We met Alberto Walfors at his house and bought 10 gallons of water from him for each kayak. He promised to watch our trucks, listen to his VHF radio in case we needed help and come looking for us if we did not make it back by April 14th. Packing the kayaks the first time always takes a lot longer and we didn’t all launch until around 4:00 PM. I like forcing everyone to get organized on the day that they arrive on the beach and go on a short paddle to the first campground. If we camped on the beach near our trucks and launched the next morning, the chaos of setting up camp would just delay the first packing until the next morning and we would get a very late start.
I tried to make a game and a race out of the kayak packing by suggesting that the first person to get to the camping beach could cook dinner and clear some space in their kayak. Doug Hamilton was the first one ready to launch, even though he has less experience at kayak expeditions than some of the rest of us. Doug waited for Don Fleming and I to get ready next and the three of us launched. Then we waited around in the cove for a half an hour or so since John Somers and Dave Harry said they were almost ready. Finally we talked to John and got his permission to head out without him and Dave. We were only paddling three miles to a sandy beach called Cala Mujeres. However, John soon launched and came chasing us down. It turns out he had worked out a strategy to try and pass us by in his fiberglass British boat so he could cook dinner first. Doug turns out to be a fast paddler and despite not knowing where he was going he managed to beat John by a few yards. Later we kidded Doug, saying we had “tricked the new guy into cooking us dinner”.
After we had set up camp at Cala Mujeres, a panga motored up and landed. There was a man and his wife in the boat and I wondered if they wanted to share our campsite. It turns out they had originally planned to camp there but they only stopped to pick up a bundle of firewood that was stashed there. They moved down to the other end of the beach instead.