On the windward coast of the isle of Cozumel in Quintana Roo Mexico, lies a remote surf gem; Punta Morena. A sleepy surf destination, with a small surf shack, shop, and restaurant. Everything is on the beach protected by small a reef outcropping.. This petit point is on the eastern coast 25 mins from the west coast by jeep.
It is a magical abode fortunate to be first to feel the embrace of the Caribbean Sea. Due to it’ s position in the Gulf of Mexico it is one of the few locations where the commotion out at sea is often enabled and transformed into lines of energy breaking all along the windward side of the island. Punta Morena is a point break where the reef creates several perfect rights and lefts. The inner bank is a protected pool where the reef rises from the ocean and then drops before the sand begins. A handful of families congregate establishing a safe lagoon for kid and parents, while the brave hit the surf and the spectators bathe and relax.
Nearing the elevated rock point you will often see a bronzed native to these shores with flowing dark hair shooting surfers with his extended photographic lens. I too, saw him there capturing the raw beauty of those waves crashing as locals attempted to ride the perfect forming swell. He is a passionate man, living a simple life, one that most, if honest in their hearts do envy a small amount. He surfs, he freedives, he fishes for his food, he lives his passion, and shares it with anyone that calls out his name, like I did that January morning not knowing who he really was…” Nacho, we need to surf!” He looked at me with a funny face, questioning our relation, and then let me come to him in natural office with a wave and a friendly nod. He shot a couple more shots and then turned to me and said. Let’s surf! I looked at the surf and said this might be too big for my boys, and he said, “I know a spot come with me!”
A man of few words, but a man of action. We went straight way to the board shop then to the board storage, and then in 10 mins we had boards on his green surf mobile and we were off.
We followed his flinstone vehicle that looked as if he used his feet to operate it and 5 mins south we came to a reverse point producing clean left breaks half the size of Punta Morena and he said, You’re sons will really enjoy this place, it will be Fantastic!
I didn’t know this Nacho Man, but his confidence gave me confidence and he gave us some soul boards and instruction of where to go and what to do and not to do and we paddled out.
Before I continue, our trip was a month long adventure, mostly windy with rough seas from Tulum to Cancun, to isla Mujeres, to Playa del Carmen, but most especially the day before. We woke up the next day, it was my birthday, it was a quick ride to the beach, there was a calm wind and glassy sea, we ferried from Playa del Carmen to Cozumel, and took a jeep from Cozumel city to Punta Morena. (Punta, meaning tip or point, and Morena meaning dark or dark skinned.) Fitting that a dark skinned man stood at that point as we pulled up, as if it was meant to be, and he stood proud as the steward of that tropical oasis.
I also must note that renting a rickety vintage jeep is a the prerequisite for the island experience and helps set the mood, and will bring you closer to an authentic island life experience.
Back to the Paddle out.
It was as if the creator was painting with energy that day. The combination of opposites from the raging storms the weeks previous collected and recalibrated them adding a touch of gentle offshore winds and calm waters set up a scene as lovely as the North Shore of Oahu. Endless lines of perfection. A birthday gift never to be forgotten. A dream to paddle out with all my boys in such special conditions was beyond epic.
With the lack of time in the water over the most recent years, I was thrilled that they remained confident in their skills and many waves in the uncrowded surf.
Nacho a few friends his dog, which usually resides on the his board and us. Four newcomers welcomed like kindred spirits. Wave after wave of hooting and hollering, we couldn’t get enough. As the hours passed the energy wained by us and by Mother Nature the engine began to slow as the tides changed and the winds picked up so too were we spent. Time worthy of repeating, time worthy of remembering.
We loaded up the boards and Nacho turned to me and said, “ Amigo, how long are you here for”, I said, “Unfortunately, we leave tonight,” then proceed to tell him how long we had been in Mexico. He replied more animated then ever, “ You could have been here the whole time surfing and spearing fishing with me.” He was right. Nacho didn’t have a business card, because things worth doing will always be written in the treasure chests of our souls.
When you venture on a Mexican adventure, consider skipping the tourist traps and crowds and seeking out the Legend of Punta Morena. The dark longhaired man of action standing on the point. Nacho! Go embrace the warm Caribbean waves... if you don’t know how to surf, he will teach you… if you do, he will surf with you. Talk less, surf more, and live authentically. When asked how long he had been doing this…he replied…
“I’ve been donIng this all of my life.”
Edicts of Exploration
For the earnest seekers of solace, for the fierce alias of adventure...
Theses are the Decrees of Discovery, These are the Edicts of Exploration
To roam where the few have trodden,
To journey to unreachable heights,
To conquer the greatest of feats,
To achieve the impossible dream.
To claw through the darkest of days,
To hope when there's no way out,
To hold resolute despite the Everest of odds,
To find sanctuary in the arms of nature,
To fin refuge on the summits of your imagination.
Why does our trust fail in this sojourn of life,
In our wasteful and distracted lives,
We rush through our precious moments,
Frivolously wadding through the mud of envy and pride,
Though a pursuit of so called happiness and success is our game,
When already, the goal exists within us.
So explore the deepest yearnings of your heart,
Venture into the woods of wisdom,
Summit to the peaks of paradise,
Rediscover uncharted waters,
Touch what nature has to offer,
Breathe deeply the wild air,
And become the adventure.
Rest at the foot stool of God,
In the crisp alpine passes and the thick valley creek beds,
On the crest of the ocean and soaring through the clouds,
Where your soul meets it's maker,
And you feel the purifying reason to live.
This is the last frontier of exploration.
It's a place of raw beauty. It has summited our list of favorite places to paddle in the world. The clarity of water makes way to spot lurking giants below the surface, the cliffs rugged and mossy rise out of the water growing into a mountain skyline you'll never soon forget.
The Canadian countryside is on display in Waterton. It is majestic, grand, raw. A true paddle sanctuary for all those travelers domestic and abroad, especially neighbors to the south in Glacier National Park. Here, Mother Nature has spruce & pine on her breath, it feeds life into those that brave the elements in the pursuit of adventure.
Peak summer months make you surrender to the arctic lake a time or two, but not much more than that. For most that reside in this celestial sublimity dipping into this alpine pool is a way of life, for others it's a feat to call home about. Some compare it to a mini Switzerland of the north, other's a paradise, we call it home.
Life has been most surely a gift to those that frequent these shores and rest in God's Pièce de Résistance. Come and partake of Waterton National Park, a place to slow the mind, and calm the soul.
"...touch what nature has to offer,
Breathe deeply the wild air,
And become the adventure. "
The founder of Blakiston writes and curates all the content. Giving credit where credit is due.