Sunday, April 16, 2017

Cabo Dreamin'

Cabo/Dorothy Connelly
My friend, Dorothy Connelly, drew this on a recent visit to Cabo San Lucas.  The Los Cabos area, I read, has recovered since it took a direct hit from hurricane Odile in September 2014. With winds of 125 mph, the hurricane demolished hotels and houses, forced the evacuation of 30,000 and killed five. There was widespread looting for days. It has also grown since I last visited. The southern tip of the Baja peninsula now boasts a population of 238,000 (2010 census).

We last visited there in 1986, arriving the old fashioned way, by sailboat, an outmoded form of transportation as Ted Turner has pointed out. Today the thought of flying there seems to me like taking the gondola up a mountain you once climbed. It's just not the same thing, and I'm not tempted.

As we rounded the corner from the open  Pacific in 1986, Humpback whales were breaching off the beach, magnificent frigate birds soared over the arch outside the harbor, and Pelicans frolicked around the returning Marlin sport-fishing boats. The harbor was still a relatively sleepy place. It was a time when elite sailors and Sea of Cortez cruisers shared a recognizably common world. The population of Cabo San Lucas was less than 20,000; today it tops 90,000.  Like parents dying, grandkids being born, and retirement parties, these are signs of time marching on.

Our boat, a 35 foot Wauqiez Pretorien, was a solid craft. It shared approximately everything, except size, number of crew, and expertise, with Ted Turner's Tenacious, the boat that won the tragic 1979 Fastnet race. Today, the world of Sea of Cortez cruising shares approximately nothing with the world of elite sailing.

Here is some interesting footage from Turner's Fastnet adventure. It's closer to my Cabo dreams than tequila and cerveza at poolside . . . .

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