Date: 30 May 97 11:38:27 EDT
From: Nellie Gruender <104675.2134@CompuServe.COM>
Subject: Shopping...boat style

Everyone,

All cruisers must admit that living on a boat presents something of a challenge, especially when it comes to getting the boat reprovisioned. Remember, our only car or any other means of transportation that the situation offers is a dinghy,

While anchored off Isla Mujeres we heard there was a Sam's Club in Cancun. That held the potential of "real food" at a cheap price. Since Cancun is across the bay it would mean our shopping expedition would be by ferry.

We caught the ferry on the Isla Mujeres side. The ferry was air conditioned, and even had a TV on board. It's funny, that even though we speak minimal Spanish we sat there and stared at the tube like we knew what was going on. The trip was a quick dash cross the bay. The cost was 45 pesos for the 3 of us, or about $6.00 US. Once in Cancun we walked a little, and then caught a cab to the commercial area of Cancun. We were let off at a supermarket that made the ones in the US look dowdy. We did a quick sightseeing expedition through the place to check on prices. We found they were beyond well stocked, with very reasonable prices. In the end we decided wait and get our things at Sam's where we felt the prices would be even cheaper. We had an impromptu picnic on the steps of the supermarket eating chips, cokes, grapes, and I had a dessert of flan. Junk food, manna from heaven.

After leaving the supermarket we did a walking tour of Cancun. We hit the post office, El Mercado and everything in between. We then got another cab to Sams. Cabs, by the way, were costing us between $1.00-$2.00. Once at Sams we were overwhelmed..food in cases. Cheap!

We ended up with quite a haul, knowing that we would be eating well on our 6 days at sea back to the states. We got another cab, and headed to the ferry. We then had to hire a guy with a cart to carry the food to the ferry. We got quite a few stares as we loaded on the 6 pineapples, 3 cases of coke, a 6 lb box of nacho chips, steaks, hot dogs, salsa etc. We then boarded the ferry for the trip back home. Same trip other direction.

Once we landed we again got the strange looks from people on the Isla side as we unloaded our goods. Gene went to get the dinghy so we could start the last leg home. At this point one of the dock masters said we could not load from the dock, and that we would have to move everything to the beach (a few hundred yards away). As a guy moved toward the stuff to move it Zach stepped in front of him and said " Don't touch anything until my step dad gets here" (go Zach!) The guy backed right off. Gene quickly showed up, and we were able to move the things onto the beach and into the dinghy. The dinghy was riding a little low in the water, but we made it home with the groceries.

I remember with fondness when I thought carrying my stuff our to the parking lot was a lot of effort. I guess things change when you're on a boat.

By the way, Isla has a Naval station here. We are awakened every morning by the music and marching of the Mexican Navy. They start out with a stomping kind of march, and then the band begins to play as they do laps around the town. At least they don't have a cannon like they did in Vera Cruz. The first time it went of in the morning, Gene and I were diving under the bed, we thought WW III had broken out!

Nellie
Aboard Rainbow Chaser
Isla Mujeres, Mexico