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Trip report-Aldora and Casa Mexicana

Discussion in 'Cozumel' started by Jayfarmlaw, Nov 11, 2019.

  1. Jayfarmlaw

    Jayfarmlaw Divemaster

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Tuttle, Ok
    1,325
    1,063
    113
    ok...if you have read any of my reports over the last 5years, you know pretty much everything I am about to say. We have a system that works for us amazingly well. This report will focus on anything new.

    The Scuba Gods smiled upon us on the bag drag. Off the plane in Cancun, cleared customs through the "no declaration" path, bought the bus ticket and waited less than 10 minutes for the bus to arrive. Light traffic and no stop in Puerto Muertos meant we were off the bus in less than an hour. I bought the combination bus/ferry ticket thinking it would save time, but you still have to turn the bus ticket into a ferry ticket. Lost a little on the gringo tax, but we literally walked onto the ferry from never sat down. We have never run the bag drag as smoothly before.

    Check in at Casa Mexicana was smooth as always. We have gotten lesser quality rooms in hotels, including CM before when we book on Hotels.com, but we were in 407, partial ocean view, king size bed, and in the bank of rooms (405,406,and 407) we like to stay in. All this for $50 a night, thank you Hotels.com!

    Santa is no longer running the grill but Breakfast was excellent as always. Tragically, I've reached a point that a big breakfast right before diving is not a good idea.

    Diving was incredible as always. We dive with Aldora for a multitude of reasons. It's the right shop for us. Jorge and Shariff are two of the best divemasters we have ever dove with. We dove with Jorge and it is truly like diving with family. We did not get to dive with Shariff, but we will in the spring. The southern reefs were no more crowded than when they are busy any other time. Frankly, I'm amazed that people wouldn't want to dive the same reef twice. I could dive Cedral or Tunich every dive and not have the same dive twice.

    The currents were a little strong, and bipolar like a crazy exgirlfriend. If they were strong, just ride it out for a bit and they would disappear. Jorge, my best friend Jim (private joke) and I got caught in the smallest downcurrent ever. It was gentle and you almost didn't feel yourself sinking, but your bubbles just hung infront of your mask. A little hard kicking and we were out of it with a great story to tell. Our wives were maybe 10 feet above us and above the wall and never felt a thing. On an excellent drift dive, perfect speed and typical perfect visability, the current just changed direction 180 degrees and we went back over the reef again.

    One day we went North. We started at I think a reef called The Bridge but two divers in our group had weight issues and aborted the dive. We came up with at least 2000 psi each so we finished those tanks on Gato's reef. Our SI was on shore and we walked a little inland, less than 100 yards, then waded through a lagoon to a tiny island with Mayan ruins. A short picnic later and we headed back for a third splash on a reef called Red Underwear (I think) The reefs on the north end are unlike the south end. The current was a little surge-y, but not linear like the south end. The reefs were flat except for small channels on the third dive. Great diving.

    Food-
    Cervesa Punta Sur- a wood fired pizzeria and micro brewery a few blocks back from the Aldora shop. It's owned by Adrianne and her husband. She used to be a DM for Aldora and we found the place right after they opened. Back then, They were going through typical opening growing pains and were out of several beers. Our trip this time was completely different. The Pizza was perfect! The Amber and Octoberfest beers were as good as Bohemia Obscura and service was excellent. My wife had an empanada that looked like a calzone and she loved it. They also have a Lionfish pizza. They were out of Lionfish when we ordered but got a fresh...really fresh...delivery while we were eating. Put this on your list of "must go" when you're on the island.

    New Especias- Ok, I'm sorry. Many of you have ranted and raved about this place for years and I didn't listen. I have now drank the koolaid and join your ranks as a devout follower. It's about a block and a half or so back from Melgar. Small place but we were seated immediately despite not having a reservation. First they have Bohemia Obscura. Second, their margaritas are very good. Third the food is officially Slap.Your. Mama. Good. That's the highest praise a southerner can give. I had the Lionfish on the regular menu and it was great. My wife had the Lionfish Marsala which was a special item. Do yourself a favor and order the Marsala. ORDER THE MARSALLA!!!! Our second trip, the marsalla was not on the special list, but they made it for me anyway. I would commit multiple felonies to get this dish again. Truth is, I could eat here every night. It's that good. Order the MARSALLA....seriously!

    We hit all our usuall spots as well, La Perlita, Quatro Tacos, The Thirsty Cougar, El Coffee Cozumel (daily), and Guidos. All were good, but the scallops at Guidos were a little fishy and smaller than usual. Still a great restaurant and on our "must do" list.

    Dives averaged around 90 minutes with a couple over 100. I snuck away one day to dive cenotes but I'll post that review separately.

    Great trip. The worst sound in the world is the ferry engines throttling up to leave.

    I'll be back in the spring to repeat the same trip again....and order more Lionfish Marsalla. It's that good. We dove with old friends from Canada and Texas and New friends were made from Oregon and Auborn...an island in Alabama...a great time was had by all!!

    Safe travels,order the Marsalla.
    Jay
     
  2. neehooya

    neehooya Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Colorado
    26
    12
    3
    Thanks for the trip report Jay, heading there tomorrow, staying optimistic!
     
  3. horn34

    horn34 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Austin, TX
    526
    352
    63
    Who are the DMs at Aldora right now? Jorgito? Dario? Mario? Rich? Nat? Miguel?
     
  4. Jayfarmlaw

    Jayfarmlaw Divemaster

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Tuttle, Ok
    1,325
    1,063
    113
    Not sure about all of them but Shariff is back, we dive with Jorgito, I heard Dario was on another boat. Rich was on the Felicity with us on the day the port was closed, since its was a 40 foot+ boat, we were able to dive anyway. Other than some different currents, everything was fine and completely drivable. We dove with Diedre (im sure I butchered the spelling) who goes by D the first day. After that we only dove with Jorgito. Shariff was with a group the entire week so we missed out on him.

    I'm not sure about Nat or Miguel, since we met Jorgito and Shariff, that is who we have requested. Both are amazing divers and their style matches ours perfectly. Personality wise, both are like diving with family. Jorge got my wife hooked on diving with a magnifying glass. I'm not sure but I think the wives like looking at Shariff....

    Change wise, Jorge in the office is no longer there and Jared from Texas is working with Memo now.

    Wish I was there now. I just came in from getting cattle tanks ready for the bitter cold coming. It's never 6 degrees with negative windchill in Cozumel.

    By the way, Order the Marsala......

    Jay
     
  5. Jayfarmlaw

    Jayfarmlaw Divemaster

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Tuttle, Ok
    1,325
    1,063
    113
    If a norther will blow in for long, Aldora will move boats to the East side so their divers can still dive. I've actually been hoping to get caught in one so I can dive the East side...I hear it's amazing.

    By the way...order the Marsala.....

    Safe travels,
    Jay
     
  6. drrich2

    drrich2 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Southwestern Kentucky
    8,177
    5,600
    113
    Now that sounds like something to see!

    Richard.
     
  7. ratjn

    ratjn Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Landlocked Calgary
    62
    59
    18
    I am the best friend Jay references - I knew Jay viewed our friendship as a joke!!
     
    chillyinCanada likes this.
  8. Jayfarmlaw

    Jayfarmlaw Divemaster

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Tuttle, Ok
    1,325
    1,063
    113
    And I'd still go to 200 to drag your narked Cannuck ass up from the depths....maybe 250 if there was a margarita in it for me! Hug your wife for me Major Amigo, then hug yourself twice!

    AND WE DID ORDER THE MARSALA!!! (Because that's what BFF's do!!)

    Jim's Best Friend,
    Jay
     
    chillyinCanada likes this.
  9. Brodydog

    Brodydog Barracuda

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Braselton, GA
    480
    218
    43
    I heard the Lionfish Marsala is good at New Especias. Did you happen to try that?
     
    Jayfarmlaw likes this.
  10. Trailboss123

    Trailboss123 Divemaster ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Pacific Northwest, USA
    2,275
    2,619
    113
    @Jayfarmlaw - I am going to be in Cozumel next week- what are your thoughts on the Lionfish Marsala @ New Especias. I will be staying right around the corner from there for 8 nights. Do you think it is worth a try? :wink:
     

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