Before Andy and I had even left for our two month adventure, my brother Tim had won two free flight tickets from his work, and took the chance to head down to Cabo San Lucas with his wife, Amanda. In the back of my mind, I knew this was going to be great when Andy and I had started planning our trip to Mexico, because we wanted to reunite Team Orthenkremer! (Team Orthenkremer came to life after we took a road trip to Alabama to visit our other brother!) It was pretty exciting to be in Mexico and pick them up on their way in at the airport, after dropping them off at their hotel, we made plans to meet up later after we tied up loose ends in La Paz.
Our time in La Paz came to an end, and although I was sad to be leaving our rental house, I was restless to be spending time with my family in Cabo, and eager to check out a new location. We decided to take the long way back to Cabo since we had already made the trip back and forth a few times before, we wanted to see the coast of the Pacific ocean and to see the town of Todos Santos. *Trivia* Anyone know the famous hotel in this town??
Tim and Amanda found themselves sitting in a timeshare presentation for a couple of hours on Sunday morning in a new hotel that was being built, but sat through the nonsense to score all of us a snorkel cruise for cheap the next morning. When we all met for lunch at a delicious place right next to our hotel, who claims they have the best tacos in the world, I beg to differ, but T&A told us to be ready bright and early for our adventure!
8am Monday morning booze cruise!
Monday morning came quick, and my stomach was doing butterflies because I had never snorkeled before, and was a tad bit afraid. Little did I know the cruise provided a full breakfast with bottomless drinks, and after two to three mimosas in I quickly put the kibosh on those silly butterflies! We traveled out towards Divorce Beach where the Arch of Cabo San Lucas comes into view, which is also called Land’s End because from this point forward you will not reach land again until the South Pole.
After a short photo stop at the Arch we continued on with our cruise, and it seriously just kept getting better and better. Even though we were out of season for seeing the whales and sea lions, we did get see something quite amazing. Off in the far distance our caption was pointing out some creatures flapping out of the water. The manta rays were jumping at least 10 to 15 feet straight out of the water! I was keeping my fingers crossed for some Jaws action, a giant shark grabbing hold of a massive manta ray, but our caption shot that down and said that the rays just do this for fun. Watching them soar out of the water and flap their wing like bodies is an image I will never forget.
After picking out our flippers and goggles, I was getting nervous and excited as we pulled into the Santa Maria bay for our excursion. Waddling to the boat’s edge I waited until almost the end of my fellow passengers to get into the water, I wanted to make a graceful exit like a lady into the ocean, but my flipper caught the ladder and I face smacked my way into the sea! Quickly trying to get used to breathing out of the snorkel mask and floating awkwardly in the water due to my life vest I caught up with Andy.
One of the cruise workers jumped into the water, more stylish than I, and began feeding the fish. I dipped my head under water and was blown away by the wonderment below me. Hundreds of fish were swimming effortlessly beneath us. Shooting up quickly, I grab hold of Andy and asked if he saw what I was seeing, because I have never thought I would ever see something so magical as this. Andy instantly responded ‘Yes!’ and dips back under the sea.
After getting into the sway of things, I let the current (which was pretty calm) move me with the motion of the ocean. I kept finding myself drifting away from Andy, wanting to find the next bigger and better reef. When one of the cruise workers came over towards me and dived deep into the reef, I moved my head below the water line to see what he was up to. He swam back up with one the prettiest starfish I had ever seen. I splashed my way over to him wanting to see this creature up close and my family came over to see what we were up to. Tim and I got to hold the starfish in our hands and the only comparison I can come up with on what it felt like is a sturgeon fish!
More about Santa Maria…
Located about 8 miles east of Cabo San Lucas is Santa Maria which is horseshoe shaped bay that is a protected fish sanctuary. Because of it’s outline, the curved north wall provides plenty of security for the reef and all of the fish that live and eat there. When the swells are not in movement, the currents are quite relaxed and makes this bay a great place for first time snorkelers (like me!), or anyone in between. The beach is open to the public, and the best time to go is early morning, which is said for if you want to go snorkeling because this is when the water is at it’s calmest and the visibility is clear. If you do plan on going to beach, there are no sun shelters so be sure to bring an umbrella and plenty of biodegradable sunscreen.
In the end I was blown away by the amount of fish I saw, and was taken back by how alive the reef was. I was never sure I was ever going to be able to see a reef the way I did down in Cabo because of how frightening fast the reefs are disappearing. Always remember that you don’t need to look your best going snorkeling, meaning don’t wear tons of make up, perfume or body lotion because the smallest amounts of chemicals on you are larger amounts to the sea which can kill marine life.
If you ever find yourself in Cabo San Lucas be sure to find your way over to Santa Maria to explore the marine life below the water line and be ready to watch a show of amazement put on by the creatures of the sea!