The many moods of el mar

The ocean is what draws us to the island. Calm, unpredictable, beautiful, threatening, our ocean has it all.

I thought, before I start wandering around taking new pics, that I´d share some of those I´d accumulated during my writing dry spell. Our island is surrounded by such beauty and uniqueness from the calm of the west side to the wave action on the eastern ´´wild side.´´ But, regardless where you are at, one seldom really knows the mood of el mar on any given day. So, we watch for port information, read about diving conditions, and consider the cruise ship count. Fishermen stay up to date, snorkelers look for the perfect spots, couples seek out sandy beaches while families look for fun locations. No matter our plans, we all remain constantly aware of the waters that drew us here. I thought I´d share some photos I´ve been able to capture over the last 4 or 5 years. Only exception is the pic at the top, it´s a personal favorite taken back from my first month here. Ok, now that´s been said, here are just a few pics of our beloved el mar.

Some photos both above and below I took with an underwater, pocket sized Canon camera I was using for a while. I could snorkel along, do a dive, take a shot. Or, rise just above and get interesting photos from the actual, literal sea level. Those are always fun, here are a couple examples with a bird shot thrown in. You can get really close to the guys who perch on poles when just floating along.

kept his eye on me the entire time, I bobbed back and forth trying to get a clear shot, he never moved though

Back on land I tried to get myself outside when the colors were unusual, or it looked to be a promising sunset. I always wonder if one can take too many sunset shots. But, I don´t think so. You´ll notice I already have some above. I do, however, make a point to just go and watch one without a camera sometimes. A whole different perspective when not adjusting for light, finding the right angle and so on. I can just sit and drink in the beauty, I highly recommend it. But, aside from that, here´s just a couple more of our island´s beautiful sunset shots for you.

This was a gorgeous evening, I´m not sure I did it justice, but that´s how I learn.
it was a rainy night, eventually, but I still wish I was on that sailboat
I enjoyed the light dancing on the waters

Daytime is gorgeous too. Whether sailboats are riding the waves, or people are just enjoying a romantic walk. There is much to love midday as well. Best way to stay cool too.

Cozumel has a variety of fan gardens, ask your dive master, or tourist guide where the best can be found…Punta Sur was where I captured this shot

I think I´ll close this walk down memory lane with a few of my personal favorites. With my next blog I´m considering taking you all shopping. We have so very much to choose from whether you like high end, or economical locations. Those will all be new pics that will capture both the colors and wares offered on Cozumel. Until then, hope you enjoyed, salud!

sunrise here holds such promises of a beautiful day

Titanic choices, arrange chairs, play music, or get in the boat…

Spent all my money on a mural and plants, so this was how I lived for a year. We all have our priorities.
Eight years and five months ago, this was my new home. That´s my new dog, Nity, posing in the background.

I´ve debated for days writing about this experience, but, since I´m just starting to write again, I thought I´d catch you up to where I am today. I am literally dusting myself off and starting again. This can be, in some eyes, a grand and exciting journey. Moving, that is… It really is all in the perspective. But, however one views it, it was the learning experience of a lifetime and for that I will be forever grateful. Here are my words of wisdom, points you probably already knew, but worth repeating anyway. Never having been blessed with a lot of common sense, these will be written down mostly for my sake. Here they are : contracts are good, never spend your own money on a rental, and friends, furry and otherwise, will get you through it all.

My cactus garden complete with the trimmings.

I´m going to start off with a story from my past. I find it amusing, and slightly relevant. It shows how I get through the emergency on auto pilot, then fall apart later. This is a tad embarrassing, but those who have read me before are used to that, so, here goes.

I lived in an apartment, back in my college days, with two roommates. A couple who had just fallen in love and the woman´s son. Candlelight dinners, candlelit bedrooms, candlelit baths all enhanced by fragrances and flowers filled the apartment. I stayed in the back in my very large bedroom\living room area for two reasons. Their budding romance was sweet, if you like diabetes, and I had serious matters to attend to such as passing my Psych. 101 exam.

To no-one´s surprise, we had a fire. With all those candles, well, it was bound to happen. I smelled something, then Keith yelled out ´´fire,´´ then Karen ran around naked trying to figure out what to save while their bedroom was blazing. Meanwhile, I called the fire department, got their son out and across the street with neighbors, knocked on the apartment door downstairs to warn them and then had coffee with folks while the firemen did their thing.

Yea, these weren´t our firemen, but, ladies, and a few of my favorite guys, you´re welcome.

Emergency was over, I felt good about my actions, and we all stood in what was left of our dining room. Smoked like sausage, curtains torn, wallpaper peeling and a saturated carpet. Typical scene, I´d imagine. The firemen congratulated me on my actions, gave a bit of advice to my roommates and then said this, ´´now, go collect your personals, you can´t stay here for the night.´´ I don´t know how much later it was, but I was back in the dining room with my roommates, all the firemen, the remaining paramedics, some friends who had shown up for support, a full crowd. But, they were all giggling, and at me. I had no clue what was going on and, frankly, was getting a bit indignant. Finally, Karen just grabbed my arm and raised my hand to my face. I had collected the box containing my Summer´s Eve douche and nothing else. I mean, they said personals. Yea, I fall apart later.

Eight years later and my pergola was built, my air conditioning put in, all had been painted, and all by me. It was my home, or so I thought.

So what the heck does this have to do with today? Well, I´d been under the impression that my home here would be my home for life. We´d discussed it often, my landlord and I. I continued to pay rent and continued to make it my own, on my own dime (peso). Then, three weeks ago, the need for a contract became glaringly apparent. I was informed that my apartment was nice enough to use as a vacation rental now (I didn´t respond, I swear) and that, since I had paid up until November, I was welcome to stay. However, I wouldn´t have stairs for an unknown period of time since they would also be constructing downstairs. It was suggested I bucket supplies up from Room Service. I wish I was making that up.

My Nity and Pasita, BFFs

First concern, my dogs. I had three at this point. Not many places accept a woman with three dogs. But, it seemed my luck had changed. A man immediately contacted me about an apartment with an enclosed field next door that was also owned by him. Perfect! Yea, not so fast. My Nity, the larger dog above, got confused in all the confusion and, when he, my new landlord, bent over to fix my internet, Nity bit him in the butt, hard. Now, they have a young son, so I understand their concerns. Watching my new landlady hide behind her door wasn´t good for anyone either. Plus, thanks to Dr. Ivan, she (Nity, not my landlady) has a new home, but I do miss her much. She was my first pup from here on the island. A little rough around the edges, but always meant well. If you´re the new owner and you are reading this, she loves to share coffee in the mornings.

Second concern, how to make it a home without spending permanent monies. Here´s where the Titanic image of arranging chairs comes into play. Let me share a few of the details of my former home. You can see what I moved into up top of this piece and what it became below. For photographic reasons I left out the air conditioner, sealed roof, new fans, new faucets, paint, mold removal, newly cemented deck etc.

Mariano Petit de Murat painted a Cherokee Rose for me along with other symbols of my heritage and a gorgeous mural of a sunset.
Ok, not for everyone, but it worked just like espresso!!

I liked it, it was my home. But, I´m not there anymore so it´s time to look ahead. Play some music, hold on to good thoughts, in spite of everything, and move on. So, here is where I will take the opportunity to share my new home and ´´garden.´´ Well, just the garden although the inside is cute and I have water pressure. Not just gravity, actual pressure, sigh. But, since the lesson has been learned, nothing will be added that cannot go with me. However, let me say this, I am just so thankful that dogs could care less about their surroundings as long as they are free, loved, cuddled and fed. So, without further adieu, here it is. I call it trailer trash chic, although I use the word ´´chic´´ with tongue firmly planted in cheek. I do want to point out, I´m absolutely not complaining. I have two of my dogs and for that I´m grateful. And, I´ll point out (with false bravado at this point) I take on challenges with passion. And, let me tell you, this is going to take a lot of passion.

I´ll start by mentioning that I discovered the first day that the main tree has berries that drop on your head, and birds who like to eat the berries but drop something else entirely. Aside from that, it´s a good sized space, has four coconut palms, one scorpion (that I know of) and, I do believe, it will become ours, to a point. The landlords were nice enough to build a doggy door so that my furry babies can access at will. So, practicalities are complete and I´m certainly happy about that. What to do aesthetically, however, is what wakes me up in the mornings. I´ll be certain to share the end results if you´re interested. Thinking Christmas lights, murals on removable boards and walkable tiles people toss out. It´s a start.

So this voyage is just about over. I´ve rearranged the furniture, played the music, it´s time to get into the boat already. Salud!

Dusting off my bootstraps

Let´s start with a sunrise, a new beginning, a new day. Or, how about just a pretty picture…

Once upon a time I wrote weekly blogs all about Cozumel. The many places to see, the variety of things to do, and the people you might well want to meet. In fact, you´ll be able to find those on the right side. Looking for a particular place? Just type the name in the search column and if I was there, and I enjoyed the experience, I wrote about it. I never accepted invitations though, that kept me honest. They also come with stories and pics.

But, then life happened and I stopped for a while. However, with little to no fanfare, I´m back. This time will be more simple (and less expensive for me). I used to visit lots of locations and I always paid my own way. So, now, these will be a little different. Just casual walkabouts with a few pretty pictures for those who love the island is my plan. Whether you live here, wish you did, or have visited and miss us, these pics are for you. Not a professional, but, ever since my dad put a Rolleiflex in my hands when I was 6, I´ve been hooked on capturing moments. I hope you enjoy.

Today´s photos are a variety of what could be seen while riding a bike around the island at about 8 this morning. There is one exception, the flower you see above. It was one of my cactus flowers and I just like the pic. But, back to the moment. We have many new, and gorgeous, murals by artists from around the world, and you´ll see a few of those. Otherwise, just the beauty that is all around us, along with a few fun things such as hauling big boats and hawking restaurant wares.

Some folks agreed to have artwork on their homes!
If there was space, now there´s color. Beautiful works everywhere you look!

I finally got to see how they tow the huge boats from the water to the dry land. Took far less time than I´d thought, but then there was hook up and drop off. I didn´t stick around to see those.

People were both patient and curious, not a single honker in the group.

One of the things I enjoy the most is the locals who are happy to pose, especially if it is in front of their place of work. This fun guy was busily using his best Spanglish explaining how good their lobster is, all while finding the best place to stand. Now, I have eaten here, great guacamole and ceviche, but I haven´t tried their lobster, yet.

Right on the ocean, close to the Blue Angel on Melgar. Certainly friendly service!! I do want to point out, it was early, he was cleaning. I´m fairly certain he´ll be washed and dressed once it´s open.

Here is another mural I discovered on the backside of Chedruai. I must admit, this is one of my favorites. Beautiful art that will last years by world renowned artists.

Personal fan of this piece. Drive along the back of Chedruai, on 17, I believe, to see this work of art.

I have to include an homage to our divers. It´s certainly a beautiful day above the surface, hope you enjoy the colors below as well.

Folks got a kick out of me waiting for the sun to take this shot.

Let me leave you with a few more pics that include the water, our lighthouse, and someone´s tree charm. This was fun, for me, to once again see the island´s beauty.

Isn´t that sky gorgeous? BTW, it took me ten minutes to decide whether the tower should be straight, or the ocean look like it´s draining. So I walked all the directions I had to choose from and the leaning tower of Cozumel was my final pick. But, isn´t that sky gorgeous?
Simple beauty is the best!

Not sure when I´ll be back, but it will be soon. Will try and get the feel of the island for those who miss it. And capture the images for those who live here and love it! Salud!