I spent last winter hereÂ (in Cozumel, Mexico)Â and Iâ€™m with the same folks in a nice apartment. Iâ€™ve been diving once and got to see my first Black Tip Shark here ever. They are common in the Caribbean and this is the time of year for them to migrate. Iâ€™ve seen them elsewhere, but there are so many divers here that sharks, except for Nurse Sharks, are uncommon.
Cozumel is, for unknown reasons, a major stop for all the cruise ship lines. Some days there are as many as nine cruise ships in all at once. The â€˜Cruzerosâ€™ walk aimlessly up and down the Esplanade getting sunburned and going from one T-Shirt Shop to the next Tanzanite Store. The International Diamond Exchange is now in its fourteenth consecutive year of a â€˜Grand Openingâ€™ and you can buy â€˜authenticâ€™ Cuban cigars. Actually there is a guy who goes to Cuba once a month and buys real Cuban cigars, but what do I know? They all smell like burning tires to me.
If you walk a couple of blocks off the Esplanade into town youâ€™ll find the typical Mexican town of San Miguel. The cruise ships actually tell people not to go more than two blocks off the Esplanade because â€˜itâ€™s dangerous!â€™ The fact is they have an agreement with the T-Shirt Shops and Tanzanite Stores to keep people in close. About two blocks in the prices drop in half. The most dangerous thing by far for tourists is the rental of motor-scooters; that accounts for the majority of injuries here.
Cozumel is generally considered the best dive location in the Caribbean, and that is good and bad. Since it is the best, it tends to be pretty busy all year round. But the diving is outrageous and I love the town, the food, and the people. Iâ€™ll probably end up living here in a few years when I get tired of traveling all the time.
With permission from a personal email received from Steve Bissell.