Friday, May 24, 2019

Isla Mujeres Daily News & Events Friday, May 24

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More news tomorrow....I was otherwise occupied today, but here's a summary...

Tomorrow, Sat. May 25, there will be a sailboat race and beach party to benefit Isla Animals, at Capitan Dulche's from 10a-7p, where a $5 donation includes use of swimming pool, snorkeling, kid's games, music, and a raffle. Food & drinks available for purchase.

Events begin on tomorrow night at 8pm on the Town Square for Dia de Marina, (which is June 1st). The Queen will be crowned and there will be a dance with live music provided by "Mega Boom" on the Town Square.

On Sunday, May 26 there will be a Children's Fishing Tournament, 8a-12p on the dock at the Villa Vera Merina, at the Makax Lagoon, for children 6-12 years old. (First prize is a fishing pole and a whale shark tour for the winner and parents. Second and third place winners receive a fishing pole and a dinner with their parents.)
At noon there will be a baseball game between local teams at El Pescador field in front of Chedraui.
At 7:30p the Town Square, the Symphony Orchestra of the Quintana Roo police will perform for a special "Noches Magicas".

The 14th edition of the "El Cruce 2109" will be held on Sunday, starting 'at an early hour', when competing swimmers will cross the Bay, swimming 10 kilometers from Playa Caracol in Cancun to El Pescador beach in Sac Bajo. This year's edition will include 1200 competitors and events on the day before; the "Cancun Mile, and an "Iron Swim" of 3.8 kilometers. Participants include athletes from 24 states of Mexico, and from 18 countries
Also participating will be the dog of Cesar Barrios, who has been trained to ride in a tire-float, while being towed by her master, who will be wearing fins. They are raising money for sterilizing dogs in Cancun and will be accompanied by a veterinarian in a canoe, carrying drinking water.

Dia de la Marina events resume on Wednesday, May 29 with a children's tricycle contest at 8pm in front of Playa Centro on the Rueda Medina sidewalk-malecon, with the trikes decorated as ships navigated by kids age 4-7 and prizes of 5000, 3000, and 2000 pesos.
Events on Sat, June 1st begin with a 5 kilometer race in men's and women's divisions, and another for teens and children, starting in front of Playa Centro at 7am and 8am, with more than 17,000 pesos in cash prizes. Registration deadline is limited to 150 runners in the 5k, and 150 in the youth and children's event.
The official ceremony for National Dia de la Marina will take place at 11am, with a procession of boats in the Bay and placing of a wreath. On Playa Centro, a beach soccer tournament will start at 11am, with teams of eight people and prizes of 3000, 2000, and 1000 pesos. It will be followed by a beach volleyball tournament at 1pm with teams of two men & two women competing for prizes of 3000, 2000, and 1000 pesos.The festivities will come to a close at 2p, with a Palo Encebado contest.

Dia de la Marina also commemorates the day Mexico entered WWII in 1942, after two of her merchant tankers were torpedoed by German submarines off the coast of Florida. During the four days between June 2 & 5, 1942, three ships near Isla Mujeres were sunk in the Yucatan Channel by a single U boat. This included the US merchant ship, "Velma Lykes", which was about 15 miles east of the island when she was hit. She sank in less than a minute. The 32 survivors didn't have time to launch the lifeboats and clung to three rafts. The next day they were spotted by a convoy-escort plane & the 17 remaining survivors were picked up. Four days later, that ship was torpedoed, but all the men from the "Velma Lykes" survived the second sinking & eventually landed in their destination in Panama.

Sunday, June 2nd is an election day for state legislators, which usually means the Ley Seca will be imposed from midnight on Saturday until midnight on Sunday, when "To Go" sales of alcohol in stores aren't available and Mexican citizens can't consume alcohol in bars and restaurants. Foreign tourists may continue to buy drinks in tourism destinations such as Isla Mujeres, sometimes a food purchase is also required, but that seems to vary year to year.

Tomorrow's plogging meet-up locations hasn't been announced yet. It's 8a-10, more info at Acción Isla on FB
Wednesday night bike rides meet at 8:45 at Juarez & Abasolo, with an open invitation to participate, if your bike has front & back lights. Helmet recommended. Isla en Bici on FB has more info.

Hotel occupancy has declined in recent weeks, which is at about 59% on the island, with the smaller hotels reporting about that less than a third of their rooms are occupied. So far this month, the best day was May 18 at 65%, and the worst was May 13th with 55%. The decline is expected to continue until June 22nd, when summer vacation begins for schoolchildren in Mexico.

The state and municipal Committees for the Hurricane Season 2019 will be installed on Thursday, May 30th. Inspections have already been conducted on the seven hurricane shelters on the island, which are ready. (Usually, the main one down south is utilized and the ones in the schools and other buildings are prepared for use as back-up.)

The 16th edition of the Cosme Magana International Fishing Tournament was a success, with 120 boats participating, and scores that were higher than any in the previous tournament. Points were awarded for white marlin (catch & release), sailfish (catch & release), wahoo, sierra, dorado, bonito tuna and barracuda. The top two boats were from Puerto Adventuras; "Sum Beach", who won 350,000 pesos and a motorcycle, and "Knotty Hooker", who won a pick-up truck. "Diablito" took third place and a prize of 100,000 pesos, who won first place last year.

Playa Norte was been awarded the Blue Flag designation this week, having met the 33 criteria which ensure the beach and water are clean and safe, as well as other requirements for access, information, and environmental responsibility. Playa Centro was recertified as a Blue Flag Beach.

Although Whale Shark Tour season was scheduled to begin on May 15, the permits haven't been released yet and the Harbor Master is still awaiting an official Technical Opinion from the Navy about the feasibility and safety of propeller protectors.
Last Friday, two tests were conducted on these devices which are a new requirement of the Management Plan for the whale shark tours. During the test of the "San Diego", the protector broke into two pieces before the boat had gone five nautical miles at a speed of 20 knots, leaving it adrift. For the "Santa Rosa", the tests showed that with the use of its protector, the steering wheel became rigid and caused difficulty with maneuvering.

A new whale shark documentary is available on Amazon which follows the path of two whale sharks, "Milo" & "Lucho" after they were tagged last summer in Isla Mujeres. Here is a link to a real-time tracking website where you can see when they've returned to the waters near Isla Mujeres, along with "Rio Lady". Currently Milo is here, but the other two are up in the Gulf.…

Photo from MVC's roof  is of a fire in two shacks near the entrance to a marina, behind the middle school, which were used for repairing outboard motors and other mechanical work. It was extinguished promptly by Naval and municipal firefighters, with no injuries or damage to nearby boats or other buildings, but the contents and structures were a total loss.

Chedraui no longer has plastic bags at the checkout. Yay! Photo shows reusable: shopping bags, produce bags, straws & a pitcher, which are stocked in the Maravilla Caribe studios, with reusable insulated metal bottles. Biogradable sunscreen, natural insect repellent, or other eco-friendly products are available at BIO GREEN BLUE, a 10 minute walk into Salina Chica, across from Isla Brewing. The mesh bags also keep your produce longer. Recently, we've experimented with reusable silicone "ziplocks" & are giving them a "thumbs up", too!

Photo of sign says "Our beach isn't an ashtray". Efforts are being made to educate smokers that cigarette butts are a significant contaminant to the oceans, with environmental consequences when they're tossed in the streets or buried in the sand. News reports in Isla Mujeres said the ZOFEMAT beach cleaners remove a couple kilos daily. There's a Mexican company in the region that is detoxifying them & turning the cellulose into biodegradable plant pots, who have sponsored programs where beach businesses exchange collected butts for a plant in one of the biodegradable pots.

Isla Mujeres has been spared so far this 'sargasso season' (Photos #7 & 8 are North Beach & Playa Centro. Thanks Joao!) but the rest of the state has been getting hit pretty hard. Sargazo Quintana Roo has photos & graphics showing where it's bad & where it's not. The President has put the Navy & their equipment to work, but with it washing up by the ton along the Maya Riviera, it's daunting.
The Tortugranja received a good response to its announcement seeking volunteers for this turtle nesting season. The requirements included a month-long commitment from volunteers over 18 with a strong sense of responsibility and a basic level of Spanish, as well as an ability to adapt to basic living conditions. In return, they'll be provided with Housing, Food, Training, a Certificate of Participation, and Supervision & Support in the Performance of the Activities which include Night Patrols, and Workshops in Environmental Education.

Last weekend's Miss Gay Quintana Roo competition was held on the Town Square. The winner is from the municipality of Othon P White, who will represent the state in next year's national competition (last photo) The theme of the event was "The Art of Transformation" with contestants who aren't taking hormones and haven't had surgery.

Did you know that Parrot Fish are responsible for producing most of the white sand in the Caribbean? Many scientists say the #1 thing we can do to ensure the health of coral reefs is to protect parrotfish & last year Mexico put 10 species on their Protected List.
In addition to preventing overgrowth of algae, which has threatened reefs since the 90's, each fish produces hundreds of pounds of sand yearly, munching on dead exposed corals and excreting fine sand. These colorful fish change appearance as they mature, and may also change sex. Before retiring for the night, parrot fish construct a nightgown of foul smelling, bad tasting mucus, to discourage predators. You can help them save the reefs by wearing reef-safe sunscreen or protective clothing.

The Hotel Zazil Ha photo says it was inaugurated on May 18th, 1964 by the president of Mexico at that time, Adolfo Lopez Mateos. It was the first luxury hotel in the region, and is now the "Mia".


  This blog is brought to you by....
View from the rooms.

MaraVilla Caribe   Bed & Beach    Three rentals with large glass doors overlooking our white sand beach and the beautiful Caribbean sea, with  kitchenettes & fast WIFI. In the coastal neighborhood of  Bachilleres, among upscale villas & boutique hotelitos, convenient to downtown or the colonias, yet separate.  Quiet & Private.   
 Kitchen in a large studio. (Sur & Norte are identical)
Kitchenette in small room, Medio. There's a table & chairs across from it & a double bed.
A large slider opens from each of the 3 rooms onto the patio where each has a table & chairs, hammock & clotheslines. The BBQ is behind the pole, and the outdoor shower is outa the pic at left.
Large studio (Norte), I'm standing in the kitchen. A queen & single bed.

Free amenities such as hammocks,bikes, BBQ grills, safes, portable beach chairs & beach towels, washer & dryer, loungers. Breathtaking panoramic views from the rooftop terrace. Large sliding doors open to a patio & our backyard-beach, overlooking the Caribbean sea. Upstairs room also available. Downtown is  ~ a mile away; if you don't feel like walking,  flag a $2 taxi. Parking. You can enjoy the music & crowds downtown, then come home our quiet neighborhood of Bachilleres where you'll  sleep to the sounds of the sea.$275/$325/$425 wk   $40/50/$65nt  Monthly Discounts

Large studio (Sur) with Queen & Single bed. Slider door & view are behind me.

Fine dining a few steps away at Da Luisa or try the neighborhood eateries a couple blocks farther. Within ten minutes walk are a variety of restaurants including Mango Cafe, Brisas, Manolitos, La Chatita, Green Verde, Kash Kechen Chuc, and the large department store-grocery , Chedraui. Visit marinas, bars, & beach clubs that are minutes away by bike or on foot. Attend Yoga classes a couple villas away at hotelito Casa Ixchel. Fresh juice, produce & tortillas a few blocks away in the village, as well as a variety of other stores and small local restaurants. It takes 20-30  minutes to walk downtown.
Full moon rising over the Caribbean 

May 18   7:20
May 19    8:19
May 20   9:16
 May 21   10:10
 May 22   11:01
 May 23   11:48
Painting by Pamela Haase
Sunset  ~7:15p-7:25
Sunrise ~6:15a-6:05
May Events 
Provided by MaraVilla Caribe & Isla Mujeres Daily News & Events

On Saturdays at 8a-10a,  Plogging events to clean up the island are held,  meetup locations at this LINK . Bring your refillable bottle & they'll supply gloves, water, & bags,   Here's the Accion Isla LINK

Wednesday nights at 8:45p, a new bicycling group invite people to join them for healthy recreation, meeting at Juarez &  Abasolo. Lights required, helmet recommended. LINK   

In May  fishermen in this region are banned from catching Lobster, Octopus, Conch & Shark Lobsters kept in captivity continue to be available, along with frozen tails.  LINK 

Wednesday, May 1 Labor Day. International Dia de los Trajabadores. Banks, schools, government offices, and similar businesses will be closed. Most tourism businesses will be open, as will Chedraui.

Wednesday, May 1  In honor of State Sea Turtle Week & Children's Day, the Tortugranja will present puppet shows tomorrow, May 1st at 9a, 11a, 1p, and 3p
Friday, May 3- Día de Santa Cruz/ Día del Albañil

Saturday, May 4 The Caribbean beach "Playa Guadalupana", near the cemetery, is one of the main turtle nesting beaches & you're invited to help clean it up at 9am for the mamas who will start arriving any day now. 

Sunday, May 5 "Cinco de Mayo" commemorates a battle against the French in Puebla & is mostly celebrated in bars by folks from the US.

Sunday, May 5  The First National Women's Extreme Roller Skating Festival of the Maya Riviera 2019 will be in Isla Mujeres on Sunday, May 5 from 1p-5p. Free. Schedule:
1p at the Bicentennial Dome in La Gloria: Recreational Games.
2:30p Awareness Competition "Roll & Pickup".
3p at the Skate Park in Salina Chica: Skating Exhibition by Chicas Roller Mexico, Live music by Playa Sol, Cypher of Freestyle, Mural painting, Environmental talk by Accion Isla, Skate Workshops, games & more, with food by Santo Taco.

Monday, May 6  Civic ceremony on the first Monday of each month, usually on the Town Square at 9a.

Thursday, May 9 The 2019 National Olympics and National Youth Olympics competition for the stae of Quintana Roo for open water swimming, in 5, 7, and 10 kilometer distances. They will swim between the concrete pier by the vehicle ferries and the pier of the former Kawama marina to its south. 8am-5pm 

Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, May 8, 9 & 11:

3-Day Schedule for the First Isla Mujeres Bird Festival 2019
Wednesday, May 8
9a-Inauguration in Salina Chica at the library "17 de Agosto" & you're invited to donate a book.
9:15-Cleanup in the mangroves of Salina Aeropuerto and around the Library.
11a-Mural of Birds of Isla Mujeres on the library wall.
6p-Presentation: Celebrating Urban Birds by Green Jay Mayan Birding at the Library.

Thursday, May 9
11a-Celebration of World Migratory Bird Day at the middle school "Benito Juarez" by Green Jay Mayan Birding with a presentation at 11:50a by Amigos de Sian Ka´an and another at 12:45 titled "Birds & Wetlands" by Hidrobios.
6p-Presentation at the City Council room in the Town Hall of "Tourist Guides & Bird Watching".
Saturday, May 11
6:30a-Bird Watching UPDATE-Meeting at the Mundaca Hacienda Palapa .
9:30a-Presentation at the Library: Results of Bird Monitoring in Chacmochuc Lagoon in the Isla Mujeres municipality (on the mainland).
5p-Close of Activities at the Gaviotas Park in Salina Chica with Activities for Children & a neighborly gathering.

Friday, May 10  Mother's Day  

Wednesday, May 15 Whale shark tour season begins and continues until  mid-September. Turtle nesting season is from May-October Tours will begin after the permits are distributed.

Friday, May 17 Clean up at Isla Contoy beaches for turtle nesting season. Departing at 7a.

Saturday May 18  Red Cross fundraising dinner-event

Saturday, May 18 Miss Gay Quintana Roo competition on Town Square at 8p.

Saturday & Sunday May 18 & 19:  Cosme Magana International fishing tournament with over a million pesos in prizes.  Deadline for registration is the Friday night Captain's Dinner. (The women's tournament "La Dorada Del Caribe 2019" will be held June 28 & 29.)
Sunday, May 19 Miss Dia de la Marina will be chosen on the Town Square at 8p. (Dia de la Marina is June 1st

Events for Dia de la Marina

Sources for Weather Information:
LINK to Civil Protection Q Roo weather bulletin  (Spanish)
LINK to Mexico National Weather Service (Spanish)
 LINK to satellite images for the Mexico National Weather Service
 LINK to GOES East Band 16 GIF (animation)
LINK to a private weather station on Isla Mujere

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