Checking out in Cozumel

Monday morning and we did engine checks and generally just tidied up having had company the night before.  In the afternoon we headed to the infinity pool and had a few drinks….meeting a couple from British Columbia….who ended up coming to the beach bar with us before heading over to meet Morphie.   We drank too much, we laughed a lot and I hope they got back to their hotel room OK LOL.

Fun at the beach bar Fun at the beach bar 2

Tuesday morning and we were suffering some ill effects from the previous day’s excesses.   So we had a lazy time and eventually dragged ourselves out to do the laundry.  We disconnected the electricity and settled our marina bill as we were definitely leaving Wednesday for Cozumel.   We had planned to go out in the evening but neither of us felt like it so we just stayed put!

Wednesday morning we were up early – keen to get back out to sea.  By 9.15 we had slipped away from El Cid and headed out into the channel and the beautiful blue sea. 

Colour of the water

The wind was very fickle – we had 10 knots followed by 23+ knots followed by 12 knots and so on….so we got lots of practice of shaking out those reefs!!!         We thoroughly enjoyed our sail – we were going 6 knots most of the time but our speed over ground averaged out at around 3 knots due to the strong adverse current so our arrival was a bit later than anticipated.   Hmmm…might have to recalculate our next passage arrival / departure time!   But never mind we were settled on anchor by 4 o’clock.     

Fantastic sail

We decided not to go ashore and just settled in to watch the sun go down over our rather large neighbour before having an early night.   Yes the anchorage is rolly…but wasn’t that bad after dark.

Sun going down on our neighbour Beautiful colours of the night skyThursday morning and we were up early – had a lovely shower off the back of the transom – and got ourselves ready to go ashore.   We traversed the shoreline looking for a dinghy dock – the new docks near the ferry terminal looked positive but we got told that they were ‘dangerous’ as they were not finished yet….   We then went to the local pier but it was full of day tripper boats coming and going – they would certainly not be happy if we left dink there for any period of time as we would impede their access.   So we headed to the furthest one away which belongs to a local dive shop – I climbed up and went across the road to seek permission.  Well, the answer was no!  

Cozumel anchorage Cozumel waterfront 2

So I asked where to go and was told to pull the boat up the beach.   The shoreline is pretty rocky here so we went back towards Morphie and found a bit of sand that we could access so that’s what we did.   We were a bit concerned about locking dink to the balustrade but I saw that lots of local boats had tied their boats there so figured we’d get away with it.   What we did notice, however, was that no local boat had a propeller on – they clearly remove them to stop the boats being stolen – so fingers crossed that doesn’t happen to us!!!

Local boats pulled up onto the rocks Dink on the waterfront

First stop was breakfast and we found an Argentinian café that made its own bread and had a wonderful breakfast with Richard eating both our portions of raw spinach leaves that came with each dish.    He was feeling like Popeye by the time he finished LOL.   And we took the opportunity to catch up on the internet while we were there.

After breakfast we checked on dink and then walked along the waterfront to the Port Captain’s office, admiring the street art and the pretty birds that are plentiful on the shoreline.   Birds on the waterfront

The waterfront is pretty and the statues are good – we particularly liked the one of the divers and the reef – although a little bemused that a lot of them seem to have people standing on turtles.  Not sure what the significance of that is! 

Waterfront Art 1 Waterfront Art 2 Waterfront Art 3 Waterfront Art 4 Waterfront Art 5 Waterfront Art 6 Waterfront ARt 7

Oh yes and Richard was not impressed with the position of the transformers – that serve the street lighting – on the waterfront.

Transformer placement

The waterfront was pretty quiet and it all felt a bit strange as this was a four cruise ship day in Cozumel so where was everyone?!?  Perhaps they come out later.   But we enjoyed the walk, admired Morphie out in the anchorage, and watching the planes coming in pretty low over the sea and disappearing just across the top of the treeline before they descend to the airport.

Cozumel waterfront Morphie out in the anchorage

Plane coming in Plane disappearing over the trees

We found the Port Captain in his pretty impressive building and had to ask our questions about securing a Mexican Despacho / Zarpe in Spanish as they didn’t speak any English.   The weather window is looking good for a Monday morning departure so we wanted to find out what we needed to do and when we should do it.    They printed off the forms they want completed and told us which documents they would like a copy of from us on our return – we are due to go back at 9.00 am on Saturday morning.   So far so good!  

Port Captain building

We then popped into the local supermarket to have a look at what they sell – enough for me to get some fresh produce for our passage food so that will do…   Richard quite fancied the tinned cheese! 

Canned cheese

We walked back along the front and went into the main park where I posed with the Cozumel sign.   We then wandered through the main plaza and down the varying streets that traverse it and came across a lovely little church.

Main plaza Welcome to Cozumel Town park Empty streets Empty streets 2 Local church

There are lots of shops / restaurants / cafes / bars but still no people – and it is lunchtime by now.   The vendors are desperate for trade so it is a constant battle to fight them off although they did make us laugh with some of their comments to entice us into their premises.  One was ‘”Come into my shop, we sell the same crap as Walmart, only cheaper” LOL.    We didn’t play – just wandered – and we came across a bar that had a 2 for 1 offer on beers all day so sat on the pavement area for a little while having a couple of cold ones.   It is really hot and steamy here right now – definitely need to hydrate.

Walking back to dink we came across a couple of kids having fun in the water fountains and then collected dink (getting wet) before we motored back to Morphie.

Kids having fun in the Plaza

The anchorage is very rolly during the day as there are constant ferry / cruise ship / container ship movements not to mention all the day tripper / parasail / snorkelling / diving / booze cruise / pirate ships that are traversing the bay picking up and dropping off tourists, which is presumably where all the cruise ship passengers go during the day.   And speaking of cruise ships… here comes Mickey!  

Here comes Mickey

We had a dip to cool down and settled into the cockpit for the rest of the day.    Later on I prepared dinner and we were entertained by the show aboard the pirate ship as it went past us….so we did a few Arghhhs along with them.  The sun then went down and we enjoyed the colours of the sky…..   

Pirate show on the pirate ship Lovely sunset

We were about to retire for the night – and we had no lights on other than our anchor light – when we spotted a large pirogue, with five guys on board, drifting past us very slowly.  They were not fishing and they had no lights.   They then motored slowly ahead and returned for another mooch past using torches on their phones to have a look at us.    We kept watching them and made sure they knew we were up and awake – we switched lights on down below and I did a radio call to let other boats know that we had a suspicious boat circling us.    We also tested the horn and the strobe on the arch.    They came by closely for a third time….and eventually they decided to run back to shore.   All very disturbing – they were definitely up to no good…..

Friday we didn’t feel the need to go ashore as there really isn’t much to see or do.   Downside to that is we have no internet for the day.   We were very productive though – cleaning Morphie’s waterline which was in a terrible state – and then washed down all the topsides and the stainless steel.    Then we lazed around reading books for the rest of the day while making water and having a charge fest while the generator was on.   We also got all our documents ready for our Saturday morning appointment with the Port Captain.  

Later on, when we had finished our jobs, we picked up our anchor and moved closer to boats ahead of us as we felt vulnerable where we had anchored previously.    We waved goodbye to the cruise ships and watched the pirate ship go through again….playing the Essex girls anthem of “I will survive” LOL.    And there was another beautiful night sky.

Cruise ships leaving Goodnight CozumelAnother night sky from Cozumel

Saturday morning we were up early and headed into shore.  Pulled dink up to his beach position, secured the chain around the pillar, and walked down the boardwalk.   We arrived at the Port Captain’s office to find the door open but the shutters closed…..oh no….we know it is a Bank Holiday weekend (yes, even here in Mexico) please don’t say they’ve made us come back on a day they are not working.    Luckily a guy turned up and we got down to the process of checking out.  He was happy with our papers and we had to fill in another sheet….then we took a seat.  It took him about an hour to input all the information and then printed and stamped a number of different documents for us to take with us.   We then hailed a taxi – went to the airport – and visited immigration.   They seemed unsure what to do with us – but photocopied our papers – removed our visas and stamped our passports for the 39 April LOL.  Oh well…..I guess departing on the 2 May is OK then?!?   Delighted that the whole process – including cab rides – only cost 450 pesos (US $27) versus the $180 they wanted in Puerto Morelos.  That’s a lot of drinking tokens!

We then taxied back to a large out-of-town supermarket and stocked up – with Richard looking lovingly at the beer mountain – and was lovely to get some lovely crusty bread and fresh product.  Yum…….  

Corona mountain

We now have everything we need to leave.  We returned to Morphie and risked life and limb getting back on board with large swells lifting her up and down…..   We managed it – unpacked everything – and then came back ashore.  We have a few pesos left over to spend so we are planning to have an afternoon picking up internet in a bar plus some lunch ….   We do not plan on going ashore tomorrow – Sunday – we’ll chill, cook our passage food and generally do pre-passage maintenance checks.

We are definitely going to leave here on Monday morning for the 275 mile passage due south.  We have 10-15 knots (make that 20 knots LOL) forecast from a E/ESE direction so should be a good sail.  The current is going to be against us again so expect this to be a slow passage..…   We will be in touch once we have arrived, got legally checked in, and find some internet access.  

In the meantime, Happy May Day and bye for now.


Lazy days in Mexico

Sunday morning and it was time for more laundry…..   Later in the afternoon we went to the infinity pool for an afternoon bob followed by a few sundowners at the beach bar and saw the aftermath of the strong winds that had wiped out the swimming area markers, before an early night on board.    Just love the pelicans flying past in formation as the sun goes down.

Infinity pool Destroyed by high winds


Monday and we were up early.   When we returned the car on Saturday the hire company had given us vouchers for breakfast at the neighbouring hotel Now Jade – and on this voucher they promised us $150 cash back if we attended.   We knew that this was the hook to get us to attend a timeshare spiel but, having nothing better to do, we thought we’d go along…..   We walked the beach and were told to wait in reception – and while we were sitting there minding our own business a departing guest gave us two bottles of champagne as he headed towards his taxi.  Result! 

We were taken to breakfast – the sales spiel started – and then we went on a tour.  Nice place – although the suites were lovely it was all a little clinical, but I wouldn’t say no to the Jacuzzi on the balcony and the sea views LOL.    

Now Jade beach Jacuzzi on the balcony

Tour over and the guy took us to a room to do the selling job on us – showing us figures and explaining the deal…..    And all this is going on to a background of champagne corks popping and cheering as people joined up.  Of course this is all part of the scam and the tactics didn’t work on us – so he tried reverse psychology by saying that he didn’t expect poor Europeans like us to buy into this as it was really aimed at rich Americans and Canadians.   We enjoyed our charade – he gave up – and we got our cash back having only been there for two hours.  Result….the car more than paid for itself!!!  

We returned to Morphie and remained on board for the rest of the day pottering about before heading off to see Roberth at the infinity pool bar for a couple of hours speaking Spanish and drinking frozen Mud Slides in the evening.    We really like this bar and it has some pretty cool wall art too…. 

Hotel artwork

Tuesday morning we had a lazy start before taking ourselves off to the infinity pool for the afternoon.   We fancied one of the large double beds as we thought it would be a good place to do our future passage planning…..   We had a productive day – including paying a deposit for a marina in Guatemala – and we now have a clearer idea of what we are doing…..

Passage planning base Passage planning base 2 Infinity pool 2

The challenge for the passage planning session was the routing and the visa restrictions.  The C4 treaty – which covers Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador – means that you can only get a 90 day visa total for all four countries with free movement across the borders.  It is possible to renew but you have to leave the C4 zone for three days and then return.  So a Roatan (one of the Bay Islands which belong to Honduras) to Guatemala direct routing would restrict the time we had diving in the Bay Islands.….if we wanted to allow time to explore up the Rio Dulce as well as putting Morphie to bed.   On top of that the direct route from Roatan to Guatemala also takes us way too close to the Honduras mainland coast where there have been a few piracy issues in recent years.   

Bearing all this in mind we have decided to go to the Bay Islands directly from Mexico with our first stop in Utila.   Then having explored / dived these three islands we’ll run north back up to Belize before heading to Guatemala.  That keeps our dates flexible…..   Phew!   Now we just need the weather window to make it happen…. 

Passage planWe are also making the most of the internet and are looking at routings for our flights home…very complicated flying from Central America to get the schedule workable – a US stop over is possible but definitely not a Canadian one based on the prices we’ve seen so far.  We have had a couple of invites to stay in the US so we’ll be looking at what is manageable…

Wednesday morning we had another lazy one followed by a few hours in the pool.  Then we came back to Morphie – admiring the flowers in the grounds along the way – to get ready to go out for dinner as we had reservations in the hotel to go to their Asian fusion buffet evening.  

Hotel grounds 1 Flowers 1 Flowers 2 Flowers 3

The tickets were only 350 pesos each, that’s £14 each, and that includes unlimited drinks!  We admired the sight of the Full Moon as we wandered over to the hotel.

Full moon

Well…the buffet was huge…and the ice cream / deserts were pretty impressive…but we were disappointed with the Asian fusion theme, although certainly didn’t go hungry.   But this is a family hotel so I guess the pasta / pizza area was for the kids?   Anyway, the food we had was very nice, and the house wine was a little potent but we had a great time and returned to Morphie pretty well hydrated.

Buffet Ice cream time Deserts

Thursday and we had a very lazy day recovering from the night before – must remember not to drink their house wine again LOL.  It was raining and thundery too so we just stayed put for the whole day.   But we were productive as we were researching the clearing out procedures here in Mexico.  It appears straightforward enough – unlike the complicated entry procedures – but here in the marina they want US $180 to organise it via an agent.   We are loathe to pay that much money to leave the country, it already cost us $360 in total to check in, so we think we’re going to try doing this ourselves without an agent and the best place is allegedly Cozumel as the airport and port captain buildings are short taxi distances apart.   So we’ll go there and suffer the noisy and rolly anchorage for a couple of nights to get our zarpe prior to departing for Utila.   Fingers crossed this works out!

Rainy day

Friday morning we defrosted the freezer and also did some maintenance on the cooker as the burners were depositing soot on the bottom of the pans before heading to the pool to cool off.  It is very hot and steamy here right now. 

Infinity pool 3

Later on we went aboard Didier and Mary’s boat for sundowners – a lovely French couple that we had met in Isla Mujeres.   They are really nice people and very informative about the Rio Dulce and the Bay Islands and they showed us some diving videos they had done which certainly whetted our appetite.  

Didier and Mary's boat Didier and Mary

We asked Didier what he did for a living before he went cruising and we found out he was a rocket scientist!!!  Really….we’ve met a rocket scientist…    Never thought we’d ever say that LOL.   Really interesting that they lived for a long time in French Guyana as being close to the equator it made it a better base for launching rockets or satellites.   

While sitting in the cockpit a large motor yacht came in and was reversing into a slip – but he was not big enough for a helicopter pad – so Didier got out his on-board helicopter to poke fun at them…..   Hysterical!

What no helicopter Didier's helicopter

Saturday we spent on Morphie again – we did swap out the shredded Ensign though – before we went out to the infinity pool bar for a few drinks in the evening. 


Walking through the grounds we were admiring the artisan goods being displayed along the walk ways and stopped to watch a guy painting pictures to order – using spray cans.   Hugely talented guy – we did consider buying one but didn’t have enough cash on us so that made the decision for us!  

Out for the evening

Artist 1 Artist 2 Artist 3 Artist 4

After a couple of drinks at the infinity pool checking out the great views out to sea we returned to the main pool to watch the evening show.

Piers out to sea Pier lights

The show was Mexican themed and, at last, a live Mariachi band.  Was a really good spectacle and my favourite of the night was the guy with the lasso.   Wasn’t so keen on one of the drummers using a turtle shell as his instrument though…..

Mexico show Mexico show 2 Mexico show 3 Mexico show 4 Mexico show 5

After the show we returned to the bar for a few more drinks and the full moon lighting up the sea  was just stunning….and the illuminated walkways to the piers was really romantic.

Moonlit night Romantic

This morning I’m blogging and Richard is washing down the topsides.  Later on we have Didier and Mary coming on board for sundowners so we’ll need to clean Morphie up down below as well to look her best before we have company.

Looking at the weather forecast we are hoping to leave for Cozumel mid week and then onto Utila once the paperwork has been completed.   Currently the wind is forecast to be due east at 15 to 20 knots – fingers crossed that it remains that way.   North winds would give us very uncomfortable choppy seas and south winds would mean a beat all the way which would not be ideal.   Currently we’re looking at a window to leave for Utila on Friday for the 270 mile passage.   We should arrive sometime Sunday but we are heading into a current all the way so we’ll just have to see how long it takes – and slow down if the need arises to ensure landfall in daylight hours.   We’ll be in touch when we can get internet again.

Bye for now


Out and about in Mexico

Sunday morning we tinkered doing odd jobs around the boat before heading to the hotel’s beach.  Bobbing wasn’t the most enjoyable experience we’d ever had as the waves bounced us around and invariably we landed on top of rocks buried under the sand.    But we soldiered on LOL.

El Cid beach El Cid beach 2

Having returned to Morphie to get cleaned up, and have dinner, we went to the main pool area to watch the fire show, which was really good.  Returning to the marina we were accosted by a security guard who tried to stop us going to the docks as they are private – took a while to convince him we actually had a boat in the marina and to let us pass.  Irritating but reassuring all at the same time.

Fire show 1 Fire show 2 Fireshow 3 Fireshow 4

Tuesday morning and we headed out in a taxi to Cancun airport to pick up our hire car – much cheaper option than renting one from the resort.   We finally managed to meet up with the appropriate company – dozens of rental agencies here – and we were taken off in a minibus to their site.   It took about 45 minutes to get the car and paperwork sorted out and then we were off.

Cancun hire car

Our first destination was a Home Depot near Playa del Carmen…..   We liked the spacious dual carriageways with good signage – but some of the joining / exiting lanes are downright scary!   Anyway……we found the way (eventually) into Home Depot and worked our way through our shopping list….   We did pretty well and have most items that we need to put Morphie to bed now – we were planning to buy this stuff in Panama but hey, no worries, we can adapt just like our cruising plans!

Driving back from picking up the car

We returned quite late in the day so ended up having a quiet night on board having watched a spectacular sunset.


Wednesday morning we were up early and drove back down to Playa del Carmen to get the ferry to Cozumel.  We used our iPad and Bad Elf as a sat nav so we found the car park pretty easily and wandered down to the terminal, enjoying the views on the way.  

Playa del Carmen Playa del Carmen 2

Just before the terminal we were stopped by a number of car hire companies and were persuaded by their argument to pre-purchase a hire car in Cozumel for the day.   Very reasonable priced so not expecting much – but avoids the queues at the other end, particularly as it is a three cruise ship day in Cozumel.   Anyway……we waited for the ferry…..and were pleased to make the 10 o’clock crossing.  It was very nice too – air conditioned / drinks / snacks and nice seats.  We enjoyed the trip over.

Ferry to Cozumel Ferry selfie

Arriving in Cozumel and we wandered down the main drag away from the terminal to find the hire car office admiring the horse and trap tourist carriages. 

Cozumel 1 Cozumel 2

The office was only one block away and we gave them our paperwork – and waited for the car to arrive.  This took a while….sigh….  We had chosen the cheapest option which was a VW Beetle convertible, and a purple one turned up!!!  

Cozumel beetle

We looked around the car – shocked by its poor condition – and then realised that it didn’t even have an accelerator pedal just the linkage, no handbrake, no working seat belts and the passenger seat wasn’t even attached to the floor!!!   Richard declined to take the car.

Cozumel beetle 2 Cozumel beetle 3 Cozumel beetle 4

We then asked for our money back…..and they said no refunds allowed.  We argued that if they provided us with a road-worthy car we would be happy to honour our contract – they just needed to honour their part or give us a refund.   Back and forth it went – until finally they agreed to give us another car.  And then we waited again for it to arrive…..sigh…..   OK this will do – so we agreed to take the automatic Chevy ‘upgrade’ that they gave us.

Cozumel Chevy Cozumel Chevy 1

We drove off down the road looking for the new marina – which is not on the charts yet.   We found the entrance from the road about four miles out of town and drove to the car park, which was pretty busy.  We realised that half of the marina was working boats – snorkel / dive / fishing boats – and there was one solitary catamaran in the rest of it.   Nice concrete docks with all slips alongside so not looking too bad.  

Cozumel marina Cozumel marina 2

We walked the docks until we could eyeball the entrance and – with our handheld Garmin plotter – we put in a waypoint in preparation for a trip over here.  

Marina entranceWe finally found the marina office and they confirmed they had space for us – no, really?!? – and also confirmed the cost at (US) $40 a day.   That’s pretty steep considering this marina has no laundry; no bars; no restaurants; no pools; no wifi; no nothing – nothing, not even a taxi rank or even walking distance to one.   We spoke to the people on the catamaran and they confirmed that even the showers and toilets were not kept clean….  Hmmmmm…    Realistically we would need to hire a car for the whole time we stayed here… and the only convenient thing about it is the walk to the dive boat.    Don’t think this place is for us yet – may be nice when they finish building the rest of it….

Moving on – as we had the car – we decided to take ourselves on an island tour for the rest of the day.   A few miles up the road we stopped at Playa Corona and had a couple of sodas – first shock, the price.   40 pesos each –v- the 15 pesos we’re paying here in Puerto Morelos.    We decided to move on….

Corona playa Corona playa 2

Guess what, the car wouldn’t start!!!   We tried – the chef tried – the waiter tried – the manager tried – the cleaner tried – all to no avail.  So, very kindly, the cleaner phoned the car rental company and we waited….and waited….and waited….and eventually they turned up with another car for us, another Chevy.   Another wreck but at least it was drivable – so we took it. 

Another Chevy

The main road goes through the middle of the island and you can’t see anything….we had just decided to turn off onto a dirt road to visit some Mayan ruins…and Richard changed his mind.   He realised that if we went off road – with no phone – and if this car didn’t start we really were royally up the creek without a paddle.   Having no confidence in the car we decided to call it a day.   So we just drove it back into town and dropped it off.

We then wandered back to the terminal and decided to have a late lunch in the Mexican restaurant – which, actually, comes highly recommended.  Well….we had a very light lunch and a couple of drinks each….and then got another pricing shock – paying more for this than we had paid in Isla Mujeres for a nice meal in a restaurant including a bottle of wine!   Obviously Cozumel caters to the cruise ship crowd and prices accordingly…..    Fed up we headed back onto the ferry and returned to Playa del Carmen.

Back into the square and we were just in time to see the Mayan spectacle of the guys going up a tall pole and then flinging themselves into the air, just held on by a rope, as they circle down to the floor.  Great to see – and glad we made it in time.

Mayan pole 1 Mayan pole 2 Mayan pole 3 Mayan pole 4 Mayan pole 5

We decided to return to Puerto Morelos at this point and drove back up the motorway and, feeling hungry again by now, we had a fantastic Chinese meal for the fifth of the cost of the light lunch!   Having had a tiring and frustrating day we had a few pontoonies in the beach bar before having an early night.

Omar Beach bar

Thursday morning we headed out to Puerto Aventuras – another possible stop on our future itinerary.  We got a quote for the marina – at $24 a day much more reasonable –  although it is a real shame that there are so few anchorages on this coast as we really like being on the hook rather than tied to a dock all the time.   This marina narrow entrance is tricky in the wrong conditions – and was interesting to see the flag system they use.  

Puerto Aventuras marina entrance

Sadly there is no pool or beach access here though – although you can pay for a day pass into the fancy hotels that surround the marina.  Lots of tourists around – mostly to see the sad dolphins and sea lions in their fenced-in prisons…. 

Dolphin prisons

Another place to ponder on – certainly lots of bars, shops and restaurants to visit, but that’s about it.

Moving on we headed off inland to Coba – a Mayan site that we had not visited before.  There is a lot of this area that has not been excavated but is notable for its extensive system of ceremonial white roads (sacbeoob), remote jungle landscape and several interesting pyramids – including the tallest pyramid on the Yucatán Peninsula.   The main network of roads was built between 600 and 800 AD and during this period the stelae were built.   These were sculptured stone monuments on which the basic events of the ruling class were registered – the inhabitants, however, who did not belong to this social class lived on the outskirts of the central zone, in houses not too dissimilar from those inhabited by Mayans in this region today.  The whole site covers 76 kms and is based around two lakes.  As this site is so vast we decided to hire a tricycle taxi to take us around – and the driver was pure Mayan so had some interesting stories to tell us too, especially about his grandparents who, to this day, still only speak Mayan with no Spanish at all.

Coba transport Coba transport selfie

We stopped and started and had a wonderful time – particularly taken by the two Pita courts – and, of course, the huge pyramid Ixmoja which stands at 138 feet.  

Coba Coba 2 Coba 3 Pita court at Coba Goal Pita court at Coba 2 Coba pathway

Richard – aka mountain goat – was very keen to get to the top.   I was kitted out in trainers in preparation but realised that as the steps were so uneven and worn I was risking my already dodgy ankle, so sat at the bottom in the shade while he ventured to the top.  

Coba 4 Coba 5 Coba 6 Coba 7 Coba 8 Coba 9

Back at the bottom I was people watching as many tried – and failed – to reach the summit.   Then Richard reappeared ready to start his descent and, it was clear, that this was much more difficult so I was glad to have stayed put.   Anyway back in our taxi and back to the car park – had been a great visit.

We headed back in the car towards the coast and enjoyed the sights of all the colour rugs being offered for sale on the side of the road – we don’t really need a rug on the boat so we just carried on by…..

Selling wares

In the evening we headed back into the hotel and ended up practising Spanish with Roberto in the infinity pool bar and decided not to venture to the ‘circus’ show.


Friday morning and our last day with the car – Richard did some DIY in the anchor locker to stop the chain getting caught on the windlass motor while I had all our provisions out from the cupboards.   I made lists and by lunchtime we were ready to go……shopping of course!    Back to the supermarket – list in hand – and back to Morphie fully laden.   Phew….   

We then decided to go cool off in the pool and met a really nice family who were staying in a suite and had their own butler!!!   They spotted our BVI Soggy Dollar coozies and it turns out they had done a sailing trip there – they were interested to hear about our travels and, when they realised we were not all-inclusive, they decided to adopt us into their family and the drinks started flowing.   Thanks guys!!!

View from the infinity pool Bobbing in the pool View from the infinity pool 2

Later on we returned to Morphie to get cleaned up and had dinner…..smoked pork and onions with linguine in an alfredo sauce tonight.….before returning to the hotel to get a drink to take into the show.  This was billed as ‘Broadway’ so we were looking forward to musicals – and it started off with a lot of promise with Phantom of the Opera.   Then it was Grease…then Aladdin…then little Mermaid…  Well the crowd were obviously delighted if the whooping and hollering was anything to go by  – we were a little bemused that Disney animated movies could come under a ‘Broadway’ show title….  Oh well – never mind, back to the bar.  

Broadway show

We chatted with Roberto again – in Spanish of course – and then with Max who is Russian.    Finally we walked back to the marina and Richard decided the night was still young and wanted to go into the disco….and we ended up dancing and having fun and didn’t actually get back to Morphie until 1.00 am!!!

Down the disco

This morning – Saturday – and we’ve taken the car back and returned to the marina.   We’re chilling out on board right now and are thinking about whether to go and see tonight’s show or not – it is billed as PreHispanic so I guess they mean Mayan – but we’ll see.    What next?   Well…we need to finalise our future passage plans as there are a lot of routing options…so will let you know when we know LOL.    In the meantime, having a great time in Mexico that’s for sure!!! 

Bye for now


Isla Mujeres to Puerto Morelos

Sunday afternoon the rain stopped so we went into the lagoon to Oscars to drop off the gas bottle.   The docks here are rammed and we managed to find a space – so I stayed in dink while Richard picked his way through all the rubbish and did his mountain goat impression!  

Oscars dock

Job done we meandered back down the channel and heard music coming from this big thatched roofed bar – we managed to find somewhere to put dink – and climbed onto the rickety dock.   The pelicans were circling us at this point looking for handouts.

Pelicans waiting for handouts Into the lagoon Lunch venue

We went inside and were amazed how large the place was.  There was a great live band with lots of dancing going on…..   We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, had a couple of cold ones, combined with some good fish appetizers.

Local band

After a few hours we headed back to Morphie and raised dink back onto his davits.   We then headed into the bar to catch up on the internet – the wifi signals on the dock rarely work – and bumped into Mike and Hank so enjoyed catching up with them before heading off out again down the road to catch some more live music.

More live music

Monday morning and it’s raining cats and dogs – again!!!   Damn… diving again…..  

Rainy day in paradise

We waited for the rain to abate and collected our gear from the shop – that’s it folks – no more diving here with Paradise Divers so time to pay our bill.  We’ve had a great time with this small organisation and have enjoyed ourselves a lot – as you can see from my silly farewell photos!

Paradise Divers William and Stephanie Silly faces at the dive shop

Back to Morphie and we cleaned all our gear in fresh water again and hung it around the boat to dry.  

Drying all the gear

Later on we planned to go back to the pool but the weather was still up and down so decided to stay on board.   We had previously downloaded loads of movies and TV shows from Charlie’s hard drive – and settled down to watch – and that is where we stayed!  

Tuesday morning we did our pre-passage engine / navigational / weather checks before we headed to Oscars for the cruisers bring and buy sale.   We laid out our table – we had agreed prices in both US dollars and Mexican pesos – and awaited the crowds. 

Market trader

Well, of course, the numbers failed to materialise and, when they did, they didn’t want to pay what we were asking for our stuff.    We sold two courtesy flags – and one guy wanted all the others – so we rolled them up and agreed a bulk price.  He was supposed to come by later to pay….guess what….he didn’t show so glad we didn’t trust him with the goods.  Never mind.  Oh yes, and our gas bottle was returned, but empty!!!  The guy couldn’t fill it for some reason – more sighing…

Back to the marina we were amazed by the sheer numbers of frigate birds who were hanging out on the large boat opposite us – and they have been causing havoc around here with three wind instruments broken so far by their heavy bodies sitting on top of masts!   

Frigate bird nuisance

Back on board we unloaded our bags and went to the pool where we had a great afternoon bobbing with Mike.   We said our farewells to him – as we were leaving in the morning – and quickly got cleaned up before heading out to dinner with Saundra and Charlie.  They had reserved us a table at a highly-regarded restaurant. 

Charlie and Saundra

The table was lovely – and the starters were great – although we were a little disappointed with the flavours on the mains.    It was nicely presented though. 

El Limon dining Us at El Limon

Back to the marina and we had a few cocktails before turning in.

Wednesday morning we were up early and got ourselves ready to leave.    We’ve had a great time in Isla Mujeres, have met some great people and hope to bump into them again in the future.   At the agreed time of 10 am, Charlie and Saundra came by to release our lines and we waved farewell……  

Goodbye Isla Mujeres

We motored out and, once we were through the entrance buoys we went head to wind and put up full genoa and main.    The wind was blowing at 15 knots – absolutely lovely!!!  


Great sail….apart from dodging ferries and booze-cruise catamarans which made us change course a few times.… 

Dodging ferries

The current against us was strong in places but we were fascinated by the sights of the Cancun hotel zone so we didn’t mind being a bit slower than we’d hoped LOL.  

Cancun hotel zone

Sadly the wind died for the last few miles so we had to motor sail the final part.  Great to be back on the water.

We arrived into El Cid marina around five having done 33 miles in seven hours.   The marina actually answered the radio on our approach and gave us great instructions on which slip and which side for the fenders – and there was a guy on the dock to collect our lines.   Pretty impressive welcome!   The marina has huge floating docks – really long – which are well protected behind a huge breakwater.  

Tucked in behind the breakwater Morphie snug as a bug Long floating docks

We were checked in very efficiently and purchased tokens for the self-service laundry, got our wifi codes – which actually work on the dock, woo hoo!! – and found out about the hotel.   We also got branded by wrist bands to give us access to the resort….  Long time since we’ve worn these, that’s for sure LOL.


We had an early night on board having watched our first Puerto Morelos sunset.

Puerto Morelos sunset

Thursday morning and we had our early morning tea in the cockpit watching the dolphins in their prison interacting with their trainers before the tourists turn up.   Sad….  Not keen on this at all.

Dolphin prison

We then headed to the laundry – time for some domestic duties! 

Self service laundryEverything clean and fresh smelling we went back and put everything away.  Then we went to the hotel to explore and to purchase drinking vouchers – this is an all-inclusive resort so they don’t take cash but we are able to pre-pay at reception.   We walked along the hotel beach towards the large main pool and were surprised that a foam party was underway along with techno music – not sure that this is really our scene LOL.  

Hotel beach Hotel piersFoam party in the main pool

We found reception and got the vouchers – 50 pesos a drink, which is about £2.  Not a bad price although a bit more expensive than the 35 pesos per beer in Isla Mujeres.   But….and here’s the interesting bit….these vouchers include any local drinks so we can drink anything we want for that.  Cocktails in Marina Paraiso were 90+ pesos each so looks like we’ll have to change our drinking habits while here to make the most of it LOL.

Hotel rooms Water slides etc Landscaped grounds Infinity pool

We wandered to the smaller infinity pool and had a nice time there for a while before returning to the main pool and enjoyed a few hours at the swim up bar.  Not the nicest bar in the resort but had a novelty factor for us – and we engaged with a lot of very drunk and loud people!!!!   They were stunned when they found out we were on a boat and suddenly we were ‘awesome’ LOL and we ended up having to turn away rounds of shots.

Swim up bar Crazy people

Back on board we had an early night.

Friday morning and we were up at a reasonable time as we wanted to go exploring.    Sadly the shuttle buses that were supposed to be supplied by the hotel have been discontinued – and the taxis here on the mainland are much more expensive than in Isla Mujeres.  So we decided to walk into town – which according to google maps would take about half an hour.  Well, that was about right, but the road was long, dusty and very hot!!!    

Hot walk into town

We explored this small fishing village before having a late Mexican lunch on a shorefront property which was great.  Richard purchased his first t-shirt of the trip but we had to bargain hard to get it at a good price – the hotel wristbands mark us down as tourists with cash to flash.

Puerto Morelos 1 Puerto Morelos 2 Puerto Morelos 3 Puerto Morelos 4 Puerto Morelos 5 Lunch 1 Puerto Morelos 6

We then decided to find the supermarket – a Super Chedrui this time – and got on a local bus to the main road.   After a successful shop we cabbed it back to the hotel. 

On the bus

We then had a lazy afternoon on board before having dinner and wandering into the hotel for the evening show being held in the convention centre.  You cannot buy drinks in the venue so we went to the infinity pool bar to get drinks to take in with us – and the guy encouraged me to speak Spanish so I did.  Felt great to be understood…..    Armed with drinks we went to the 9pm show and couldn’t believe it when it was called the ‘British Invasion’. How funny is that?!?  

Hotel show

They asked who was from Canada – half the room – and who was from the US – the other half.  We were the only Brits there….   They started off with a Beatles tribute going swiftly through James Bond, Dame Shirley Bassey, Robbie Williams, Elton John, Jessie J(!), One Direction (!) and Queen.    Strange mix but really good fun – great voices and pretty good dancing…..

British show 1 British show 2 British show 3

After the show we retired to the hotel reception and enjoyed the band playing there too – along with frozen White Russian drinks……    Yummm……. And so we ended up having quite a late night.

Hotel band Night out selfie Frozen white russians

This morning – Saturday – and I’m blogging while we’re making water. The water in the marina is clear and you can see the barracuda checking out the bait fish by using the docks as cover so we’re happy to use the water maker here.  The water on the docks is not potable so don’t want to fill tanks with that.   Later on we are planning another bobbing kind of day….. 

Behind you!

Looking forward we hope to get a car and explore a little – we particularly want to get the ferry to Cozumel to check out the marina facilities there.  We’ve failed to get any accurate information and so eyeballing is the next best thing.   The anchorage we know for sure is nasty so if we want to go diving over there then the marina option is the only way forward… watch this space. 

Bye for now


Final days in Isla Mujeres

Wednesday afternoon we went to the bar and awaited the other cruisers – as we’d put out an open invitation to play boules on the morning net.   They are always advertising Mexican Train Dominoes / Yoga etc so we thought we’d add something new to the mix.   Well, of course, the allotted time of 3pm came and went and nobody showed….apart from Charlie and Saundra.   So I played with Charlie and Saundra played with Richard and we had a knockout competition……and amazingly I was on the winning team.   Woo hoo!   It was very competitive and great fun – although we had to constantly shoo away the large iguana who had a nest in the middle of our court and quite fancied running off with the orange coloured jack LOL.

Marina grounds

Afterwards we retired to the pool for a bobbing session – and were joined by loads of other  guests in the hotel / marina – and had a great time before retiring to bed for an early night.  

Marina pool

Thursday morning and we were up early but sadly the diving was cancelled.   The wind had increased which had created large waves in the channel again….   So we caught up with the Richmond family – we’d been diving with Alden a few days earlier – and offered to take them out snorkelling in the dink.    So we had a lazy morning and later on we dropped dink, picked them up, and went out to the reef.   I’d forgotten to pick up my prescription mask from the dive shop so I was the dinghy monitor and sat around bobbing in the sun on anchor while the others went off.     The currents were strong and they had fun although slightly marred by the huge numbers of people around….

Snorkelling trip Snorkelling 3 Snorkelling 4 Snorkelling 6 Snorkelling 7

Snorkelling 2

Back to the marina and we cleaned up and headed to the pool for a while before retiring on board for an early night.

Pool time

Friday morning still no diving so we went food shopping again….   Then we had a lazy time on board before heading over to Oscars for cruisers night….which is organised by the guy who runs the cruisers net in the morning.   We got a beer – tried out the huge wooden carved chairs – and wandered down the dock.  

Chairs at Oscars

Well it was busy and we loved Precious the boat dog….but we got caught with a couple of not so golden oldies who decided to forcefully impart their superior knowledge on us…..   

Precious the boat dog

We agreed to stay with the group for pizza night but chose a table away from these two curmudgeons and spent a nice evening with the family from Sunny Ray and enjoyed a surprisingly good pizza too!

At cruisers pizza night

Cruisers night at Oscars Sunny Ray family

Saturday morning we were up early and went to the dive shop – and decided to defer diving until Monday now….  Fingers crossed the wind will reduce….    We cleaned Morphie up and then went for a couple of hours by the pool – and I’m being very careful walking towards the bar as the wooden planks on the docks seem to be deteriorating day by day – certainly do not want to fall through!!!

Marina Paraiso

At the pool we were entertained by the usual iguanas who live here – and we had some fun splashing him as he seemed to like the cool(ish) water on his back…..   


We returned to Morphie having used the shore showers to clean up and I started preparing the food – Hank and Mike were coming over for bangers and mash with onion gravy – and then they arrived, laden with cold beer….   So we had a very social evening – they enjoyed their taste of UK food (although the sausages were Argentinian and the potatoes Mexican) – and we were having a bit of a giggle.  Not realising we were being loud until Saundra and Charlie knocked on the hull – so we invited them on board – and ended up having a bit of a dark and stormy party which lasted until the early hours!!!  And of course no photos……   Must try harder LOL.

This morning – Sunday – and we have woken to a very cloudy and stormy day – with rain falling intermittently and the odd crack of thunder in the distance.  

Miserable day today

So we’ve spent our time productively by organising our haul out in the Rio Dulce, Guatemala – and had paid a deposit so we have a secured place.   Phew….pleased to have that sorted.  We also sent a reservation request to El Cid Marina in Puerto Morelos which is on the mainland below Cancun and above Puerto Adventuras.   This marina gives us access to the hotel facilities there as well as complimentary shuttle buses up and down the coat so we can do a bit more exploring.  

El Cid Marina

We are not planning on visiting the famous Mayan ruins in this area as we’ve done that before while on holiday – but we haven’t been here for a very long time so it will be interesting to see how the coastline has developed, especially as the last time we visited was just after Hurricane Wilma which devastated the area.   Fingers crossed they can fit us in – this coast line is a national park area so no anchoring allowed – definitely looks like this is going to be the season for marina dwelling!   If they can accommodate us we hope to be leaving here on Wednesday for the 30 mile run.

Later on today we are heading off to Oscars – the pizza venue – as they can fill our gas (propane) tanks apparently.    After that I was hoping for a beach afternoon but this weather  looks set for the day so probably not…..   In the meantime we are being entertained by the pelican who has been fed by the local fisherman with some fish innards and is being bombed by the large numbers of frigate birds that are around at the minute.  

Frigate birds everywhere Pelican getting bombed

Interestingly enough the seagulls appeared to have moved on with very few sightings at the minute.  Fingers crossed for decent weather for our final dives here tomorrow in Isla Mujeres – not looking too good right now.

Bye for now