Just like hurricane Ian in 2022 I have my own story of how I survived my first hurricane in Cozumel. It was totally unexpected. When you think of Cozumel you think of clear sunny skies, warm days, and sunshine on the beach. At least that’s what I thought. For all of you that have never been in a hurricane, these are the things you need to know. This is what clueless in Cozumel looks like.With my boy toy safely back on land, we found a place to have lunch. A local restaurant was boarding up its windows, and putting food away and it was only 12 o’clock. We asked if they were closing down or something. They informed us that they were shutting down due to the hurricane coming in a few hours. Again I felt clueless in Cozumel. The restaurant owner was kind enough to make us lunch and inform us that there was a hurricane coming. We asked what that entails. He said everyone needs to be off the streets by 2 o’clock and the island will be in mandatory lockdown till noon the next day. He smartly suggested we get food for our room or we will starve!
Clueless in Cozumel Snorkel AdventureIt’s November and little did I know that it was hurricane season in Cozumel. We arrive at the Villa Blanca and we are so excited we immediately head out to go snorkeling. We walked out of our hotel room and it’s pouring down rain. We look at each other and my boyfriend says are you sure you want to go snorkeling in the rain? I’m thinking we’re just going to get wet anyway so let’s head out to the beach. With snorkels and towels in hand, we walk across the street to the crystal clear, blue ocean. The warm rainwater didn’t feel bad at all. We had a great time making the best of the rain and not wanting to waste the day in our hotel room. Not really thinking this out, our “dry” towels we left on the beach are now soaked, useless, and weigh 10lbs each. I should have known then, I was clueless in Cozumel. LoL The people in Mexico were so friendly and welcoming still in the middle of COVID they made us feel very safe and welcomed on the island. I always think of vacations as an adventure and this was a great one. My boy toy happened to be an avid diver. So a lot of our adventures take place under the sea.
Sunny DaysThe next day the sun is shining we head to the dive boat I’m not a diver but I love boating. I didn’t want to miss an opportunity to soak up the warm sun and be out on the beautiful blue ocean, so I tag along for the ride. The captain asked if I like snorkeling and of course, I said yes. So he had one of his deckhands take me out on a snorkeling adventure. So while my boy toy was 60 feet under the sea I was with the cutest deckhand one can imagine. I was snorkeling around and having a good old time. It was amazing how clear the water was. You could easily see 70 feet down. It was breathtaking as a large eagle ray came into my view and just glided by underneath me, I felt so free. We ran into a school of fish and one of the fish was swimming with me for quite a while. Then I saw fish that had a long pointy nose, later to find out it was called the trumpet fish. My snorkeling guide then pointed out a large dark object swimming toward us, as it came into view I realized it was a large shark. I frantically pulled my head out of the water but he told me not to worry it was only a nurse shark. So, we continued our snorkeling adventure. LOL Another sign, I was clueless in Cozumel of what was coming my way.
Can You Get a ClueWe had 3 days of really great weather and then on the fourth day the water was really choppy and the wind was kicking up. They didn’t allow me on the boat to snorkel that day, saying things were going to be rough. While I stayed on shore, admiring the wind-blown palm trees and allowing the cool wind to blow in my hair. All the locals seemed to be rushing around and busy boarding up windows and putting all the furniture away. Maybe another reason I was clueless in Cozumel.
Survival StrategiesMy boyfriend and I rush out of there to find food. We come across an XOXO which is like a 7-Eleven. We managed to grab up whatever we could find, cupcakes, Twinkies, beef jerky, pretzels, and all kinds of unhealthy foods. But being 2pm on a warm tropical island, we decided having ice cream in our hotel room would be a smart idea, so we added various ice cream related snacks. Upon returning to the hotel, we were given candles and a lighter, as the power is out and won’t be returning till tomorrow. Realizing our “food” choices were not good electricity free options, we promptly ate all our ice cream before it melted. Let’s just add this to our clueless in Cozumel checklist.
What Should We DoAs the hurricane approaches, the wind is howling pretty good and finally, somebody comes to our door informing us that there’s a hurricane coming and that we need to evacuate. That’s right evacuate into a Mexican shelter! We start to grab our stuff and then we look at our clean room, and our clean bed and we start to wonder what does this Mexican shelter really look like??? Where will we be sleeping? How long will we be there? My boyfriend thinks we’ll take our chances in our room. It’s only a category one hurricane, we should be OK. So, like any good Mexican excursion, we need to sign a waiver and we stay in our clean room, with our clean bed, and of course our trusty candle. So any normal or sane California person might ask, “Were are you scared?” To tell you the truth, I thought it was a little exciting. I’ve never been in a hurricane before so I thought this was the best way to see one upfront and personal. I wanted to see the palm trees bending over just like they do on TV. But no that didn’t happen it was just a category one. LoL
After the HurricaneThe next day the streets were flooded, debris was strewn about and there was no way to get off the island. Everything was shut down. But we were okay, our bellies full with ice cream and we had plenty of cupcakes and beef jerky to survive a few days if we had to. But luckily for us, a small local Mexican restaurant, Ernesto’s opened for lunch and was nice enough to feed us lunch, dinner AND lunch the next day as it was the only place open within walking distance of our hotel. So, with the help of some nice locals, our trusty candle, and a shelf full of pop-tarts, cupcakes, and beef jerky, this SoCal girl survived her first hurricane.
This hurricane came through in 2021 but each year the hurricane is real.