Thursday, November 10th: Sailing and snorkeling
Weather: hot and dry
Route: Cabo Azul Resort --> Mega Mall via local 'Urbano' bus --> Cabo San Lucas via Intercity bus --> Cabo San Lucas Marina
Our private sailing/snorkeling tour was reserved for 13:00. We lingered over a late breakfast of yogurt, fruit, granola and toast (I finished off the fish leftovers) before walking to the corner to catch the local Urbano bus -- a repurposed school bus -- to take us to the Mega Mall. Even though we were familiar with this ride we were perplexed at the different fares we were charged each time we rode. To catch the more comfortable intercity bus we had to walk to the north side of the mall and cross the main highway. A bus was already at the stop and a flagman was stopping traffic for us. Many local people were riding, including an accordion-playing singer who apparently rides often, singing for money. He received several donations before disembarking. It was interesting to see this small slice of daily local life.
Our bus driver let us know where to disembark for the Marina, although Young Laddie was following our GPS location on Google maps and knew it was our stop. We were a little disappointed to realize how far from the Marina it was to El Toro Guero, the restaurant we wanted to try for lunch. Instead of the 2K walk to El Toro Guero we opted to wander around the tourist section of Cabo San Lucas. Most importantly we had to look for a public bathroom and then a pharmacy. It seems on the Members-only trip yesterday Sis was either stung by jelly fish or bitten by ferocious mosquitoes. She woke up this morning with itchy welts swelling up on her legs. The pharmacist recommended a topical cream similar to Neosporin. It helped the itch for today and a few days later, thankfully, the welts subsided as well. While wandering through the tourist shops, perusing the usual T-shirts and assorted souvenirs we stumbled upon Baja Brewing Cantina. Immediately we all knew this was our lunch stop.
Some History: In 2006 a Colorado Brewmaster visited Cabo San Lucas and loved it so much he didn't want to leave. In 2007 he ordered US brewery equipment and fermented his first batch of beer under the Baja Brewing Company name -- the first brewing company to be located in the State of Baja California Sur. Later that year the donkey became the official mascot of Baja Brewing. Cabotella, a blond ale, made its debut in Texas in 2013 and soon after was being distributed throughout the USA. When Hurricane Odile hit Los Cabos very hard in 2014, Baja Brewing launched "Buck for Baja" to help support community rebuilding efforts. In 2015 the original brewpub opened again, bigger and better than before, with a choice of 6 different beers.
There was something on the lunch menu for every taste and the portions were generous. My rare tuna quesadilla appetizer was very fresh and satisfying, especially when paired with a glass of dark Escorpion Negro Black Ale. Even our non-beer-drinking friend liked the taste of that ale. I was glad I hadn't ordered a full lunch plate -- they were huge. Everyone enjoyed their beer selection -- not a disappointing one on the list.
With at least 30 minutes before we had to be back at the Marina, we walked to Cabo Wabo, where one couple bought T-shirts for family members not lucky enough to be with us. Our GPS-toting navigator had us back at the Cabo Sailing office near the Marina with plenty of time to complete the paperwork before 13:00, when the receptionist turned us over to Captain Javier and First Mate Manuel. A short walk later we were through the locked gate at the pier and taking off our shoes to board the Liberty, a 37.5' monohull sailboat. The Captain kept a very clean and tidy ship. As we motored out of the harbour Captain Javier pointed out the ruins of a tuna cannery, Pelican, Neptune's Finger and Scooby Doo Rocks, Lover's and Divorce Beaches (separated by a small opening carved through the rocks at Land's End), and El Arco through which we caught a glimpse of the Pacific Ocean. We were not the only boat enjoying the calm water today. As we headed east the Captain gave the order to raise the mainsail and unfurl the genoa sail. There wasn't a lot of wind but we were in no hurry to reach our snorkeling destination.
We relaxed on the sunny deck to the sound of waves and background music, as we sipped our beverages served up by Manuel from a well-stocked bar in the galley below. The Captain educated us about a career we had not even known existed. He worked as a dolphin rescuer on a tuna fishing boat. When the boat had a catch of tuna in its net it was the job of his team to jump into the water and extract the dolphins from the nets before they drowned. Sometimes the team would also happen upon a shark. In fact, once the tourist industry was generating revenue in Cabo San Lucas, sharks were the reason the cannery was shut down -- too many sharks were being attracted to this harbour by the tuna cannery.
We dropped anchor at the popular Santa Maria Cove with about 2 hours to explore before the return trip to catch the sunset. From the back platform we dropped into the water, making our way slowly to the rocky formations. We were again delighted that the water was so warm. The afternoon light and the sediments in the water diminished visibility slightly but we still saw many of the typical shallow water reef fish -- Sergeant Majors, Angel Fish, Tangs. Most of the fish evacuated the reef to swarm around the people dropping bread bits into the water so it wasn't difficult to spot them. Our allotted time was more than enough to comb the rocky shallows of the cove several times. After a quick fresh water rinse on the Liberty's dive platform, Manuel hoisted anchor.
Once out of the cove, Captain Javier and Manuel again raised the sails. Manuel already had drinks, chunks of pineapple and platters of finger foods ready to serve as we compared notes about our underwater experiences. As the light faded and many boats began converging near El Arco the motor came back on and the sails came down. It was a gorgeous sunset!
We were surprised at how many little water taxis and dinghies were darting around in the harbour without lights. Too soon we had to recover our shoes, thank our crew for the wonderful afternoon and walk to the bus stop for the 20 minute ride home. As working people boarded and got off the bus I felt gratitude to each one of them for their daily contribution to tourism in Cabo San Lucas. We opted to walk the 1.5km from the Mega Mall to Cabo Azul, with plans to shower, dress and go out for dinner at Flora Farms, another recommended restaurant. The dressing and going out again just seemed like too much effort after the nice warm shower. Instead we assembled some snacks and relaxed together in front of the TV before succumbing to an early bedtime.
Today's compatibility assessment = A, based on being able to spend the whole day together without getting on each other's nerves.