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Published: December 20th 2013
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.
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