Thursday, October 3, 2013

A Boat Tour in the Mexican Caribbean

My family and I just spent a wonderful month in Mexico, and I have so many things to write about that I'm not sure where to start.  But for now, I'll just start with something easy - a relaxing and fun boat trip we went on on Saturday.

The trip started just out of Cancun, and took us around Isla Mujeres, a beautiful little island where Mexico's old Caribbean lifestyle can still be seen.

Here are some pictures.

This is the dock where the trip started.  We had breakfast in the larger hut at the back:

The twins, on board:

Getting ready to snorkel:

 The two older sons, watching me snorkel:

This is the view they had.  My oldest son claims he knows which one was me:

After snorkeling, with my lovely wife:

A typical hotel on Isla Mujeres:

A traditional wooden house on the island, in this case converted into a shop; this kind of simple wooden house was typical on the Mexican Caribbean before tourism took off.  Now everything is concrete.  I can imagine that these would stand up to a hurricane too well, but these little homes seem to have been around for a while:

Most homes have images of this sort:

The island's church; nothing "fancy" but the people's devotion and respect is truly beautiful:

 This is the beach where we spent the afternoon:

Some of the docks in the fishermen's district of the island; many of these local fisherman had their dock, home and a little restaurant all next to each other:

Although it's not very clear in this picture, this haphazard home is built of bamboo on a floating island. The island was made of old plastic bottles, covered with plastic and then soil on top:

Dinner at the beach club:

The view of the beach from the beach club:

My oldest son enjoying a dip in the pool:

Back on the boat, one of the crew members (the bartender) caught this barracuda:

This is one of the last pictures from the trip:

After my wife took this picture, the barracuda jumped and got the hook caught in the wrist of the man who caught it.  It was a very large and thick hook (2 1/2 inches or so).  Seeing the accident put her into shock; combined with low blood pressure and the motion of the boat, this was enough to put her out of commission for the next 24 hours!  She spent the night in the hospital.  Thankfully, she is much better now!

The fisherman downplayed the pain, and claimed that this kind of thing was normal for people who live at sea. I saw him as we got off the boat and he was smiling and waving.  I assume that he had removed the hook in a procedure similar to section 2 of this diagram:

In any case, that didn't help my wife very much.  But otherwise the trip was very enjoyable!

It's also worth noting that we were the only couple who brought our kids with us.  The other couples left their kids at home to enjoy a vacation alone.  While I understand that couples do need a break from the kids now and then, our trip was that much better simply because we brought them!  They loved it and so did we.

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