(November 11th, 2017)
Our light wind night of motoring was uneventful and remained calm as the day came. We were just a few hours from Cabo, where our Baja Ha-Ha adventure would come to a close and we would return to our own schedule. We continued to motor along in the Pacific Ocean, rounding the cape at the southern tip of Baja and suddenly, directly before us was Cabo San Lucas. There were boats everywhere, glass bottom boats, “submarines”, a pirate ship, big eco tour catamarans, and more. We actually had to stop and drift a bit, with boats whizzing by on all sides in order to get all of our fenders and dock lines out of the lockers to prep for docking before entering the harbor.
Rounding the Arch and seeing Cabo off our port bow was exhilarating! We have sailed our own boat to Cabo from the United States. Heck we’ve sailed to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico from Alaska! Over 4000 nautical miles since we got on the boat in Kirkland in May. But now we were in a new country, in the tropics, in hot weather, and surrounded by the same vacation resorts we would have flown to in our pre-cruising life. It’s hard to explain it, but while it feels like a major accomplishment, it is also somewhat melodramatic. The real drama was sailing offshore in big seas, in a small boat, so pulling into a major port like Cabo San Lucas is an amazing, yet at the same time not super dramatic.
Our Jeanneau sailboat has performed amazingly well in all conditions, being driven by Jean Luc (our autopilot) almost 100% of the time without breaking a sweat. We’ve sailed in everything from gale force winds and square waves crossing Juan de Fuca Strait, to 35kts upwind against standing waves through Seymore Narrows, surfing downwind at 14kts in 35kts of wind and 12ft seas off the Oregon Coast, and light spinnaker winds off Baja California. Whatever we asked of our boat, Mobert responded with “I got this!” and Jean Luc kept us on course throughout.
As we entered the harbor the dock attendant flagged us to our slip on the backside of the fuel dock, where we rafted to another Baja Ha-Ha boat but luckily were close enough to the dock to hook up to power. This proved really lucky when we discovered that the harbor area gets literally NO wind so it is VERY hot. Originally commissioned in Annapolis, Mobert came with air conditioning which we have found to be useful in wind-free hot marinas, and boy did it come in handy in Cabo. While in Cabo, we were generally able to keep the boat around 75F inside despite the hot sun and 90+F temperatures outside.
Cabo San Lucas is expensive, not just by Mexico standards, but even compared to the states. Our shared slip (rafted to another boat with limited access to power and non-potable water) was $100 USD per night. The fuel is reasonably priced, however there is a surcharge for tying up to the fuel dock equivalent to about $100 US! For mega yachts who are pumping 1000 gallons of fuel at a time, an extra $100 is barely noticeable, but for a sailboat that might only buy $100-150 worth of diesel, the surcharge nearly doubles the cost of the fuel. Needless to say, we refrained from buying fuel on the way in.
Our first order of business was lunch at Baja Cantina, where we ate almost exactly a year ago while staying in our timeshare in Cabo. In fact we left Cabo by plane the same day one year prior as the day we arrived in our boat this year. Baja Cantina is great, with good food, great service, reasonable (though not Mexico cheap) prices. But it’s located literally at the top of the ramp from the dock so it’s super close to the boat. The six of us ate ceviche, chips, salsa, and consumed a few margaritas before heading back to the dock to line up for Victor.
Victor is the yacht services agent in Cabo that helps out the Baja Ha-Ha boats when they arrive (for a fee of course.) He set up his tent on the dock not 20 feet from our boat and people were lining up to drop off their documents so that Victor would handle the check in process and secure Visa’s for the crew. We handed him our passports and boat documents and he promised to have it back in two days, which was good since Jason and Ashton had to fly out in 2 days and would need their passports, as well as their Visa showing they officially checked in to Mexico before they could check out of Mexico.
That night we attended the “Can’t believe we cheated death again” Baja party at El Squid Roe, securing two teenage babysitters for the girls from s/v Waponi Woo. Squid Roe is a crazy place, kinda fun, but definitely crazy. The interior is sort of London Subway with the kitchen inside a bus. The tables are secured to the floor so you can dance on them as well as the large stage for dancing. The music is loud and fun and drinks are relatively strong. All in all a fun place to hang out for a couple hours for some adult time and this was the first adult-only time we’ve had since the couple days in Monterey before the girls flew down in mid-September.
The crew from s/v Taliesen Rose showed up at Squid Roe, with their kids in tow and we suddenly wished we had brought our kids also. It was a little crazy, but the kids would have had fun. There was even a balloon artist making super awesome balloon hats that he even drew on to add more artistry. We went back to the boat around 10pm, the kids were still up so we payed the babysitters and put the kids to bed, then crashed.
The next day we cleaned up the boat a bit, had breakfast at Baja Cantina and generally wandered about a bit, then we had to get over to Medano Beach for the Baja Ha-Ha beach party at Billygans on Medano Beach. The beach there is small and a bit steep, but the water is super warm and there are swim area lines around to keep the pangas and the swimmers separated. The kids wanted to swim in the water so we took turns watching them, Jason spent some time in the water himself as well. After a while we started seeing little blue things floating in the water which, upon closer inspection, turned out to be Portuguese Man o’ War. We told the kids it was time to get out of the water, which was not a super popular move. Luckily these “floating terrors” were tiny (only about an inch in size which wikipedia indicated is about as small as they get. One of the crew members of s/v Clarity said he got stung on his thumb but it wasn’t too bad, so I think they may have been babies and didn’t quite have their full stinging ability yet.
Nonetheless, we stayed out of the water and finished up the food and drinks, then taxied back to the marina for a low-key evening