Fabulous daysail to Puerto Morelos -- about 30 miles from Isla Mujeres. Rounded the sea buoy and puttered up the coast to pick up one of the four moorings off the town dock. There is no anchoring anymore, as the reef is part of a national park. We spent a few days getting our bearings in town, which is no longer primarily a fishing village (as it says in the cruising guide) but exists for the tourists. However, it is still a lot lower key than Isla, so we are happy we came.
The port town is centered around a town square, stretching out north and south along the coast. Much of the area to the north is fancy houses and condos -- seems to be a large Canadian snowbird community here. The colonia is inland, a couple of miles up the road, where the non-tourist part of town is. In town, there is a strange little area where the tejones (coatimundis -- relatives of the badger) live. They all approach when they see you -- must be used to handouts -- and are really interesting looking.
We are taking our time trying out the restaurants in town -- the Yucatan spices are really good. New vegetable for us - chaya - adds an interesting flavor too. But, the real reason for being here is the snorkeling. This is the ‘Mayan Reef’ -- a northern extension of the barrier reef system in Belize. There are moorings out at the reef, so we dinghied over a couple of times to try it out. The water is a little warmer (!!) but we still wore wetsuit tops. All the regular suspects are out there on the reef. Best find this time was the stingray, which we couldn’t identify from our reef fish book. Anyone know?
Puerto Morelos: 20d50.836’N 86d52.361’W