pottering about before heading off to see Roberth at the infinity pool bar for a couple of hours speaking Spanish and drinking frozen Mud Slides in the evening. We really like this bar and it has some pretty cool wall art too….
Tuesday morning we had a lazy start before taking ourselves off to the infinity pool for the afternoon. We fancied one of the large double beds as we thought it would be a good place to do our future passage planning….. We had a productive day – including paying a deposit for a marina in Guatemala – and we now have a clearer idea of what we are doing…..
The challenge for the passage planning session was the routing and the visa restrictions. The C4 treaty – which covers Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador – means that you can only get a 90 day visa total for all four countries with free movement across the borders. It is possible to renew but you have to leave the C4 zone for three days and then return. So a Roatan (one of the Bay Islands which belong to Honduras) to Guatemala direct routing would restrict the time we had diving in the Bay Islands.….if we wanted to allow time to explore up the Rio Dulce as well as putting Morphie to bed. On top of that the direct route from Roatan to Guatemala also takes us way too close to the Honduras mainland coast where there have been a few piracy issues in recent years.
Bearing all this in mind we have decided to go to the Bay Islands directly from Mexico with our first stop in Utila. Then having explored / dived these three islands we’ll run north back up to Belize before heading to Guatemala. That keeps our dates flexible….. Phew! Now we just need the weather window to make it happen….
We are also making the most of the internet and are looking at routings for our flights home…very complicated flying from Central America to get the schedule workable – a US stop over is possible but definitely not a Canadian one based on the prices we’ve seen so far. We have had a couple of invites to stay in the US so we’ll be looking at what is manageable…
Wednesday morning we had another lazy one followed by a few hours in the pool. Then we came back to Morphie – admiring the flowers in the grounds along the way – to get ready to go out for dinner as we had reservations in the hotel to go to their Asian fusion buffet evening.
The tickets were only 350 pesos each, that’s £14 each, and that includes unlimited drinks! We admired the sight of the Full Moon as we wandered over to the hotel.
Well…the buffet was huge…and the ice cream / deserts were pretty impressive…but we were disappointed with the Asian fusion theme, although certainly didn’t go hungry. But this is a family hotel so I guess the pasta / pizza area was for the kids? Anyway, the food we had was very nice, and the house wine was a little potent but we had a great time and returned to Morphie pretty well hydrated.
Thursday and we had a very lazy day recovering from the night before – must remember not to drink their house wine again LOL. It was raining and thundery too so we just stayed put for the whole day. But we were productive as we were researching the clearing out procedures here in Mexico. It appears straightforward enough – unlike the complicated entry procedures – but here in the marina they want US $180 to organise it via an agent. We are loathe to pay that much money to leave the country, it already cost us $360 in total to check in, so we think we’re going to try doing this ourselves without an agent and the best place is allegedly Cozumel as the airport and port captain buildings are short taxi distances apart. So we’ll go there and suffer the noisy and rolly anchorage for a couple of nights to get our zarpe prior to departing for Utila. Fingers crossed this works out!
Friday morning we defrosted the freezer and also did some maintenance on the cooker as the burners were depositing soot on the bottom of the pans before heading to the pool to cool off. It is very hot and steamy here right now.
Later on we went aboard Didier and Mary’s boat for sundowners – a lovely French couple that we had met in Isla Mujeres. They are really nice people and very informative about the Rio Dulce and the Bay Islands and they showed us some diving videos they had done which certainly whetted our appetite.
We asked Didier what he did for a living before he went cruising and we found out he was a rocket scientist!!! Really….we’ve met a rocket scientist… Never thought we’d ever say that LOL. Really interesting that they lived for a long time in French Guyana as being close to the equator it made it a better base for launching rockets or satellites.
While sitting in the cockpit a large motor yacht came in and was reversing into a slip – but he was not big enough for a helicopter pad – so Didier got out his on-board helicopter to poke fun at them….. Hysterical!
Saturday we spent on Morphie again – we did swap out the shredded Ensign though – before we went out to the infinity pool bar for a few drinks in the evening.
Walking through the grounds we were admiring the artisan goods being displayed along the walk ways and stopped to watch a guy painting pictures to order – using spray cans. Hugely talented guy – we did consider buying one but didn’t have enough cash on us so that made the decision for us!
After a couple of drinks at the infinity pool checking out the great views out to sea we returned to the main pool to watch the evening show.
The show was Mexican themed and, at last, a live Mariachi band. Was a really good spectacle and my favourite of the night was the guy with the lasso. Wasn’t so keen on one of the drummers using a turtle shell as his instrument though…..
After the show we returned to the bar for a few more drinks and the full moon lighting up the sea was just stunning….and the illuminated walkways to the piers was really romantic.
This morning I’m blogging and Richard is washing down the topsides. Later on we have Didier and Mary coming on board for sundowners so we’ll need to clean Morphie up down below as well to look her best before we have company.
Looking at the weather forecast we are hoping to leave for Cozumel mid week and then onto Utila once the paperwork has been completed. Currently the wind is forecast to be due east at 15 to 20 knots – fingers crossed that it remains that way. North winds would give us very uncomfortable choppy seas and south winds would mean a beat all the way which would not be ideal. Currently we’re looking at a window to leave for Utila on Friday for the 270 mile passage. We should arrive sometime Sunday but we are heading into a current all the way so we’ll just have to see how long it takes – and slow down if the need arises to ensure landfall in daylight hours. We’ll be in touch when we can get internet again.
Bye for now