Day 3 At Sea– Cabo San Lucas
Editor’s Disclaimer: In advance of the following blog, I would like to apologize to the Mexican Tourism Board, the Baja California Fishing Fleet Union, the Cabo San Lucas Chamber of Commerce and anyone who has graduated from the 8th grade.
The sun peaks over the craggy hillside stirring awake the sleepy hamlet and its inhabitants that is Cabo San Lucas. Dogs half-asleep along dirt roads stir almost in unison as their bellies begrudgingly remind them of the day’s unending quest for scraps of food. Scratching lazily, they stretch out and give a silent yawn as they do every morning as they have every morning of their lives.
Along the beach the tepid Sea of Cortez slaps the sand in a welcoming nudge beckoning it to awake. The remnants of the previous day are evident to the eager mango solicitor. He spies an empty Sol beer bottle rolling haplessly back and forth along the surf. He sees a fuscia-colored bikini top half buried in the sand and smiles. His only companions on this quest for prime real estate to set up shop are the ocean birds darting across the sand looking for a landlocked crab or two.
Across the bay a slow procession of Cabo’s vast tourist fishing fleet is seemingly parading past the famous Arenchurio Hole, the last outcropping of rock that separates the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean. It is known by some as the A-hole. These boats, Tornadoes Urbano Rio Diplimaticos or T.U.R.D.s, today are lining up for a special tourist attraction. Only rarely do the conditions allow for such a treat. One by one they are proceeding slowly, cautiously through the A-hole giving the “touristicos” an added bonus to their daily deep sea fishing experience.
As the T.U.R.D.s navigate through the A-hole one can almost feel the triumphant discharge of relief each T.U.R.D. captain must feel as he glides effortlessly past the circumference. On this morning as with most mornings the A-hole has been cleaned by the sea leaving a smooth passage for each successive T.U.R.D. The outer rim does show a slight build up of pelican nesting but the hurricane season is coming and all will be blasted clean again.
The tide is rising and the fifth T.U.R.D. is testing the limits of his beam as he tries to make the passage through the A-hole.
Sure enough, the T.U.R.D. gets stuck in the A-hole. The furious captain can be heard barking commands to his mates from hundreds of yards away. It sounds familiarly like a fog horn with belching and booming echoes. While his beam scrapes back and forth through the A-hole onlookers can see this red-faced Capitan grunting and trying his best to bring it through with sheer will and guts.
The alarm is signaled and the Fastidos Inducemento Servico Tugbarca or F.I.S.T. is hailed on emergency radio channel 16. The F.I.S.T.s are a slightly larger boat with a 4-foot bumper of rubber tires on the bow to help push boats. It looks similar to a tugboat but usually painted in bright colors as is the custom in Mexico.
The stuck T.U.R.D is in luck this day as the F.I.S.T. is there in a hurry to lend a hand.
“Push my T.U.R.D. with your F.I.S.T.,” screams the captain. The ever-obliging F.I.S.T. gives the first bump. Scratching can be heard. Paint chips fly off the T.U.R.D. in ever-increasing damage. It has moved only slightly.
“Mucho harder,” the captain bellows. “Push it strong like bull.”
The following sound cannot be described but the relief on the T.U.R.D captain’s face says the final thrust of the F.I.S.T. has pushed him through the A-Hole and all is right again in Cabo.
This post is dedicated to my friend Steve Friday, who majored in Scatology in junior high school.