Back on the Boat, again

Around ten o’clock we packed ourselves up and headed down to the marina in Cabo San Lucas. If San José is peaceful, calm and relaxing, Cabo San Lucas is its evil twin. The place is a haven to tax-dodging rock-n-rollers who cater to the spring break barbarians and binge drinkers.  The streets are littered with the remains of those who have spent their last dollar on bad tequila and good weed. The marina is surrounded by an ultra-modern shopping complex to catch the influx of cruise ships that make Cabo a port of call. The leviathans come into port several times a day to festive music, and the human cattle take a break from their search for the El Dorado of buffets to purchase cheap trinkets, folkloric clothes and stuffed armadillos. 

The captain and the first mate were dressed in white and met us at the dock. They led us to the hotel’s 35-foot yacht, complete with master bedroom, shower, kitchenette, and dining room, which could be converted into sleeping quarters for two or three more people.  Before we pulled out we took on a ice-chest full of cold beer, soda, fish and steaks for the journey. As we pulled out of the marina, I took a position on the bow so I could catch some rays and sleep a rough night. 

The trek began with a quick run up the coast, leaving the sea of Cortez and heading to the rougher waters of the Pacific. Cabo is part of the Baja California Peninsula, a land mass that originally was part of the North American plate. The same fault lines that run the length of California separated the steep mountains and rock formations about twelve million years ago, and created the Sea of Cortez, the crystalline waters named for the Spanish Conquistador. The coastline is adorned with granite cliffs and stack crags, vertical columns of rock. Often the wealthy choose to build their homes on the cliffs overlooking the water. Cabo San Lucas is known for its natural rock formation called the Arch that guards the marina, which is one of many crags that line the coast. These crags are isolated by erosion: wind, water and time pound away at the rocks and cut caves and doorways into the coast. These spaces become homes for pelicans, seagulls, sea lions, and anything other mollusk that can adhere itself to the rocks and withstand the currents.

The beaches around San Lucas are rocky, and the best are secluded, inaccessible except by boat.  Only the most intrepid vacationers are daring enough to venture into the spots.  But it’s well worth the trouble, anything to get away from the billboards, nightlife, party barge, and the drunken rabble. The bay isn’t much different from the town: it is full of low-rollers who are looking for ecotourism, but don’t want to get too far from shore and their favorite bars. Hence, the bay is full of glass-bottom boats who try to catch a glimpse of the wildlife, spot tropical fish, and get up close and personal was a sea lions. These will never know what it is like to chase after a giant sea turtle, explore caves with sharks, or swim through a school of razor surgeonfish in Galapagos.  The only thing that mars the scenery in Cabo is the tourists themselves. 

To be continued…

Cross-posted at My Ongoing Struggle with Misanthropy: http://jimmygabacho.com/?p=570

Gabacho– according to the Dictionary of the Spanish Royal Academy– is derived from an old Provençal word “gavach,” meaning a person from the foothills of the Pyrenees who spoke incorrectly. These days, it means “outsider,” somebody who just doesn’t fit in.

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