Monday, May 28, 2012

2009: From Livin' Like a Rock Star to a Tormenta

After hearing we were thinking about abandoning Isla Mujeres for Kauai in the fall of 2009, a friend decided an intervention was needed. 

It didn't really take much of an arm twist.  So in late October, we ended up at Ixchel in the luxurious 709 penthouse, livin' like rock stars!

View from the breakfast table.

 The beach below.

We had loads of fun that week hunting seaglass, taking photos, and eating our favorite foods.


 Exploring the market.

The weather was extremely humid that week with frequent downpours, but blue skies still prevailed and we divided our time between the beach, exploring the island, and watching the sunsets from the balcony.

After our week at Ixchel, we said goodbye and moved to the Rocamar.  As usual, Craig needed to return home for work, and I planned on staying an extra week.

 We traded the stunning sunset views for glorious sunrises.

Craig's last morning, we headed to the French Bistro for breakfast before he left on the noon ferry for the long ride home.

Soon after Craig departed, the rain started.  As he likes to remind me, I always stay too long at the party. There weren't a lot of sunrises in the days after Craig returned home.  The sky was dumping buckets.  One evening when I just happened to find an internet signal, I noticed an AOL headline about a hurricane.  I quickly clicked on my NOAA link and there it was.  A tropical storm down by Honduras.  Oh well.  Not to worry because it's November!  I'd never heard of a November hurricane.

The storm was scheduled to pass Isla Mujeres the next Tuesday.  Since I was leaving on Sunday morning, not to worry.  I spent the next few days dodging the torrential downpours.  By the time I realized the storm had sped up to a Sunday landfall with Isla in the crosshairs, it was Saturday morning.  Oops.

I figured my plane would not land in Cancun on Sunday morning, so if I left on the ferry, I could end up stranded in Cancun where I had no one to help in case it did turn out to be a big deal.  At least on the island, I had friends.  So I stocked up on Bimbo products and carried on.

Let's just say I was clueless and semi-delusional.  I continued my stay at the Rocamar, figuring I'd move on Sunday morning to a hotel away from the water  when the hurricane got close. Ha ha.  By Saturday evening, I realized the error of my ways.  The wind was howling and shaking the building, and the rain was driving into the sliders like nothing I'd ever heard.  The desk clerk was shocked to find me still in the hotel at 10:00 p.m.  Everyone else had left earlier in the day (while I was hanging with friends getting hurricane updates on Hidalgo).  It was me, myself, and I since everyone else had moved out.

It was a long and stormy night with no communication since I had no television or internet.  I had no clue what was happening with no access to a weather channel.  And I couldn't phone a friend. Believe me, I tried calling Craig but my cell signal was gone.  At dawn, the ocean looked like this from my balcony.

The hotel staff soon rescued me and trucked me over to Media Luna where there were people!  I now had people and it felt so much better!

Soon, the eye of Hurricane Ida passed and all was well on Isla Mujeres.  Look at this sunset after the storm!

With the exception of some beach erosion, high water, and a little damage to the Avalon bridge, Isla was unscathed.

I rebooked my return flight for Wednesday, allowing myself two extra days to enjoy the sun I'd missed in the last week of my trip.  The airline even waved the rebooking fee when I was able to prove the ferry didn't run on Sunday, so there was no way to make my flight in Cancun.  My plane did land at CUN right at the time the Cat 2 hurricane was passing, and took off for Phoenix without me about an hour late.  So much for being able to predict what airlines will do in a storm.

I marked Category Two Hurricane off the bucket list.  Been there, done that, and I think I'll be smarter the next time?

For the longer tale of the Hurricane Virgin, click on the link.

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