|After leaving Los Angeles we sail south towards Mexico. The temperature is rising and I'm enjoying the sunshine. The dynamics have changed on the ship with a lot of the Australians having left and more British and Americans boarding. Not least amongst the changes has been that use of the "pokies" (slot machines) has plummeted. It used to be there was hardly ever one standing unattended, now banks of them are standing all alone.
The entertainment is good with the comedian Alan Stewart performing. His act is more centred on the Brits and a little lost on the others. There is an American country singer and the Americans love him. There is a very good cello player with a very deprecating British humour.
As a guest on board is Ross King the L.A. correspondent from Good Morning Britain.
We continue to do well in the quizzes. We play in teams of up to six and we have played with quite a few people, Australians, Canadians, Germans and Scots among others. We have now won 45 bottles of fizz, but I haven't been drinking since the beginning of Lent. So either the other team members have drunk them or taken them. But we have got eight bottles that I will be able to drink from next Sunday! Not all at once though!
We arrive at Cabo San Lucas in Mexico. Cabo is on the South-western tip of lower California, a thin peninsula with the Pacific on one side and the Gulf of California the other. It is a recent holiday destination born in the 1970's.
The resort is surrounded by mountains, very arid scenery and beautiful beaches. The pinnacles of rock with a natural arch emerging from the sea are a fabulous white / gold colour, this is the last pieces of land before reaching Polynesia. So it is more than a little sad to see the rush to put up legions of boxy concrete hotels. A fair amount of the sea front is a construction site, it is as I imagine the Costa del Sol looked like in the construction boom of the 1960s - 70s.
We have booked a day on a catamaran. We sail about 4-5 miles along the coast to Santa Maria bay. The anchor is dropped and we go in snorkelling. The water is surprisingly much cooler than we expected, a fact only apparent after we jump of the boat. Still it is much warmer than home if chillier than the Pacific islands.
I see a few fish and go back on board to enjoy the sunshine. Ian carries on and sees an assortment of brilliantly coloured fish before returning to the boat after swimming for about an hour.
The bar is open and cocktails and beers are flowing. I'm drinking cranberry juice! Will lent never end!
On returning to the marina we explore. It seems every second shop is a pharmacy selling any type of drug you need without any prescription. And we wonder how come antibiotic resistant bacteria are arising. This would seem to be the other side of the "Dallas Buyers Club". As an aside it is interesting how many people on board brought their own supplies of antibiotics "just in case", and how they tell you they take them for their coughs etc.
The shops that don't sell drugs are trying to sell mementoes to the tourists and the sellers really don't want to take no for an answer. It is amazing how often they want to drop their prices because you have become such a special friend in the last 10 seconds, or they like your face etc. We buy some bits and bobs but eventually are driven out by the constant attempts to lure us into their shops / stalls.
On our return to the Ship we walk along the marina front. A man filleting fish is throwing the waste to a couple of gigantic sea lions surrounded by 20 pelicans. Unbelievably the pelicans are chasing the sea lions and grabbing fragments of the meal. At one point half a dozen pelicans are mobbing a harassed sea lion which couldn't have weighed less than half a ton.