Thursday, August 03, 2017

Thursday 3rd August 2017...the beach awaits!!!

Gracie and I are taking off tomorrow for 5 day here....

Isla Mujeres The Island of Women

Where time passes slowly and your dream vacation becomes a reality. Located just eight miles across the Bahia de Mujeres (Bay of Women) from Cancun, Isla Mujeres is only 5 miles long and half a mile wide at its widest point. The colorful downtown area, known as ‘Centro’ is four by six blocks – perfect for exploring by foot. The town square, vibrant homes, and many shops and restaurants add to its appeal. The average temperature is between 24 and 30 celsius (74 - 84 degrees) with 60% humidity and the hottest months are June thru September.

For hundreds of years Isla Mujeres was a fishing village and though its now thoroughly discovered by tourists it still retains it's charming and tranquil atmosphere. As you explore the island and stroll through the streets, you’ll see families gathered together in Caribbean styled homes, tucked between small hotels, shops and restaurants, giving Isla a small town feeling very different from the high-rise hotels and designer stores of Cancun.

Isla’s diversity, from the fisherman, artists and musicians to divers, chefs and ex-pats, make up a community unlike any other. With the beauty of the Caribbean, the heritage of the Mayans, and the friendly charm of the people, Isla has become a haven for people from all over the world

One of the main reasons for the visit is to do this....

Swim with the Whale Sharks

If you are lucky enough to visit Isla Mujeres during the summer months (June to mid-September), you’ll have the opportunity to participate in an incredible event - swimming with Whale Sharks in their natural habitat! Although massive, Whale Sharks are docile and harmless, happily doing their own thing as snorkels float around them. To be in their presence is a privilege and an experience you will never forget.

These gentle giants are the world’s largest fish reaching lengths of 46 feet (14 meters) and weighing up to 15 tons. The average size is 25 feet (7.5 meters) and the females are larger than the males like most other sharks. They reach maturity at 30 years and it has been estimated that they can live up to 150 years. Whale sharks are filter-feeders, swimming with their wide mouths open, collecting plankton algae, krill, and sometimes small squid or small fish. The are usually solitary creatures, another reason that the yearly gathering near Isla is a very special event.

The peek times of the whale shark season is July and August with the Annual Whale Shark Festival taking place in July.

The official price set by the official regulating bodies is $125 USD minimum per person and usually includes: a light breakfast, water and soda, ceviche lunch or sandwiches, snorkel gear and life vest and some additional snorkeling at a reef near Isla on the way back. Some tours that offer additional amenities might charge more.

The rules and regulations guiding Whale Shark tourism are in place to protect the participants and the Whale Sharks themselves. Only trained and licensed tour operators are allowed to take people in small boats, boats over 33 feet are not permitted to enter the area and only 2 people plus a guide are allowed in the water at a time (per boat).

Beware of anyone who offers you a lower price or who claims they will allow you to violate the rules. The Mexican Army is charged with enforcing rules and can detain boats who are not in compliance or violating the rules. Your day will be wasted and its doubtful you'll get your money back.

In brief the rules are:

  •  A trained guide with SECTUR permit is mandatory
  •  Enter the water slowly - no jumping from the boat
  •  Lifevest is mandatory
  •  Snorkeling only - no scuba diving
  •  Boats must stay at least 10 meters from the whale sharks
  •  Swimmers must stay at least 2 meters from the whale sharks
  •  Touching the whales sharks is prohibited
  •  Follow the instructions of your guide at all times.
  •  Only wear bio-degradable sunscreen.
I am not taking my computer so no blog till next Thursday.....

Happy Birthday today to great nephew TOM in England ..hope you had a great day.

Also happy Birthday to Peter hope you had a great day too....

Take care be safe and happy.....les

Yashi Kochi!!!!


Dee Tillotson said...

Les, sounds like a wonderful adventure. How are you two getting down to the island, driving, flying? We have never been there during the intense heat of August, but have traveled there in Dec. and Jan., and it is quite crowded during the cooler months. Hope you found good accommodations.. I now see a good reason for snorkeling the sharks in August because other months we would miss the migration. Sounds like so much fun.

Shelagh Kouwenhoven said...

Enjoy your trip, sounds like fun.

Dee Tillotson said...

Hope all things went well while swimming with the whale sharks as I understand Tropical Storm Franklin paid you a visit with up to 60 mph winds.

Sunday 19th August 2018....Little Bluey!!

This will be quite short as I am exhausted and ready for bed.....I left  Calgary at 1am and the flight was almost four hours and was unevent...