12/17/02 Special update, please read:
Tuna seiners continue to seine (wrap) the inner banks from Loreto to Todo Santos. The attached video is just one example of how they tuna seiners destroy indiscriminately all the large animals, both reef and pelagic, that live around these Sea Mounts. 20 years ago two of these banks, the Marisula sea mount out of La Paz and the Gordo Banks near Cabo were the world's most famous dive spots to see hammerhead sharks. Now due to the continuing pressure from commercial fishing the divers of the world go to Cocos Island in Costa Rica and spent a record $5,000,000 each year diving with the hammerhead sharks of Cocos Island. Mexico lost all that business because it has no protection for any of its near shore sea mounts. They are all open year around to local drift gillnetters, longliners, commercial pangas and tuna seiners. There is no change that the Baja sea mounts will again become world class destination dive spots until Mexico realizes that it must protect it's once beautiful aquatic sea mounts. There are negotiations now in progress with the tuna industry to voluntarily stop wrapping these inshore sea mounts. It is video like that attached that will persuade those who care to stop the relentless destruction of these inshore sea mounts.
Please scroll down to the NAIR III Incident to veiw the movie, and a link to close up photos of the carnage.
May 17th, the day before:
Although my trip to Cabo last Christmas, extended into the year 2000, I consider this my first trip of the new Millennium. Out with the old, in with the new. The new being, the "Third Billy Goat Gruff", my younger brother (center in photo), Geoff, has finally decided to see what Cabo has to offer. With his two kids away at college now, he has no excuse for not coming down. We started planning this trip last March, when we got together to see our father, who was having open heart surgery (he's doing fine). Geoff lives in San Diego near our parents, and he will be getting on my flight that originates from Seattle - Alaska flight 230, the same one I took last March to see my dad and many previous trips to Cabo.
Geoff, a bass fisherman, uses worms and things called "spinner baits". He fishes from his "bass boat" on the local lakes in San Diego. Actually, he refers to fishing as, a time to relax, get out of the house and have a few cold beers. Boy is he in for a surprise.
This trip will also have some major changes from the way I have previously done things. First, Lance Watkins, my faithful fishing pal, Captain, and mentor, has discovered that you don't need to leave the dock at the crack of dawn to catch fish. Second, surf fishing can be more fun than going out for the really big stuff. A 50# roosterfish on 20# test line from the beach sounds like a real challenge to me, and yet a real possibility. So the plan is, do some surf fishing in the morning and evenings, take a day off to go out on the Aquaholic for some big game, and do some relaxing in between. Lastly, I want Geoff to meet Bobby Dobson, of Pacific Bluewater Sportfishing, a pro-bass fisherman, and hopefully get a day in on his 31' Bertram, the "Checkmate". Bobby and his lovely wife Lisa, are the greatest in my book, and I look forward to seeing them on each and every trip to Cabo. By the way, I'm happy to announce that Lisa has a "pie in the oven" and they both are anxiously awaiting the newest member to the Dobson family. Lance brought a box of chocolates for Lisa, and a jar of dill pickles for Bobby!
Ok! Enough said already. We arrive on Thursday, May 18th and are scheduled to depart on Tuesday, May 23rd.
Summary for 2.5 days of surf fishing, 1 day of marlin fishing: Near gale force winds + full moon + ocean full of squid = no marlin this time. There wasn't a lack of marlin in the 82 degree waters around the gorda banks, they just were not hungry. We baited or spotted no less than 18 to 20 stripers between 10:00 AM and 12:30 PM on Saturday, with no takers, including an 8 foot hammerhead shark and a 35 foot whale shark!
The surf fishing, although hampered by the same weather conditions, saved the trip. Lance got 2 roosters, 15 lbs and 35 lbs; Bobby got 3 roosters in the same weights, I got 4 roosters (one 35-40 lbs.), one jack crevalle, and one sierra; and poor Geoff, fishing with the exact same rig and lures, standing right next to me, got nada. I even lent him my lucky hat! Was the trip successful? Of course it was. Read the story to see why.
Thursday - Arrival: Alaska is always changing these flights. This time, the flight was scheduled to arrive at 4:21 PM, which is the latest that I've ever gotten in. 2:30 PM is normal. We whizzed through immigration with no problem and found all of our luggage waiting for us. Three coolers in all. Good start - no lost luggage! The bus ride to our hotel took longer than the flight. Next time hire a taxi! It's only a 45 minute drive in a taxi, 2 hours in the bus was a bit more than we cared for. One thing that I noticed, was that there was a fairly strong wind blowing accompanied by some rather high surf. Strange conditions since there was no hint of any weather disturbances on the satellite imagery that I checked before leaving Seattle.
After unpacking, I tried to call Lance at his house but no answer, so I called Bobby's house. Lisa, Bobby's wife, answered and said that they were both on the beach - meaning they were surf fishing. Lance had arrived on the earlier Alaska flight and obviously made better time than we did, in getting into town. She told me to try Bobby's cell phone, which I did, and after a few minutes of play talk, it was decided that Lance would be by in the morning at 5:30 AM to pick us up for the early morning beach bite. Lance said that they had already caught a number of roosterfish and that he had tied into a 10 foot shark that finally broke off. Having only been surf fishing with Lance and Bobby one time before, it was hard for me to picture in my mind where they were or what was going on. But it sounded like this time we were going to have some success unlike the first time.
Next, Geoff and I headed for the Latitude 22 for a cold beer and dinner. I had told Geoff about the two bartenders, Nancy and Yole, that have always made us feel at home. To my dismay, Nancy was by herself now. She said that the business had fallen off quite a bit in the past year, and that Yole needed the tips to supplement the small wages she got paid, so she quit and went to work somewhere else. We ordered the cold beers and the roast beef dinner. As usual, they were great. I'll really miss these two girls working together.
Geoff, having never been to Cabo before, naturally wanted to see some of the town. Now, Louis and I would have never done this on a night before fishing, but I new Geoff was curious, so we hit a few places. Too many places. Too many drinks also. Maybe the full moon had something to do with it. By the time we got back to the hotel, it was after midnight. We were in pretty bad shape, barely able to negotiate a wake up call for 5:30 AM.
Friday: Quads, wind, rollers and papagallo. Lance was by the hotel to pick us up at 5:30 AM sharp. He was driving a white van with a rack of spot lights mounted on the roof. The van was something new this trip, he said the blazer went back to Colorado a few months back. We headed for Bobby's new house which was quite a ways out of town, up a mountain and overlooking the Pacific. Driving through all of those back streets was new to me as I had never seen that part of Cabo before. We went well past the main part of town where all the locals live - the taxi drivers, with their taxis parked in the drive ways, and other workers. All of the streets were dirt, so it was very bumpy and everything was covered with dust. All of a sudden, the houses changed from shanties to nice newly constructed homes or condos, with two car garages and nice cars in them, and a paved road. The road continued to the top of a fairly high mountain, where we could begin to see the Pacific below. We rounded a few more corners, and then pulled up next to Bobby's house which was near the end of the paved road. As I got out of the van, I remembered reading the past fishing reports, where it was suggested to bring a warm jacket for the cool mornings. I sure wished I had taken that advice, since it was very chilly, below 60 for sure. The wind was also blowing making it feel even cooler. There were 2 Honda quads parked in the drive way that we would use to transport us and our equipment to the beach below. The Hondas were equipped with 4 rod holders and a basket for tackle. In no time we were racing through the neighborhood with dogs barking, chasing us all the way to the outskirts of the neighborhood where the road changed back to dirt and then to a very narrow trail leading down the mountain to the beach off in the distance. We road down, perhaps a mile or two, winding through dry, stiff brush, cut back just enough for the quads to get through.
Finally we were at the bottom of the mountain, about 100 to 200 yards from the water's edge, on a beach that was as desolate as Arabia's great sand desert. Most of these beaches are known to have swallowed unsuspecting beachcombers, by getting swamped by errant rollers that come crashing out of nowhere on the shoreline. The undertows and rip tides were clearly visible and a reminder of how dangerous this could be. Lance said that the last evening, when I was talking to him on the cell phone, that the surf was the highest he has seen it in 17 years, in the absence of a hurricane. This morning it was worse. These rollers where coming at a rate of about one, every 20 to 30 seconds, with a lull after a set of 7 or 8. The first few in the set ranged from 3 to 4 feet high, with the final ones pressing 10 feet in height. One giant wave, stretching almost the entire length of the beach.
It was just before sunrise when we started cruising the beach line looking for roosterfish in the waves as they peaked, just before breaking. This early in the morning it would be difficult to spot them, but that is how it is done. Having never done this before, I had no clue what to look for so I relied on Lance and Bobby to spot the roosters.
In no time Lance spotted something and we were quickly spread out and casting rangers into the surf line. We were using 11 foot rods made by Lamiglas, model XS 11MHC, with Daiwa Emblem spinning reels loaded with 20 pound test mono. With the 11 foot rods and light weight rangers, it was possible to cast about 50 to 80 yards, which at times, was just enough to get past the white water that was mixed with a heavy content of sand, and out into the clear blue water where the fish could see the lures. To do this, you had to wait for the wave to break, then when it started to recede, run out with it, quickly cast, then turn around and run back in. If you didn't run back in far enough, you would be in ankle deep water in one second, and up to your waist in another second. That is the dangerous part, getting knocked over and swept out with the wave into the under tow.
With each cast, the high winds would put a huge belly in the line by the time the lure hit the water. The wind was blowing a steady 25 to 30 miles per hour, with gusts from 40 to 45 miles per hour. When the lure hit the water, the belly of the line caught in the wind would cause the lure to skip so fast across the surface, that you didn't have to reel it. On a good cast, your lure would land just before the roller, then you could watch it skip, then reel it to keep up the action as it moved down the beach. As the next wave approached, you could see the rooster surf down the wave going after the lure, a truly awesome sight.
It wasn't 15 minutes, and I was rewarded with the roosterfish (pez gallo) I had hoped for. These fish are one of the most beautiful and sought after gamefish in the world. The fish hit hard and ran me up and down the beach a few times, peeling off at least 175 yards of line. Lance quickly came over and adjusted the drag to prevent me from getting spooled. Lance at first guessed the fish was near 50 lbs. After a 15 minute fight, the fish was on the beach where we estimated it to be closer to 35 - 40 lbs. The fish was put in the back wash, unharmed, where it quickly disappeared. Lance uses a single hook on the poppers, as opposed to the double hook. You may lose a few fish, but the one's you do beach, are easier to get the hook out of, and do far less harm to the fish.
The only other bites we got were the two roosters Bobby managed to chalk up, running 15 and 35 pounds. Not a spectacular morning, by Lance and Bobby's standards, but a blast from Geoff's and my point of view. The fishing is usually over by 8:30 AM or 9:00 AM, and it was well past that, so we headed back up the mountain to get some breakfast. We ate at a place called Lenny's. When we arrived, Darin Antin, Lance's friend, was already seated and powering down his breakfast. I forgot to mention that he was also out surf fishing where we were, along with Justin Meeker, the cook at Cabo Wabo. What a life they have, surf fishing every morning before work. Soon we were joined by Lisa. The breakfast was great and the two bloody Mary's I had quickly eased the pain of my hangover from the night before.
After breakfast, Geoff and I went with Lance to the marina to check on his Aquaholic, his 29 foot Blackfin, that we would be fishing on in the coming days ahead, and which I have so many times in the past. Lance had a few mechanical things to attend to so Geoff and I decided to walk back to the hotel and hang around the pool. Lance said he would be by around 4:30 PM to take us back to the beach for the evening bite. Both Geoff and I were still suffering from the night before so we decided to take a nap instead of laying out. I wondered if we needed a wake up call!
Not being much of a napper, I woke up around 3:00 PM, and decided to go to Cabotel to get my cell phone and Internet account on-line, when Lance showed up. He said he was going to his house and would be back later, so I asked him to drop me off at Cabotel. Lance woke Geoff, and I loaded up my laptop and cell phone and we all got in the Van. Somehow, we are now heading for Bobby's house to go fishing. Excuse me? Lance said, "a lot of good your video does sitting in your hotel room". True. We wanted to make a special effort to get some good video of surf fishing, but I really doubt that the camera would have survived the ride on the quad or the sand and salt spray. Maybe next time.
We were all back on the beach by 5:00 PM. Same conditions, except for the position of the sun. Lance leaned back and said we are actually going to "hunt" for the fish. He said to look keenly at the waves as they crest, and look for roosters in the wave, highlighted from the back lit sunshine. The beach faces to the south with the wind coming from the west, so we were either heading directly into the wind, or driving directly with it depending on which way we were going. All I know is, when we were going against the wind, we were also literally being sandblasted by the sand the wind kicked up. It actually hurt or stung when being pelted in the face.
It wasn't long before we spotted fish. I raced down to the surf line and waited for a break. Geoff was standing right next to me and had just spotted a fish and had dispatched his ranger in the general location. The fish went for his lure, but failed to bite. Tough luck Geoff. Then I saw a fish in the coming wave and was able to get my lure just in the right spot. The fish hit the lure the second it hit the water, and he hit it hard, pulling the slack out of the line instantaneously. This was no 30 pounder I thought, but the fish put up a great fight. Meanwhile, Geoff was standing there miffed that he couldn't get a bite. I yelled at him to get his camera ready. In a few minutes the fish was on the beach - a nice 18 pound jack. Again, we took the picture and quickly release it unharmed. Geoff wanted to change lures, complaining that the fish weren't interested in his lure. He took a step back when he realized that his lure was identical to mine. Oh well.
The next excitement was Lance and Bobby discussing the schools of red snapper (pargo) that appeared. Lance contends that the snappers constantly move, while Bobby said that although they do move, they hang in some spots for some short time, possibly feeding. I don't know. I tend to agree with Lance, since I never observed them hang anywhere - they were constantly moving along the beach, at a slow walking speed, and you had to keep ahead of them or you would lose site of them. I asked Lance if they always move in the same direction, and I was surprised that he said they always move from the west to the east (towards Cabo) and never the other direction. The schools were sometimes easy to spot, as it was just a big blob of red slowly moving. The size of the school ranged in sizes but the average was about 8 to 12 feet in length and about 5 to 6 feet in width. I can't estimate how deep they ranged, but it looked as though they were close to the surface and maybe down 4 feet or so. It was also difficult to tell how big they were, but when they got into a wave, you could see that a few of them were at least 40 to 50 pounds.
By now, Lance had completely ignored the roosters and was concentrating only on the snappers and literally chasing them down the beach on the quad. He would stop, make 4 or 5 casts, and move on. The problem we were all having, was that the snappers were hanging just beyond our casting distance of 50 to 80 yards. It seemed to me that they were actually staying just beyond the white water, which varied in distance from the shore. Lance was really taking what I considered some dangerous chances, by pushing the envelope of the receding waves. He would run as far as possible, even venturing waste deep before launching the ranger, then hastily running back. It worked. Most of his casts did make it to the school, but only resulted in a follow-up for the short distance back to the white water. Who knows, maybe the snappers were gorged on squid, or more likely, they just preferred the local bait of live mullet.
Geoff and I reasoned that we could just pick a spot, that had a thin section of white water, and wait for the snappers to come by, while continuing to cast in the hopes of getting a rooster or jack. This scheme worked. All of a sudden we were in a school (pod), not snappers, but roosters! There were 5 or 6 of them that we could see in the waves. Same deal as before - Geoff and I both cast, yet only I got hooked up. Sorry Geoff! I'm hooked into a big one, and again I saw it surf down the face of the wave and engulf the ranger. "Hook up" I yell in joy, as the line goes tight and the rod bends. The rooster headed straight out to sea on a long run, almost as if the reel was in free spool, then headed down the beach. I placed the butt of the long surf rod in my groin, and tried to slow the fish by keeping the rod tip straight up. Damn that hurts! The line is really peeling off fast, faster than the rooster the first morning. Lance is no where to be found, so in my panic, I quickly check the drag. It felt way too easy to pull the line off so I increased the drag 4 or 5 turns. That was better, the rooster slowed, but not fishing with 20 pound test much, I wasn't comfortable with my decision. It was as tight as a guitar string and was making noises so I backed the drag off. The line was again peeling off when Geoff came over. "Yeah, maybe it's too loose, tighten it up some" he said. I agreed and put back some. Big mistake. Pop! The line went slack. It took several minutes to retrieve the end of the line. It had broken at the knot this time. Oh well.
Since we had no lures or leaders with us , we had to wait for Lance to return. Geoff and I took some time to reflect a little. This whole deal was outstanding for many reasons. Most of the reasons are obvious and you can figure those for yourselves, but one I want to dwell on is the fact that I have always been led to the fish with Lance. He has always been the Captain, never the fisherman. Here, surf fishing, is the first time I have seen Lance fish. His skills and swiftness in his execution of those skills is simply awesome to observe. He has been fishing Cabo for over 17 years and it shows. Nothing is left to chance. I watched him expertly move his quad down the beach, only pausing to look diligently into the surf, even blocking the sun from the side of his sunglasses with his hand to keep the glare out. Studying the waves, looking for that sign. He could see the snappers when we could not. I watched him as he moved down the beach, sometimes he stopped and stood on top of the quad to get a better view. It would be hard to keep up with him but the rewards would be there if we could.
Lance returned and scolded us because we were not doing what he told us about looking for the snappers. We felt like we had let him down. Lance gave me a new leader and lure, and we headed back up the beach to the other end. By now the wind was really blowing, it was getting dark, and it was getting difficult to see the schools of snappers. I was riding with Geoff now, he's not a very good driver (just kidding Geoff!). Geoff was having a blast driving the quad, and I was getting bounced all over, but having fun too. We stopped to get our breath when I mentioned to Geoff that I was seeing red in the surf everywhere I looked. "Me too" he said. In a few more moments, the sun slid behind the lighthouse on top of the mountain, and it immediately got cold.
Saturday: To catch big tuna, all you need is a big net. Now I'm batting 2 for 2, since Bobby had a last minute charter cancellation making the Checkmate available. We grabbed a cab this time to help carry my cooler full of video equipment and other electronics that both Bobby and Lance hate, but put up with. After stopping at Ruben's Deli to get some coffee and his famous machaca burritos, we headed to the Checkmate. Bobby, Lance and David (Bobby's Captain), where already there, and we were underway by 6:50 AM. It was definitely cool this morning with a light wind, but clear skies. As we left the harbor entrance, it didn't take long to see that there was some fair sized white caps as we headed east to the gorda banks. The ride would take us just over an hour. It stayed fairly rough until we got close to the banks where we found warmer water, but a bit off color. We headed south from the banks and eventually found some better water. About an hour later, the wind completely died down allowing us a better chance of spotting tailers. Lance had already got out his gyros and was scanning the waters for fins and birds. Geoff started to doze off, and I told him that wasn't polite to do, and to pitch in on looking for signs. About that time, I saw 3 fins close together just off the stern and let out a yell. Everyone came to life, David turned the boat around, and Lance readied a pitch bait. David closed in, and Lance made a cast, soon joined by Bobby making a second offering. We circled the area several times, but nothing. We resumed the troll southward, and soon found ourselves surrounded by porpoise. Some were jumping, while others were breaking ranks to cruise the bow waves. We were in the porpoises for most of the day, but didn't find any tuna with them. It wasn't long until we spotted another group of tailers, again we would pitch baits, and again no takers. Bobby even stunned a bait and threw it out to see if they were just line shy. They ignored the bait. The third time we came up on a group of tailers, Lance saw at least 3 or 4 other marlin below the surface that cruised right up our troll line, then past the port side. Very frustrating. At least Geoff now knows how to spot tailers. Each time, we would spend anywhere from 20 minutes to 40 minutes trolling around with the two live baits trying for a hook up. Bobby changed the lures more times than I've ever seen him do so. They were all really working hard to get a marlin for Geoff. Bobby's brother, TJ, was also in the area and they kept in contact on both the VHF and the cell phones. It was the same story for TJ. Lots of marlin, but no takers. Earlier, Lance had spotted a purse seiner off in the distance, but around noon, we found one only about a mile from where we were. With the gyros, Lance could see that they were fishing - the net was being put out, so we headed over to investigate, since they appeared to be fishing inside the legal limits.
NAIR III Incident
The seiner was about 90 feet, named the NAIR III, and Lance said it was based in Ensenada. We pulled up within 50 yards of the seiner and started to capture all of this on video. We watched them bringing in the net, and every so often, they would stop and remove a hammerhead shark from the net,and toss it into the ships hold. Soon, they were stopping every 20 feet of net to remove not one, but several hammerheads. As the circle (delineated by the yellow corks) was drawn up on the net in the water, we could begin to see that there were hundreds of hammerheads swimming around in circles within it. Lance joked to throw a pitch bait into it. This was no laughing matter though. Lance said that there is a tourist business that relies on taking scuba divers to this location to observe the schooling hammerheads. Apparently, this is one of the few places in the world where this phenomena can be observed. Lance said that the hammerheads are not dangerous, but in fact are very docile, thus the great opportunity to get into the water and observe them in there natural habitat.
As the noose on the net was drawn up more, we were able to notice that there were tuna also, by the thrashing of there tails in an attempt to escape. We crudely estimated that there were probably 30 hammerheads to every tuna. We noticed that the tuna were being thrown into a different hold than the hammerheads. Finally the net was up as far as they could get it, so they started to empty it by lowering a second net that they dipped into the main net. This net was about 6 feet in diameter, and about 10 feet deep and was lowered and raised with a winch, after being drug through the larger net, scooping up everything in its path. The net was retrieved then moved into position on the deck, and the bottom was opened allowing the catch to spill on the decks where the deck hands quickly separated the catch into the two holds. In the photo to the right, this net can be seen just as it is being moved into position on the deck. We watched this process for about an hour or more. When we left, they were still off loading the big net. Who knows what the total count was, but I'm sure they cleaned out the entire population of the hammerheads. The land in the background of the photos is Punta Gorda, and is 7.66 nautical miles from NAIR III's position of 22° 59' North, by 109° 29' West. This is only 1.6 nautical miles from the outer high spot of the gorda banks!!!!!!! Click here to see more pictures of the carnage from my video camera. To watch the movie, simply click anywhere on the image - the software will attempt to determine your connection speed and then play the appropriate movie. If you have a problem viewing the movie, click on Auto, then select a lower version, Med, or Low, otherwise try watching the movie at a time when the Internet is not so congested..
Thoroughly disgusted at all of this we headed back out trolling again. It wasn't long before another fin was spotted but this time it was a shark. David circled around and Bobby tossed a pitch bait while David was making the sounds from the music in the movie JAWS when the shark was cruising in with the swimmers, which sent all of us into hysterical laughing. The shark started towards the bait, David increased his music rendition, but the shark also wasn't hungry. About a half hour later, we spotted another fin off the bow, and Lance grabbed a pitch bait and rod and ran up to the bow to toss it. It turned out to be a 35 foot whale shark. Lance pitched the bait anyway, then later said: "Hell, it would have been cool if Geoff could have at least gotten spooled". I turned to Bobby and David, and said, hey guys, "thanks for all this effort (it was 3:30 PM), but it doesn't look like we are going to get that marlin, so lets head in". Bobby agreed, but suggested that we stop along the shoreline and try to tie into a cabrilla, which are excellent table fare, for dinner. Didn't even get that. They must be full of squid I thought to myself. I knew Bobby had one more ace up his sleeve. "Ok, we will get something at my honey hole". This honey hole, which I can't reveal the location of, always produces something for light tackle. No, this time we were not disappointed. We released a nice sized brown pelican! Geoff was really fooled when Bobby asked if he wanted us to run up the pelican flag.
As we left the dock to go back to the hotel, Lance gave us directions to a nice place that we could get some fresh seafood for dinner. He told us he would meet us there at 8:00 PM to plan the next day. We arrived at Macombas and we each ordered sea bass for dinner but cooked different ways. We were soon joined by Lance and Darin. Bobby had a charter tomorrow, so Darin was going to come along and help out. The plan was to meet an Francisco's for coffee and sweet rolls at 7:00 AM. Lance and Darin were dressed to kill, so we figured they would be out late, and the late meeting in the morning would be easy on all of us.
After dinner, Geoff and I again felt the urge to have a few drinks before retiring, after all, it was only about 9:00 PM. We went to Cool Hippos and met David the bartender who took good care of us. It was really cold out again and the bar wasn't exactly jumping, so we headed back to the hotel.
Sunday: Montezuma's Revenge. The wake up call came at 6:30 AM. I went to get Geoff, only to find that he was sick. He said he had been up all night with the skids and felt too weak to go fishing again. I was really upset because I knew that Lance and Darin would have liked to had a day off - it was Darin's day off anyway. I headed to Francisco's without Geoff, where I found Lance waiting. "Where is Darin?" I asked. "He's sick. Where is Geoff?" "He's sick too." "Well, this is going to be kinda tough with just the two of us." We ordered a couple of bowls of oatmeal to talk over. Lance said he was sick too, but not as bad as Darin. We thought it was the food from Ruben's, but that didn't work because Darrin didn't have any of it, and Bobby and myself were fine. We changed "directions", Lance would go home and sleep a little more, then go down to the boat and do some last minute maintenance, then he would be by the hotel at noon to get us to go for some shore fishing up the coast line after catching some mullet. Good plan I thought, but I wondered if I could go back to sleep after the 3 cups of coffee.
I woke back up about 10:30 and knocked on Geoff's door, telling him to come outside and see all the blue marlin fillets I had from the morning fishing. He was out in an instant. "Well, were is the marlin?" He was pissed when I told him what had happened. We hung around the pool waiting for Lance. By 12:30, Geoff asked where Lance was. He's always on time I thought, maybe he's just running a little late. Soon it was 1:30, and I started thinking that maybe he said to meet him at the boat instead. A little foggy in my old age I guess. So we packed everything up and grabbed a taxi. As we pulled into the marina, I noticed that Lance's van was nowhere to be found, and he wasn't on the boat. Damn, he probably got tired of waiting and went home. Geoff was mad at me for screwing this up, so we headed back to the hotel. Around 3:30 Lance showed up and we loaded up the van and went back to Bobby's house to go surf fishing again. Without Bobby along, I didn't have a driver. Lance asked me if I could drive it. Hell, I had a motorcycle for years, "of course I can drive it" I explained. "Hey, where is the throttle?" as I'm trying to rotate the handle grip. Uh, Geoff, you drive, I'll ride with Lance again.
Tonight, we ate at the Rio Grill, where you can have all the tequila you want for free - they poor it in a clay cup about the size of a Vicks cough medicine cap, so good luck. The fajitas were outstanding. But it was cold out again. What a site to see. Everyone in the restaurant had a table cloth draped over their legs to keep warm, some even had a blanket around them.
Monday: Lance goes home. The next morning when we arrived at Bobby's house, the quads where covered with moisture, and it was again unseasonably cold out. Not as windy as before, and the surf had died down quite a bit. We only fished until 9:00 AM because we had to get the quads and fishing equipment back to Lance's house. Lance asked me if I could drive the van with the stick shift on the column. Damn I hated that. It makes me think he doesn't have any confidence in anything he wants me to do. After putting the gear away, we headed back to the hotel to have breakfast at Spencer's. Excellent breakfast, great service and fair prices. We thanked Lance for his expert fishing guidance and bid him good bye.
I told Geoff about the Pina Coladas that I could make, but he thought they are too sweet. "Not the way I make them"! "Ok." I went across the street and got a bottle of Barcardi Rum, and several bottles of that new Arizona Pina Colada mix, and a bag of ice. We spent the next two hours sitting around the pool and reflecting on the perfect trip, even though he didn't get his marlin release, and enjoying the Pina Coladas that went down quickly. After a nap, we headed out for our last dinner in Cabo. I had completely run out of places to go, but off in the distance I saw a sign that said "Mi Casa Restaurant" by the zocalo(town square). It is in an old Mexican church with indoor and outdoor seating. Keisha, the beautiful chef and owner, brought us the best Mexican cuisine in Cabo. This will be my new top of the list for dinning. Next door was a cigar store, so we stopped in and got a few for after dinner.
Tuesday: Check out time. Our flight back was at 5:31 PM so I checked with the front desk to see about a late checkout. I was told that we could keep one room until 3:00 PM, but they needed the other room by noon. The last shuttle to the airport was at 3:15 PM which would have gotten us to the airport an hour and a half before the scheduled flight. We elected to take a taxi and hang out around the pool the extra hour. Just to make sure the trip ended on a good note, I sprung to upgrade our seats to first class. Geoff really enjoyed that. We had a nice lunch and a few glasses of Chardonay with it. The flight to San Diego was uneventful, and arrived on time. I wasn't sure how immigration was going to go, although they know me well there, but they didn't recognize Geoff. I had him go in front of me in line, then we sort of grouped up at the check point. The immigration officer asked if we had any fish in the coolers, and I sadly said "not this time", he laughed and waved us through. Once outside, Geoff and I said our good byes, and I proceeded to the gate for my final leg. First class was sold out, so I was back in coach, not a big deal because I was tired and could have slept the whole way home. Oh well, I still had a window seat up front, 8F. As I made my way to my assigned seat, I noticed this very attractive, blonde haired, young girl, sitting in, what I hoped was the seat next to 8F. "Excuse me", I said, "looks like I will be sitting next to you". "Cool", she said back. The first thing I noticed as she got up to let me into my seat was that she was reading the current issue of "Bride" magazine, and was already sporting a wedding ring. "Where is your husband", I asked, just to be sure. "Oh, he had to leave early because of business, and I'm with my aunt and uncle, who are from Mercer Island". I asked her what her name was, "Kristen" she replied. She said she was from Oak harbor, and that she fished on the "Bad Medicine" with her fiancé, aunt and uncle, on 5/22 and caught two stripers, releasing one, one dorado, three tunas, two sierras, (both her and her fiancé got a little seasick) at the gordo banks. Damn, why couldn't that seat have been available in first class!
Last fooled with 03/26/05