Today was going to be an excursion. I had absolutely no idea this place even existed and I really haven't seen much talk about it on the cruise boards. However, c-leg on the boards brought the name of this place up when I was asking what else I should do (on a cruise day) and that was basically the only time I had heard about it that I can remember.
So I had emailed them prior to leaving on this trip and we were trying to set up a day and Isabel immediately responded and answered all of my questions I had thrown at her. She was delightful and easy to talk to. There was to be high winds over the weekend that we were coming in and I was trying to fit this place in on Monday (because I already had a calendar going of places I had booked) and she explained that the tour was completely dependent on the weather and conditions and wanted it later in the week to be on the safe side. I was rearranging my schedule to fit this in and we didn't really make a choice prior to flying into Cozumel. However, I emailed Isabel mid-week, after arriving in Cozumel, asking if Friday would work for them and she immediately told me YES!
So....WE'RE GOING TO THE PEARL FARM!
We were told to meet at the Puerto de Abrigo marina at 10am. I was happy to know that it wasn't no 7 or 8am in the morning and I wouldn't feel rushed and had plenty of time to get there. Their boat was called La Ostra (which means Oyster in Spanish) and the price for this excursion was $110/adult and $85/child 12 and under. Thank goodness Sakari was still 12 for another week! Benefits! The tour is supposed to be from 10am-4pm, so 6 hours long. The boat ride to the north side of Cozumel is around 45 minutes (but I believe this is because there is a "pit stop" included.
We headed to the marina early (or course, because I'm always punctual). The lighthouse is a dead giveaway that you are there.
There weren't many people here. There was a security guard and maybe 2 people walking around. Also, there were a few people getting their boats ready but other than that, the place was dead.
We parked under a tree in the shade because it was super hot outside.
Isabel messaged me asking if we were there yet and I told her yes. She said they were on their way and would let me know when they arrive.
Since we were there early and had been sitting for awhile, I had to use the restroom. Actually, my stomach was turning again...oh no! Not this again! I got out of the car and went up to the guard to ask where the restroom was and he pointed all the way over to the other side of the marina. Eeek! I got in the car and headed back down the street and out onto the main street and then to the other side. Geesh, this was going to take up some time and I hoped that she wouldn't pull up while we were gone.
I got out and searched the property for the bano's. I stopped to ask someone and they pointed really far away. It was already a long walk for me because the parking lot was all the way around all the buildings along the water. I turned to follow his directions and right there in front of me were the restrooms. ??? I have no clue why he told me so far away. I made it to the bano and .... it was a false alarm. Thank goodness.
Headed back to the car and drove back to the other side of the marina where she said she was now pulling in. We gathered our things and headed down the walkway at the marina to locate La Ostra.
Now I really never paid attention to what was on their website or what this excursion was all about other than it was a Pearl Farm. I guess I never realized there was even such a thing and we are always up for new adventures. So, I was going in blind. I had visions in my head but I didn't have a clue what we were doing.
The boat pulled up and we got in. The boat was very small and looked older with only a few rows of seats. Sakari was in the front half seat, mi esposo and I were in the second row, and the crew was in the third row, which was Isabel, which was giving the tour and a helper (I believe for cooking). Then there was the captain of the boat. They definitely can't take many people in this boat on an excursion so I guess if you ever went, it would be a small group, which would be good. Talk about small groups...today would be JUST US!!! How wonderful was that!
It was time to pull out and they informed us it is a pretty long boat ride to their farm. The time 10am and we were on the move.
We were passing Buccanos! Sakari said "I wonder if Sir Pedro San Miguel will know it's us and follow us to the Pearl farm."
A little history about the Pearl Farm (according to their webpage and was also told to us by Isabel as well).
The Pearl Farm and Tour is owned and operated by the family and we will be your hosts and guide you personally during your visit.
The Farm remains pristine due to its location that was declared a natural protected area since 2012.
The Cozumel Pearl Farm is the only active pearl farm in the Caribbean and is the best kept secret of the island. During the tour you will walk the facilities of the farm and find out how we cultivate our pearls and the patience needed for the long cultivation process and see some of the island's first farmed pearls.
Once we have learned all about the cultivation process of pearls we will take you to snorkel the oysters hatchery, there you will see a life-size Virgen de Guadalupe underwater statue, our first artificial reef and some of the most beautiful natural reef formations while you try the ultimate snorkel experience... speed snorkeling!!!!
We finalize our water activity with a stop at our amazing sand bank, which will blow your mind.
Meanwhile Jose will prepare our famous grilled pineapple -cheese hamburger, that will be awaiting you with cold beer at our palapa.
The rest of the tour time is left for relaxing on the beach or in a hammock, walking along the beach or swim in these amazing Caribbean turquoise waters and enjoy paradise!!!!
• Guide, boat ride, snorkel gear, bottled water, soft drinks, beers and lunch
• Maximum 8 visitors per tour
We pulled up to a shipwreck called Catch the Wave. The story about it:
This ship ran aground in 2012 during a storm. I guess the boat was left in port and it broke free and ran aground in this shallow area and they were unable to recover it. I believe she said it was a snorkeling tour or party boat. It sat there eroding from the salt water and snorkelers and divers would come here after that to explore. However, since it has rusted so bad now, they no longer allow anyone there because of safety reasons.
I don't know what it is about these type of shipwrecks, but I just love taking pictures of them. The only other one I can think of that we were by at a beach was in Grand Turk. It just fascinated me with the history and the colors the erosion causes on the ship. It's so pretty in a morbid kinda way I guess.
Then we were off and headed to the Pearl Farm. Then all of a sudden I hear a gasp and the hubby grabbed his head like he had been hit by an object...only I'm sure his object hit someone behind him instead. His hat flew off as we were speeding along. HAHAHA! So, Isabel said "no worries, we can do a search and recovery!" Now Sakari has done a search and recovery class in her scuba class so she was the perfect candidate for the job!
Moving along...as I daydreamed about what we were doing today and the different visions in my head brought me to a peaceful place, I glanced over to the shoreline and seen this beautiful beach with some palapa's and said to mi esposo "Wow, look at that place! Wouldn't it be nice to be there!" and about then the boat turned in that direction and we were headed there. Wait, what? Would this be a stop for us? Could this be the beautiful beach that we would get to spend some time at? I knew that it stated that we would get to hang out at a beach and have lunch and I was really hoping this would be the place. (My starving belly would be hoping the same).