We enjoyed the quiet atmosphere in Puerto Morelos. It was a nice break from the parade of booze cruise catamarans and fishing boats of all sizes, in the Isla Mujeres anchorage. The shoreline of Puerto Morelos is recognized by it’s leaning lighthouse. A new, third version is currently under construction. I wonder if they’ll leave the second one standing forever as well!
There were many panga boats lining the shore, but the few who passed by on their way out to fish did so gently. Several snorkel boat tours also passed us each day, on their way to anchor at the reef, but they were hardly noticeable. Our mooring was right near the reef, and the colors of the water near it were beautiful. We enjoyed the sound of the waves breaking on it, especially at night.
The village was full of quirky shops and neat looking restaurants, but our food wasn’t nearly as good as we’d had in Isla Mujeres, and things were actually a bit more expensive here. This surprised us, as we expected prices to be cheaper in the smaller village. However, we did find terrific margaritas at Cafe Habenero! We also discovered some delicious hot sauce at Tacos@.com (weird name, I know). They even gave us a bag of it to take with us!
We had a chance to meet Ed and Elizabeth, who have been cruising for the last five years on their sailboat, Skylark. A mutual cruiser friend put us in touch with each other via email, and it was nice to finally meet face to face. They have recently traveled to Colombia, Panama and Honduras, so we picked their brains. We’re trying to gather as much local information as we can, in preparation for visiting these countries ourselves soon.
We enjoyed drinks, dinner and lots of conversation. Elizabeth and I broke off for a bit, to shop a local craft fair that was being held in the square. I found a great handmade basket, at a very nice price. It’ll be perfect for serving chips, to go with guacamole or salsa!
Our biggest, well Scott’s biggest, challenge came when he attempted to snorkel on the reef. He tied off his dingy to one of the many mooring balls meant for snorkel boats. After snorkeling for a bit, he came back to find that the dingy had been moved, and tied behind one of the tour boats. This was odd, as there were still balls available for them to use.
They gave Scott a hard time, and told him that he had to have a bracelet to snorkel (I think that they were upset to not be getting his money). The park ranger got involved, and told Scott that he could purchase a bracelet at the town dock. He also told Scott that he had to wear a life jacket while in the water. Scott came back to the boat in a huff, determined to win the battle.
The next day in town, we headed away from the town dock and the main square, knowing that anyone there would only want to sell Scott a trip, not just a bracelet. We came upon a woman selling dive trips, working away from the main square. She walked us to one of the booths, and helped Scott purchase just a bracelet. Success!
The next day, Scott headed back out to snorkel…..with his bracelet!
Again, the tour boats arrived and began to hassle him. He threw his arm in the air, and pointed out his bracelet. They tried to continue hassling him, but Scott loudly proclaimed, in his best fragmented Spanish: “I have bracelet, ranger says ok!” He turned, flapped his fins and continued to snorkel. Battle won!Unfortunately, the day was cloudy, so visibility wasn’t great. Scott did say that the coral there was healthier than any he’d seen in the Bahamas or Florida.
The weather forecast calls for stronger south winds to blow this weekend. We aren’t protected from the south on our mooring, and Scott doesn’t trust the strength of the ball in any wind. There is a marina nearby, but it’s a 20 minute walk from town, and is not in the budget unless needed. So, we’ve decided to head back for Isla Mujeres. We’d hoped to have more time here, to explore the town further, but weather now rules us.
Here are some photos of our brief stay in Puerto Morelos.
“Shells Sink, Dreams Float. Life’s Good On Our Boat!”