PumpkinKnitter

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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Cabo



Cabo San Lucas is the southernmost tip of the Baja Peninsula. The tip of land itself is a rocky conglomeration of cliffs rising steeply out of the water. On one side of the rocks is the Pacific Ocean, on the other a quiet jewel of a bay surrounded by high class hotels and beach resorts. The area is definitely desert in character and the first and most lasting impression we got was of the heat and humidity. We had left Los Angeles with the temperature there in the low 70's, and now we were hit with the temperature and the humidity both in the high 90's. The heat and humidity were to dominate our experiences in the Mexican Riviera (Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, and Puerto Vallarta). In fact, we learned during the course of the cruise that the temperatures were actually a bit higher than normal. The Vision of the Seas spends the summer months cruising Alaska and the winter months sailing to Mexico. In fact, this was only the second cruise of the winter season. Our head waiter later told us that the best time to visit this part of the world is in January, February, and March.

The water here was absolutely the most beautiful, clear blue. The water depths in the bay are very deep and clear; snorkeling is a very popular sport. (Although our tour guide did tell us that there were sharks in the waters, it didn't seem to phase anyone.) We could easily understand why, as we could see fish in the waters as our small tour catamaran took us around Land's End. In fact, it was on our return trip past Cabo on Friday that we saw a pod of at least twenty dolphins doing their leaps out of the water, as we sat watching them from our balcony. I had always wanted to see dolphins in the wild and it was probably the highlight of the trip for me. Barbara also spotted a sea turtle later that same day, and Joe thought he saw a whale spout on Saturday. We were too early for the main whale migration season, though. In addition to snorkeling, swimming, beach bathing, horseback riding, and off-road dune riding are popular activities, as well as parasailing. There were miles and miles of white beaches, and many beautiful hotels and expensive, exclusive housing areas on top of the cliffs. One couldn't help but think, just the same, that all these beautiful structures were very vulnerable to hurricanes. Later, in Puerto Vallarta, we were to pass the old ruins of a hotel that had been destroyed years ago by a hurricane; it was a very sobering sight and a stark reminder of what unbelievable devastation could be wrought on these heavily built up coastal areas.


Throughout our trip we were impressed by the sheer numbers of pelicans. They were everywhere near the water and frequently perched on the ship's mooring lines. Once on land, though, the predominate bird was the ever present, ever pooping pigeon population. Later we were to see the churches and public buildings nearly fully draped with netting to keep the pigeons away from the statues and doorways.


We did not walk into town at Cabo. We took our catamaran tour of Land's End and then went back to the ship. The heat and humidity on this first day were a little overwhelming, to say the least. At least we had a good breeze to keep us cool on the front of the catamaran. (And what does one do on a cat boat while waiting to sail? Knit some garterlac, of course!) Later we learned from those who had gone ashore that the shopping district in town was actually rather small; the big industry was the hotels and resorts. And we got to ride in one of the ship's lifeboats. Since there is no dock for a ship the size of ours in Cabo, we had to drop anchor in the bay itself. The ship dropped four of the lifeboats to tender people in to land. It was interesting to actually sit in a lifeboat; it had seating for 150 people, all of whom would be sitting fairly close together. I noticed that no where in the lifeboat was there any sign of any sort of bathroom facility. I mean, don't you think that if you had to quickly get off the mother ship and escape in a lifeboat, that you might really need a bathroom of some sort? But I could also see the point that there would be too many people in too cramped of an area on a small boat to be able to let people get up and move around. I should have asked about that, but didn't.

Finally, another beautiful shipboard view. I love the sight of sunlight on the water.

3 Comments:

Blogger Abigail 1870 pearl said...

I needed to see the ocean again. Thank you so much for sharing your pics.

Does this mean you will not be going on the sea sock cruise?

Happy vacation:D

6:57 PM  
Blogger Roxie said...

What wonderful pictures! Glad to see you are still wearing practical sun hats. And I am tickled by your practical concerns. Bathroom facilities on the lifeboat? I'll have to ask about that. They probably hand you a bailing bucket and ask the folks around you to avert their gazes. Try to get a seat in the middle of the boat. the folks on the outside will have to dump those buckets.

6:47 AM  
Anonymous Debby said...

Thank you for the gorgeous photos, and the break from autumn colors...I'd much rather be in the heat!

11:57 AM  

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