Day 14 - Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Thursday, January 31, 2013: Still trying to make up time for the medical evacuation in Guatemala, we arrived in Cabo San Lucas an hour late. During sail in, we watched small whale watching boats circling a pod of whales.
|Cabo was smoggy in the early morning but it had cleared up by the time we headed into port.
|Out on deck, we admired the beautiful views of the peninsula, also known as Lands End. The famous arch (El Arco de Cabo San Lucas) wasn't visible from this angle, and a fellow passenger speculated that it had fallen down.
|A couple asked us to take their photo, ...
|... and we returned the favor.
|A group of bikini-clad hotties were stand-up paddle surfing in the water nearby.
|Cabo is a tender port and due to weather, they could only use one side of the ship for tendering operations. To make matters worse, tender operations started later than expected. Fortunately, we were in a Sky Suite, so we were issued priority tender passes, and we were able to be on the first tender into town so we wouldn't miss our independently-booked tour.
|Once in town, we had to make our way around the inner harbor to our destination. Every single boat owner and street vendor attempted to start a conversation with us along the way.
|Here's a huge statue of a marlin. Having seen a sailfish earlier in the week, we had done some research about the differences between sailfish, swordfish, and marlin.
|We arrived at the meeting point in a mall, and watched the antics of Megan the dog while waiting for our tour to depart. Her friend had put some rocks in a plastic bottle and twisted it into a bone shape for Megan to chase. It was difficult for anyone to get it back from her once she fetched it though!
|Our tour was called "A Day at the Island" and consisted of a three-hour excursion on "The Island" which was essentially a floating patio.
|There was an open bar and we got the day started with cans of Pacífico beer.
|We passed this fin as we exited the harbor and finally realized that it was a sea lion relaxing in the water on his side. Occasionally, his tail would bob out of the water as well.
|"The Island" featured couches, chairs, and picnic tables, including some seating in the shade. We headed out to the peninsula area where we'd be spending the morning.
|Our shop was moored in the bay and it turned in different directions as the day wore on.
|We passed a marked snorkeling area that we'd be returning to shortly.
|But first, we had to get a closer look at Lover's Beach, ...
|... and the famous rock formations at Lands End, ...
|... including El Arco de Cabo San Lucas, which was still very much intact.
|Here is it closer. It certainly looked like a dragon having a drink to us.
|And now way up close.
|We were there.
|So were these sea lions, resting on the rocks to the left across from El Arco. They were quite noisy.
|Here's Lover's Beach again, with Divorce Beach just on the other side of the peninsula.
|We anchored just outside of the snorkeling area, ...
|... and the water activities guide helped get everyone set up with the activity they wanted to try.
|We decided not to bring our own snorkeling gear so we wouldn't have to lug it through the streets of Cabo, so we used the boat's equipment. Unfortunately, they didn't offer fins. Fortunately, we were fine without them and got a good workout to boot.
|We swam out to the rope that marked the snorkeling area. It offered our first photo opportunity: these little creatures (mussels?) attached to the rope.
|On the other side of the rope, we spied our first destination, the closest outcropping of rocks.
|As we neared the rocks, we got our first glimpse of fish.
|Here's a school of barberfish.
|This masterpiece is titled, "Foot and Fish." The fish with the white stripes and yellow tails are king angels.
|Closer to the surface, the teeny tiny fish hung out.
|Heads up -- let's go to that bunch of rocks next!
|Debbie confirmed that Tom was still behind her. So were the ship and the last set of rocks and a random boat or two.
|Back underwater, Debbie chased a shy puffer fish for a short distance.
|Here are some pretty little blue fish, possibly Cortez Damselfish, ...
|... and some larger spotted yellow-tailed fish, called Yellowtail Surgeonfish. We'll show you a better shot of them soon.
|Head's up again -- let's go to the rock outcropping close to the beach.
|This pretty parrotfish was following the Yellowtail Surgeonfish around.
|Here's a small anemone.
|More colorful tiny fish. We think these are Cortez Rainbow Wrasse.
|Here is the one and only starfish we saw. For the record, holding out five fingers in a splayed pattern means "starfish." Not "Hey there." Not "Five." It means "Look, there's a starfish there."
|Here's a nice shot of the Yellowtail Surgeonfish.
|Yes! It took quite a few tries, but this pretty photo of a Moorish Idol was the final result.
|After we had seen all that we could see, we swam back to the boat to dry off.
|After a while, a light lunch was served. It consisted of chips, hot and mild salsa, beans, ...
|... and chicken tamales.
|After lunch, we enjoyed the sun and chatted with a couple from Canada and England.
|On the way back into the harbor, we passed several sea lions, including this guy, ...
|... and we saw several parasailing boats. Time didn't permit us to give it a try, but someday it will happen.
|Here's the Cabo harbor, ...
|... and here's a yacht in the middle of it with a shrink-wrapped helicopter on it.
|After we returned to the harbor, the tour guides attempted to herd all of us back to the shop to view the photos the photographer had been taking the entire time. He had refused to tell us how much they would cost when we asked, and we had found the entire experience very creepy, so we escaped the forced march and went off on our own. But not before getting a photo of these pelicans in the water.
|This pelican was enjoying a little lunch. He was slowly working an entire fish down his throat.
|Our next stop was Cabo Wabo, where the prices were extremely high, so we had to be very careful what we ordered with our limited remaining pesos.
|We shared an appetizer of coconut shrimp with two Coca-Cola Lights. It was delicious and the restrooms were clean, so it was a good stop.
|We returned to the harbor walkway and braved the gauntlet of vendors once again.
|Every once in a while, a sea lion would appear in the water for a minute or two.
|This was one of about a billion Señor Frog's locations we saw in our two short days in Mexico. It was right across from ...
|... Fiesta Mexicana, the very last souvenir shop before the tender station. Our mission: to spend every last piece of Mexican currency we had. Fortunately, every item in the store had prices on it, so it was easy to shop there. We picked up a tiny bottle of tequila, some earrings, an El Arco figure for the shadow box, a pareu, and two Kinder Surpresa eggs. We paid with USD everything that our Mexican cash wouldn't cover.
|We squeezed onto the tender and headed back to the ship.
|From the ship, we could see the resort where our tourmates were staying on vacation. It was one of many along the coast.
|The ship had spun around so that our cabin had a great view of Lands End, so we got comfortable out on the balcony.
|We heard a knock on our balcony door and it was our butler with the magical cart of sandwiches and desserts. The ship had spun around further for an even better view. Life was good indeed.
|Sail out was at 3:30 PM and we had the best seat in the house.
|We circled around Lands End ...
|... and got a shot of El Arco from the other side.
|Every once in a while, Tom takes over the photography duties.
|It started to get overcast as we were leaving Cabo, and the temperature was dropping quickly. We bundled up in our fleeces and jackets and mittens and did some whale watching. We'd spot the blowspouts toward the front of the ship and then watch for the whales to surface as we passed them.
|Here's a whale.
|We were heading north once again. We had one more day at sea before we reached San Diego.
|Since Kinder eggs are banned in the US, we needed to open our Surpresa eggs before we got there.
|So, we did. Here is the carnage. Debbie scored a ring that held a hand-shaped ink pad that read "Hola" and Tom got a tiny rubber creature.
|Tom fetched us some sushi for our early evening feeding.
|It was getting so cold out that we didn't bother going out on deck for sunset. Instead, we settled for a side shot from the balcony.
|It was our final formal night so we tried to find a non-lame background for our formal portrait. The line in the atrium for the staircase background was a dozen couples long, so we settled for this one.
|At dinner, Tom enjoyed Beef Wellington ...
|... and Debbie opted for the lobster. Both were quite delicious.
|It was our second-to-last night of the cruise and it was Baked Alaska night. The March of the Baked Alaskas is always a highlight of the cruise for us. We waved our napkins until our arms hurt.
|The Baked Alaska was beautifully presented and delicious, of course.
|Petits fors were also served.
Here we are back in our cabin before putting away our formal night finery. We turned our clocks back one more hour to San Diego time as we went to bed.
Copyright © Deborah Schilling/Thomas Bundy