“There is a river in the ocean” Matthew Fontaine Maury

Our passage from Grand Cayman to Isla Mujeres, Mexico  began with a group effort to hand line Elizabeth Jean out of her marina slip in the face of twenty knot winds that were pinning her in.  Once out of the marina and across the reef that fringes North Sound we made swift progress with winds at our back.  At dawn on our third day out, the Caribbean Current which feeds the Gulf Stream, the ocean’s river, began sweeping Elizabeth Jean towards the Yucatan Channel and away from our Mexico destination.  An hour before sunset we dropped anchor in Bahia Mujeres after learning a new respect for the currents that will play a major role in the next leg of our travels.

gulfstream

Isla Mujeres lies just south of the Yucatan Channel separating Cuba and Mexico.  The above figure shows how the Caribbean Current, which feeds into the Gulf Stream,  directly intersected our path from Grand Cayman to Isla Mujeres Mexico.

chart plotter isla

This screen shot from Elizabeth Jean’s chart plotter shows the current’s effect as we approached Isla Mujeres (covered with waypoint notations and green AIS vessel marks.  Not obvious from the chart’s scale is how far out of our way we were swept and the fight needed to get back on track.

islamujeres

After fighting our way to Isla’s southern point we proceeded up the island’s west side and into the large Northwest anchorage seen in the picture’s upper left hand corner.

gulf-stream (1)

Satellite imagery of the currents.

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2 thoughts on ““There is a river in the ocean” Matthew Fontaine Maury

  1. David Leonard

    All very interesting about the River in the Ocean. But what we really want to know is: what did you have for dinner?! Ha! Enjoying your adventure from our armchairs and longing for the day when we can push offshore as well.
    Love and hugs from Dave (& Elena)

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