April – May 2022: Cozumel, Mexico

Sailing from Belize to Cozumel, Mexico was a short but difficult passage. It only took about 30 hours to get from Caye Caulker, Belize to Cozumel, Mexico, but it was a challenge from the minute we pulled up the anchor. The first two hours making our way out of the cut between reefs definitely tested Aventis and her crew. For the remainder of this passage the wind and waves seemed to be working in opposition. The rough water took a toll on Ashley and the dogs.

We arrived in Cozumel early afternoon, right when all the dive boats were returning from their afternoon dives, so there were lots of boats moving around along the coast. During our journey a piece of hardware from our reef line had gotten caught in the mast. It had to be released for us to bring the main sail down. As soon as we were in calm enough water with no dive boats or divers near by, up the mast Ashley went so we could lower the sail!

We made it safe to our spot on the dock where Wind Ensemble joined us. Aventis would sit at the dock here for over a month while we explored Mexico and took a short trip to NC.

Every country we visit has their own system for the check-in process for cruisers. in Mexico we had to use an agent to facilitate the process. He arranged for the 4 different departments to come to our boat and check us in. You are not allowed to bring meat, produce, plants or excessive amounts of alcohol into the country, so we may have hidden some stuff. Wind Ensemble may have used their sail bag to hide some things which was very clever.

Once all checked in, cleaned up, and rested from our passage, it was time to get out and explore.

So much cool stuff to discover.

We quickly got a rental car so that we could see more of the island. The east side has a distinctly different look from the calm west side that we came in on.

We had been looking forward to diving in Cozumel all season; it is a diver’s paradise.

With two dive sites each day, we got to explore 6 total. The underwater world here was lovely. So many creatures and coral to see as well as structures to swim under and through.

An interesting water feature we got to experience was the thermocline or halocline. This is when a layer of separation forms between two water masses of different density or temperature. Here it occurs because freshwater and saltwater are crossing paths. The salt water is denser and sinks leaving fresh water on the surface. The water seems blurry to look through, but only for a few feet in this zone between the two bodies.

The dogs and Addie waited patiently for us to return from our dives.

Kathy and Shannon took advantage of the nice roads and sidewalks to take a bike ride around the west side.

Cozumel is a busy cruise ship port with 6-8 ships docking per day. This means there are tons of shops and restaurants catering to the tourists.

There are also these amazing sculptures that line the waterway. This was one of our favorites with the scuba divers.

The sea glass collecting proved to be plentiful. The area between the cruise ship dock and the ferry dock had enough glass to make Ashley happy.

The payment process for our marina spot was very unsophisticated. Every week we had to pay $15,000 pesos in cash and this is how they kept track.

Don and Mel came to visit us for Easter week.

We were excited to share this beautiful island with them.

One of our first stops was the famous Coconuts bar, known for giving free drinks to any female who will lift their shirt.

We did not participate of course, but did enjoy the great location and super view of the east coast.

We rented a house with a pool for the week since we could not take the boat out to explore, there were no fun amenities at the marina, and we had power issues so no air conditioning on the boat.

Having the pool was awesome.

It was definitely a very unique house, but it served us well for the week.

Beach clubs are a big thing in Mexico. The good beaches have all been purchased and sectioned off. The clubs provide towels, chairs, hammocks and cabanas, with wait staff for food and bar service. Another plus are the stairs built over the rocky edge, so entering the water to swim or snorkel is easy.

This makes for a very relaxing beach day.

In our search for unique things to do, we came across this highly rated experience. In a small group of 10, you are taken to the northwestern tip of the island to a location exclusively accessible by boat to see the area’s only Pearl Farm.

The Cozumel Pearl Farm is a small family owned and operated business. They are extremely passionate about what they do, but the elements take a toll on their exposed facility. It is truly a labor of love. The water was too rough for us to snorkel and see the actual oyster beds, but we really enjoyed learning about the process of how the pearls are produced, cared for, and harvested.

After a fun week of eating, drinking and exploring Cozumel, it was time to say good-bye to Don and Mel and head back to the boat.

We met up with Kent and Kathy for a little Mexican food and tequila tasting.

Because what else do you do in Mexico????

Well maybe… find a brewery.

Our next adventure required a ferry ride over to the main land of Mexico.
It was a short ride of 45 minutes or so.

We landed in Playa Del Carmen, a neat little town on the coast. From here the girls went one way and the boys went another.

Shannon and Kent were going Cenote (cave) Diving. These are underground caves that have filled with water. During their two dives they swam through narrow tubes that lead to large open spaces. To enjoy these dives you have to be ok with small tight spaces and have a lot of trust in your dive master.

The location of the cenote was beautiful; the water was crystal clear.

The wildlife was everywhere.

Ashley, Addie and Kathy headed north toward Cancun to a fancy resort for a little sun and pool time.

Addie was quick to make friends.

This is a coati. He was not the least bit afraid of us.

We had a really fun, Girls Day!

Back on Cozumel, we had many awesome days exploring the land and trying the many restaurants.

We were fortunate enjoy to get another day back at the Cabana Beach Club. This time we got to enjoy it with Kent, Kathy, Kent’s sister Denise and her husband Brad.

We took a small break from Cozumel to fly home for Makenzie’s Graduation.
We will share more about that in another post!

While we traveled back to the states, the dogs stay at a Mexican doggy hotel. This one had a pool.

And plenty of toys and friends. As usual, Chance made a girl friend. He truly has a girl in every port!

Once back from the states, we had time for one more authentic Mexican meal
before sailing to the Dry Tortugas.

At Casa Mission our Caesar salad was made table side to add to our experience.

And to top things off, we were serenaded by a mariachi band.

It was the perfect way to conclude our time in Cozumel.

We had stayed our allotted 6 weeks and now it was time to start making our way back to FL.
We had boat work scheduled for late May in the Keys which means we only have a little over a week to get there.

With everything stored and put away, off we go.

As we said goodbye to the beautiful blue water of the Caribbean Sea that morning, it was definitely with a bit of sadness and unknowing of when we would be back in the Caribbean again.

With Wind Ensemble leading the way, we set out on a beautiful morning in mid May, our next stop was the Dry Tortugas.

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