We dropped anchor in Cabo San Lucas at 2 o’clock in the morning on Sunday December 21st. Anchoring in the middle of the night is never the plan, especially since it meant missing out on seeing the iconic Arch at “land’s end”, but the alternative of bobbing around waiting until sunrise was not worth considering. We planned on catching a peak of the famous landmark on our way out.
Two days before, we left Bahia Santa Maria in the afternoon with the conservative estimate of a 48 hour sail south to Cabo. The wind was just too favorable though, and the trip actually took just 36 hours! There was one point that we were screaming along at over 6 knots with just a reefed mainsail up. Our friends on S/V Kialoa were making over 6 knots with no real sails up, just the dodger that was acting as a sail in the downwind breeze. Once we realized we were making great time and wouldn’t be arriving after sunrise like planned, we messaged our friend on S/V Coconuts, Eric and Jaime, who had sailed into Cabo just a month before. Eric assured us that Cabo never sleeps, so the anchorage is bright enough that we’d have no trouble dropping the hook sans daylight.
After half a night’s sleep, we awoke to the sound of music and pangas zooming by Astraea. We hadn’t even had our coffee yet and the bay was already alive with activity. We knew then that we had made it back to civalization after spending two weeks in the deserted Pacific Baja coast between Ensenada and Cabo. After our coffee, we got ready to check out the town where most cruisers plan to exit ASAP.
Before we had the dinghy off the bow and ready to go we overheard Cindy from S/V Namaste on the radio planning a rendezvous on Lover’s Beach with the rest of boats we’d been sailing south with. We decided the town could wait, so with swimsuits on and a picnic packed we headed to the beach, excited to get off the boat for the first time since leaving Turtle Bay five days earlier.
We landed the dinghy on Lover’s Beach with the help of guys hanging out on the beach for just that purpose…expecting tips of course. Thinking we were just going snorkeling and swimming, we didn’t bring any money. We should have known – it’s Cabo! A couple of our friends had cash with them so they tipped the guys for us all. Then we unloaded Sully’s toys and spent the afternoon chatting about the trip to Cabo and snorkeling (I saw Angelfish!) with our friends. It was a great relaxing way to unwind after the trip down the coast.
That evening we said goodbye to our friends Neil and Jessie from S/V The Red Thread. They were headed out at midnight to cross the Sea of Cortez towards Mazatlan to meet family for Christmas. Hope to see you guys again someday!
Over the next two days we got a Mexican SIM card for our cell phone so we could have internet, ate delicious tacos, searched for Santa Claus and took the boat out a few miles to make water.
With a two year old in tow, we find it difficult to do more than one thing a day. Our friends all left Cabo by the 23rd, but we felt we hadn’t even seen anything yet! We decided that we would stay for Christmas. While exploring town, we were stopped and offered the use of a resort’s facilities for three days, a buffet breakfast, and a gift certificate for a restaurant in town. We were kind of sceptical at first, but they lured us in with “Free! Free! Free!”
So on Christmas Eve, we woke up early and headed to Villa del Palmar for breakfast. I’ve been to a couple timeshare sales pitches with my parents, so I kind of knew what to expect. Nate and I probably should have spent some time the night before discussing it, because he was completely in the dark about the whole thing. The guy that signed us up for it said we needed to be staying in a hotel to take part in the deal so we told them we were staying at Cass Dorada – the hotel we were anchored in front of!
At breakfast, we sat with our guide who showed us all around the resort and asked a lot of questions about our previous vacations and our current one. It was a little awkward as we stepped around the fact that we lived on a boat and weren’t actually staying in the hotel we claimed. He was amazed that we got a room at Casa Dorada at Christmas, and asked how much we were paying. Ummm….”Not sure, it was a gift from my parents.” “Wow! They are VERY generous!” Later during the hard sell Nate kept talking and asking questions. When the guy walked away for a moment I glared at Nate and told him to keep his mouth shut so we could go to the pool! He’s a talker and didn’t get the game yet. The only thing you need to say at one of these things is, “No!”
After the final hard sell, we went to go check out our new purchase! Haha, just kidding. We’ve been saving for this trip for years, and we’re not about to blow it on a one week vacation. We spent the rest of the day splashing in the kiddie pool with Sully, finally finding Santa and having dinner for free downtown. Not a bad deal!
That evening we came back to the boat rolling around like crazy from the swell coming in the bay. A mug flew off the counter and broke while we were gone it was so bad! The constant wakes from jet skis and pangas didn’t help. I’m embarrassed to say that I got seasick at anchor on Christmas Eve 🙁
Luckily, I felt better in the morning. Good thing, because it was Christmas! We tried really hard this month to get Sully excited for the holiday. He watched all the Christmas movies, listened to the music and knew all about presents from Santa. He woke up really excited and it made us so happy to see the joy on his face.
After all the presents were opened and Sully had his fill of his new toys, we made our way back to the resort for more pool time.
The day after Christmas, Gary and Karina from S/V Sea Rover II stopped by on their way into town. They were on their way to pick up some provisions before leaving Cabo that evening. I asked why they were leaving so soon since they had just arrived the day before. Apparently, shortly after they arrived, a jet ski zoomed by their boat and shot a huge wave of water right through an open hatch. They spent the rest of their Christmas cleaning up after their boat that had been flooded with water. I guess I would have wanted to get the heck out of Cabo if that had happened to us!
They were also getting out to avoid being stuck there for another week due to a Norther, strong winds coming from the North in the Sea of Cortez, that was set to arrive the next morning. Since north is the direction we need to go to get to La Paz, traveling when there’s a Norther can be very unpleasant due to strong winds and large choppy waves that form from the wind. We felt kind of silly because we hadn’t even looked at the weather since our arrival in Cabo. We looked around and wondered if leaving was a good idea for us, too.
We decided to continue on with our plans for the day. We lugged a big bag of laundry to the resort and spent a few hours at the pool. I couldn’t get the thought of being stuck in Cabo for another week out of my head. It was fun, but I was ready for a lot more chill and a little less crazy. I told Nate my thoughts and we agreed to leave that evening and head to Los Frailes with S/V Sea Rover II and S/V Bella Vita.
We took the bus to Wal-Mart to pick up some fresh food, then went back to the boat to start securing for sea. We worked nonstop for four hours getting the boat ready, and Nate even went up the mast to try to secure our masthead light that had fallen off on the way to Cabo. By the time we pulled up the anchor at 8pm, we were exhausted. Luckily, it was just a short 55 mile trip to our next stop, Los Frailes.