A Day on the Bay- Cabo San Lucas

Published: December 20th 2013
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I watch the cruise ship enter the bay not long after the sun rises from the balcony overlooking Bahia Cabo San Lucas. It is nearly 1000 feet long and dominates the landscape of the area. The ships carry many hundreds and sometimes more than two thousand tourists, all waiting to come ashore at their first port-of-call since leaving California. Today there is only one, but often several ships arrive in one day. I imagine some passengers are getting their first view of Mexico. The water of the bay is crystal blue and the earlier morning clouds are a light pink color as the sun gently warms the day. It doesn’t take long for the anchor to drop and the launches to begin their first trips to the piers. I wonder what the passengers think as they motor past the jetty and beaches of the old canneries before disembarking near the souvenir stands of the marina. Maybe the city meets their idea of a tropical wonderland of sea and sand or thatch roofed bars complete with frozen Margaritas and frosty Coronas. Perhaps they are disappointed by the touristic look of downtown or the barrage of time-share salesmen masquerading as information kiosk operators. Cabo is no longer the sleepy fishing village that is depicted in the travel magazines of old. The rocky peninsula that is called Lands’ End is all that remains of the fishing town of 50 years ago. It is still a beautiful setting and I imagine many passengers are posing for photos against the majestic backdrop as they wait for their launch to depart. Most of the ships only stay until dark, sounding a horn that can be heard throughout the town before they depart, bound for another port tomorrow.

Before the cruise ship arrived, the fishing boats got an early start from the Marina. Just outside of the harbor, passing the jetty, they race their engines and create a large wake. The boats are made to go fast to reach the fishing grounds quickly. Most turn to starboard after passing the famous arch, El Arco, making their way to the Pacific fishing grounds near the old lighthouse or Migrino Beach. The boats carry the anxious anglers who dreamed the night before of crossing a record setting Marlin or Sailfish off their bucket lists. While they dreamt of marlin, most will be satisfied with Tuna, Dorado or Wahoo. They will tell stories of the one they caught or perhaps the one that got away over cold beers in one of the many bars that surround the marina area of town. Fishing made Cabo famous and while most other activities here can be found in any beach town, the sport fishing at Los Cabos remains spectacular.

Returning to the balcony after breakfast, I spot the tell-tale spout of water from a surfacing gray whale as it crosses the bay on its way towards the Sea of Cortez. Another smaller spout follows seconds later. Surely a newborn getting its first taste of the warm Mexican gulf waters. You need binoculars from this distance to get a good look. If you’re lucky, a whale may be seen jumping from the water. You don’t have to look hard for the whales, just look for the collection of boats moving slowly in the same direction. They are following the whales. The grays are born in the winter months and spend several months here before returning to the colder environments north in late spring.

The days on the Bay are filled with jet-skis, parasails and party boats. Water taxis from the Marina or Playa Medano offer inexpensive rides to Lovers Beach at Lands’ End. Sneak through the pass from Lovers Beach to the Pacific side to find Divorce Beach. Water activities are booked from the Playa Medano, the main beach on the bay. The parasails drift lazily back and forth across the bay all morning and afternoon. They advertise themselves to those soaking up the sun on the beach. The speed of the jet-skis draw the adrenaline seekers or those who wish to take their own quick trip around the bay. Those seeking the latest adventure attempt the Flyboard which takes them 35 feet above the water surface. Powerful jets power the board which is attached to the riders’ feet. For the brave or foolish only.

At sunset, all eyes turn toward the west as the sun drops below the Lands’ End Peninsula. The Pacific sky lights up a fiery orange or red. The show is different each night based on the number and type of clouds in the distance. The sunset cruise ships make their way around El Arco. Some offer dinner and some offer drinks and dancing. One looks like a pirate ship. The lights of the town come on soon after, twinkling like stars in the night sky. Occasionally fireworks can be seen along Medano Beach. Many Mexican towns have fireworks at night for any number of festivities, but these don’t seem to be for any reason other than to be one final entertainment for the people who have spent their day on the bay.

Additional photos below
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20th December 2013

Serenity of a sunset
Looks like you've settled well into the life that is laid back Mexico. Observing the tourist from afar sounds like good people watching. Have you discovered any to die for hole in the wall restaurants. Have you eaten at Gordo's LeLe and been serenaded by the owner? An experience not to be missed. Food is very good and reasonable.
24th December 2013

Tourists Watching
There is some good tourist watching here for sure! I suppose we are all tourists, but some are pretty funny here. We had a couple the other day ask where the locals eat in Cabo and I had to think because I don't think there are really any locals here! We did try Gordo Lele the other day. It's our kind of place. A nice simple Torta is always great. We were the only ones there and didn't get a song, but the food was good.
21st December 2013

I think you've figured out my secret on Cabo, the farther you get from the main tourists towns the better it is!! I can't blame Mexico, they are only trying to cash in on tourism and rich people. The Baja may not have much culture but it has its own vibe being cut off from the mainland. I am pleasantly suprised each time I return, even though I think I've explored every square inch. Thanks for all those beautiful pictures too. I really enjoy your blogs. Cheers from Cabochick!
24th December 2013

Thanks for reading
We have definitely found the small towns to be better. Cabo Pulmo was nice and we liked Mulege. Even though we have been here for 3 months, I can't say I'm a big fan of the Los Cabos area. There are so many tourists here, it doesn't seem like we are in Mexico some times. The weather is beautiful and the scenery is great though, so it wouldn't be fair to complain too much. Thanks for reading!
26th January 2014

Very nice blog, brings back great memories of my visit to Cabo in 2001. Thank You, -cliff
26th January 2014

Thanks, Cliff! Were you here for the Bisbee's Black and Blue Tournament? Nanci

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