Assault on the Senses!!
09 November 2007 | Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
We made it to Cabo San Lucas (Was there any doubt?) and we can't wait to leave. This place is so crowded and busy with sports-fishing boats, cruise ship tenders, jet skis and water taxis constantly buzzing around the anchorage kicking up waves and belching out diesel fumes. All this mayhem makes for a swelly and stinky anchorage. Then you go on shore and as John Harold put it, "It's like every day is spring break." The place is loaded with bars and everywhere it's a party. I think if you're not into sports fishing or Jello Shots you might want to give this place a pass.
But let me back up and tell you about legs 2 and 3 of the Baja Ha Ha...
After a relaxing couple of days in Turtle Bay (where the girls got to swim, play soccer with some local kids and other cruiser kids, and even take part with John Harold in a donation of school supplies for the local school) it was time to head out on leg 2 toward Bahia Santa Maria. This leg started off great with some awesome sailing and manageable swell. We sailed for about 30 hours and then the wind totally died so rather than bobbing like a cork on the ocean we fired up the motor. While underway we caught a beautiful and very tasty Dorado. Cooked him up, yum
Bahia Santa Maria is a big beautiful completely isolated anchorage. Every year that the Ha Ha fleet is there a group of industrious locals pull a major rabbit out of their hat and via barge and truck bring a whole party to the beach, complete with fish dinner, cervezas and a rock and roll band! Generally the big trick here is to actually get to the beach. There are no docks and the surf can make it a bit of a challenge to land your dinghy there. (It's a much more gentle approach at Turtle Bay.) If you don't time it just right, and if your crew is less than nimble, your dinghy can flip sending you flying. It's very important to have your kill switch on your wrist so you aren't in the water with a spinning propeller. That being said, the day of the beach party the surf was even more aggressive than usual. The event organizer suggested that we all take advantage of the pangas, the local boats that act as water taxis. One look at the beach convinced us that that was a smart move. Even so the ride in on the panga was definitely an "E ticket"! These guys have powerful outboard engines and they really rev them up in an effort to race the surf. In fact on our trip in the guy was racing in and watching the waves and had to cut hard away to just miss a wave crashing on us. (Run away! Run away!) Some folks even found themselves stranded on the beach because they were on the beach after the sun went down so it was too dark and dangerous for the pangas to make the run.
After leaving Bahia Santa Maria we left on the final leg for Cabo. With every leg we found ourselves shedding layers- until by the last night watch instead of layers of fleece under foul weather gear we were getting by with shorts and light sweatshirts. The last leg was very light winded so we ended up motoring again. Some intrepid souls were determined to sail the WHOLE way. Good for them. But then they aren't sailing with two young children: ("Are we there yet?")
Here in Cabo we've had a couple Ha Ha parties which the girls enjoyed tremendously. At every stop they've been able to catch up with their friend Jaryd from Tin Soldier and Maddie and Isabel from Volcano. So they've had play dates and lots of beach time.
The first "unofficial" party in Cabo was at Squid Roe, a restaurant bar that can get pretty wild (as they all do here). We got there early figuring we'd get a bite to eat and leave before the craziness began. We stayed a bit longer than that... we were all having a great time dancing and catching up with friends. However when Sophie said, "I want some Jello" I knew it was time to leave. (To clarify: the waiters at this fine establishment were by this time passing out Jello-Shots, little cubes of jello laced with large amounts of liquor.) The next day was much more tame for our little party animals- they spent hours at the beach playing in the surf.
So we've had loads of fun and good sailing and now it's time to go and get back on our own schedule. We plan to leave tomorrow for Los Frailes and then continue up the Sea of Cortez a bit to La Paz.