Isla Mujeres Mystery ~ Lynda L. Lock
A week of grumpy weather
We fooled around with various ideas for a title for this week’s blog.  

Titles like – some days you should just stay in bed, or a little adversity can pull a community together, or when it rains it pours!  

You get the idea.  It’s been a grumpy wet week that has created a few problems for the island community.

 Collapsed wall – TV Isla Mujeres photo

The first problem was an eight-foot tall retaining wall that collapsed from the weight of water in the soil.  Twelve inches of rain in twenty-four hours.  It seems like we are back on the Wet Coast of BC – living in Vancouver, or the American equivalent of Seattle Washington.  

Murals painted in April 2015 – L Lock photo
The wall supported the popular volleyball and exercise area for seniors, located along the double road that runs from the east to the west side of the island, past the newer cemetery and the big church.  This spring local artists were invited to decorate the wall with murals of local creatures such as iguanas, hermit crabs, and turtles.  It was one of my favourite murals, not part of last year’s big Panga Seed fourteen murals painted in one month blitz, but still a well-planned and beautifully painted wall. 

Police cleaning up – TV Isla Mujeres photo
Interestingly enough in Mexico the local police are called out to help clean up disasters such as this.  We have also seen the police painting crosswalks and speed bumps with the bright yellow warning colour, and re-installing broken or missing stop or speed limit signs.  In Canada those jobs are handled by the city maintenance workers, or the provincial highway department employees.  Just another small difference we have noticed between the Canadian or American and Mexican cultures. 

Hidalgo Ave under water, Giovanna Flores photo
As the rain continued unabated a notice was posted on various community Facebook pages asking any able-bodied people to help neighbours in areas that are flooding.  Most of Isla Mujeres is barely above sea-level while the southern end is maybe fifty feet above sea-level.  That creates two problems.  One: water runs downhill, adding more depth to the already saturated areas in the lower parts of the island.  And two: the island is a sandbar in the beautiful turquoise Caribbean Sea.  The tides are currently quite high, and the ocean water combined with the excess rain is creating havoc.  The street corner across from Jax Bar & Grill had an accumulation of six inches of water, as did most of Hidalgo Avenue in Centro. We saw the new fire truck and crew busy pumping out the streets, moving the water into the ocean.  The water eventually seeps back into town: pump, dump and repeat.  But hey, it’s warm water, not icy cold snow-melt.

Lawrie with the hard working Isla Animals gang

Also posted on Facebook was a plea from Isla Animals looking for temporary foster parents for several of their stray dogs.  The lake at the Hacienda Mundaca Park was overflowing, saturating the area around the Isla Animals Clinic, soaking in through the walls and floors.  The free spay and neuter clinics were cancelled for the next few days until the weather changed.  Eileen and Doug Regn and a crew of helpful volunteers were moping the floors and moving the animal cages around when we popped by a couple of nights ago.  They are such a hard working group of people.  


Crocodile prefers pond across from Isla Animals 

The resident crocodile that has been moved by City workers – several times – from the pond across from the Isla Animals Clinic to the lake at Hacienda Mundaca – has returned to the pond, again.  She likes it there!  

One local humorist suggested it was the availability of a better food source that prompts her to make the trek on a regular basis. 

CFE changing weak power pole on our street
Closer to home we have had an interesting week, exacerbated by the rain and higher humidity.  Our third GE Profile side-by-side refrigerator died during the night.  Then our new hot water heater decided to take a day or two off from work, thinking that Lawrie and I would appreciate cooler morning showers.  Our recently purchased 2005 Mini Cooper also wanted a short vacation.  The engine electronics didn’t like the excessive rain.  

Wet Policeman – while CFE changes power pole 
We decided to take the Mini Cooper back to the dealer in Cancun where we purchased the car and get a diagnostic test run.  The weather wasn’t too bad, it looked like things were improving.  Just as the car ferry was docking in Punta Sam a nasty windstorm blew in with pelting rain and high winds, temporarily grounding the boat in the sandy harbour.  As the Captain applied full throttle to free the vessel a freak wind-squall slammed the boat’s bow into the concrete docks.  It was darn exciting for a few minutes with lots of nervous laughter from the on-board truck drivers and ferry crew.  There was some damage to the boat and dock but no injuries that we know of. 

Pepe and guys struggling with fridge
Once off the ferry our drive through Cancun got a bit interesting as the rain continued to pelt down, flooding streets to a depth of a foot or more, making the ever-present potholes impossible to see.  

We decided that since we were already in the city to get the car checked we might as well search for a new refrigerator.  Starting at Telebodega, then Liverpool, Chapur, and Sears we finally settled for a floor model at Costco.  

All the other stores said eight to fourteen days, more or less, before our purchase would arrive from Mexico City. 

Taking the old fridge out past neighbours’ house
Islander José (Pepe) Martinez arranged a truck and two strong guys to take our new refrigerator from Costco to our house.  His quote was considerably cheaper than the Cancun-based fletes y mudanzas(cartage companies).  

As the rain continued to pelt down four guys wrestled the thirty-three inch wide beast into our house through an almost-too-narrow front door.  Lawrie had already removed the door and part of the frame but it was still a very tight squeak to get it inside the house.  The non-working appliance, thirty-six inches wide, was man-handled outside, and over a neighbours’ propane tank and onto the street.   Note to new island home owners: check the size of your main entrance before you purchase a large side-by-side refrigerator.  It’s a small but frustrating detail we overlooked eight years ago when we had the house built.


The return of sunny weather

As for the weather, eventually this persistent storm got bored with bothering us.  

It slowly dissipated allowing the warm Caribbean sun dry out our soggy little island. 

Warm breezes, sunshine. It’s all good.  We live in paradise.

Hasta Luego
Lynda & Lawrie

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