Adios Isla Mujeres

Our time at Isla Mujeres is up, and it's time to move on.

Our final day on the island has been a restful one, because the wind picked up significantly overnight so it was too strong to head out to sea today. In fact, I watched a perplexed pelican get blown backward this morning. You just can't argue with Mother Nature.

The three of us spent the first part of the day catching up on sleep and later bidding farewell to the new friends we've made, including Rogelio (the boat captain in the blue t-shirt) and Juan (white t-shirt), who took excellent(!) care of us and tirelessly searched the seas for sailfish. They were also fortunate(?) enough to get stuck chaperoning and babysitting us during our excursion to Chichen Itza a few days ago.

group photo

I haven't taken many photos around the island during this trip. We were out to sea by 06:00 on most days, and by the time we got back to land, I was completely wiped out either from swimming a lot and/ or from baking in the sun and being tossed around by the swells.

Finally this morning, I had a chance to take a few snapshots of the dock and the boat we were on.


Before I prepare to pack up (actually, I'm just procrastinating), here are a couple more sailfish photos.

The first illustrates the incredible pinpoint control sailfish have with their spears. On many occasions, we watched in amazement as sailfish skewered their prey like tasty fish kebabs:

sailfish spearing sardine

A few people wrote to me earlier in the week, expressing the sentiment that it must be scary/ dangerous to be in the water with fish armed with long spears. That's what I thought too when I arrived here, but after spending several hours swimming among these animals, I am confident that they have perfect control and are completely aware of their position relative to one another and to anyone who happens to be in the water.

It's always possible for an accident to occur, but if you think about, a head-on collision between a sailfish and a person would probably be just as damaging for the fish as for the swimmer.

Sailfish use their spears to hunt prey, so the last thing they'd want to do is damage and/ or lose the tool they rely on to catch food. Right?

In fact, after the first couple of drops, I was confident enough to get in right among the sailfish and place my trust in their agility, intelligence and self-preservation instinct.

On many occasions, they came close enough for portraits like the one below, photographed with a fisheye lens on a full-frame camera…in other words, the fish was just inches away from me, travelling at blindingly fast speed!

sailfish landing next to me

Over the past few days, I've heard from a number of people who've expressed an interest in visiting Isla Mujeres next year to see the sailfish. Eric and I haven't figured out our respective forward schedules yet, so we're not entirely certain if we'll be back. We'll figure it out soon though.

If you're interested in joining us on an adventure here in 2011, please drop me a message via my contact form.

So that's it for Isla Mujeres. We head to the airport at the pleasant hour of 05:00 tomorrow. Sterling is headed back home. Eric and I are making our way to the lovely island of Dominica…another new destination for me.

Isla Mujeres…Adios, and thanks for all the fish!