Cielo Marine Park on Cozumel

We sailed down the west coat of Cozumel to the southwest point. A fabulous marine park “Cielo” (means heaven). Popular, but quite large and not crowded.ere

We found one of the park’s mooring balls and just hung out. Swimming and drinking iced tea. No fishing allowed. Jose and Carla and Issac and his sister – Dora, an environment activist lawyer on the island. Nice company.

Noticeable north current – the gulfstream. Hang on to the boat!

Coasting to Cozumel

We left Isla Mujeres at 7:30, expecting weak winds and flat seas on the 50 nm (nautical mile) trip to Cozumel. The weather held. We were on the sails an hour or two: 8 knots of wind, probably 4 knots of forward motion, subtract 2 knots north current (against us). 2 knots SOG (speed over ground – real progress). Too slow.

Turn on the engines and ride. We left the mainsail up, but it was mostly pointless.

We watched the coast of Qintana Roo flow by. Cancun disappeared behind us.

Visit to see our track.

Carla called “Land Ho” (Cozumel) at 5:00. A good schedule. We want to moor before dark. There are almost no sailboats in the Cozumel anchorages. One marina, looking empty.

Adding a Stormsail over a genoa jib

We decided to add a stormsail. In bad weather, the big genoa jib is furled and the stormsail is hoisted OVER the furled jib. This requires a separate halyard, and we pressed into service the halyard sheave often used for a spinnaker. (light-wind, down-wind, giant parachute sail. Which I don’t have)

The holes in the mast are all in use, so both arms of the halyard run freely down the outside of the mast.

A halyard is a line on a sailboat used to hoist things, like sails. A halyard often extends to the top of the mast and back down. A tall pulley setup.

Hoisting the stormsail; you cqn see the furled jib above me.
Striking the stormsail

Just a fun day sailing

I met Jose and his crew on the dock of our marina and helped him with some repairs of his pulpit, which had been mashed quite recently by another boat.

And today we went sailing. I just walked over and invited them. Jose jumped up and the others cooked with the idea a bit, and then realized that we really could just cast off and sail somewhere. Jose and Carla, and Javier and Anna.

We motored out of our lagoon, through the short very-narrow channel into the big harbor of Isla Mujeres, carefully avoiding all the pleasure boats. We cleared the harbor and raised the sails. 10 knots of wind, easy seas – we were making 5 knots with mains’l and genoa.

When we reached the danger light off the Isla Contoy reef, we turned east and then south to head home. We caught a nice fish for dinner.


I’ll document the paperwork that I’ve done to properly handle the boat:

At time of purchase:

  • Bill of Sale
  • Bill of Sale for USCG
  • Title
  • I promised to register the boat with the USCG
  • I promised to leave Florida within 90 days, to avoid $18K use tax. And file proof.
  • Buyer’s Acceptance

Radio stuff:

  • I have a FCC “FRN” permanent ID (valid until 2027)
  • Filed for ship station to receive a ship call sign. WDM7760
  • Filed for MMSI with USCG. Helps rescue efforts if I ever need it. 368237030
  • Purchased Garmin InReach – an emergency satphone with GPS. Very nice little piece of equipment.
  • (bought an ICOM M-803 – marine HF radio, no license needed)
  • I have a US Amateur Extra License (call sign AC0IF)


  • filed for registration – received formal document mid.April.22 (pretty slow).

Missed (but should have done. I was advised wrong.)

  • Zarpe – certificate documenting that I left Key West, FL, USA.

Isla Mujeres, Q Roo, Mexico

  • clear in (took five days and fifteen hours of sitting in the office Capitania del Puerto). minor expense, no custom visit to my boat, but I was required to move from Marina del Sol to anchor in the Isla harbor.

Florida Department of Revenue

  • filed documents to prove that Bat HaYam left Florida – the Isla Mujeres “clear in” document is the proof.

Fun fact

  • “zarpe” is a Spanish word from the verb “zarpar” – to set sail, to leave port.
  • It’s a very important document – required to “clear in” to your next country.

Some fun too.

Forced to spend more time on the island we enjoyed exploring Mexican cuisine and sailing around the island. It’s a very busy and crowded place. Beautiful beaches and lagoons, interesting cliff formations, colorful streets full of local shops, hundreds of golf carts zooming around and a nice constant cool breeze, even on hot days. Lots of poverty living along fancy villas and hotels. So what’s new?

Life on the boat
Jumping off the deck
Look who’s the driver
Tamar’s favorite place to sleep- hammock over the bow

Isla Mujeres, Mexico

It’s ten days since we entered the territorial waters of Mexico via Isla Mujeres and docked in down home Marina del Sol. Our plan was to welcome the children on their Spring Break and sail away. Once again, we planned and She laughed. If there’s anyone who invented bureaucracy it is Mexico. It took us five days of long waiting hours in various offices, hundreds copies of forms and stoic amount of patience. We are officially in the country. Then came the weather.

As part of the immigration process they asked us to move to the harbor exactly on an unfortunate night.

On March 24 A fierce squall brings gale force winds and driving rain, releasing our catamaran from its anchor while we run into the bow of another boat. Our anchor hooks the anchor chain of another boat causing it to spin into another boat. We spent 2 hours on what seemed like the set of the Perfect Storm untangling our anchor from their’s, getting soaked to the bone and getting grounded in the process. We spent a sleepless night standing watch to make sure we didn’t collide with anyone else. And, in the morning with only half a foot of tide we drove off and re-anchored. This wasn’t exactly what I planned for my grandkids to experience but I have to say that they were present and helpful. None of us was in real danger but it was scary. We escaped with minimal damage to the boat.

Approaching Isla Mujeres.
Raising the Mexican flag
Elan is helping to raise the American flag

On the big waters

Friday morning. Captain Frank and Dave, our capable crew members, raised the mainsail and the jib. Blessing for the journey, Oz at the helm, Lulu and I on deck, and we are “flying” on a perfect reach with South East winds. The favorable wind and following sea carried us all day until we got closer to Cuba. The winds quieted down and Shabbat entered with calm seas and a gorgeous sunset.

Cuba is somewhere over the horizon and that’s as close as we can get this time around. 😢 This is our first crossing. 360 degrees of only water, away from all civilization, except the random cargo and cruise ships, perhaps more than ever, brings the interconnectedness of all beings into sharp awareness, and the suffering of the people of Ukrainian, Cuba and many other conflicts.

Unfortunately, we heard from Rabbi Schnitzer that because of rising fuel costs, the embargo, and pure greed, the charter airlines to Cuba doubled their price.
It will cost over $4000 to ship the thousand pounds of supplies and The CAJM has no choice but to pay it or lose everything. It’s hard to know how to alleviate so much suffering but if you still have a few shekels in your pocket and still care about this mission, please support the cause. And we understand if this is too much to ask.

Shabbat Shalom, Ori

We stopped in the middle of the ocean
A cruise ship in the distance